Ed_Obermeier Posted September 5, 2008 Share Posted September 5, 2008 I spoke with the folks at Skier to Skier (from whom I purchased my SG upgrade earlier this year)Ã‚Â recently on the subject of the future availability of StarGazer (Max has done a LOT of developement work with the PP folks over the years) and they assured me that PP or SG isn't going away any time soon and that in fact they're working on the next version and will have it out by spring, and that they will continue to fine tune the system as time goes by as they've done with Classic in the past.Ã‚Â Of course that's not news to anyone.Ã‚Â What does seem to be news though is the apparent fact that PP and the SG systemÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â (or some variant ofÃ‚Â it) will remain available at least for the forseeable future despite what most on the forums I've seen seem to think or realize.Ã‚Â Now havingÃ‚Â gotten someÃ‚Â hands onÃ‚Â working with StarGazer in my Supra and getting used to how it's setup works, and reading a lot of widely varied opinions on it on this and other forums, I guess I'm in a quandry.Ã‚Â For me personally SG is the best speed control system I've used yet FROM A SKIERS PERSPECTIVE.Ã‚Â Admittedly I don't have a lot of experience with Zero Off (a few sets behind it at tournaments and a couple of practice sets behind a friends promo 197) so I really am not qualified to speak too much on ZO.Ã‚Â I haven't skied as well with it as I have SG but I'm not a real solid tournament skier anyway and only have a few sets with it.Ã‚Â But here is the bottom line that I fail to understandÃ‚Â about all the bitching about setting up SG to get good split and end times.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Consensus seems to be that the SG pull is a more "user friendly" pull than ZO gives.Ã‚Â Isn't the pull the skier gets more important than the amount of input required from the driver to give the skier that "better" pull? I read a lot of bitching about how much tweaking is required to get SG to give good split times etc. For me it's definitelyÃ‚Â way less tweaking than was ever required with Classic and once it's set it's set, no ongoing tweaking involved (skier weight, crew weight, head/tail wind adjust, etc) as with Classic, plus it's consistantly more accurate.Ã‚Â I fail to understand how that's not aÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â significantÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â improvment over Classic.Ã‚Â I understand that with ZO there is NO tweaking required; however I've seen plenty of opinion to indicate that perhaps SOME adjustability might be desireable and be an improvement to that system.Ã‚Â To me and those I ski with regularlyÃ‚Â SG is a softer, friendlier pull than Classic (or my admittedly limited experience with ZO) making my passes feel slower and easier, yet the split and endÃ‚Â times all are all within .02 of actual pretty much every pass.Ã‚Â This is true for a variety of skiers who have skied and driven my boat, everything fromÃ‚Â 15 off 26 mph through 35 off 34 mph.Ã‚Â Dumb as I am, if I can set it up to do this (didn't take much tweaking to achieve this actually)Ã‚Â I fail to understand how so many other people have so much trouble getting the same results.Ã‚Â Sure it would be nice to just turn it on and go (which I'm able to doÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â once I got it adjusted out properly) but I think we've lost sight of what the desired result SHOULD be with speed control - giving the skier the best, most user friendly, most consistant pull possible from whatever system you're using.Ã‚Â If it's a little tweaking for the driver so what, both SG and ZO require WAY less tweaking than we had before they became available.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â How is that not a step forward? Personally I think we've all gotten too spoiled.Ã‚Â We expect perfection from the speed control systems we're using without having to input too much to them.Ã‚Â Even with Classic it is a hell of a lot better/easier than most hand driving (let's be brutally honest, how many of us non pro driversÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â are really that good at getting near perfect times hand driving and still giving the skier a good steady pull?Ã‚Â I'm yet to meet one, myself included, and I'm a decent driver IMO). Having said all of that, consider this.Ã‚Â The percentage of all "serious" slalom course skiers who actually are semi regular tournament skiers is what, 10% at most?Ã‚Â There are a lot of us (I consider myself "serious" despite the fact that I may not be all that good at it) who have a lot more fun and prefer skiing with their buds on Saturday morning or whenever than going to a tournament.Ã‚Â I ski a few INT tournaments but I'm not big on tournaments personally.Ã‚Â IF you assume (at least for the sake of this discussion) that StarGazer is noted as being the more preferred pull by the majority of skiers due to its "user friendliness", why then would the 90% of skiers who don't have to worry about tournaments and ZO choose to purchase ZO given all of the negative opinion about it?Ã‚Â Especially considering that the vast majority of that 90% own non-DBW boats and can't get ZO anyway, and probably won't be buying too many new $45K boats anytime soon?Ã‚Â If SG comes up with a setting that approximates the ZO pull in their next version it gives "serious" tournament skiers even less reason toÃ‚Â purchase aÃ‚Â ZO systemÃ‚Â or a new ZO-equipped boat.Ã‚Â You can practice that particular type of pull with what you already have now by purchasing a simple upgrade.Ã‚Â Plus you'll have wayÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â more variety, the user-friendlier SG settings PLUS a set of ZO-feeling settings if you want or needÃ‚Â them.Ã‚Â PP sells more systems and upgrades to existing systems, ZO gets evenÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â less market share.Ã‚Â PP wins. If you do the math it doesn't seem too difficult to come to the conclusion that SG has a much larger potential market than ZO ever will (especially considering the established good customer service of PP versus the questionable customer service to date that ZO has displayed). PP over time will be the dominant speed control system in the market place, perhaps eventually even effectively killing off ZO UNLESS they do something to soften up or otherwise improve their pull to make it more SG-like.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Assuming that, I'm of the opinion that SG is far from "dead" and will in fact be the largest share of the speed control market for many years to come. The reports of SG's impending demiseÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â appear to meÃ‚Â to be grossly over exagerated.Ã‚Â A lot of opinion is that PP killed themselves by selling the GPS rights (for whatever reasons, I'm aware of the law suit) to ZO.Ã‚Â I'm also aware that E-Controls own ZO and they have a big chunk of the marine engine electronic managment system market and all of that.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Doesn't matter. I think the PP folks are wayÃ‚Â smarter than that and knew full well what they were doing.Ã‚Â PP and SG will be the lions share of the speed control market and will be around for a long time to come.Ã‚Â My opinion. Ed Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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