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What should a good driver do in your opinion?


Bulldog
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  • Baller

With all of the discussions lately about qualifications and ratings and sanctions for drivers around BOS, my question for everyone is: What do you think a good driver should do for you from the skier perspective? (I don't really care about the politics of this sport, it is sad how bad it is getting.)

 

My things are:

 

1. Do not yank the handle on me when idling out.

2. Be smooth in the when turning a button hook.

3. Hit the throttle the way THE SKIER wants it, not the driver.

4. Turn the F*#$@$g engine off when you can, gas is expensive.

5. A cold beer and a dry towel is a nice touch as well (I think only my beautiful wife does that one for me…)

 

Thanks for your opinions.

Mike

"Do Better..."

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I guess it's because I am getting old and set in my ways, BUT I do no like it when someone gets the rope tight too soon and drags me towards the course before I am ready to go.. Maybe it comes from skiing in my 2kft lake. I like as long a run up as possible.

 

To dove tail into that, when you are dropping me at the end, don't turn left too soon where I need to pull my butt off to get down to the end of the lake. A gently turn to the left at a decent speed is all I need, don't cut over too soon, don't decelerate and then gas it...

 

That about does it...

 

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show up on time with the boat- have it gassed enough that we can ski as many sets as we want but not too much to add extra weight. Make sure the heater is working properly if it's cold outside. A banana and some peanuts are a plus if it's morning, if it's evening I'll take a fat tire in a can. Have the rope ready to go at my length- don't make me add all the rope back myself that makes me feel lame.
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Slack in the line before the pullup is key. I hate to feel rushed. I just love dropping and having the boat next to me. Say anything, I'm great, I suck, I'm ugly, it doesn't matter. I'm the one behind the boat, it's all about me.
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joking aside,

in terms of short line slalom I would never claim to be a great driver.

 

Besides that - for me the key is always keeping on eye on the skier. When they're in the water - are they resting or is it time to tighten up? I almost never pull someone up if I cannot see them. If I do not know the skier I will always keep them in sight around the island and close to the dock.

 

If this skier is not a shoreline skier it is my responsibility to keep them safe. All those years of ski school taught me that I can put a skier on the island or keep them off. the driver has more control than the skier

 Goode  KD Skis ★ MasterCraft ★ PerfSki ★ Radar ★ Reflex ★ S Lines ★ Stokes

Drop a dime in the can

 

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1-Slack in the line until I'm ready to go.

2-Consistant giddy-up, hard or soft doesn't matter as long as I know what's coming.

3-Drive a straight line right down the middle.

4-Keep the boat close to the skier when idling at the drop area.

5-It's all about the skier, give them every consideration.

6-No chit chat with the observer unless it's directly related to what the skier is doing.

7-Positive/constructive feedback from the boat

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All the above, plus-

*Don't bump it into gear when I am standing on the deck putting in my second foot.

*Dont slam the throttle down hard and fast without a small bit of drag.

*Don't pull me up if I am at a 45 deg angle to the boat. That happened to me at a tourney and I pulled a hamstring trying to get up while my ski was getting swamped by the wake.

*Don't throttle back long before turning the boat to drop me.

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OB, if you are "checking the prop" in my lake, I will take off on you. Pee before you get in my lake!

 

With ZO, what is there for the driver to do really? I am the test drone for as many new drivers as I can generate.

 

Horton is right, the driver must keep the skier off the shore. (The lake designer keeps them off the islands - by not putting a stinkin island in the water!) Safety is the prime job of the driver.

 

Eric

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In order:

 

1) Do not run me over.

2) Drive straight with proper speed from greens to greens.

 

And that's pretty much it. I don't care if you drag me, pull me up at weird angles, carry on a conversation in the boat, or whatever, so long as the round is as safe as possible and you drive straight in the course.

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I'm with Than on this one- just drive straight and don't kill me. Being picky about any other aspect seems like overkill to me and definitely doesn't sound like much fun. We do a "single phase" start too- signal that you're ready to go (via about 500 different methods/calls that we all recognize), and we'll get you going after taking out the slack. It's assumed that taking slack out before hitting it is just part of driving a skier.
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Seems unless Chad, Andy Rose or one of the central Florida drivers comes to town or I ski in a tournament rd for the most part all my drivers Suck!

I ski with a couple of guy's on the public lake that cant seem to find the course nor stay in the middle once they get their (though they do try to do it right). Did not have that great of a year with my drivers last year. My wife does ok just cant seem to be able to get the boat back to me when the set is done, even 10 feet would be good.

My son (National champion) who is a great driver just does not practice skiing so he is not some one I can count regularly as a ski partner.

Hopefully I can get Clint down more often as he tries to do good. May have to advertise on Craigs-list for new a local skiboat driver!

