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BensonWdby
05-14-2009, 12:29 AM
Time to test your slalom trivia skills. The 'Myths' presented here are not necessarily myths or Urban legends. But of some interest if true and humorous if not true. Add your own to the list or confirm -de-bunk them if you can. These are based on 'facts' I have gathered over the last 40 years.

1. First concave slalom. Someone had an old Northland Sabre stored in their damp basement for a long enough period of time to cause the all-wood ski to warp. Just so happened it warped in a concave fashion. The owner skied and - instant technology jump. This would have been in the late 1960's or early 1970's I think..

2. Saucier - Dave Saucier designed one of the best wood skis ever. His bindings were incredibly uncomfortable surgical rubber. This was mid 1970's I think. Also rumore to own Lake Saucier in Minnesota, where you could bring your ski to him and he would 'tune' it after watching you ski, by sanding the bevels.

3. Slalom kite skiing - A slalom course was designed for Kite Skiing, similar to a normal ski course, but with fountains rising from the surface as bouys. I think they actually used 2 skis, but seriously....

4. Whistling O'Brien - The OBrien Mach 1? or World team, red bottom, blue top? was an early ski to have holes in the fin. If you were skiing really hot, it would whiistle/hum when you were coming out of your turn. I actually experienced this myself. Mid-Late 1970's.

5. O'Brien drug scandal - Herb O'Brien allegedly left Obrien water skis after drugs were found in his ski boxes. If true, I am sure Herb had nothing to do with this personally. Mid-Late 1970's. AMF bought them (bowling balls, camping gear, and water skis?)

6. Sport-Tech ? - After Herb left O'Brien the following the scandal, he started Sport-tech and designed a ski with a binding that could be adjusted laterally to compensate for weak side turns.

7. Variable Textured Bottom - In late 1970's, earlu 1980' Jobe came out with a Variable textured bottom (Jobe Professional) where, on the bottom, the tail 1/3 was smooth, the middle 1/3 was semi-rough, and the front 1/3 was very rough. This was in recognition of the importance of drag in slowing down the ski in the preturn, when more of the ski is supposed to be in the water. Also was probably responsibile for the birth of 'Break at the waist, fall on your face." That ski could really slow you down, without much warning.

8. The wing - Steve Schnitzki claims to have invented the wing, that little foil we attach to our fins to accomplish the drag that the variable textured bottom was trying to achieve. This brought an end to variable textured bottoms. A lot of face plants were witnesed as people experimented with getting that setting right. Now I think Steve has come out with an fixed wing at 9 degrees that is supposed to be the ideal angle for just about every one.

9. Speed - At 36mph and 38 off, skier speed is in excess of 60 mph across the wake.

10. Hitting the boat - At rope lengths of 39.5 off and shorter, it is possible for a skier to actually hit the side of the boat after a turn. In this case things have usually gone prety awry.... (5/28/09 - See photo later in this thread, Alan Larkin at 38 off)

11. Ski Cost - It is possible to spend over $3000 MSRP on a slalom ski with bindings.

12. Plank skiing - a skier at Gordon Rathbuns Ski Paradise in Acapulco was able to ski the course on a 3 foot long 2x4 or 2x6 ? with no bindings.

Please confirm or debunk these and add your own...

Added 5/16/09

13. Long line at 36 - The pass at long line (75 ft) at 36 mph is harder than the pass at 15 off at 36. I have direct experience with this from my youth. That long line pass was brutal. There is a reason why back in the 80's they changed the rule to allow you to start at slower speeds at 15 off and count your 36 mph pass as a double pass.

14. Big Spray = Good Skiing - In my early days we had a guy on the lake who put up a huge wall of water. And honestly, that was a big part of my inspiration to get into slalom, I thought it looked pretty cool and the girls dug it. I have learned since that your spray is the result, not the goal, and if you are not putting up huge water, it does not mean you are skiing poorly.

15. Left Foot advantage - In the early days of skiing the cours I felt I was at a disadvantage being RFF. For me #1 ball was critical and if you were a little late it was easier for LFF skiers to adjust because it was their strong side turn. I think that this perception was just becasue I had a bad gate. I notice Andy Mapple and a few other top skiers are RFF. So I think if you are RFF and have a really good gate, you are at an advantage.

16. 6 foot barrier - Due to the demand for a long reach at 38 off and shorter, you must be at least 6 feet to ski those short ropes. Terry Winter has proven this to be a myth - and I am sure he is not the only one. There is clearly a physical limit related to height, but guys like Terry keep pushing the envelope.

Keep the mythbusting alilve...

Dave

kaneboats
05-14-2009, 11:51 AM
I don't have any info on any of these. But this is a great post and very entertaining. Thanks!

