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Need some input from the Ballers


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Today I skied for the first time this spring with a drysuit on my lake (water 56, air 59 and sunny = BI 25) and was quite comfortable. There is a governing body on the lake that helps maintain the lake, patrol, etc. I received a call saying the lake is not "open" until April 15th because of concerns of cold water. I have all necessary document, lake sticker, etc to operate a boat on this private access lake. What I want to hear from you guys is what are some common early or late season Temps/ baller index that you ski regularly. I am not too interested in the extreme temps you have skied, although it is good to hear these stories. I am formulating a letter to this board opposing this new rule that no one has seem to have heard off. I will like to link this thread and ask for you support. Feel free to call me a wimp for using a drysuit in such warm conditions :)

Thanks

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make friends, not enemies if you can. find out if there concerns are for your safety or for some real or imagined environmental issue. if its your safety there worried about provide a signed waver to the governing body absolving them of all responsibility. if its for environmental concerns find out the particulars and do some research to see if there crazy or have a genuine issue.
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Why do they care? Do they check to see if you grab a jacket on your way to work? Weird. My advice is to get a new governing body. Ok, I'll be more helpful. 56 degree water is not in any way aggressive or extreme for dry suit skiing. I would say low forties and below is aggressive but I guarantee you people on this board will chime in and say they do that regularly
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  • Baller

With a drysuit there is no safety issue regardless of water temp; it can't be colder than 32 degrees.

 

For air temp, I suggest more than 40F -- under that can be a bit unpleasant even if properly equipped.

 

Usually by the time we get out there in April (in MA) the water and air are both in the 40s, but I've also waterskied shortly after ice-out as well as one time in the snow.

 

All that said, you may be facing a legitimate (but misplaced) concern. Unprepared people falling into cold water can be extremely dangerous. Serious slalom skiers wearing a drysuit in 56 degree water shouldn't even get a second look. That's waay above the safety bar.

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I agree 50 and above is no issue at all. 40-50 I wear under armor thermals under my dry suit. In ohio there should be years when you can ski year round. You might point out to the board that the reàl threat in cold water is not hypothermia it's cold shock when you fall in- so if you agree to wear PFD while you are on the water maybe that will ease their concern.
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  • Baller

50 - 55 degree water at the beginning of the season is very common for us. With a drysuit, there is not any question of safety or comfort. Some I have skied with only use full wetsuits in the 55 degree water and have no problem. Have skied in 34 degree water as an extreme. Only issue was that hands and feet get numb quickly and shorten the sets drastically.

 

I would't recommend skiing in any of those temperatures without some effective drysuit or extra warmth full wetsuit. Perhaps the governing body could amend the rules/guidance to require the use of some sort of cold-rated suit or a suit on a pre-approved list of acceptable protective attire.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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40/40 isn't that big deal with ice-breaker gloves, double boots, drysuit, and wetsuit hat. The biggest issue is cramping feet and hands. I've skied in near freezing water and air temp with that setup and a hot shower on board (when I was younger and dumber), but its a real kick in the crotch if you crash and come out of your boots.
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56 would be high temp of the Columbia River in the middle of July! I think we see 60-ish as a high all summer. I agree though, make friends not enemies. I say get one of them to come ski with you........... probably not likely, but try and capture them in a way that puts them on your side.
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In Scotland as long as there are light winds we will ski all year round which includes freezing conditions, we have made a rule that if the ice is over 1/2" thick we won't break it to ski, most of us wear dry suits but some wear good wetsuits and we carry a bucket of hot water to warm our hands after four passes.

 

We don't consider this extreme just the norm as it never gets too hot here so we try to make the best of it, quite sure @Deep11‌ posted a video here last year of our winter skiing.

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I find it disappointing that so many "governing bodies" fight against Darwin. If one's mental capacities are strong enough to wear the right equipment, you not only will be fine, you are leading by example. If one's decision making results in skiing in 40 degree water wearing nothing but a speedo, perhaps you left the world in a better condition with your departure.

 

Should ice fishing be banned? What if temps are in the 30s on April 16? That being said, I, like others, advocate a polite approach. I will add, however, that directly challenging the lunacy fueled by their feelings will likely not be as helpful. It may be better to engage them in conversation and ask them leading questions that have them coming to conclusions on your side. That is much easier said than done. Perhaps examples would be:

Has there been a problem with people swimming in early April?

If there were, would a bylaw or even a sign be an effective preventative measure, or would a fence around the lake be more effective?

Does that seem crazy? Answer: It should, because there is no need to "improve" survival instinct with legislation. You improve survival instinct with education.

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Thanks everyone for your input. I merely started this thread to illustrate how ridiculous this rule is and you guys have provided some great input. I truly believe there is another motive as to why they do not want powerboats on the lake, and that may reveal itself in the coming week or so. In the meantime, nice weather means I am going to ski despite politics and egos.

@mwetskier I have to be friendly. My business is so community involved, I cannot risk being a jerk over something that is recreational. The guys who are making these "suggestions" are course skiers that I will ski with from time to time which is why I am surprised this is an issue. Of all people, I would think they will be on board.

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