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Measure your course


TEL
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So a few of us have decided that my course Is One of the hardest courses to run. it’s an old I assume Accu float. So we measured a couple courses that we run. we found that mine from gate to buoy one is right on the money both sides. But The rest of the course from boat guide to boat guide ran short anywhere from 6” to about 10” . Turn buoys are fine. One of the neighbors said they have fixed the course several times over the years where the crimps have broken. Since most of us run 15 to 32off is it worth the time and effort to fix? The lake is at its highest point so we know the course is extremely tight right now
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I would think, until your gang gets beyond 32 off, 6 inches is trivial. Keep in mind the standard is 41 meters between boat guides, or about 134 feet, 6 inches. So, if I understood you right, you're missing the 6 inches, or 10 inches between some. Meh.

Consider it good practice for when you go to a tournament.

 

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I think there's only one person that can really answer that question....YOU. That would be the course you run most often. I go there and know I won't be running up to my full potential, but then again I can go out to another course that's on the money on a windy day and I won't be running my full potential either. Being on a more challenging venue will make you that much better when you go to a tournament, or ski another site. That being said....if it was my course, I might want to have it accurate so I could judge exactly where I am. I think the one place I would probably try to get as accurate as possible would be the 55s to gate distance.
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Seems trivial but do not under estimate the power of visual awareness, 6" may not seem like much but when travelling at speed the brain may compute very differently, 6" may become a lot, if you are used to skiing there the brain will adapt, but it could affect visitors or if you go ski else where.

Remember we all strive to get that rhythm going, thats not going to happen if the balls are not where they should be.

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I have 08 196 with ZO and on a very short set up lake losing a couple feet set up is not that big of a deal. But looking at the tolerance allowed I could error on the plus side then we are talking 10" or more between buoys. There is only one person @ScottScott that goes to tournaments in our group but, this is not his regular course he skies. So do i just make it right on, or do I error on the plus side if I do make changes? I am not getting younger. Not that it would be cheating it would be the same for every body that skies here and still within tolerance.
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If the course is an Accu-Float, you do not need to replace the entire cable. Buoy to buoy is an individual cable. Simply lower the tension on the course, remove the faulty section and replace with a new one. The entire process takes less than 20 minutes if you do it on a calm day. Good luck.
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It's not clear to me in your post exactly what method you're using to measure your course. So I'm sure I'm not going to state anything here you haven't already thought of, but just in case...

 

If you're using PP or ZO as the only means to measure I'm sure you're aware that doesn't tell you anything about the exact course you're skiing on. Computer speed control measures from the start gate then projects and measures a virtual course of exact length. They don't measure the course you're on, they measure a set exact distance and time that accordingly. Which may or may not sync with a visual observation from the boat of where the buoy you're going by is when you hear the beeps. Of course if you actually got in the water with a tape measure, or measured it on dry land, ignore the above.

 

For myself I want my course as close to correct as I can possibly get it, even though I'm not that great a skier. Off season would be a great time to address that IMO.

 

