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Water Ski Boat Driving

Slalom Boat Driving Hints & Tips

by Tommy Harrington

Jodi Seal driving the 2010 Ski Nautique 200

Most important part of driving for me is outside of the course, from picking up the skier at starting dock to pre-gate, my boat has to be in the right location at pre-gate to skier gate.

After the skier enters the gate, I try to keep the boat in the middle of course with a little counter steer off the buoy.

Drive as much as you can for all ages and skill levels in differ kind of boats.

Try not to make any mistakes and learn from the mistakes you do make so that you do not repeat them.

The boat crew should respect the "skier's time on the water". No idle chit chat or talking on cell phone in the boat during the "skier's time".

Double check rope length changes. A quick glance is all that is required.

Most important tip - Balance your boat with some torque on wheel.

Driving a Good Slalom Rhythm

by Dana Reed, Pro Slalom Events Coordinator

All drivers have slightly different views on driving. I think the most important aspect of good driving is to be in rhythm with the skier.

I very slightly turn the wheel away from the skier at the precise time skier is hooking onto the handle. If this is timed perfectly, you just counteract each other. The boat stays perfectly in the middle, and you actually help the skier keep a tight line.

Years ago pullin Drew Ross in practice he used the term "pulling the skier off the ball". This is my interpretation. Unfortunately, you can hurt a skiers performance by steering away too soon. That's what I mean by being in sync with the skier.

More on Water Ski Boat Driving

Driving the Sweet Slalom Set by Chris Eller

Boat Driving Tips by Jeff Gilbert

Comprehensive Slalom Ski Driving by Wade Williams