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Took first ride behind a 5.3 w/ single puck yesterday


Horton
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Interesting evaluation. Spent almost all of my sets this summer behind my 196 on C2+. Went to Swiss yesterday for a set due to wind. Skied behind a new 5.3 on C2+ and thought it felt great. It seemed to allow me to be a little more free of the boat at the buoy. Clint thought I could drop to C2 as the engine was revving, but the 38 off pass felt easier than my 196. I did ski behind a 6.2 and that did seem firm. I dropped to C2 and felt better. Just one man's opinion.
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@markn, since you are a + skier, I suspect the strength of the boat is less of an issue and you probably want the boat "there for you" all the time. The new setup provides that....to everyone.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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I own one and really like it. If you get in a rhythm with it, the ride is 2nd to none. If you get off the pendulum and start taking hits, it can be a firm ride. There is no pulling the boat down to catch up.

 

It does help to have a new rope with a little stretch to it. Sort of softens up the harsh spots.

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Now let's qualify this statement by saying that I'm not that good a skier. I've skied behind single puck SN, MC, Malibu and at least I think it was a single puck on a Centurion. All 2016 boats. I didn't notice anything different at all. As a matter of fact I have yet to have anyone personally tell me that they can. I've read here on BOS of those that feel it's harsher, but that's it. Maybe some people notice more difference with a 5.3? I know of a couple of people who converted their boats over to the single puck and they said they felt no difference.
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@Horton Is it correct to assume your talking about a 200? I have no idea about Centurion using a 5.3 yet? I had some interesting feedback from Austin Abel before Moomba on the 5.3, he's the biggest dude I've ever pulled down really short lines and his opinion was that the 5.3 was a little softer than the 5.7 which made it a closer match to my 6.0 196.. Just one mans opinion of course.
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Yes!! Yes!! Speed control! This was a common point of discussion at Lake 38 over the weekend. I guess the real problem is that the current or last versions or even any since the advent of Zero Off has produced a pull that is not polite to the masses. It seems to continue to punish some and reward other's. Even those that were rewarded in the past are now being punished. Where our own towboat committee has strived to encourage a equal pull from manufacture to manufacture it has become even more wide spread. consistency I believe is only the fact that the boat will get an actual time at the end of the course no matter what is on the other end of the rope.

We today have a wider range of overall effectiveness then when we were being driven by hand. About the only group of skiers the current system really does not effect is the juniors skier. They are real light and have absolutely no effect on the boat as it drones down the lake..

 

What letter should I use??? I weigh 200 pounds use B2 on my converted 196 and can run 38!!! shoot I cant even get to 5 ball at 32 with this new system!! or wow!! feels great I weigh 150 pounds and ski perfect pass and the new system feels just like my Z box!!

 

It all still boils down to we have failed as a sport to demand an equitable control that will accommodate all skiing style's, skier size and ability. Perfect Pass did that provided the driver knew how to make the system operate in the legal parameters.

 

The answer for me is screw it!! I will just tone down the control and ski at 33.5 MPH in practice and not ski tournament rounds. Funny I skied the older 2014 6.0 Garman puck boat last week that I sold to my buddy here in panama city... Sweet!!!! 16.95 felt like I was running 1 mile per hour slower then the 2016 stuff I have been skiing recently..

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I heard this weekend that the 6.0 motor (not the 6.2) will be the standard motor on the 2017 SN. The 6.0 gives a great pull, though given a choice I'd prefer the 6.2. Very steady pull.

 

I ski C2. I know some C2 skiers use A2 with the 5.3. Personally, I haven't tried it, but I watched a buddy run up the rope to 1.5@39 in a tournament yesterday employing that strategy.

 

#iskiconnelly

Lpskier

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Sometimes I think we skiers don't want these kind of improvements. This is the same kind of frustrations heard when guys mentioned decreasing buoy count comments when Perfect Pass took over the norm from hand driving and then again when Zero Off took over the standard. As we get closer and closer to a constant pull speed, we are always going to see the challenge increase. The good news is - the ski manufactures have made vast improvements that have kept the scores increasing while the boats become more like freight trains. Think about the recent world records - the scores are vastly superior to the times when we had our drivers controlling speed and a stop watch for accountability. Inconsistency of the motorized tow boat is and what always will keep this sport out of the Olympics.

 

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It is disappointing to hear that ZO feels different behind different boats and then even different boats with different engines. I pretty much only ski ZO at tournaments and have been skiing A2 for years. The only ZO boats I even have occasional access to are late model 196s so nothing with a new engine. I would really love A2 to feel the same behind every tournament boat.
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(If this is too far off-topic let me know and I'll split to another thread.)

 

@Jdubs I have it on good authority that near-zero-variation in speed was achieved years ago and test skiers absolutely hated it because they lost more than a full pass.

However, I think I am in the camp that we should just eat the one-time score drop, recalibrate our expectations, and move on without all the silly parameters and manufacturer variations.

The reason I am not fully committed to that, though, is that I wonder if we'd seem more injuries from so-called Freight Train mode?