Mikey
05-14-2009, 08:54 PM
The only one i can confirm was the three different surfaces on a Jobe as i skied one for yrs and yes it was very possible to ski out the front of it and stupid as i am/was i even added a wing to it. I did some experimenting and the wing is to this day set VERY neutral.DI or does it help that ski i don't know.

yearround
05-14-2009, 11:24 PM
we have an old obrien world team that is green on green. it whistles. don't ski it much though.

kaneboats
05-15-2009, 10:39 AM
Come to think of it I had an Obrien World Team that would whistle.

maxpower220
05-15-2009, 12:57 PM
9. Speed - At 36mph and 38 off, skier speed is in excess of 60 mph across the wake.

10. Hitting the boat - At rope lengths of 39.5 off and shorter, it is possible for a skier to actually hit the side of the boat after a turn. In this case things have usually gone prety awry....

11. Ski Cost - It is possible to spend over $3000 MSRP on a slalom ski with bindings.
Dave

9. Very close, at 39 off at 36, the average pro at last years event in Santa Rosa was doing over 60 (62-64) crossing the first wake. I don't have the numbers for 38 off.

10. No, you can't hit the boat; acceleration stops once you let go of the rope, exceed boat speed, or stop resisting the boats acceleration. The boat is moving forward at a "constant" 36 once the skier turns to the boat.

11. MSRP on a new ski and new bindings with shipping and tax can exceed $2K.

BensonWdby
05-15-2009, 06:45 PM
10. Who said anythign about letting go of the rope? I am almost certain a saw a photo of a guy doing exactly that. And because he hit the boat, and then let go of the rope, and did not get back to the bubbles, he did not get full score for the bouy.

jmvotto
05-15-2009, 09:22 PM
12. i loved to see it

BensonWdby
05-16-2009, 10:19 AM
12. I have seen the plank in person, but memory a little fuzzy. I will check with Gordon to see if he has any photos...

deerfield
05-16-2009, 10:50 AM
9. Very close, at 39 off at 36, the average pro at last years event in Santa Rosa was doing over 60 (62-64) crossing the first wake. I don't have the numbers for 38 off.

10. No, you can't hit the boat; acceleration stops once you let go of the rope, exceed boat speed, or stop resisting the boats acceleration. The boat is moving forward at a "constant" 36 once the skier turns to the boat.

11. MSRP on a new ski and new bindings with shipping and tax can exceed $2K.


That #10 is a good one. I have no idea if myth or can actually happen. On the one hand, if skier speed reaches 60 mph then at a certain point he's covering more ground in the same amount of time as the boat. Depending on his rate of deceleration, he could intersect with the boat. On the other, he is traveling a path at angle to the boat which is always going directly forward at constant speed. As such, the boat would always be pulling away and be ahead of the skier.

BensonWdby
05-16-2009, 03:52 PM
This is a quote from Gordon:

Dave,

Seth [Stisher?] ran all 6 buoys on a one by 4 with slightly rounded edges. It's not that tough to do. Starting is the toughest part. You need to do a beach start or a deep water start holding the ski with one hand and the rope in the other and once the boat is in gear and pressure is on the ski the ski will stay in place. You can do it on any ski with no bindings first and then a plank later,

Adios,

GR

BensonWdby
05-16-2009, 09:43 PM
I have expanded the myths to bust at the beginning of this thread. Take a look.

Sled491
05-19-2009, 09:40 PM
The Obrien drug scandle as I recall it was not while at Obrien but at HO sports. Was while crossing the Canadian border. He left HO after that and went on to his next project. Just how I remember it.

I'm RFF and find it a disadvantage because if not set up right will be unrecoverable at the second ball.

Speed across wake was worked out by math at another time and I think I remember speeds close to 70 or double on the cut.

3 k for a carbon ski with boots no probs. Saw it a month ago in orlando. Aksed my wife if I could buy it....was followed with a slap to the back of my head.

jmvotto
05-20-2009, 07:16 AM
benson, hope seth had tweezers for the splinters ... ouch

BensonWdby
05-26-2009, 06:45 PM
Regarding 10. -- Hitting the boat. I contacted Waterski magazine looking for the photo.

After the info from Todd shown below, here is the photo:

http://aaronlarkin.com/images%5C_3at13_5.jpg

Here is the response from Todd:

From: "Todd Ristorcelli" <Todd.Ristorcelli@bonniercorp.com>
To: "BensonWdby@comcast.net"
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:16:46 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: Re: Other

Hi Dave,
Yes, you’re correct. The image was in one of our issue a few years ago. Don’t remember which one exactly. Sorry!

