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How much wind is too much?


Texas6
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Perhaps I'm too spoiled on good water, but we have minor tree protection and our lakes tend to get pretty breezy during the spring and fall months. While I realize all water time is beneficial in some way, I'm curious where others draw the line and decide to wait for better conditions to ski?
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15-20mph+ down our lake makes it unskiable as we have no protection in that direction, but we can manage that with a crosswind it is only the gusts that can make it a bit scary.
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It is situational. We used to ski at a roughly 60 ac airport lake that ran with the prevailing winds. in the spring it could be a bear, but if you wanted to ski, you had to do it. For me it boiled down to safety. If I really though I might get hurt I wouldn't go.

 

Having said that, you would be surprised at what you can run in the wind. After the first couple of passes it seems the boat kinda "knocks the chop down" a bit. I had a tremendous amount of fun boat judging a collegiate out there back in the perfect pass days. Gary Weideman from Houston was driving and we were swinging +80-90 in the head wind and -60 average in the tail. You would think no one could run a pass right? Seems that Ian Trapp and Brad Priekulus finished 1-2 with scores at the far end of -39.

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At our site, that kind of wind from any direction will cause whitecaps. After 2 surgeries from skiing relate injuries, I now always lean in the direction of safety. If I skied at a site where the wind didn't affect the water so much, I'd probably ski for training purposes.

 

When you live on a private lake with glass conditions on many days, it is hard to get motivated to ski in crappy conditions, although it would be beneficial for training for tournament preparation.

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Once again from back-back:

 

Supposedly, Wayne Grimditch's dad would look out on the lake when the conditions

were adverse, and tell him something like "Ah, tournament conditions!" And, then he

would go out and ski.

 

In the Olde Daze, at Cypress Gardens, they put on ski shows in about everything short

of tornadoes. And, before they had the massive tire barrier there, whitecaps were a normal

condition. I'm sure that people like Lynn Novakofski have many stories.

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Depends on the site, but you would be surprised how well you can ski if you just suck it up and get after it. At my site I have skied in 25-30 and just short of white caps. Sometimes miss the first pass or 2, but after adjusting I can get within a few buoys of normal.

 

It is a huge advantage at tournaments with tough water conditions and you think it's nothing unusual.

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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The real question is the amount of chop. The texture of the water is what makes the difference to me. Wind speed is totally different than water texture depending on how protected the water is.

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I agree @Horton, the texture is the ultimate driver and protection helps dictate texture. 15 is about the max I like to deal with in any direction out here because we have very little protection. More than that and I generally ski terribly and work far harder to do it. If I could somehow negotiate a 5mph head wind both directions my average would greatly improve
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We travel 40 minutes to get to our club, so it has to be really blowing before we give up the ghost. However, our lake has very little wind protection so anything over 15 makes for some dismal passes. All in all It's pretty darn fun to run a sweet pass in high winds.
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It's true @teammalibu. I've got to ski with him many times here in Dallas. We all get used to skiing in crosswinds 20 to 25. The water stays in pretty descent shape but you definitely have to stay with it when heading into the wind. Timing is everything. At Dean's Lake, they are professional wind skiers. Head Tail a ton. I go up there with my crosswind prowess and get schooled on head tails. It's all good.. CS over and out
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As many have posted above its really what the water surface is. If its white capping inside the 55 I won't go out on my ski. With white caps I find the ski wont rotate properly in the turn and will do crazy pitches and stops due to "holes". White caps typically form between 12 to 15 MPH but ski lakes are so small the caps often don't come up with quartering or cross. 15 is a lot more than most people think, a solid 15 blows chairs and anything else light not tied down away. But 15 is great for double trap on my cat...
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@teammalibu‌ the key in dallas is all about wind protection. Some pretty good options if you know where to look. With a south wind marine creek has great protection. Deans can be brutal with a south wind as @bigtex2011‌ said. I am pretty sure tons of skiers would love to be able to ski at the level of those boys. Dean, chad and the two Steve's are pretty good.
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as someone who skis 36 and weighs around 150lb water condition is much more important than wind. I can deal with the timing issues etc, but when it feels like my ski is sitting 1" deep because of chop, its not worth wasting the gas.
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@teammalibu every time I get a weekend, its cold down there.

If the wind is blowing at a major tournament, bet on the Dallas skiers. They dont look at the wind speed charts, they just meet at the lake and ski.

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The ability to ski in wind, is directly related to the amount of "wind protection" you have. We have predominantly south winds. We designed the lake to run east and west and have a tree line on the south side. A 30 MPH south wind is still very skiable. You do need to adjust to the wind on your body, and treat each buoy as a head or tail wind depending on the direction. Pulling long or short. The water condition, is a non factor under this example. Now move that same 30MPH wind from the east or west, and we are pretty much toast. We do at certain times of the year have to deal with the sunset or raise. Usually less than 20 min.
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