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Re ZO poll: Could we drop A and 3??


Than_Bogan
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If you ignore the folks who didn't know or who vary their setting based on boat, my arithmetic (which someone should check!) is telling me that B, C, 1, 2 account for almost 70% of people's settings.

 

Personally, I think having 9 choices of pull is ridiculous, and I have previously stated that I strongly suspect most ZO engineers feel the same way. As a software engineer, I can attest that the first pass at software to solve a complicated problem usually only gets part of the way there and therefore has to expose some parameters to allow tuning rather than "just working" automatically. But the long-term goal is always to work properly for every case with as few parameter as possible. (Btw, there's a bit of a hierarchy of parameters. Anything that corresponds to something measurable in the real world, such as the skier's weight, is not too bad because it's simple to measure. But parameters that only exist inside the algorithm are especially undesirable because you don't know how to set them except by experimentation. ABC and 123 fall into that category.)

 

So I hope ultimately smarter ZO software won't need any parameters.

 

But even in the shorter term, I am wondering if we could narrow it to just 4 choices. So I'm curious if anybody who is on A or 3 is firmly attached to their setting, or if you'd be fine to move to one of B1, B2, C1, C2?

 

I personally am somewhat attached to 1, and I'd be a bit bummed if it went away (until replaced by smart software that just does the right thing for light/weak skiers like me). As far as A/B/C, I don't especially care. I use B, but I can't even tell when my ski partner accidentally leaves it at A or C. So if the only possible choices were C1 and C2, I'd be 100% fine with that.

 

In fact, if it were up to me I'd get rid of these settings right away, and just make it always be somewhere between 1 and 2 and somewhere between B and C. I personally would have to get accustomed to the harder pull of "1.5", but I'd be willing to do that to get rid of this notion of skier-tuned pull.

 

Where do others stand? I'd be interesting in comments related to any of the above!

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I mentioned those two because they're Big Dawg Finals winners. Once I settled on C as my letter of choice, I skied C1 for about 3 months and moved to c2. I skied c2 for about 2 years and moved to C3 which I'm still using and like. The choices are already there, why would we remove them? Better get ready, D is right around the corner...
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@Roger. I think there's an excellent reason to remove them: It's yet one more thing to get intimidated by as you try to transition from recreational to competitive skier.

 

That reason may not outweigh the benefits -- part of my intent with this thread is to discuss that. Personally, I think the value of these parameters is quite low and that we'd be net better off without them -- even without further improvements to the control system.

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@disland, Very few jumpers understand how ZO works for jump. They try to relate it to PP and increase the letter. Then, they wonder why they get nothing off the ramp. If the letter is correct, you will hear that when the switch comes on, it builds with the skier all the way into the base of the ramp. If the switch is off before the skier gets to the ramp, the letter needs to be reduced. You want the boat to be building in speed as the jumper is at the base. You don't want the boat to be flat at the ramp.
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If ZO only had lets say B1,2,3 when it was first released we would not be talking about this. Better question why did ZO Implement so many settings? Do these settings change the way we should look at records? Example: Well the M1 record was set on A1 and I ski B2 so it does not apply to me. Are we creating more division? Just my ramblings

 

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@MattP: "Why did ZO implement so many settings?"

 

Imo: Because they had to. The control system wasn't able to get an acceptable pull for every skier.

 

ZO is a much more active control system than perfect pass -- one can easily tell that by listening to the engine. When you try to make a control system more active, it gets harder to get it right. Imagine you wanted to keep your living room between 72.1 and 72.2 degrees. The heat (or AC if you're reading this below the equator) would be cycling on and off wildly. Very roughly speaking, this is what ZO is trying to do.

 

The "right" answer, of course, is to automatically do the right thing, by incorporating the skier's actual pull strength and pattern into the control system. In effect, auto-detecting the correct setting for a given skier. But that's damn hard. And since ZO now has a monopoly, they have almost no incentive to work on that!

 

Personally, I agree with your implication (at least I think you're implying it) that being able to tune your boat pull is very weird. I think this makes it seem like the boat is your ally in some way, as opposed to a single standard against which all competitors are tested.

 

However, I am intrigued that the clear majority opinion so far is that we're OK with having a tuning matrix to try to get the perfect pull to complement our individual style.

 

I'll admit I'm very surprised, but I'm not nearly passionate enough in my position to really argue with anybody. Just curious what people are thinking -- and I'm finding out!

