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#1 Mon, Sep 20, 2010 7:58 PM


line length vs maximum skier spped

We have been having a discussion about how fast the skier is actually going at different line lengths.  It seems like the average speed has to be the same - the boat is going the same speed and the buoys don't move.  If anything, the shorter line lengths cut closer to the balls than the longer line lengths. 

So, how fast is the skier going at his/her maximum speed at 15 off, vs 41 off?

Someone MUST have calculated this, but I sure can't find it!!!!


#2 Mon, Sep 20, 2010 8:25 PM

Thomas Wayne
Slalom Mentor

Re: line length vs maximum skier spped

Average speed on a straight line down the course remains equal to the boat speed, but the skier's true speed over the water's surface is much higher than the boat speed - simply because the skier's path is not a straight line.  Since "a straight line is the shortest distance between two points", it stands to reason that a non-straight line is a longer distance... right?

As hard as you may find this to believe, the shorter the rope gets the LONGER the skier's path will be through the course.  In other words, if you could take the actual track the ski makes through the water and stretch it out straight like a string, the -38' ski path will be considerably longer than the -15' ski path.

This is why it's necessary to achieve (and maintain) higher speeds through the course at shorter lines.



#3 Mon, Sep 20, 2010 11:19 PM

Skis At: Frameswitch
Foot Forward: Right

Re: line length vs maximum skier spped

There was an article in Water Ski Mag about this a few years ago involving Wade Cox. I don't have the issue on hand anymore, but I think everything was in the upper 40s/ low 50s until -35 or -38 where it jumped up around 60+ mph. I think the speeds were taken right about at the edge change.


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