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T Handle / Pro Ski Coach Water Ski Forum
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#26 Wed, Jun 9, 2010 11:30 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: T Handle

Garn wrote:

[...] I get  the idea  DUH (TW) that you don't like it because you didn't come up with it first.

Garn

No, Garn, I didn't come up with it first, but that's not why I don't like it.  In fact, I was pretty clear in explaining why I don't like it in a previous post when I wrote:

[...]As for the cons, to me it seems like you'd essentially be dragging around a double hook, just waiting to hang up on something.  The very design aspect that gives it any stability at all - the length of the rigid member between the  handle and the rope attachment point - also dictates that if it snags on a buoy it's definitely going to tear the buoy out (maybe even destroy a part of the course).

If it catches on a dock member it's anybody's guess what might break first, OR it could just become a deadly slingshot flying back at whomever is in the boat.

Worst of all, if it catches on a skier in the water (perhaps waiting for the handle) some sort of injury looks very possible and may be severe.

As I said above, in my opinion it's one of the most dangerous looking [handle] ideas I've ever seen.

However, just for the record, the guy who came up with it first may very well be dead by now, since the idea of a "T" handle was originally marketed around 50 years ago.  At least one of these original handles is on display at the AWSA Hall of Fame in Florida.

I actually hope this company sells a boat-load of these handles.  Whether or not it's as dangerous as I believe it is, it's still a win-win situation if they do:

1)  If it's NOT dangerous then handle-safety issues will be further raised in the public eye - which is a good thing from anyone's viewpoint, especially mine.  And at $90 - $190 each it makes our much less expensive ARM-GUARD look like a bargain... maybe we can raise our prices and actually show a profit for a change.

2) If it IS dangerous then the public will become well aware of that fact and this insane (IMO) design will be retired for at least another 50 years.  Plus - with any luck - "david38off" will have been using one religiously, and the thought of that truly warms my heart.

Clearly this handle was designed with wakeboarders in mind - traveling at ~ 16-24 mph.  If you want a preview of how this handle is probably going to react to being dragged at 34+ mph, just watch season 3, episode 1 of "Sudden Impact - Stories of Survival".   The segment you want to pay attention to is described: “Man impaled through head by boat anchor”, in which a small boat anchor falls overboard at speed and then springs back into the boat to nearly kill a passenger.  Good times…

TW
(PS: I can’t be the only one who sees the similarity between these two images.)

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n293/ThomasWayne_2006/twoanchors.jpg

Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Wed, Jun 9, 2010 11:44 AM)

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#27 Wed, Jun 9, 2010 11:36 AM

david38off
Karma:   -1 
Slasher
From: Hillsboro, TN
Registered: Tue, Jun 10, 2008
Posts: 53
Skis At: 34 mph
Foot Forward: left
Website

Re: T Handle

No if I use a safety handle, I'll just go to Home depot and make one exactly like yours (TW) for about 2 bucks and some change!

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#28 Wed, Jun 9, 2010 11:47 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: T Handle

david38off wrote:

No if I use a safety handle, I'll just go to Home depot and make one exactly like yours (TW) for about 2 bucks and some change!

Good luck with that plan.

But thanks for agreeing that this "T" handle design is not actually what you'd personally use for safety - kind of shines a different light on what you've been saying so far...

TW

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#29 Wed, Jun 9, 2010 12:53 PM

david38off
Karma:   -1 
Slasher
From: Hillsboro, TN
Registered: Tue, Jun 10, 2008
Posts: 53
Skis At: 34 mph
Foot Forward: left
Website

Re: T Handle

Or maybe I'll spend just 25 bucks and get this really cool version of the safety handle/handle gaurd I found at FM.  Thats jagersport.com for anyone who wants to take a look.  It looks like they will custom make it any color you like.  NICE!

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#30 Wed, Jun 9, 2010 2:47 PM

Garn
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Slalom Mentor
From: Alpine, Utah
Registered: Thu, May 17, 2007
Posts: 139
Skis At: Utah Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: T Handle

A handle falling out of the boat and bouncing up and hitting someone in the head can happen with any handle or anything else for that matter.  The type of handle has nothing to do with it.  It is the force of the water against the object falling out of the boat that creates that from happening.  A ding in the head is a ding in the head regardless of what handle it is.

Yes, your photo comparison betwen the anchor and the handle does look similar.  Here's another mental picture for you.  Picture a hangmans noose, and then picture a regular handle.  There's another similarity for you.

Garn

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#31 Wed, Jun 9, 2010 3:27 PM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: T Handle

Garn wrote:

A handle falling out of the boat and bouncing up and hitting someone in the head can happen with any handle or anything else for that matter.  The type of handle has nothing to do with it.  It is the force of the water against the object falling out of the boat that creates that from happening.  A ding in the head is a ding in the head regardless of what handle it is.
[...]