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@ShaneH Serious question: You really don't think it's intimidating to be faced with 9 settings to try on top of all the things a newish competitor is trying to learn?

 

You may be right; I haven't been a newish competitor for a long time. It sure seems like it'd be intimidating. At the very least I'd think it means you need more water time to get confident for a tournament.

 

What I do know is that I was totally annoyed by it; I viewed every pass where I was trying to figure which setting I liked as a wasted pass that I could have been trying to figure out how ski better!

 

Now I just set it at B1 and I'm loving it. But I don't want to forget how much of a pain it was to reach this point.

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@Than Bogan intimidating or not there certainly has to be a situation where many beginners don't know and therefore don't get the "best ride" or at least the ride they may be more familiar. I'm surprised there is what appears to be a pretty good sized market for ZO simulators for older systems which leads me to think that lots of folks simply don't know or haven't had the opportunity to find the right setting.

 

I'm not advocating for more options or few options but we can certainly agree the learning curve is steeper with more options to choose from and test.

 

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@thanbogan, the fact that people use more some numbers (not letters) than others is purely due to a major error in verbally explaining how the settings work. People think that the higher the number, the stronger and quicker the recovery of the boat will be (quicker, not sooner).

 

Given that explaination and the skiers' fear of skiing with a "strong" boat, people are often reticent to ski with 3.

 

The reality is that numbers are there in order to take away power from the boat when the skier pulls too much. Shocked? Well, I know I was when they explained it to me.

Here's how they work:

-3 limits the boat's response when the skier pulls x

-2 limits the boat's response when the skier pulls y (less than x)

-1 limits the boat's response when the skier pulls z (less than y)

 

Let's take two skiers: Mark (60kg, pulls always less than z)

Rick (80kg, pulls sometimes more than x)

Mark will never reach ZO's target pulls (z,y,x), making the three numbers absolutely identical to him. Rick, on the other hand, is in a very different situation. He will always pull more than y, but only sometimes more than x. In order to have a consistent pull, he will choose to ski either with 1 or with 2.

Rick will get the same pull as Mark only when he skis with 3 and never reaches limit x. But a mistake or an occasional hard pull might set his rythm off.

 

The problem with ZO's numbers is that the values x,y and z are too close together, leaving normal sized people either with an inconsistent pull or a dumbed down version of what very light skiers are skiing behind.

 

I really hope I made it comprehensible!!

 

 

 

 

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It's interesting that we have had the ZO system since 08 and we still have discussions on exactly what each setting does and how it affects the skier.

When I am in a slump I change my settings. It's the cheapest and easiest thing to change and blame it on.

We should have a wheel and each person spin the wheel at the dock. That will determine your setting for that round.

 

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As a bigger skier, I use C3 most of the time and C2 on just a few boats with larger motors. I always thought that PP did not apply enough throttle during the completion of the turn into the acceleration phase of the cut. For me, the ZO is a dramatic improvement in ski-ability.
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I am in the minority as I use B3. I used to use C2; but, "B" gives me enough delay to get into a strong stacked position out of the turn and the "3" gives me the increased throttle response for support once I load the boat. I actually wish there was something between B & C. If there were a B+ or C-; I am pretty sure I would go to the "2" setting.
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This thread is a little bit crazy, and very much validates @Than_Bogan's point. Admittedly, I do not have a lot of Zero Off experience, but it seems ridiculous how many options there are. It also seems like no matter what system/setting is out there, most could adjust to it. To a guy who has about 1 1/2 summers in the course (me), it is overwhelming to know that that are so many variables to choose from. My ski partner just got the ZBox, so I am definitely looking forward to knowing what setting I should use. I am not looking forward to figuring out which that is...seems like it could take the whole summer. I would hate to pick the wrong one and ruin a potential career as a pro skier!
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I have started thinking about this differently. Speaking only of letters, if an aggressive skier chooses A he will pull down the boat more (the boat is waiting longer to give gas) so the boat will have to respond more. If the boat is really strong a letter close to A makes more sense because the skier will slow the boat down less before for the gas comes on.

 

I think that is why the 6 L boat feels better. Because you never pull it down the gas never comes back at you.

 

who knows maybe I have it exactly backwards. Will Bush did tell me that the number two delivers the shortest duration of increased RPM and that is why I generally run 2

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

Drop a dime in the can

 

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Onside, I could learn to be able to manage to swallow a Brussel sprout. Doesn't mean I'm going to like it or want to have them three times a week.

