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The Boat Wake Paradox


Ntq206
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What a catch 22 this is for me.....

 

So for the past couple of months I've been working pretty much exclusively on getting into that strong leveraged position behind the boat.

I've made huge progress - but last week I GOT IT! Well, ok, just for 2 passes free-skiing, but I absolutely knew I had it right.

The acceleration was ridiculous and there was a total epiphany.

That was after running behind.... let's call it Boat "A" for about a week straight. (calling it boat A to avoid brand-wake-wars).

I really felt like I was making HUGE strides in my skiing that week. It was totally coming together.

 

The very next morning, I'm back to usual boat "B". -15 wake is quite a bit rougher and tougher. Mentally, for whatever reason, I just couldn't completely trust that fully leveraged position and I immediately regressed. Just when I think I'd broke through the barrier..... grrrrr. Felt like I took two steps back again.

 

And so is my current paradox - I know now I can do that strong leveraged position and exactly what it feels like, but because of a tougher wake, my brain holds back on me. I know, I know - with a strong position, the wake isn't an issue. (I guess I only partly subscribe to that thinking otherwise everyone would be just as happy to ski behind a big WakeSetter.)

 

I'm sure I'm not the only one who been there.... just incredibly frustrating - and maybe I'll just find out that this is all part of the painfully slow learning curve.

 

Anyone been here?

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Definitely... I'm with you 100%. I'll gain lots of confidence behind one boat and go all out into another boats wake only to be jarred back into reality on the very first crossing. Depending on how rough it was, I may give it a few more goes and try to hold my angle. Either way, I do feel you pain. It probably just the newbie in me but it's hard to get consistent when your wake keeps changing.
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Well judging by your screen name I'm guessing that the boat b that you usually ski behind is a SN 206. I actually feel like I'm in very much a similar position. I'm not a fantastic skier by any means, my personal best is 32 mph at full line length on my buddies 96 PS 205.

 

It's interesting because I really feel (especially after riding behind a boat with a better ski wake this weekend) that some of my most significant progress on my skiing would come behind a boat with a very minimal wake. After that, once I had learned how to do it just right, then I could go back to the 96 PS 205 and slide right through that wake.

 

So as I'm now shopping for a boat of my own so that I can quit mooching off my buddy all the time, I'm going to put my theory to the test and try to get a really supreme skiing boat. Then maybe I'll have a verdict for you next year at this time.

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The wake and pull for a developing skier does not get better than an old 79 American Skier or an old Stars and Stripes Mastercraft. Modern boats optimize other tradeoffs like deep shortline spray/troughs or family wakeboarding capability. The modern tournament pull will feel a lot different from a sweet old boat. If you get an old boat (you probably will get great value on it!) it is likely to improve your skills to the point that you must have a new boat! Great!

 

Listening to your comments, you have identified exactly what skills you need to work on. As long as you drain the fatsacks, your boat's wakes are manageable. I set my slalom tournament PB behind a 205 (later had a serious wakeboard/trick session behind the same boat with full fatsacks). Run the gas low, take out everything non essential and get a light driver and the wake improvement might surprise you. Then attack the wake that is left!

 

Or buy a 79 American Skier. Mine is not for sale. I might retrofit it with ZO even.

 

Eric

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Personally, I'd see if you could get some time on a 'boat C' - see if someone in your circle has an even-less-ideal wake, spend some time with it and try to get yourself to where you can cross stacked, with confidence. I spent a lot of my teen years skiing behind a '79 Nautique - which is a pig - but if you can learn to cross those wakes with confidence (or some wakeboard-leaning hybrid from today's world), you'll stop fussing over the minor differences in wakes on any modern 3-event boat.

 

Having been raised on late 70s boats, I don't think there is a 3-event/non-wakeboard boat since the mid-90s that I ever get concerned about. Makes me smile when I hear everyone else debating this-or-that modern boat as if they were skiing behind the titanic. Kris Lapoint ran deep 38' in the 70s on a fiberglass log going through huge rooster-tails and getting spray in his face the whole way.

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@itch2ski @DooSPX If I were to sell my boat it would probably be for $13,000. But I just skied behind it last night after a season behind the TXi and I have to say my wakes felt very soft. My wife is more interested in selling it than I am. If I put it up for sale and it doesn't sell, I figure I've covered my bases as far as she is concerned. I can't help it if folks aren't buying boats!
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If you're free skiing, jump past 22 off to 28 off and you won't have a wake issue. At 28 off you can establish good form, strong leverage etc. Then when and if you course ski and go back to 15 or 22 off you'll hate the wake but hopefully you're established enough in your form to get over it.

To this day I hate my 22 off course pass because of the wake but it doesn't change my form or my mental state, its just what it is.

 

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I am a newb and have the same issues. I ski behind a 95 Tige and a 05 Response LX. I'll have a great session one night, and the next morning be brutally afraid of the wake on the other boat. The owner of the other boat feels exactly the same as me...except we each favor our own boat wakes. Each wake is different, but I am by no means looking to ski competitively, so I cannot complain that much.

 

I have found what helps is taking the first several cuts in the open water a lot less aggressively helps me mentally and find a rhythm. Then continue to increase leverage. I still have yet to ski his boat on the course though....

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Be on edge but not loaded on the line at the wakes and the ski will run through easier. If you have a lot of load on the line a harder/bigger wake feels really bad. With less load and better position you will feel it less. I can always tell if I am loading too much because suddenly the wake feels hard. Load less and it feels fine.
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Biggest issue with the old MC's is until you get to 89 you get rope wear.

 

http://i46.tinypic.com/fd60kj.jpg

 

Now you take an old boat like these, figure out an easy way to implement zero off, or just do stargazer. Take the pylon and get a delrin cap that bolts onto the pylon.

 

Oh and the final improvement would be to have a fiberglass guy blend some chines in to blast down some of that spray.

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