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I gotta say I loved the standard Stargazer (no z-box) pull. Perfect times every time which was an improvement over standard PP and a nice pull. Maybe we just had a great version but on @razorskier1's MC 197 it powered up, right to speed no over/under shoot, and times were within a few hundreths every time. No power surges, no piles of settings.
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@Than_Bogan What's wrong with choices? Skiing styles differ - so should the preferred driving feel.

 

The problem with any new boat or engine is lack of exposure. That's very temporary. Seek out the new boats to get familiar. It's not that hard.

 

@Jody_Seal Speed control is magic. Once you adapt you can't go back. Again, it's not that hard to adapt. Much easier than finding the right driver and setup. The cost is a factor but not unreasonable. And vendors involved in the sport will be beneficiaries.

 

The value of this thread will be recommendations for setting adjustment to make it feel like the settings we are used to.

 

Eric

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The old 6.0L 200 should be considered the gold standard in terms of pull. Pretty much everybody loved it and everybody who skis tournaments knows exactly what to expect when they get it.
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@MS

Sorry but ZO has nothing to do with the application as they are contracted to build as per manufacture.

Having said that we as an association have let our own selves down via turning the speed control over to boat manufacturer's. There was a time when the towboat committee made and established mandates and criteria as it pertains to speed control. Somewhere along the line the towboat committee said they would prefer to look at speed control as a "part of the boat" and that manufactures will provide boats with adequate speed control to provide control as it pertains to rules established and test boats as such ! so that means each boat manufacturer is responsible for the speed control apparatus that is installed in the boat.

 

Zero Off has a couple athletes they have hired for basically part time employment and are employed to establish points of problems and act as field testers and R&D Tech's. Keep in mind these guy's can only make recommendations back to boat manufacturer's for any program changes, again it is up to each manufacturer to establish how to apply Zero Off in their products. Each manufacturer is responsible for their own control gains or how it works.

 

Everyone has an option on this!

Don't participate! (Which is what is happing right now by a lot of skiers.)

 

Contact the towboat committee and express your issues!

 

Contact your promo rep's / owner's and or boat manufacturer and express your issue!

 

Wait 6 months and see if the control changes and better fit's you as a skier . ( I keep hoping for that one)

 

Change the rules and policy's and ideology of the sport!! (Fat Chance!!)

 

Or do nothing other then try and figure it out!

 

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I hate the idea that every boat is different and like @MS, pissing away tournament rounds figuring it out sucks. What is hard for me to understand is that if each manufacturer is responsible for the system in their boats, and assuming each manufacturer wants to (a) sell more boats and (b) have more records behind their boats and © have all the skiers want to be behind their boats, then why the hell aren't they all trying to make ZO (on their boats) the best it can be???
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@Horton @ozski I am on my 2nd 2016 5.3 200 and love it! I ski'd B3 and have recently switched to A2, and feel it's easy to get free(wide and early) of..i do know different drivers seem to effect to transitions into the bouys more depending on how they counter steer of it at all, which then changes how you respond which then makes ZO respond differently.
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I'm glad @Horton posted this. I thought I was going crazy this weekend. The 5.3 just feels different. Far different (IMO) than any of the other ZO/engine combinations, including the new 6.2 single puck. At the gate it feels like ZO isn't even turned on. I almost fell over on my gate pull out because I wasn't getting anything from the boat. After a couple practice rides and three tournament rounds this weekend I was able to figure it out (tied my 2nd best tournament score). But wow, it's different.
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I thought the whole point of ZO settings was with the potentiometer, A2, C1, whatever, would be the same behind every boat. It knows where you are, knows when it's free, knows when and exactly how much the boat is being slowed down... it should be able to apply as much throttle as needed to make the pull the same, no matter the engine, no? Stronger or faster-responding engine might require less throttle but net effect should be the same.
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I practice behind a CP with a 5.7 & dual pucks and use B2. Next weekend I ski in the BigDawg and hope to not be dead last. I think we will get 200s with the 6.2 with single puck.

 

Sooo should I practice on C3 to get ready? Is that logical? @Kevin Bishop @Jody_Seal Anybody?

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I am not sure of Greg's boat plan relative to Big Dawg, amateur and pro, but I do know both of the 200 promo boats based at BA will be used for the weekend. They are both 5.3L. In my opinion, they are both outstanding to ski behind. I haven't heard a single complaint from anyone about either of those two boats.

 

Don't over think it. Just ski.

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@Horton Absolutely practice at C3. That's the best setting. B2 doesn't do anything well.

 

Seriously, C3 is a good setting. Skiing with it will increase your tolerance for the differences. You are putting too much emphasis on small differences so that is the best way to train out that variable. It should make you tough enough to handle whatever the boat feels like.

 

Now get far enough to Rico.

 

Eric

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My practice boat is a 2016 200 with the 5.3L single puck. I will say it is a beast. I struggled with the feel for a while, but I suspect there were other factors involved, like being a test dummy for the Adams.

