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Gnarly close calls: / Pro Ski Coach Water Ski Forum
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#1 Fri, Feb 12, 2010 2:28 PM

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

Gnarly close calls:

After the broken handle thread I got to thinking about some close calls, not necessarily crashes but odd occurences that led to potentially dangerous events.

I'll start:

1. I won't blame my wife.  The rope went from 28 off to 22 off.  I was pulling to the first wake and it slipped. I fell back and was still holding on as the rope engaged again. That was pretty painful and scary. 
Now I am very careful to check the rope all the time.

2. Central Washington Potholes res.  100's of sand dune islands, glass skiing in between them. Very cool place.

Free skiing along and WHAM flat on my back, after a couple of seconds I realized I was laying flat on my back in 6" of water. We had hit a sand bar( no damage to the boat, the boat went right through)
I stood up looked around and was standing in six inches of water, kinda shocked.  I just walked about 10 feet and slid into the deeper water and skied away.  It wasn't until later I thought about: if I was skiing straight, I probably would have been pitched forward and really hurt, but skiing/crossing hard is like sliding into second base. So it was completely painless thankfully.

I guess moral's can be learned from both of these.

Todd

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#2 Fri, Feb 12, 2010 2:34 PM

WadeWilliams
Karma:   15 
Pro Skier
From: Lynn, MA
Registered: Tue, May 15, 2007
Posts: 1087
Skis At: Not short enough
Foot Forward: Right
Website

Re: Gnarly close calls:

I've made the (entirely too easy to make) mistake of putting the rope in the perfect pass slalom switch wrong.... the carabiner? Ya. Clip the wrong loop and you the rope pulls through. I may have been pulling the owner of Trophy Lakes in SC, at 35', when he hit the right hand gate ball he got 3 feet of slack as it went to 32 off. Not cool. It's really, really easy to do if you're not paying close attention. Luckily he was fine. Make sure you clip in the right loop!!!

Closer call... I've hit the boat. Driver gave me a big whipper at the end of the lake, first pass in practice the day before my first regionals (2000 @ Lake Holly in VA). Ya. Hit the boat right infront of the windshield on the driver's side. Tried to grab on to the bow of the boat, slid under neath it. Pulled my feet up underneath my but. Had my hands up on the side of the boat trying to keep myself from going all the way underneath. Driver cut the engine. I was fine. Wrecked my ski. Spent 2 hours with Gary Mahler, on the phone with Kris Lapoint, using fiberglass and JB Weld to fix the ski. Won regionals the next day!

Moral of that story is as a driver, 1) You are in control of the skier - you need to drop them in the right place, regardless of how hard the skier pulls (or doesn't pull) ... 2) As a driver, allways keep your eyes on the skier when dropping them on the side of the boat. I have been in the boat at too many clinics when the driver gave a big whipper to the skier and then turned to look at me. After my experience it makes me cringe, soo bad to see this.

Good topic idea.

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#3 Fri, Feb 12, 2010 3:19 PM

aslalomboy
Karma:   
Regular
From: Queen Creek, Arizona
Registered: Tue, Sep 30, 2008
Posts: 43
Skis At: buchli lake
Foot Forward: left

Re: Gnarly close calls:

We had a friend learning to slalom and on one of his deep water starts the handle popped out of his hands.  I looked in the rearview mirror and could see that handle coming straight for us.  I leaned to the side as the handle hit the mirror and shattered it.

I was skiing the course one day behind a buddy's boat and lost my grip on the handle out of a turn. There was a lot of slack rope from the recoil and it went over the drivers head.  He didn't quite grab it in time before the handle hit the water. It really scared him and he had some rope burn on his neck.  I hadn't a clue that something was wrong until he came back to get me and looked a little shocked.

I've always used a shock tube since the first  incident and my buddy put one on his boat after that last one.

I've got another story but I won't share it - everyone will think I'm bad luck after broken handles and these two incidents!

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#4 Fri, Feb 12, 2010 3:59 PM

t8skier
Karma:   
Regular
From: Arlington, Tn
Registered: Sun, Jun 21, 2009
Posts: 32
Skis At: Collierville Ski Club, Tn
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Gnarly close calls:

Last year I was in a race with the sun.  I made a fin adjustment, tightened the fin down.  I then rechecked my settings, it was not right.  I loosened the fin and made my final adjustment as the sun was no longer in the sky.  Hooked the 32 off loop and started my pass.  Crossing the wake going to 4 ball the ski became a trick ski.  I had 2 weeks down to remember to tighen my fin after working on it.

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#5 Fri, Feb 12, 2010 6:43 PM

philgood
Karma:   
Slasher
From: Arkansas
Registered: Sat, Aug 15, 2009
Posts: 57
Skis At: 22' off @32 mph
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Gnarly close calls:

This one is more of damage to the boat hmm my dad had a carabiner on the end of the rope that he used for the jet ski but i wanted to ski at the 22 off loop so he looped it on and started up. my first turn i put a little slack in the rope but i held on to the rope and when i hit the pulling position off the rope comes.  when i got back in the boat a chunk of the back seat was missing about 3" around.  aparently the loop wasnt on the ski pole very good and the carabiner shot straight between two of my biddies and ripped the seat up, but i am glad it didnt take a chuck out of a person! haha


You can't take life too seriously because you'll never get out of it alive."