His name is Aaron Larkin. He's from New Zealand. The image was taken at the Moomba Masters in Australia. He was at 38 off.

Best,
Todd Ristorcelli

sandm
05-26-2009, 07:49 PM
5. O'Brien drug scandal - Herb O'Brien allegedly left Obrien water skis after drugs were found in his ski boxes. If true, I am sure Herb had nothing to do with this personally. Mid-Late 1970's. AMF bought them (bowling balls, camping gear, and water skis?)


don't forget about them owning harley during the same time period. here's a parent company that fed 2 lifestyles- 1 spending large amounts of time on the water and one spending large amounts of time away from water.

BensonWdby
05-28-2009, 10:18 PM
So did you see the photo I re-posted a couple days ago? Scroll up.....

Sled491
05-28-2009, 10:29 PM
That would have been worth seeing live that's for sure.

Hey do you know anyone with some Medium clinchers in stock? I guess there not making them this year.

BensonWdby
05-29-2009, 07:37 AM
Check with Doug at http://theliquidedge.com/

They are in Farmer City, Ill.

Doug is also having a Wade Cox day on his private lake - so you can ask him about that at the same time.

One caution about Clinchers - I love mine, but you need to mix them up with your regular gloves. I used mine exclusively until the very end of the year. I had to stop because I was having some very severe forearm pain - I think it was like Carpel Tunnel. I will continue to use mine, but intermittently.

Canuckle Head
06-09-2009, 05:33 PM
#5 - O'Brien Drug Scandal:

Herb O'Brien lost his first company O'Brien Skiis 33 years ago when he was convicted of cocaine smuggling.

He and a handful of associates pleaded guilty to involvement in one of the largest cocaine smuggling operations the Northwest had seen. More charges were filed in 1977. The conspiracy involved more than 200 pounds of cocaine, worth about $3 million at the time. The cocaine was smuggled from Chile, stuffed into O'Brien skis and false-bottom suitcases.

I figured with a name like Herb, he would have been smuggling the green...:rolleyes:

Canuckle Head
06-09-2009, 05:36 PM
Also worth mentioning was that he conceptualized and developed the first elevated binding system while he was in prison. When he was released he couldn't use the O'Brien name as it had been sold to Coleman (recalling from memory) so he came up with the name HO.

Man, I have been out of Slalom skiing for over 20 years and that story brings back memories!

deerfield
06-09-2009, 06:05 PM
[QUOTE=Canuckle Head;66399]Man, I have been out of Slalom skiing for over 20 yearsQUOTE]

Canuckle Head - How come you got out of slalom skiing? More important, what's it gonna take to get you back? Saw on a different post that you bought an Outback V. - Deerfield

Sled491
06-10-2009, 08:01 AM
I guess one could just Google all these myths and find the correct answers. But all in all still makes for some great reading!

Canuckle Head
06-10-2009, 02:42 PM
[QUOTE=Canuckle Head;66399]Man, I have been out of Slalom skiing for over 20 yearsQUOTE]

Canuckle Head - How come you got out of slalom skiing? More important, what's it gonna take to get you back? Saw on a different post that you bought an Outback V. - Deerfield

Very long story but I'll try to shorten it for you. I really don't want to hijack this cool thread.

I grew up in the interior of British Columbia on Okanagan Lake in a town called Vernon. Waterskiing was a huge part of my life growing up. Started skiing at age 7 and never looked back. Used to compete in slalom on an amature level and really enjoyed it.

When I was about 20 years old my parents sold our boat for a Sailboat and at the time I was a University Student with zero cash. Moved to the West Coast (Vancouver Island) and discovered surfing while getting my degree. (Surfing has been a huge passion and part of my life for the past 19 years. Man time flies!)

Then I got married to a woman who also grew up on a lake here on Vancouver Island and now have 2 boys aged 5 and 2. Up here where I live, surfing is a wintertime activity (September - May) and it leaves the summers open for other interests. So, because we were both boat enthusiasts in our childhoods, we had been talking about getting a Lake boat for some time.

What really sealed the deal was that I have a brother and sister-in-law (my wife's sister) who live in Lake Oswego (Portland Oregon Area) and they pretty much got me back into wakeboarding and wakesurfing. For the past two summers we've been going down there for a week or so to hang out on the Willamette as at the time they didn't live on the Lake. (Private Lake)

In fact, we bought the Outback V off of them as they now live on Lake O and I guess they really frown on wakeboard boats. I liked the fact that the Outback V allowed me to be able to do all 3 things I love. (Wakeboard, Wakesurf and waterski) so we bought it from them and moved it up here. It has been very well maintained and had 90 hours on her when we got it. Pristine condition really.

