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Setting up a Course?


aswinter05
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Let me start off by saying I've NEVER ran a course before. I plan on doing so very soon, however, at ski school.

 

Our group has been looking into the possibility of buying all the equipment and setting up our own course. The problem is..... I know nothing about doing so! Is there a good resource to refer to when setting up a course?

 

Also, is there a proper depth of water to setup a course? Is it possible to setup a slalom course in water deeper than 20 feet?

 

Thanks for the help!

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I was in the same situation several years ago. I went with EZ Ed's floating course and haven't regretted it. Its affordable, easy to install, well suited for deep water, and extremely durable as I've had no troubles from mine which has been in the water for three years without removal. Ed gets similar reports from other customers with permanent installs (and I even have a rope mainline versus a stainless cable).
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I bought a course from Ed 4 years ago. We use it all the time. We can install it in about 30 minutes. We often use it for just half a day and a few times a year we set it up for a week. Speak to Ed, he'll give you the low down.

 

Once it arrives, set up one of the arms in your backyard for practice first.

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I bought an EZ course from Ed last year when all to private lakes dried up. Worked great. There was a lot of grass in the lake we used in though. So we ended up getting some much heaver rope and tying it to the anchors separately with a buoy on the end. Made it much easier to get the course tight and I was afraid of braking there the supplied line because we were pulling up hundreds of pounds of weeds every time we pulled it out. If you lake has a smooth bottom you will have no problems.
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as an aside, you may be able to leave a couple of buoys up and just sink the rest. I have a permit and have a "permanent" portable in our lake. Another guy I know puts a course in along a different shore and just leaves one set of gates floating and sinks the rest. Then when the wind makes that a good location, he takes the balls out, clips them on and skis. Then unclip them and sink it again. IMO that is a lot easier than pulling the whole thing each time if you can get away with it.
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As always, the kind words and positive comments are much appreciated guys. @aswinter05 if you'd like to chat feel free to call me anytime, I'm happy to answer questions and be helpful in whatever manner I'm able. 800-216-4461 toll free. I'll look forward to chatting with you and answering your questions.

 

Cheers, Ed

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I have an ez-slalom and we take it out and set it up everyday and love it! We can put it in in about 25 min and take out in about 20 min. It's such a easy and simple user friendly design. And setting up in more than 20 ft is no prob, we usually set ours up in around 40-45 ft.
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AS,

I Also have the EZ-Slalom course and have been putting it in for 4 seasons.

We usually put it in for 24 hours and then pull it out. An experienced crew of 4 is best the night before (a week end,) one driver, buoy handler, rope feeder and a turn arm extender...

We install it with a 24' pontoon and it makes it much easier. I also use a large steel hose reel from Sam's club (plumbing side froze,) for the mainline to save time not having the weights get caught in the plastic sides of the reel. I now fill the turn and gate buoys with water to keep them low enough to keep the skis from hooking them.

A few things have gotten cut or worn now with almost 5 seasons...the buoy hooks are getting damaged from newbie drivers (cut buoy and bent fish stringer hooks.) Some of the elastic cord also got cut or is wearing out. But repaired with surgical tubing and zip ties...makes a fast repair.

 

There is a permanent course anchors in the lake that we are going to start using as we have run into the shallow water and very high weed growth this year.

We also found that you will lose the gates in water over 50' without adding rope on between the course and the anchor.

I wish I had order the pre-gates model and not the mini course since the mini is easy to add and we do not use it all that much.

I hope this helps there is a learning curve, if you can find someone who has one and go out with then twice you will have a much better idea on how to get it in with less trouble...we have learned not to say it is easy until we are skiing.

 

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Ed - how long have you been making the EZ slalom? Did anyone else make a course with the rope mainline? In 2004 we installed a poly mainline course (I thought yours) that my ski buddy said was alread 12-15 years old and well used. We pulled it too hard one time and collapsed one PVC spacer at the gate, but easily replaced it and still today that course is in and working great.
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@Zman we've been in commercial business for 14 years now, I've been building courses for probably 20+. There have been several companies come and go over the years, many used poly rope especially for a portable version of whatever they offered for sale. If I had a couple of detail pictures of the rope especially where the diamond points are and where the arms and mainline connect I could probably identify the maker for you. We were definitely in business in '04 but if it was that old when you installed it's likely not ours.

 

FWIW the whole floating-type portable course idea started in 1984 in Texas with a company called Porta-Slalom, they were the originators of the concept and created the first commercially available portable courses using rope mainlines. Their arm design was awkard but they did originate the portable slalom course concept.

 

@animal thank you for the kudos. Always good to hear from a happy customer!

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Thanks for the info Ed. I am in the process of moving to deep south Georgia and have not located any slalom course or ski lakes as yet (one possibility). But, as soon as I do find a lake I can obtain permission to use or have access to, I will be in touch for one of your course kits.

(Have you sold a course to anyone near Valdosta, GA?).

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