Hello. I,m returning to slalom skiing after some years and a motorcycle injury that left me with a weak right hand, even after PT. Arthritis in right thumb joint and with nerve injury, not enervating muscles at base of thumb have lost much of my ability to grip ski handle. Am trying to deep water start like I used to do, but handle is being pulled out of my grip. Am trying a Pro Lock glove but believe I have purchased too small size. XL not available currently. Enough history. I remember a slalom tow system from some years ago. I used it early on, say 1988, to assist with my deep water starts. It was simply a composite appliance, say 2 inches square by about 2 inches tall, that epoxy glued to the front of my slalom, 10-12 inches back from the tip of the ski. The Ski rope had a cross line in the bridle that loosely layed at the rear of the small, almost pyramid shaped appliance and stayed caught, assisting in the early pull and then as you rose up on the ski, slid up and off. The device aided me and many others who used it until they built strength and confidence. I believe this appliance would be of benefit to me now, but I have had no luck locating one, or any one who remembers having ever seen or used it. I located the rope and handle, broken of course, but not the small appliance in my old ski stuff. The handle has graphics clearly spelling 'WORLD SKI LINES' and no other graphics.
Does anyone remember anything like what I describe ? Does anyone know where the system might stll be purchased ?
Kermit, sorry about you previous injury but glad you are geting back to it. Masterline Prolocks are available in a lot of different places, you can't find XL's anywhere? Have you tried Wileys out of Seattle? www.wileyski.com With a thimb injury the prolocks should make getting up fairly easy without even using your thumb. I know what you're referring to on the "easy up" that hooked to the front of the ski but with pro locks, the right speed and postition, you should get up with no problem. The driver just can't hammer the throttle on you. Good luck!
Another possible solution is a waist belt or harness with a short tongue made of ~ 2" nylon webbing. The way it works is the belt itself buckles around your waist and a 30" (or so) piece - attached at 90 degrees to the belt itself - is folded over the handle. You don't WRAP it around the handle - just fold it over and clamp down on it with your strong hand. The strap is long enough to allow the handle out almost at arms length.
The pulling force is then directed straight to your waist/hips and your hands and arms merely steady the handle and keep the webbing hooked up to the handle. Once you're up and skiing you can just let the strap dangle from your waist until you need it again. On the other hand, if everything goes south you simply relax your grip and the handle slips free, leaving you in the water waiting for another try.
If I was making something like this for myself I think I'd modify one of my old rock-climbing harnesses by adding a strap to the front ring, making it simple and removable. In fact, if we still had ski-able conditions I'd try it out for you, but our season is about over.
Good luck with whatever you end up doing.
I would think that the Deep V handles would go along way toward solving the problem. As, they allow the ski to slip between the Ropes to stabilize the ski and they have a padded cross over Rope that puts pressure to the ski tip. They work Great!
If this is not sufficient, You could epoxy some PVC to the ski and it be very simular to what your talking about.
Wgt. lifting straps that slip over your wrist and then roll over the Barbell Bar could also be used. After you get up, you could slide the strap up your forarm.
As your pull up technique improves and gets smoother, the stress placed upon your grip should get lighter and lighter as well. A wide Ride ski and a slim line flak style vest would help as well. Temporarily, you could always get up on dbl's and drop one if your on a RTP...
Good Luck and Welcome back!
It sounds like whatever solution Kermit finds will have to compensate for a lack of grip strength in one hand. I know the strap idea I suggested will work 'cause I've seen it used (by an 80 year-old man nonetheless), but 'll bet a combination of the block he describes and an "easy-up" style handle will be equally effective. So the question of the day remains: what was that block called (brand name?) and who might still have one in their inventory?
I'll bet a call to Darren at Wiley's (206-762-1300, 800-962-0785) might shed some light on the issue. If he doesn't remember the device I can't imagine who would...
Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Sat, Sep 25, 2010 7:58 AM)
[forehead slapping moment]
For almost 15 years I volunteered boat(s), gas, and time to a disabled skiing program here in Alaska, and it just dawned on me that we used a device for the Kan-Ski riders that is very similar to what you've described (pictured below).
If you contact Lee Hester at Liquid Access http://www.liquidaccess.org (phone: 321-259-2868) he can fabricate anything your little heart desires. Lee specializes in all the devices used by challenged skiers of all levels.
Also, there is a device for knee-boarders known as a "hook" that aids in deepwater starts (http://www.aquatichook.com/gallery.html). Perhaps some combination of that device and an easy-up handle might do what you want...