 

My don't list:

Don't Drag the skier until he or she is ready to tighten the line and go.

Don't over accelerate into the slalom course especially with 6 liter boats.

Don't let Bikini Clad women that are in the boat distract you while driving practice ( this one is very hard to do!).

Don't run the boat off balanced.

Don't allow swimmer's around your take off and return area's.

Don't put your skier or crew or bystanders in a unsafe atmosphere.

Don't take your out of town ski partner to the Gator hole and expect them to be comfortable on the water.

 

Do's:

Make sure your communication with your skier is clear on all aspects of his or her ski ride

Be mindful and respectful of site owners wishes and or policy's.

Be mindful and respect other boat owners property when driving their boats.

Always create a atmosphere of safety, trust and learning.

Make every attempt to make your skier comfortable.

Always ask for guidance from your skier if you feel their may be a problem.

Always when possible invite Bikini clad women into our boat because it make's you look good!!

 

Lastly Always remember as a driver you are their for the skier and not to look good with the bikini clad girl in your boat!

 

 

 

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Jody- great point about balancing the boat- actually that is one totally key thing that does drive me CRAZY. There is nothing more distracting than having a 10ft rooster out one side of the boat because the spotter is totally splayed out in the wrong spot on the seat. And, on our Nautique, just a few inches in each direction makes a huge difference in boat balance. It's hard not to ask the observer to move one way or the other without sounding crazy/offensive, either. Awkward.
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I make it easy on my driver.. When I am ready to have him take the slack out of the rope I say, in gear, wait a second or two, then tell him to hit it.. Standard practice when I barefoot, carried over to slalom. I can't complain about bad drivers, because I am usually the one who teaches new drivers to drive for the course. I am thankful every time I get to ski. My brother and I taught my sister-in-law to drive us through the course manually(no speed control). She picked it up pretty quick. I can't be distracted by the bikini clad passengers in my boat, they are other guys wives.. I notice the newerboats are more sensitive to weight distribution when it comes to balance. I notice it more when I trick than when I slalom.

 

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Just make sure you take the slack out of the rope before you pull me up, approach the 55's straight in and keep it straight through the course. After that all I ask is that you don't whistle at the dogs playing on the shore as I'm about to drop. I worry about whether yer gonna' run the boat on shore and I totally lose focus on my previous pass and have to regain my focus all over again before the next.
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How about this?

I try to drive such that I am "invisible" to the skier. So that he/she does not notice anything I am doing Consistent drops, smooth pull-ups and throttle application, no jackrabbiting around the islands, lined up well before the course, with system engaged, and no countersteer EVER if the skier does not have the handle in both hands. Smooth 'unbusy', steering corrections when needed. Never, ever, wrong side. If/when I do- I apologize- really good skiers can tell- I want them to know I know too.

If I don't know the skier I ask how they want to be pulled up. If I suspect they are unfamiliar with the lake I make sure they know the drop routines, and I watch to make sure they remember. When the skier drops smile, and tell them nice job. The skier should need to think only about skiing not the jackwagon at the wheel,

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*First and foremost, the skier's safety is my responsibility

* Make sure I know the way I'm supposed to drive a given lake

* Make sure my skier knows where to drop

* I try to put the boat at a point where the skier is to the driver side about 6' off the platform, that way if I need to turn the wheel left the tail of the boat doesn't swing towards them.

* Slack line until first beep, then take up slack

* Have line up done well before boat reaches 55's

* too much wheel movement is bad

* understand the pivot point of the boat I'm in. A Malibu rotates around it's centerpoint different than a Mastercraft or Nautique, thus the counter movements could be different.

* Do lots of shoulder exercises and bicep curls in case I have to drive Chad Scott's boat with it's rudder off of a Panamax crude tanker.

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Lot's of great stuff in here. I think the one thing that really drives me is when skiing out at a public lake with some novice drivers that when you fall they crank the wheel and smash the throttle wide open and whip back to pick me up. Mean while sending 2 ft rollers down the ski line not to mention everywhere else. They learn eventually with a little positive encouragement.
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  • Baller
Once the driver reaches the 55M balls at the end of the course, disengage speed control and reduce boat speed. Saves gas, gives the skier a little break and the boat is not going 34 or 36 MPH into the drop zone.
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@than. I am not sure that it will require that much more effort to ski behind the boat at 30MPH instead of 34 or 36. I think it is unsafe to come into the drop zone with the speed control still engaged. I do give VERY slight throttle to aid in the pull out to shorten.
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OB and Horton, the nitrogen in your pee feeds a clump of pondweeed. Bulldog, my water gets so hot that pee cools it off. No PEEing!

I want my drivers to do power turns when I fall so they can get back to me really fast and get me out of the nasty contaminated water at your lakes!

Eric

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