How To Design A Water Ski Slalom Course

Learning how to design a water ski slalom course will most likely make you the most popular member of the club. As an avid athlete, you already know what makes a standard course great, so transferring it onto a different location does not have to be complicated. Start out with the hardware:

  • Lake map
  • Overlay paper and pencil
  • Buoy arms

Take into consideration that finding out how to design a water ski slalom course must incorporate sufficient buffer areas so that less experienced athletes can still have fun and stay safe!

  1. Choose the right locale. At the very minimum, the length of the usable lake area must measure 2,000 feet with a width of 180 feet. This size factors in the likely space that the buoys take up, which measures roughly 850 feet by 76 feet. Figuring out how to design a water ski slalom course therefore also means discounting properties that are unsuitable due to rocky outcroppings, the proximity of swimming beaches and the sometimes exclusive use rights of anglers.
  2. Map the course. Once you find just the right lake, put the overlay paper over the lake map and plot the course in pencil. Prepare for plenty of erasing! Factor in easy access for the boating and also the location of the sun during the event. The latter determines the direction of the course.
  3. Deploy the buoy arms. It is easy to learn how to design a water ski slalom course, in part because the six-buoy setup is pretty much standard. Fun-runs may include more buoys but regulation courses should stick to this design. Invest in buoy arms, since they make spacing easier than trying to individually space and mark each buoy. After all, in addition to marking off the slalom buoys, there are the lane entry, exit and boat lane buoys.
  4. Define the gates and boat lane. Mark the entry and exit areas and also the center lane that the boater follows. Anchor the buoy arms and verify that there are no loose nets or ropes in the water.

The last step in learning how to design a water ski slalom course is testing it out. Boat the course first at slow speed to look for problems and then at slalom speed to verify that the boat can traverse the waterway.

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