I think you're greatly oversimplifying it; the shape of a tethered object has a great deal to do with how is drags behind a boat (at high speed), and how it catches AND releases from the water.

For an extreme example, a round skier buoy (tethered on a rope) tossed out of a moving boat would act very differently from, say, a toolbox (tethered on a rope) tossed out of a moving boat.  In the same way, I think the ends of a "T" handle are far more likely to "dig" into the water before popping free than the bar and side ropes of a standard, time-proven triangular bridle.

But it's not a "handle falling out of the boat" scenario that is the likely danger.  Far more likely is that the skier will fall or drop the handle out at the buoy line, and it will dig into the water before springing free [and rebounding toward the boat].  Alternately, the skier may overload in his pull and have the handle yanked out of his hands.  In either case I'm sure many of us have seen the handle fly forward into the boat at a high rate of speed (I know I have).  It's the very reason there are shock tubes, headache racks (think 90's Mastercrafts) and drivers who wear helmets.

As for all "dings in the head" being equal, I think that's oversimplified too.   Undoubtedly the weight of the flying handle is going to affect how bad that ding in the head is.  And I'm pretty sure this device is much heavier than a standard "V" handle - especially the aluminum version.

And, finally, picture your hangman's noose, and then picture your hangman's noose with about 60% of the opening blocked.

TW

Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Fri, Jun 11, 2010 1:14 PM)

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#32 Wed, Jun 9, 2010 6:55 PM

ToddF
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From: Kennewick, Wa
Registered: Wed, Aug 5, 2009
Posts: 134
Skis At: mudhole
Foot Forward: right

Re: T Handle

This thing will hook everything.   A skier falls you slow down through the course turn around to pick them up, normally you can slip the handle by the buoy, but I think it will hook the buoy everytime, that will be a pain.  The right crash going hot into the one (or any ball) at 34 mph there is no way the buoy is staying on. 

I know on occasion when I crash my handle hits the top/front of my ski,  Or I wheelie/slack out of a turn and my rope goes under the ski for a split second, before pulling out of it or crashing. I would hate to see this thing power wedge itself on the back side of my ski.  A regular handle will whack the ski and slip away.  I think the potential for this handle catching stuff including body parts is significantly
higher than a regular handle.

I would hate to see someone wakeboarding or tricking and catch a pocket on their shorts (velcro tear off shorts might be entertaining though), or catch on a loose ski jacket.  Now the odds of some one in a million freak occurrence just got a lot less than a million.

So in my humble opinion this is not a better mouse trap, just a better trap.

Todd

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#33 Thu, Jun 10, 2010 5:27 PM

longhornskier
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Regular
From: Austin, TX
Registered: Sat, May 10, 2008
Posts: 16
Skis At: Frameswitch
Foot Forward: Right

Re: T Handle

I am thinkming along the lines of Toddf on this one. There have been many times where i come into a turn hot, slam the turn and pull the handle to my shoulders, then the handle pops and hits my leg on the way out. With a normal triangle handle this is no big deal. I feel like it would be easy for the T handle to catch on my leg for a moment, but at 36mph that moment is easily long enough to do damage. I wouldn't mind giving it a try in trick though, it would be great for handle passes at the slow speeds

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#34 Fri, Jun 11, 2010 7:45 AM

2gofaster
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Slalom Mentor
From: Cypress, Tx
Registered: Sun, Jun 1, 2008
Posts: 337

Re: T Handle

I have some 1" by .125 thick 6061 aluminum tubing from when I was building my race car, so I cut some up, notched one end and tig welded a 13 inch crossbar to it yesterday with a tab on the long end.  I just wanted to drag it behind the boat while at the lake yesterday to see what happens. Holy hell, that thing was a missile flying around. We accelerated up to 34 and the T end would catch in the water and sling just as high as the rope would let it in a big arc.  At one point I thought it was coming into the boat on the downward side of the arc. Uhhhh, no thanks.


Shane Hill

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#35 Fri, Jun 11, 2010 8:17 AM

jbski
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Regular
Registered: Fri, May 8, 2009
Posts: 34

Re: T Handle

But what if the t-handle caught a bikini strap? Did you consider that?