So about two weeks ago I dug out my old 66" Connelly HP Graphite, lubed up the old double wraps (the rear top of the rear boot snapped off in my hands when I put it on) and re-lived a bit of my past. 34 mph and 1st shortline and I was grinning from ear to ear! (Not in a course BTW)

So, here I am back in the saddle thinking I might need to upgrade the ski. The technology seems to have improved since my absence from the sport. I weigh about 190lbs and am 6'1" so is the ski I now have too small? I see that Connelly still makes the HP Graphite but I imagine the materials have changed/improved?

And, because the I ripped the boot, I now face the dilema of buying new bindings for it or do I simply replace the ski? If I replace the ski, do I go with another Connelly or do I go with something else? I see Herb O now has Radar and of course HO is still around. Does Kidder exist anymore? I'm feeling pretty old school and would appreciate some input. Any suggestions? :D

deerfield
06-10-2009, 06:46 PM
Canuckle Head - Great to see another family steeped in water sports and glad to hear that after all those years you are back on the water with a boat -- especially a Moomda. My dry spell without boat or skiing lasted from '86 to '06. I bought an Outback in '07, am riding a Connelly F1X (double boot), and having a great time. Some of the guys who watch this topic are pretty accomplished skiers (that's not me) who can offer some great advice as you get back into skiing. Thanks! Now, back to the myths...... - Deerfield

Mikey
06-10-2009, 09:07 PM
The Connely Hp is still around but as you thought there are many other models as well. That ski of yours sounds to be a bit small,probably a 67,68 would be about right depending on what you want out of the ski. Kidder is D3 i believe. Do a little research its very easy to do and theres a few of us on here who will give you more advice if wanted. New boots or parts are a possibilty as well . There is a huge selection of skis and brands etc its up to you to try to find what you want. We all seem to have our preferences but one thing we all tend to go with is IF you can demo a ski or someones similar to see how the ski performs if you can.

SEARK
06-10-2009, 10:16 PM
we have an old obrien world team that is green on green. it whistles. don't ski it much though.

Still have O'brien Competor (black/siver on green) that I bought about 30 years ago for $100 from a pro shop that was going out of business. That thing would whistle as well. Cut so hard on it one time that it came out from under me and slaped me in the face and knocked my front teeth out. Still a good ski but needs new boots.

Canuckle Head
06-11-2009, 11:46 AM
Still have O'brien Competor (black/siver on green) that I bought about 30 years ago for $100 from a pro shop that was going out of business. That thing would whistle as well. Cut so hard on it one time that it came out from under me and slaped me in the face and knocked my front teeth out. Still a good ski but needs new boots.

Well, if you had to replace your front teeth I imagine that ski cost you more than $100.00 eh? ;)

SEARK
06-11-2009, 12:41 PM
Well, if you had to replace your front teeth I imagine that ski cost you more than $100.00 eh? ;)

Well if you want to look at it like that, I guess it did. :)

Sled491
06-13-2009, 09:16 PM
Man I loved that ski. Was my 1st double high wrap ski. Many manufactuers now are using there high end molds with slower moving materials. This way you get a great performing ski with all the charatistiscs of a pro ski but a little more forgiving and a little slower out of the turn, allowing you to ease back in to the sport while not wanting fro some grip and angle.

Glad to have you back in the fold!

BensonWdby
07-09-2009, 10:27 PM
While trying to research the first myth I found this entertaining little video from 1955:

http://videos.howstuffworks.com/hsw/16205-1955-water-ski-championships-video.htm


enjoy
Dave

BensonWdby
07-09-2009, 10:41 PM
http://www.mnwaterski.com/hofdave.html

This is about all I could find on Dave Saucier. But there is reference to his lake here, and his skill in building and tuning skis. I think I would have enjoyed spending time with this guy ...

At the top of the page ther is a link for photos. You have to page through them one at a time, but worth a glance...

BensonWdby
07-09-2009, 11:10 PM
http://www.ballofspray.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=94:dr-jack-horton-interview&catid=34:ballofspray-water-ski-interviews&Itemid=111

This is a nice review of ski history.

In the middle of this article is reference to the warping of a flat wood ski. Best I can do for now...

Dave

BensonWdby
07-14-2009, 11:11 PM
http://www.moombamasters.com.au/downloads/history/history%20of%20kite%20flyers%20associaton.pdf

This does not support the fountain idea, but does provide a nice short record of some Aussie's and kites...

And this:

http://grafton.nsw.free.fr/ski_wing/

Sled491
07-16-2009, 09:46 PM
Some really great stuff there Dave. I like the Dr Horton interview. Also the video from 55, man I remember those old two handle ropes, yikes!