 

Why are there so many skis? To fit different people's styles. This conversation is like a discussion to outlaw all but three skis.

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MS and I had an interesting conversation w/ a couple of pros who were involved in the initial testing of ZO. Most of the settings the skiers liked were thrown out by Andy. The one setting that survived eventually became B1. That said, I've been told by others that the number 2 is the best choice and to not change your number but change your letter. The throttle response with #2 is the most consistent in their opinion - and they've been involved w/ testing of this system since the beginning. Their recommendation is to flow between A2, B2 and C2 depending on boat, water and other considerations.
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It is good to have another skier like Matteo on the BOS forum.

 

I was at the ranch for a tourney in 2008 when the A-B-C ZO came out. It that time, it had been out for about a month and only a few of the promos had it. Chet was there as were a number of top skiers and he was 1 of the few that had had some time with it. He had everyone there using A. The next year at the BD when 1-2-3 came out and nobody knew what to use, he had the whole BD group using A1. Today at the BD, very few of the skiers use A1.

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Hm, this thread has become very different from, and more interesting than, where I thought it was going to go.

 

@ShaneH You make a compelling point in comparing to ski choice.

 

But I think we still have to be careful. Since the control system is a computer, it's nearly certain that A/B/C and 1/2/3 ultimately map to some numeric parameter inside the code and most likely that number is continuous.

 

So why limit it to 3 x 3 choices? Why not let the skier give a number between 1 and 1000 to precisely control each dimension? A million choices is clearly better than 9! :)

 

It appears that some will argue that would be a good thing. In my opinion, that would be horrible.

 

"I just wanna ski, man!"

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Horton, I think you are dead on. The C setting is quicker to respond, therefore it gases you a lot less. I don't like the surge you get at the A settings or the longer power applications you get at the 1 settings. C3 sounds scary, but in reality it's not so bad.
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Skiers that are light on the boat (females for instance) tend to use A. My daughter has used A3 for several years w/ success.

 

In response to MS post, there were several 39/41 off skiers using A1 at my records last year. Four that come to mind.

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The original ABC only version was reversed. If you like C now, you would have liked A then.

I really liked that version.

 

The 2011 boats with ZO have seemed a bit softer to me. I was practicing behind PP Classic and using C1 in tournament and it really didn't feel that different.

 

I can ski bad behind any boat

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I haven't forgotten that! I was just "lucky" that all of those options felt completely horrible to me. But anyhow I thought being able to customize your pull like that was unnecessary, and in fact "the switch" very quickly disappeared from use in the northeast. Most tournaments didn't even have one for several years before ZO came along. (KX was still there, but very rarely used by folks around here.)
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IMHO the big problem is ZO unwillingness to help their customers understand their product. It would be helpful if they gave us graphs of the throttle response algorythm so we could really see the control methodology in response to deflected GPS position.

 

The same would be helpful for the jump program and the letter design.

 

Why do they have such invisible documentation. is it a competitive thing? They already have exclusive rights so why the big secret?

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Could not agree more. That is the problem with ZO . I ski on B-2 with my 6 liter 200 and this afternoon A-2 on Cory's Mastercraft 6 liter. If all hull bottoms were equal in efficiency and all boats ran the same gear ratio and propeller combination along with the same motor configuration and each manufacturer retained the same zero off control gains then yes we could utilize three settings and get on with our ski rides. But that is not the case. However if RPM signal was added to the program I think we could have a few less settings.
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Does anybody know if a zero off boat running the course without a skier still revs at every bouy? ie. do you still get the familiar 6 audible rpm increases as you go through the course? Looking at Scoke's explanation I would suspect that you do not. Also I really like the graphical explanation of why ZO and PPSG feel different.
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@danbirch, Thanks, that's what I thought, I was just looking for confirmation. I am trying to figure out why the needed addition of an acclerometer in the Z-box to get PPSG to better emulate ZO. I am guessing it has something to do with providing information on the actual deceleration caused by the skier and the resulting acceleration provided by the engine. Scokes information also gives credence to the idea that the trip point for A, B and C could be supplied from the accelerometer. Some people here at work that use to design GPS chips are thinking it has something to do with vector calculation between the Doppler-speed-based NMEA-data sample acquisition points. The math for that is way more complicated than I am willing to dig into for fun though!!!!!
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