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How many balls do you lose if you raise the boat by 2 mph?


Horton
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How many balls do you lose if you raise the boat by 2 mph?  

34 members have voted

  1. 1. Think about this as line length and balls NOT ZBS

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How many balls do you lose if you raise the boat by 2 mph?

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In 2021, my last year in M6, I won regionals with six no continuation at 35. In 2022 in M7, I tied for first with 4@38 (lost the run off, 2 vs 2.5 at 38). These were representative scores for each season. That’s a net two buoy loss per the ZBS chart, 96 vs 94, even though I look at it as a four buoy gain. 

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Lpskier

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@Hortonfirst WTF did you start 2 threads with basically the same question?

there is no definitive answer and that’s the fundamental problem. The 6 buoy rule of thumb may apply as an average  across the slalom population but is way off as the line gets short or longer. 
for example, if a skier can run 39@36 and snag 1@41, then drops to 34 he may get 2 or maybe 3 @41.  That’s a 1 or 2 buoy increase. 
now take a skier that gets 3@22 off at 36 and drop to 34, he will likely run 28 and get a buoy or 2 @32off for a 10-11 buoy increase. 
these are examples but from my experience this is representative of what happens when changing speeds. 
 

if you/we want a level field for the few “competitive” tournaments, the speed absolutely needs to be the same 

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If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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It is not hard to calculate what skier’s on average gain by slowing down 2mph. Go to the USAW website, compare you ski m2 one year and m3 the next as well as those going from M6 to M7. Compare there scores.

 I did this about 2 years ago, I first took each skiers average and compared between those two divisions and the used a ChiSquared distribution to derive a confidence interval.  (I used to teach statistics and the U. S. Naval Academy) the difference was just over 3 I recall 3.1.  Some skier’s lost buoys! Others gain more. Then I looked for trends and found a break between the 28off and below and the 32 and shorter skiers.  The shorter line skier gained less than those at 28 and below.

Let the data set you free and not depend on what some think, feel or what they did or hope to. 

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@Bruce_Butterfieldexact opposite questions

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When I went from 36 to 34 I gained  6 buoys, now that I am in men’s seven I went from 34 to 32, 35 is way more consistent and I probably gained about two buoys at 38.  I know a few people that went down to 32 mph that did not gain much at all. My personal opinion is as the rope gets shorter the speed does not make as much difference

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@Bruce_Butterfield @BrennanKMN Yes yes I was in a rush and screwed it up last night. 

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17 hours ago, Bruce_Butterfield said:

for example, if a skier can run 39@36 and snag 1@41, then drops to 34 he may get 2 or maybe 3 @41.  That’s a 1 or 2 buoy increase. 
now take a skier that gets 3@22 off at 36 and drop to 34, he will likely run 28 and get a buoy or 2 @32off for a 10-11 buoy increase. 

this makes a lot of sense. 

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Line length is critical.  A surprisingly reasonable estimate is that 34/-35 and 36/-32 are the same difficulty, but each line length shorter reduces the advantage of 34 by one buoy.  And each line length longer increases the advantage of 34 by 1 buoy.

It's just a Rule of Thumb and not any kind of stastical analysis, but for such a simple rule I think it matches people's experience pretty well.

Edited by Than_Bogan
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I'm not seeing that 10-11 buoy jump for the drop to 34 mph that was previously mentioned.  At 34 mph practice, I'll run -32 on a very good day and get 1 or 2 at -35 on a great day.  At 36 mph practice, I'll run -28 on a very good day and get 1 at -32 on a great day.  My practice maximums have been 3 at 34/-35 and 4 at 36/-32 - both about 5 years ago.  Most of the time, I am mid -32 at 34 mph and mid -28 at 36 mph.  However, since I have to spend most of the season at 34 mph to keep my timing for most tournaments, I do not ski enough 36 mph to know if it could be different.

My tournament PBs are exactly 6 buoys apart between 34 mph and 36 mph.

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@MISkier you are in the 32-35 off middle zone where the 6 buoy delta is a fairly normal.  The problem I have been trying to get across is that a 6 buoy delta is NOT typical in the 38 and 39 off range - its typically 1-4 buoys.  That's where the "competitive" M3 through M6 skiers will be and will be putting themselves at a disadvantage if they don't ski 36.

My example was also for a 22 off skier not a 32 off skier like yourself.  Point being that the buoy delta changes significantly as the rope gets shorter or longer.  Also every skier will be different.

Bottom line is still that pretending there is a consistent 6 buoy difference between 34 and 36 or 32 and 34 is simply not a valid comparison and creates an apples to oranges playing field.

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@Bruce_Butterfield, it seems it would only be an apples to oranges playing field if one of the competitors was prevented from skiing a particular speed and would have to accept the matrix score without the opportunity to select a different strategy.  If all skiers have their choice, I think it remains a level playing field, albeit one that the high end skiers don't like.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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