BensonWdby
07-17-2009, 08:26 AM
Two handles. wow ... Remember leaning way back and spreading the handles way wide at head level to take up slack... One year a friend brought up a rope from Ski Master that had an interlocking double handle. The doubles would lock together with a quick quarter turn to make a single handle. Actually pretty clever if you wanted a double for helping first timers keep their ski straight during deep water starts.
I remember at one friends, all they had was double handle from KMart. I must have been skiing two handed at the time, because I used an interlocking grip where I put one or two fingers from each hand on the opposite handle to fake single handle.
I can only imagine how much time it took to unlearn the bad habits from those days.

Dave

ABUCKOTOMAMBO
07-17-2009, 10:44 AM
My family's boat house is a museum of skiing history. Two handled ropes, shoe skii's, jumping skii's, etc. Both of my parents were part of a ski show team called the Aquanauts. They have long since disbanded but there are some awesome photos my father has of delta kites, barefoot tricks, pyramids, jumping, boats going over ski jumps... My grandparents also have several reels of 8mm film of my parents performing in these shows. Anyway when I was about 11 my father and I replaced the deck at our lake cabin with green treated wood. One of the excess pieces of wood warped with a perfect curve in it. I cut the piece of wood and it is about 18 inches long. I would put the piece of wood between my back and my life jacket, get up on two skii's then drop my dominant front foot. I would pull out my board and place it on the water and use my foot to put pressure on the board. Once I was skiing on the board I would drop the other skii. Kind of fun. Once I had figured out how to do that I also skiied on a canoe paddle, and a cedar shingle. When I was in senior high many of the children of the aquanauts put an informal group togeather. We would practice on weekends and over Labor Day weekend put on a "show" for the people around our lake. What fun...

kaneboats
07-17-2009, 01:34 PM
That's awesome. I remember my Dad had to have the old take apart - lock together handle. A few years ago I tried to find one for him but no luck. I did find him a taperflex ski with the white-wood bottom like he (and Mom) used to ride in the 70's. He kept it in the house. He wouldn't leave it in the boat cuz he was afraid it might get stolen. ha ha. He's 68 and hasn't skied since last year so he may be all done now though.

Sled491
07-18-2009, 03:06 PM
My family's boat house is a museum of skiing history. Two handled ropes, shoe skii's, jumping skii's, etc. Both of my parents were part of a ski show team called the Aquanauts. They have long since disbanded but there are some awesome photos my father has of delta kites, barefoot tricks, pyramids, jumping, boats going over ski jumps... My grandparents also have several reels of 8mm film of my parents performing in these shows. Anyway when I was about 11 my father and I replaced the deck at our lake cabin with green treated wood. One of the excess pieces of wood warped with a perfect curve in it. I cut the piece of wood and it is about 18 inches long. I would put the piece of wood between my back and my life jacket, get up on two skii's then drop my dominant front foot. I would pull out my board and place it on the water and use my foot to put pressure on the board. Once I was skiing on the board I would drop the other skii. Kind of fun. Once I had figured out how to do that I also skiied on a canoe paddle, and a cedar shingle. When I was in senior high many of the children of the aquanauts put an informal group togeather. We would practice on weekends and over Labor Day weekend put on a "show" for the people around our lake. What fun...

Heck mine is just full of Junk :)

BensonWdby
07-19-2009, 09:54 AM
A neighbor at the lake has a Northland Shark. I skied on one once - long ago. Held an edge great, but I could not turn it. Instead of a radiused concave it has 90 degre steps carved in on the bottom. Like riding on a rail...

Sled491
07-23-2009, 08:31 PM
I still have a saucer my dad made almost 50yrs ago. I should bring it out and try it out?

Mikey
07-23-2009, 09:10 PM
I remember skiing on an old Shark. Not a bad ski for its day.
I'd like to add that we had a homemade carpeted surfboard attached to a rope with a handle to stand up on then roar around on which was a ton of fun but by todays standards Totally unsafe.

Canuckle Head
07-29-2009, 01:56 AM
Anyone remeber these skiis: http://www.mahaskis.com/history.html

My dad had a Maharaja. Can't remember what happened to it though. It was a beauty!

BensonWdby
07-29-2009, 08:16 AM
They were always beautiful skis. I would love to get one for display at the cabin, even though I have never skied on one.

This pdf from that web site is a classic - http://www.mahaskis.com/pdf/Maherajah_1977_Flyer.pdf

Check out the price - $194 - and the hair/mustache on Bob Lapoint....

Also interesting - this is where the discussion first turns to talk of running 38 off... in 1977

Sled491
07-29-2009, 11:41 AM
Always loved the Maharaja. Did you ever check out there long skiis?

BensonWdby
07-29-2009, 05:41 PM
Admired them from a distance - not my thing - but interesting..