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#36 Fri, Jun 11, 2010 8:18 AM

2gofaster
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
From: Cypress, Tx
Registered: Sun, Jun 1, 2008
Posts: 337

Re: T Handle

What if my finger catches a bikini strap? I think about THAT all the time! lol


Shane Hill

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#37 Fri, Jun 11, 2010 9:20 AM

h20dawg79
Karma:   10 
Water Ski Sage
From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: T Handle

You Guy's are definitely twisted! -You must be Good people!!!lol


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#38 Mon, Jun 14, 2010 10:19 AM

MarcusBrown
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Pro Skier
From: The Ridge, Chico, CA
Registered: Thu, Nov 6, 2008
Posts: 15
Website

Re: T Handle

Been there.  Done that.  I think its a great idea if it can save even 1 life.  But this board is evidence that many people will never get behind it...for various reasons,...some good, some not.

The one I skied with was Carbon.  It was light, nearly as light as a conventional handle.

stability?  Well, think about it.  Our current handle rotates about a point....that point is the tip of the triangle.  If the solid leg part of the "T" extends to the same point as that triangle tip on a conventional handle...it will be just as stable, if not more.  Simple physics.

Will anyone ever get their head stuck in it or break their neck with it?   No.

Could it hook things?  Probably, but it would most likely roll off at some point.

I don't know how much of the apprehension on this board is based on "perceived fear" because it looks so different, but I'd say a majority of it.  Once I fall, I don't care if the handle is bouncing around behind the boat, or if it somehow flings itself into the boat once a year.  And I'd gladly hook a course buoy every week and have to replace it if it meant that not another single person, EVER, lost their life due to a handle injury.

OH, and for the record:  my right index, middle and ring fingers that I am using at this very moment to type this text would still be intact and fully functioning if I had been using this handle 13 years ago instead of what I'm still using today.  AND, my nephew's arm would be scar free and his humerous wouldn't have spiral fracture lines all over it.  AND, my buddy Aidan Willers would still have a bicep, a forearm and would still be skiing, and able to grip with his right hand if he had been using this handle, instead of what we all still use. 

The list goes on and on...

MB

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#39 Mon, Jun 14, 2010 11:16 AM

david38off
Karma:   -1 
Slasher
From: Hillsboro, TN
Registered: Tue, Jun 10, 2008
Posts: 53
Skis At: 34 mph
Foot Forward: left
Website

Re: T Handle

Marcus, Thanks for your input.  All I want to know is when and how can we can get one.  Do you have any idea when he will release them?  I would love to try one for sure.

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#40 Mon, Jun 14, 2010 11:58 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: T Handle

MarcusBrown wrote:

[...]
OH, and for the record:  my right index, middle and ring fingers that I am using at this very moment to type this text would still be intact and fully functioning if I had been using this handle 13 years ago instead of what I'm still using today.  AND, my nephew's arm would be scar free and his humerous wouldn't have spiral fracture lines all over it.  AND, my buddy Aidan Willers would still have a bicep, a forearm and would still be skiing, and able to grip with his right hand if he had been using this handle, instead of what we all still use. 

The list goes on and on...

MB

I think you're right about your injury, Marcus, based on how you described it to me a while back.  I'm not so sure we can say with absolute certainty what might have happened had Aidan hooked his armpit into this "T" handle the same way he did his conventional handle.  Having not interviewed him, I don't know anything about your nephew's injury.

I personally believe I would not have suffered the catastrophic break of my own humerus if I'd been using a handle safety panel at the time.  I also believe that that Scott Worthington and Brett Yager would still be alive if they had been using an ARM-GUARD (or even the Scott Rabineau fabric panel like you used for a while).  It is, after all, pretty hard to get your head into the handle opening if that opening is so small you can just get your hands in to grip it...

TW

Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Mon, Jun 14, 2010 11:59 AM)

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#41 Mon, Jun 14, 2010 12:42 PM

MarcusBrown
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Pro Skier
From: The Ridge, Chico, CA
Registered: Thu, Nov 6, 2008
Posts: 15
Website

Re: T Handle

Thanks guys.

Just to be clear, I didn't try this specific T handle that spurred this thread topic....I tried a custom carbon T handle...tried it beginning of last season.

It was a slightly different design.

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#42 Mon, Jun 14, 2010 1:17 PM

Deke
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Slalom Mentor
From: Telluride, CO
Registered: Thu, Apr 3, 2008
Posts: 126
Skis At: 15/34
Foot Forward: Right

Re: T Handle

MarcusBrown wrote:

Thanks guys.

Just to be clear, I didn't try this specific T handle that spurred this thread topic....I tried a custom carbon T handle...tried it beginning of last season.

It was a slightly different design.

Hey Marcus,

What are you using now?  Anything at all?

Deke

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#43 Tue, Jun 15, 2010 1:31 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: T Handle

FYI, setting aside the question of safety, it might be noted that under the current AWSA rules a "T" handle configuration is not legal for use in sanctioned tournaments.

The same rules do not address - and therefore allow -  the addition of a safety panel such as our ARM-GUARD™.

TW

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