 

Overall, I like the feel now, and it doesn't feel terribly different from the 5.7L in the single puck TXi and ProStar, and the 2013 CP 6.0L dual puck. There are guys I ski with that switch boats a lot that feel a difference, but their scores don't really change.

 

You'll be fine Horton, just have to finish better than your seed.

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@Horton, for what it's worth, I use B2 on the dual puck 200 and B1 on the single puck. I use B2 on everything else. I have skied all 4 hulls in tournaments this year and achieved approx the same score on all of them (Single puck 200 5.3, Single puck MC Prostar, Single Puck Centurion 6.0 and Single puck MB 6 liter. ZO with the Single puck has gotten better since its release after the Nationals last year, but I still feel the 200 5.3 is a bit firmer than the other boats (and the dual puck boats). I own a 2016 dual puck ProStar and finally drew a 2017 Single puck ProStar in a tournament. I went out at B2 figuring if it felt too firm, I'd drop to B1 like I do with the 5.3 SN. However, it felt the same as my boat and I skied right on my practice average.
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If you are the type of skier that can really tell the difference between settings, knowing more about engines and pucks will help you. Even if you do not plan to change your setting from boat to boat, you will know more about what to expect from your ride.

 

If you are light and efficient on the boat, and ZO doesn't feel you much, you probably can ignore the entire subject and stick with your setting.

 

Rather than map a matrix of every boat/engine/puck I would keep it simple like this:

 

1) Some engines will feel stronger than others. I think in increasing strength: 5.7, 6.0, 5.3, 6.2

 

2) ECI pucks will feel stronger than Garmin

 

I ski C2 or C3 behind a 5.7L Garmin Centurion in practice. I go C1 behind any ECI boat.

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@bishop8950 -- I agree with your strong assessment. However, my 2015 PS with the 6.2 actually feels softer. Seems like the engine doesn't need to work as hard to keep speed. I skied a 5.3L Nautique last fall and thought it felt very strong, but maybe that's a combination of the response time and the engine throttling more? Anyway, I skied similarly behind it to what I ski behind my PS and what I ski behind a 2015 TXi with the 5.7L. I use C1 on all (although I accidentally had the TXi on C3 the other day and skied very well!). I tried C3 on my PS and that is definitely NOT for me.
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@Razorskier1 I am sure there is a matrix between boat/engine/pucks and this is because each configuration has its own ZO setup. I bet your assessment on your PS is right on but I dont know because I have never skied those two configurations.

 

I think there is a small group of the skiing community that should invest any real time in mapping it out. While I am sure that most top Open skiers do it would be a waste of time for most regular joes.

 

Not in response to Razorskier1...

 

Of course the differences in pull are not ideal. Of course it would be best if we could all just pick a setting and have it feel the same in every config. The way I look at it is:

 

1) It is a very small group of people (skiers/ZO/manufactures) working quite hard to get the pull right for the skiers. Its not easy with new variables like new pucks and next gen engines. If the sport was bigger we could have had an army of people and buckets of money thrown at it to dial in in. Thats just not realistic these days. I for one will be patient as I know its being worked on.

 

2) I think the new ECI pucks and next Gen engines are better. So again, I will be patient.

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@UWSkier it seems like what it needs to do is have a saved ideal B2 etc. It would then compare actual to ideal and adjust its mapping. In that was every boat every pass would be learning how it needs to change to match the profile.

 

Maybe with a maximum allowed change per pass limit such that a really heavy skier or a fallen skier wouldn't change the setting much.

 

Ideally this learned map would be correlated to saved courses so that boats pulling different sites would know and adjust to the correct map. If ZO wanted to change the profiles they could and the boats would all remap.

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If the small group of people all agree that there is room for improvement, then maybe all that is needed initially is a means to capture insights data. Maybe simply a google form where any skier can submit basic data on their experience. Then, let the analysts crunch the data looking for trends which might suggest solutions or proposed changes.

 

  • Skier Name

  • Opening Pass Speed/Line

  • Final Pass Speed/Line

  • Boat Year

  • Boat Make

  • Boat Model

  • Engine

  • Puck config

  • ZO Setting

  • Overall Pull Satisfaction: (very dissatisfied, dissatisfied, neutral, satisfied, very satisfied)

  • Gate feel (too soft, soft, just right, strong, too strong- or some other list...):

  • Outbound Glide feel (similar list):

  • Turn feel (similar list):

  • Lean feel (similar list):

  • Pull wasn't as good as (list other ZO setting for this boat/engine):

  • Pull was better than (list other ZO setting(s) for this boat/engine):

  • Other comments:

Then, that data could be captured for what it's worth.

 

 

 

 

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I do love it when a thread becomes mostly thoughtful good information. Thanks guys.

 

@ToddL I'm going to have to sit your wife down and explain to her that you have time for a second job.

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So in a couple weeks I may ski my first tourney in 10 years. Never skied ZO. Train behind a 97 Prostar w/ PP. Last thing I need to do is worry about boat settings. Do they ask you for a preferred setting at the starting dock?
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