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#6 Sun, Feb 14, 2010 5:06 PM

Pl0tz
Karma:   12 
Slalom Mentor
From: Virginia
Registered: Fri, Nov 13, 2009
Posts: 181
Skis At: Lake Anna's "hot side"
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Gnarly close calls:

DANG these are some crazy stories... especially the sand bar one... I've seen that happen to a hydrofoil-er... eek!!  This one isn't really about me...

i was driving...
Teaching my friend how to get up on a ski. She fell so i turned around to pick her up. As the i made my way over to her in the water i could see a bayliner pulling a couple tubes all over our glass... grrr... )i mean it was like ten o clock... tube aren't supposed to come out till like twelve... wink ) worse.. he was EXTREMELY close to my friend in the water. and i swear this guy was RETARDED!! he wasn't looking at where he was going... literally passed 5 FEET AWAY FROM HER!! pulling 2 tubes... full of lil kids... which passed like A FOOT away from my friend!!! as he passed me right after i have him that, "WHAT THE  HELL ARE DOING!!" look... and he, and the kids on the tube simply smiled and waved at me... DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE THAT THEY ALMOST KILLED MY BEST FRIEND!!!!

that whole has incident has scarred me for life... terrified for my friend.  I mean i was like twenty feet away from her. even if he didn't see her, he should of seen how dangerously close he was to ME....
It shows how people need to learn how to drive a boat. and treat it like they're driving a car... no one owns the lake. and people who are ignorant enough to not even  LOOK AT WHERE THEY'RE DRIVING should never have a boat...

Last edited by Pl0tz (Sun, Feb 14, 2010 5:07 PM)


i swear this site is turning into my home...

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#7 Sun, Feb 14, 2010 9:17 PM

HO410
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sat, Sep 29, 2007
Posts: 345
Skis At: Outlaw Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Gnarly close calls:

I don't drive new skiers all that often, but until I know how a skier behaves at the end, I never whip them
very hard. Likewise, until I know how a driver behaves at the end, I don't advance on the boat very much.

The first part I was taught by a senior driver, the second part I learned the hard way. There was a relatively new
skier my local ski club. He skied angry, was not all that sociable, but would jump up to drive as soon as it looked like
the seat was open. His touch on the wheel felt as unhappy as his skiing looked and no matter how many times you
asked for him to slow down the starts, he always buried the throttle fast. These things are annoying but forgivable.
He liked to whip the skier at the end (probably a habit from open water), and liked to power turn around the end.
These are two things you cannot do in constrained spaces. The two times I let him pull me, I stopped the set on the
second pass because I had the displeasure settling into the water and seeing the bow of a boat, still on plane, pointed
right at my face.

The question is how do you politely tell someone that you will never let him tow you again?

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#8 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 4:31 AM

Jhughes
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
From: Chicago
Registered: Mon, Jan 7, 2008
Posts: 118
Skis At: Lake County, IL
Foot Forward: Right
Website

Re: Gnarly close calls:

We almost killed Wade in Milwaukee. We came out of the course and I did the whirlybird signal to say "do ya wanna spin down at this end rather than drop?", at the end of the course. I think Wade's signal back was in ESP, or maybe in eye blinks or something- I went into the tight P-turn starboard to port, and Wade cut out wide to port (to drop), basically meeting with the boat! Disaster was averted but it could have been ugly. Things happen fast at 36, especially spinning the boat in a tight area with a short line!

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#9 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 7:20 AM

WadeWilliams
Karma:   15 
Pro Skier
From: Lynn, MA
Registered: Tue, May 15, 2007
Posts: 1087
Skis At: Not short enough
Foot Forward: Right
Website

Re: Gnarly close calls:

Yep, good thing I was watching the boat in MKE. Got ch'ya wet!

HO410 wrote:

The question is how do you politely tell someone that you will never let him tow you again?

... You don't... you just dont let it happen, or politely ask the other person in the boat to do the driving.

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#10 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 9:12 AM

HO410
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sat, Sep 29, 2007
Posts: 345
Skis At: Outlaw Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Gnarly close calls:

I'm going to be exposed one of these days, my right shoulder always needs another 5 minutes to stretch when it's the skier in question.

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#11 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 9:35 AM

MChilcutt
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
From: South Jordan, Utah
Registered: Tue, Jul 15, 2008
Posts: 277
Skis At: Utah Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Gnarly close calls:

Years ago  two friend thought they would see if they could ski around the baot without dropping the skier. I think some alcohol was involved!!!! So off they went 75 ft of rope skier whipped out and around then the boat make its turn when the rope wrapped around the drivers neck almost pulling him out of the drivers seat. They all survived it with the driver catching the bad end of the deal ugly rope burnes on his neck. Moral of the story leave this kind of stuff for other sober trained professionals to try. (do not try this at home)

Chills

Last edited by MChilcutt (Mon, Feb 15, 2010 9:36 AM)

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#12 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 11:50 AM

WadeWilliams
Karma:   15 
Pro Skier
From: Lynn, MA
Registered: Tue, May 15, 2007
Posts: 1087
Skis At: Not short enough
Foot Forward: Right
Website

Re: Gnarly close calls:

Yea, alcohol + boat driving doesn't mix.

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#13 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 1:00 PM

MChilcutt
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
From: South Jordan, Utah
Registered: Tue, Jul 15, 2008
Posts: 277
Skis At: Utah Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Gnarly close calls:

I think there may have been some nudity as well????

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#14 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 2:44 PM

WadeWilliams
Karma:   15 
Pro Skier
From: Lynn, MA
Registered: Tue, May 15, 2007
Posts: 1087
Skis At: Not short enough
Foot Forward: Right
Website

Re: Gnarly close calls:

Yea, alcohol + nudity mixes excellently.

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#15 Tue, Feb 16, 2010 12:00 AM

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

Re: Gnarly close calls:

WadeWilliams wrote:

Yea, alcohol + nudity mixes excellently.

+1

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#16 Tue, Feb 16, 2010 6:27 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: Gnarly close calls:

WadeWilliams wrote:

Yea, alcohol + nudity mixes excellently.

That seems to be the only way That I can consistantly Ski "Light on the Line"... big_smile


"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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