ABUCKOTOMAMBO
07-31-2009, 11:56 AM
I still have a saucer my dad made almost 50yrs ago. I should bring it out and try it out?

Three years ago I sanded down the saucer my Great Grandfather made and repainted it. And added some painters sand to one side for traction. That is fun to play with occasionally.

Sled491
07-31-2009, 02:06 PM
Three years ago I sanded down the saucer my Great Grandfather made and repainted it. And added some painters sand to one side for traction. That is fun to play with occasionally.

That's what I was thinking.

zegm
07-31-2009, 03:06 PM
When i started skiing (1976ish) there were 2 skis you had to have, either a Maha or an EP. The wooden Maha's were gorgeous and turned on a dime and if you cut hard enough they would sing! I wish I had one today!
O'brien and Connelly were not the ones you wanted to be seen on!

Sled491
07-31-2009, 03:08 PM
197? what? How old are you man :D

BensonWdby
07-31-2009, 04:18 PM
If I had to guess - I would say I started on two skis in 1965. Took me an entire year, 18 tries at multiple sites with multpile training aids behind several boats before I actually got up on two skis. I was not quite 10... Skied on two for a long time, until my female cousins and my older sister all started skiing on 1. Dropped a ski for probably 2-3 years before I had the courage to try a deep water start. Failed multiple times.

Then in summer of 1971 we were at a local lake with friends. The first guy in pulled the heel off one of the combo skis (very old style bindings) and dropped it to the bottom of the lake. All that was left was the ski with the rear toe... This guy tried several attempts and failed. So Dad looks at me and says - "This boat won't get me up on one, and Thor (real name - other kids dad) doesn't ski, so if you can't get up on 1 our day is done before we start." So I jumped in, put on the ski - got up, dragging a leg - and have not looked back.

zegm
08-02-2009, 09:26 AM
Sled,

I was on a slalom ski when I was 2 years old man!!!! :cool:

Sled491
08-02-2009, 09:44 AM
Z, got it :)

zegm
08-02-2009, 04:55 PM
Sled,

Ah yeah! :rolleyes:

BensonWdby
08-30-2009, 10:30 AM
So Big Spray is not something that is easily left out of waterskiing. Evidence by the Big Spray competitions documented in Waterski magazine.

http://www.waterskimag.com/article/Features/The-Liquid-Wall-of-Glory

http://www.waterskimag.com/article/Instruction/Little-Advice-Big-Spray

MalibuTime
05-06-2012, 02:16 AM
Time to test your slalom trivia skills. The 'Myths' presented here are not necessarily myths or Urban legends. But of some interest if true and humorous if not true. Add your own to the list or confirm -de-bunk them if you can. These are based on 'facts' I have gathered over the last 40 years.

1. First concave slalom. Someone had an old Northland Sabre stored in their damp basement for a long enough period of time to cause the all-wood ski to warp. Just so happened it warped in a concave fashion. The owner skied and - instant technology jump. This would have been in the late 1960's or early 1970's I think..

2. Saucier - Dave Saucier designed one of the best wood skis ever. His bindings were incredibly uncomfortable surgical rubber. This was mid 1970's I think. Also rumore to own Lake Saucier in Minnesota, where you could bring your ski to him and he would 'tune' it after watching you ski, by sanding the bevels.

3. Slalom kite skiing - A slalom course was designed for Kite Skiing, similar to a normal ski course, but with fountains rising from the surface as bouys. I think they actually used 2 skis, but seriously....

4. Whistling O'Brien - The OBrien Mach 1? or World team, red bottom, blue top? was an early ski to have holes in the fin. If you were skiing really hot, it would whiistle/hum when you were coming out of your turn. I actually experienced this myself. Mid-Late 1970's.

5. O'Brien drug scandal - Herb O'Brien allegedly left Obrien water skis after drugs were found in his ski boxes. If true, I am sure Herb had nothing to do with this personally. Mid-Late 1970's. AMF bought them (bowling balls, camping gear, and water skis?)

6. Sport-Tech ? - After Herb left O'Brien the following the scandal, he started Sport-tech and designed a ski with a binding that could be adjusted laterally to compensate for weak side turns.

7. Variable Textured Bottom - In late 1970's, earlu 1980' Jobe came out with a Variable textured bottom (Jobe Professional) where, on the bottom, the tail 1/3 was smooth, the middle 1/3 was semi-rough, and the front 1/3 was very rough. This was in recognition of the importance of drag in slowing down the ski in the preturn, when more of the ski is supposed to be in the water. Also was probably responsibile for the birth of 'Break at the waist, fall on your face." That ski could really slow you down, without much warning.

