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#1 Thu, Jun 17, 2010 8:41 PM

Registered: Sat, Jul 25, 2009
Posts: 4

How to build your own slalom water ski?


I am very new to slalom water skiing, and would like to build my own slalom water ski according to the specifications of "pro" slalom water skis.
The problem is I can't find any detailed descriptions on the lengths, widths, curvatures, angles, etc. of the ski. I already made one out of a standard slalom water ski, but
I have no idea if it has the right specs.

Any help?




#2 Fri, Jun 18, 2010 2:50 PM

Registered: Fri, May 8, 2009
Posts: 34

Re: How to build your own slalom water ski?

Post your question at Ball of Spray (http://ballofspray.com/vanillaforum/) and Eric Lee may respond with an answer regarding what he does. He is the only garage ski builder that I know of.

Modern slalom skis are made by a process of laying up materials (carbon fiber, foam core, and resin) in a mold. I don't know the costs but from what I've heard, the design and machining of the mold are the expensive part of the ski building process. I think a home builder could try to "lay up" their own materials over some sort of a rocker template with the concave and edge bevels built in (your own homemade mold of a sort) then vacuum bag the whole thing, but I think the quality control on the final product would probably be really poor and inconsistent. I think this would involve a lot of trial and error and hand shaping of what came out of your mold. Could be fun to try though and rewarding if you built something that actually worked. good luck.



#3 Fri, Jun 18, 2010 4:43 PM

Registered: Sat, Jul 25, 2009
Posts: 4

Re: How to build your own slalom water ski?

Thanks for ur reply and link smile

What I currently do is that I buy a 100 "slalom" ski and then shape it down so that they are shaped more like the real slalom water skis. But as I have no specs, I am not sure if the current shape is even close...

Anyways, its lots of fun shaping the ski, its a new ski after every change.

The material is not carbon fibre, so the flexibility of the ski is probably totally wrong...

A very big thanks for everyone on this forum, it is so active. I had trouble with crossing the wakes, and this forum is full of useful posts, read them all, helped heaps!!!!
I'm gonna read every post here, there is just so much good advice on here smile

Last edited by Skifff (Fri, Jun 18, 2010 4:56 PM)



#4 Fri, Jun 18, 2010 5:57 PM

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

Re: How to build your own slalom water ski?

For many years top-end skis were formed using "soft tooling".  Essentially, a master ski was produced through trial and error (and other testing methods) and then a fiberglass mold was "splashed off" of this master, producing an identical female mold.

The splashed-off mold(s) produced the finished marketed product.  The problem with this method is that you cannot produce two identical skis and the mold life is very short.  But to make one or two it is a fairly reliable method.

Like boat hulls, the first one out of the mold cost you three times production cost, since you had to build the master plus the mold - neither of which is really a usable ski (or boat hull).  Each subsequent ski reduces the per-item cost, but mold deterioration eats away at the end result - so you hit diminishing returns rather quickly.

For quite some time now ski companies have realized that "hard tooling" (machined aluminum molds) is a much better way to go, and a number of manufacturers have large in-house CNC milling machines with which they produce their own molds.


Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Fri, Jun 18, 2010 5:58 PM)



#5 Sat, Jun 19, 2010 1:30 AM

Karma:   10 
Water Ski Sage
From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Sat, Oct 18, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: How to build your own slalom water ski?

If your adventurous and a bit of a craftsman, you could go retro and build a wooden ski! I did once! I copied a Connelly Hook... All you need is some mahogany and maybe some alder, wood glue, a jig/press and a table saw for carving the concave! It's not very hard at all.

Man, what a cost effecient way to perfect the design of your ski shape and bevels! You could even build a LFF or RFF specific ski! Man, wouldn't your ski buddies be pissed at you if you could smoke them on your own Wooden ski!?!?cool

TW is a pretty Good craftsman, I bet he could pull off a rather Cool design and then set it off with inlaid Ivory or something! -Ever seen his Pool cues?

Nothin' to it, but to do it!

"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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