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Noobie course driver here...


aswinter05
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Pulled someone through the course for the first time last week. It wasn't too bad, just a bit different. I was wondering if there were any good resources to help someone getting started. When it comes time to pull hard core skiers, I don't want to be lost then get yelled at because I messed up their set.

 

So besides giving advice to just "drive between the boat guides"... what other good lessons should I be learning. It will also be helpful for my wife as she will be pulling me through the course most of the time.

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Know where the center is in reference to your visuals in the seat. To me thats the first, most important thing. Pay attention to where the forces on the boat come from relative to where the skier is, then learn the steering wheel movements that correct for where the loads come from. Once you learn the movements relative to where the skier is, you try to be just slightly ahead with your corrections. The better the skier, the easier they are to drive, due to skier consistency. It sure helps to have a GREAT driving boat. Being able to be in the boat with great drivers and pick their brain helps a ton. With a good driving boat the movements are small but rhythmic.
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Really appreciate the resources. The other day at the course I was trying to imagine a spot just a couple/few feet LEFT of each RIGHT hand side boat guide. I would try to run over that exact spot with my butt.

 

Looks like I should be focusing more down the course as opposed to each set of guides. Does anyone put a marking of some sort on the bow of the boat or simply reference something? I saw a post on here a few months ago about those "boat markers". Where basically you set up a "field-goal post" on the front right bow. Thanks again for the help.

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I use a mark on the dash and make the boat guides disappear through that mark. It could be an artificial mark like a piece of tape, or a gauge on the dash or whatever you can line things up with. I also know of drivers who use a down course view...but I don't know how they do that and be precise with location.
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Once I find center, I find something on the bow or dash that allows me to make a first visual alignment prior to getting to the 55s. Then I pick something on the downcourse shore that I can drive too. After two, I'll glance down at the 3 ball boat guides just as a quick check, but then I drive to that point on the shore after that. If I'm driving to a point on the shore, it's easier for me to stay ahead of the skier by feel. If I'm using the boat guides, it's easier for me to get behind the skier.
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