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12inch vs. 13 inch handle


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  • Baller_
Recently had to barrow a 13" identical in every way to my 12" handle. Felt totally weird. Skied like crap. Not sure there is an advantage or disadvantages. It's what feels right. Handle diameter can also make a difference in like and dislike. Try some buddies handles. Even if you tie it to a post. Same at a ski shop. See if they will let you lean on one.
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I have always used a 13". When I tried a friends 12" it felt limiting. Several other ski buddy's have .88 diameter handles, so I bought one, and tried it for a long time. I have finally found that a 1", with a mild radius is good for me.
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  • Baller

I use 12 inch my theory is that there is more chance of your hands being in the same position most times, other people think that a wider handle gives a little more stabilty, I suppose you could argue if you have a large chest a wider handle may suit better, the only problem with that view and I am not 100 percent sure but at one time Andy Mapple was using a 10 inch handle

 

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I know a few people who have had Masterline restring their 12s and 13s down to 11" or 11.25". I know with me, when I ski with a 13, I end up with both hands close together to one side, leaving a space on the handle towards the other side. With a 12, this isn't the case. Tried one of those 11.25's and it just felt right. When it's time to restring my 12s, I'll have them cut down.
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I skied with 12" handles for years after having a few 13" fold up on me. I was admonished by a pro coach that the 12" handle was keeping me from being able to get my shoulders back in the pull and that I'd do better with a 13". Went to a 13" ML Custom (which should never be able to fold one of these) and I do feel like it's helped in that regard.

 

BTW I have 2 - 3 ArmGuard handle guards built for 12" ML handles I'd like to get rid of if anyone is interested. $10 each, first come first get or trade for a 13" Armguard.

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I probably haven't used as many handles as some people but I've probably gone through 4-5 different handles of varying lengths and styles. One thing I've found is no matter how big or how small the handle is, I'll figure out a way to miss the grab. I do love the wider grips though. Just makes me feel more stable.

 

Even with the insanely wide Radar Extend handle, I can still miss it but the ends are so thin, I can at least get a couple fingers on the handle for the pull and reposition off the second wake. Definitely the wider the handle, the more awkward it feels if your hands start getting biased to one side. However, when you do get into a situation where your hands start getting biased, I feel more confident that I will be able to put my hand back on the handle. If I use a 12" handle or smaller and grab in the center, the next grab has to be perfect or I won't get all my fingers on it.

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I've tried both. With the 12" I grab the end now and again but not that often. Really screws me up when I do, wouldn't want to do so in an tournament. With a 13" I miss maybe once a summer. I think any technical advantage is minimal and far outweighed by "feel", so you don't miss and so you don't have to think about it. Much better to think about controlling it.

@MS I've never had one catch on vest or shorts. Catch on shorts? How do you even to that?

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  • Baller

I've always used a 12" handle, but recently bought a Radar Control 13" handle and it's just too big since I'm not a big guy and don't need the space. It's brand new (still has tags and never touched water) if anyone is interested in a good deal on a handle.

 

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For 15 years I used only Custom Grip .888 11 inch handles and really love them. It kept my hands close together which I felt gave me more power. I rarely missed a grab. Last year I switched to The US Gear 12" Radius and am very happy with the change. Now I never ever miss a grip. And the US gear hold up so much better. Hard to get product out of them though.
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@MS You may have something there. Something like a windsurfer harness. Get handle to hips, hooks in, everything through hips all the way to the other side, releases for reach. Nothing through the arms, shoulders or back. Look out, Dave's next step!
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8" need to save weight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

....just kidding, coming from wakeboarding I feel much more comfortable with a wider handle. I can ski with a 12" handle, but I prefer not to. If US Gear has another sale I will be purchasing a 13" Radius Pro-V, those handles look very nice.

 

And for those coming back to the handle with 1/2 a hand, I was having this issue earlier this year, until someone pointed out what I was doing with my dropped hand. I was flailing my arm so badly the fellow skier said I looked like I was at a "gay rodeo". Since then I keep my hand close to my hip when I drop. I have not missed or 1/2 handed coming back to the handle since.

 

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I used a 12" In-Tow handle all last year and when I went to replace it this year I mistakenly ordered a 13" handle. The first time I tried the 13" handle I thought it felt way too big.....but after a few sets on it I now find the 12" handle is too narrow.
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  • Baller
I have switched back and forth for one reason or another over the past 35 yrs. and most recently went from a 12" to a 13" both Custom ML 1.125 (no gloves its a footin thing) I was on the 12" for 3 yrs before the switch. I gave it a hell of a try to like the 13 again but my hands seam to be to one side which ends up with a bad pull/poor angle. When I went back to the 12" just recently I skied so much better. Now, US GEAR 12" Elliptical Radius on the way for end of season testing. I liked the elliptical ARS that was out years back but mine was a 13" and I now that I think back I may have had the same issue with that handle. I like the idea this handle has floats also. Any other handles on the market that float?
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  • Baller
I have been using the 13" for a long time and I can name quite a few times both in tournament and practice where I caught the handle with my little finger and ring finger only and on a 12" I would have missed it entirely. If I can get two fingers on the handle I can get to the next buoy no problem (the release I a little disconcerting but I can turn the ski fine) and then the buoy after that I get a chance to fix the problem again but if I miss the handle entirely I'm likely not getting very far after that.
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