Cheers, Ed

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@TEL we ran into a similar issue about 5 years ago, but opposite. We thought our local course was too long...but by a few feet...in a few places. We'd PD all day, then go to the other course on our lake and stink it up. Took us a while to realize what the issue was as were just 15-22 skiers at the time. We sort of knew the course owners, but it was tough to tell these guys who ripped better than us (on their course only) that their course was too long. Imagine a 15' skier telling a 32' ski that HIS course was junk. So after some measuring we all deemed it was way too long. (yes, PP and ZO helped us with that too, but was easy to measure) It was 25+ years old with too many band-aids on the main lines. We, with the old time rippers who owned the course replaced it from scratch with one from @Ed_Obermeier - they knew it was time to scrap the ol' girl. When we pulled it out it had 2 big main line repairs. Our course is mint now...but the older guys don't rip as well...so not as often. Still feel a little bad. We took it over so they are happy it's perfect and they don't have to deal with all the issues of a course on a public lake. Thanks again @Ed_Obermeier - Ed was a great help. We tweaked a few Ed things over the years as any maniacal course owner would.
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@Ed_Obermeier We got into the water to measure. This winter when we dry out a little and the lake level has dropped we will make it right. Hoping to add new cable with cable clamps between each set of boat guides then cut the old cable loose. I have not swam down to see how the old repairs have been. @mmadore21 hope I don't need to but a new course in
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I would say having a course that's too wide (by 1 foot/2 ft/whatever) would be way more detrimental than having a course that was too short, buoy to buoy. It is an interesting discussion though. @Than_Bogan, does your comment above mean that it is unfair to train on a course that is laid out to make it harder? That is serious control over what skiers can do, if that is the case! What would you call the 3-foot extender section ... could be viewed as making 28 off easier or making you ski 25 off so you could run a super 22 off. Some great comments on how ZO or PP do assess/measure a course. Learned something right there, thanks Ed!
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@dwfrech i would think "large" turn bouys would be the best approach to training. Force you to ski a wider path but converts back to dimensionally correct by swapping balls and zero chance or accidentally leaving your garage door in training mode...

 

Thans comments on tolerence have nothing to do with training etc.etc want to ski with a 1' long rope in practice you do you.

 

But when measuring for spec if you are going to adjust gear it should only be towards the actual not away. If you buy a handle and its short of minimum I wouldnt fault someone for returning it to get a longer one. But if it measured actual you shouldnt try to let it out some...

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We have not measured, but suspect we may be stretched long as we don't have cable but rope. Figured the PP will go faster speed to compensate and get times. Never found our course easier or harder necessarily than another (OK it's harder than the portable on another lake that we know is narrow). Personally...I'd just ski it and have fun.
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@6balls I don't think PP (stargazer) will run faster in that case (unless you are running magnets). As I understand it: it uses your mapped GPS gate location to trigger the timer, and the rest of the points are just based on distance traveled (with PP assuming each buoy is at the correct distance) PP has no way to know that your course is long or short (assuming that I am correct). The two gate mappings are independent so they are used only as an entrance gate while ignoring the exit. This would make using the system in an 8 buoy course setup possible. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
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Be interesting to map zo from bow eye, pylon, stern and take videos of skiers at different line lengths and mappings to determine if the throttle is coming on earlier pre gate if you map further forwards.

 

PP smart magnet pick ups were usually placed by the passenger seat near the pylon and hand timers same point so why wouldnt we map them at the pylon?

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6balls wrote "We have not measured, but suspect we may be stretched long as we don't have cable but rope. Figured the PP will go faster speed to compensate and get times."

 

Stretch is entirely possible with a rope mainline that has been under high tension for an extended period of time (years), it's just the nature of the material (plastic-based rope under high tension over time). Poly rope mainlines are really not made to be used for a permanently installed course for that reason (although they do seem to hold up quite well used in that manner despite that). Had a customer who'd used one that way for a lot of years send it to me a couple years ago stating that they thought it had stretched long. Measured it and sure enough had stretched enough to be out of spec. Easy enough fix (cut and splice) but not something the average skier would probably recognize or want to mess with fixing on their own.

 

PP Classic run in two segment mode (using magnets) or all ball mode (anyone actually still do that?) will recognize and compensate, or at least try to. SG won't, it just starts timing from the entry gate and times 259 meters, it doesn't reference the actual course it's on at all other than to start timing at the entry gate.

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We are pretty new at this, especially when it comes to the newer PP, without magnetics. My wife picked me up near the end of the course, accelerated past the exit gate, but PP started timing as if we were entering the course (I guess all it knew was the boat had just passed the gate and not what direction it was going). It just kept beeping as we headed away from the course for a turn around on open water. Plus it seems to beep a good 3 feet in front of the pylon at each guide buoy when running the course. We've re-mapped it several times trying to fix this 3 foot variation. However it shows accurate times every time.
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