8. The wing - Steve Schnitzki claims to have invented the wing, that little foil we attach to our fins to accomplish the drag that the variable textured bottom was trying to achieve. This brought an end to variable textured bottoms. A lot of face plants were witnesed as people experimented with getting that setting right. Now I think Steve has come out with an fixed wing at 9 degrees that is supposed to be the ideal angle for just about every one.

9. Speed - At 36mph and 38 off, skier speed is in excess of 60 mph across the wake.

10. Hitting the boat - At rope lengths of 39.5 off and shorter, it is possible for a skier to actually hit the side of the boat after a turn. In this case things have usually gone prety awry.... (5/28/09 - See photo later in this thread, Alan Larkin at 38 off)

11. Ski Cost - It is possible to spend over $3000 MSRP on a slalom ski with bindings.

12. Plank skiing - a skier at Gordon Rathbuns Ski Paradise in Acapulco was able to ski the course on a 3 foot long 2x4 or 2x6 ? with no bindings.

Please confirm or debunk these and add your own...

Added 5/16/09

13. Long line at 36 - The pass at long line (75 ft) at 36 mph is harder than the pass at 15 off at 36. I have direct experience with this from my youth. That long line pass was brutal. There is a reason why back in the 80's they changed the rule to allow you to start at slower speeds at 15 off and count your 36 mph pass as a double pass.

14. Big Spray = Good Skiing - In my early days we had a guy on the lake who put up a huge wall of water. And honestly, that was a big part of my inspiration to get into slalom, I thought it looked pretty cool and the girls dug it. I have learned since that your spray is the result, not the goal, and if you are not putting up huge water, it does not mean you are skiing poorly.

15. Left Foot advantage - In the early days of skiing the cours I felt I was at a disadvantage being RFF. For me #1 ball was critical and if you were a little late it was easier for LFF skiers to adjust because it was their strong side turn. I think that this perception was just becasue I had a bad gate. I notice Andy Mapple and a few other top skiers are RFF. So I think if you are RFF and have a really good gate, you are at an advantage.

16. 6 foot barrier - Due to the demand for a long reach at 38 off and shorter, you must be at least 6 feet to ski those short ropes. Terry Winter has proven this to be a myth - and I am sure he is not the only one. There is clearly a physical limit related to height, but guys like Terry keep pushing the envelope.

Keep the mythbusting alilve...

Dave
What a great thread!
I found this thread while searching to confirm whether it was Jobe or OBrien that was caught smuggling cocoaine. It was O'Brien, he was financing the purchases to bail out OBrien (not AMF etc.) and his CFO was involved also. They would ship skis to Chile, then make the purchase and ship them back to the US and empty them in the factory in Redmond. This is all available in The Seattle Times archives and miscellaneous court documents found by searching Bing (or Google, or...)

#5- it was possible to spend over 100k for a ski, if it was a mid-70s Obrien, special Chilean model.:-P

Here is another one to add:
Conelly and O'Brien worked for a guy in North Seattle that taught them how to laminate and press (shape) wood skiis, cut them, finish etc. Back in the day it was the shiz to have a custom "Wally Burr" slalom ski. My dad has a Wally Burr, and it is indeed flat bottom. But, I just found this auction, and it looks like this Wally Burr has a tunnel? So does that debunk Herb OBrien inventing the tunnelled ski (#1 on the list) ?? Did he really learn this from Wally Burr?
http://www.ltd-cars.com/ebay/p1-v31/c-120709110745.htm

Edit - I actually met Wally Burr when I was a kid (teenager) my dad took me to his house and we went into his basement and he showed us a bunch of clamping jigs, saws, planers etc. He must have been in his late 70's or into his 80's and wasn't making skis anymore, but Connelly was giving him some wood Comp 2's for what ever reason and he sold us one of those. Still have that ski, and my dad still has his Wally Burr. My dad is 82 today, hasn't skied for about 15 years.

One more - Jobe was the first and only waterski company to incorporate a honeycomb core in their waterskis. This technology was being used in Hexcel snowskis at the time and Jobe incorporated it into his waterski design.

BensonWdby
05-06-2012, 11:48 PM
I still have my Jobe Professional from 1978? Honeycomb with variable textured bottom. Just before they started using wings. My wife still skis on it.

newty
05-07-2012, 12:14 AM
Great thread! Funny... my first slalom ski was an obrian and it had a small coleman camping gear logo on it. That was in the the early 80's. Always wondered why that was there.

My dad still has an old Connelly Hook with the holes in the fin. That thing is so loud it will make your ears numb if you ride it for more than 5 or so minutes.

