|Slalom Boat Driving Tips|
There is often a lot more to skiing slalom than guiding the ski in and out of slalom course buoys or in open water. To get that perfect run, to reach that new personal best, or to tame a course you need a boat driver that knows what they are doing.
Here are some slalom driving tips that will keep the skier and boat driver happy:
Be sure the driver and the skier are in sync with the same hand signals. Sign language behind the boat means nothing if those in the boat can not translate.
After the skier yells "Hit it!" give them just enough power to get them out of the water. No need to throw the throttle down and yank the skier if it's not needed. After the skier levels off quickly increase to the slalom speed.
Keep a firm grip on the wheel at the 10 o'clock position.
Keep your eyes on the horizon or on trees in open slalom driving. Just like driving a car; you don't look right in front of the car, but rather farther down the road. Pick a point on shore and drive towards it in a straight line.
At the same time be on the look out for other boats, skiers, and debris. You may want to designate someone in the boat to help you look for obstacles.
If you're driving through a course line up with the middle of the course. Try to anticipate and compensate for the skier's pull.
Gently maneuver the throttle. This is best done with the fingers, and not the whole arm. To steady the movement of your arm you may want to rest it on the arm rest, or the side of the boat.
Don't jerk the steering wheel, unless in the case of an emergency. Use only slight adjustments to the steering.
Never add throttle before the skier reaches the buoy. Wait until after the skier turns.
Pay attention to the RPM's, and not the speedometer. Reason being is that when a skiers pulls away from the boat he tends to reduce the boat speed. The RPM gauge is more consistent.
In open water driving, drive the boat back and forth across the same path, therefore staying in smooth water that the boat has already flattened out.
At the end of the run decrease the boat's speed slowly and make a soft turn. No need to whip the boat around. This will cause unwanted rollers.
Do you have slalom driving tips? Post to the forum.
Forever In Your Wake,
- Waterskiing / Wakeboarding Guide