My mom still has an old sidwinder with the pink shag carpet in the rear slip binding = 70's awesomeness!!! Actually my dad bought it for her on there wedding day in 1969! I need to get those things out and get some pics.

kaneboats
05-07-2012, 09:18 AM
I had an O'brien World Team in about '83 or '84 that had the Coleman logo. My Mom and Dad both had the Taperflex slalom skis that were dark woodgrain on top and white woodgrain on the bottom and had the avocado green shag carpet on them. Those were the $hit in the early 70's.

Mikey
05-07-2012, 09:20 PM
I still have my Jobe Honeycomb ski 1 model down from the pro,which i years ago added a fin too. Guess i was really slowing/stopping that ski. Back then i really never noticed the difference.I still have it and should actually try it out just for old times sake. Other than the fact i'm 30lbs heavier than i was then . Probably gonna just sink??

Grant M
05-27-2012, 03:58 PM
I still have my Jobe Honeycomb ski 1 model down from the pro,which i years ago added a fin too. Guess i was really slowing/stopping that ski. Back then i really never noticed the difference.I still have it and should actually try it out just for old times sake. Other than the fact i'm 30lbs heavier than i was then . Probably gonna just sink??

My first ski was a 1974 O'Brien Comp that I bought used from my neighbour and still have it. Skiid the H*ll out of that thing and it was a great 1st ski to learn on - very forgiving. My parents bought me a 1980 67" Kidder Redline Graphite for my grad and I have been skiing on it for 30 yrs and I still have it too. Took it into the local ski shop a couple of years ago to look at getting new boots and the kids working there just looked at it and asked "How old is that thing?" ha ha

Technology has changed alot in regards to boots and bindings but the design of that Kidder ski is still rock solid IMHO.

iwaterskihard
05-30-2012, 10:10 AM
Technology has changed alot in regards to boots and bindings but the design of that Kidder ski is still rock solid IMHO.[/QUOTE]

Grant you might think that ski is rock solid but ski technology has changed a ton too! Just got back from the Okanagan and a buddy of mine who swears by his Red Line jumped on my new ski. He whipped out wide and came across the wake for his first cut. The ski turned so fast it scared him and he bailed on the pull out of the cut. LOL

Needless to say his eyes were opened up in a hurry and I'm hoping he will buy my old ski?

My first ski was an O'Brien Competitor. I too ski'd the h*ll out of that ski from age 16 to 35. I didn't think it was ever replaceable but I too got on the band wagon and upgraded. My brother just handed over his wooden Connelly Hook to my daughter. Beautiful ski to look at as it's wooden and in GREAT shape...............but it's a heavy beast. She's stoked to give it a try and if/when she gets good on it I told her I would then consider purchasing her a newer ski!

I love that old ancient equipment. Cool to see where we have come from to where we are now???????

Grant M
05-30-2012, 01:27 PM
I tried the Senate C last year a few times and once you convinced it to turn it did fine. Maybe because it is a little wider it took a little more to start the turn. I might look at a higher end Radar this year like the Vice or maybe the Strada.

skiyaker
05-30-2012, 06:42 PM
Grant give the Vice a try- it's a lot of ski for the money.

PatL
05-31-2012, 06:39 AM
Grant I have had a very similar experience with the Radar Senate (not the C). I thought a 34mph specific ski would be better for me as I generally ski 34 or less. However have struggled to set it up to turn well and for some reason I really get slammed crossing the wakes on that thing. I've gone back to my Connelly Concept and am working into 22 off now on the old ski.

Grant M
06-01-2012, 12:30 AM
I'm going to try a 68" Vice this weekend and I will post up my thoughts. Need to blow alot of winter rust off....

PatL
06-01-2012, 06:37 AM
Cool look forward to hearing what you think about the Vice. Ski yaker sounds like you are pretty happy with it...

skiyaker
06-01-2012, 06:49 AM
yeah I'm pretty happy with it- but then again I won it in a contest so I might be biased. I came from a Senate (not C) and am happy with the increased speed of the Vice. I'm working my speed up at -15 through the course (30-32mph) so really the Senate is supposed to be a better ski for guys like me but no way I'm going back to it.

I'll be interested to hear what others think of the Vice.

skiyaker
06-02-2012, 08:54 AM
here's the Vice Horton used for his review on BOS
http://www.ski-it-again.com/php/skiitagain.php?topic=Search&category=Slalom&postid=19433

Grant M
06-05-2012, 01:14 AM
Well I pulled the trigger and bought the Radar Vice. It is actually a brand new 2011 he gave me a great deal on. I think I need to adjust the front boot a bit forward but so far it is a very quick ski across the wake. Ya I'm old school with the rear toe piece - just too many years doing it that way I guess to change now!
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=14715&d=1338872840