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Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-11-2007, 7:14 AM Reply   
I read the safety page on the Cyber Shapes web page that Jeff W. posted. One safety precaution advertised is to NOT throw the rope back to the surfer. I have to admit we do this frequently with both seasoned and inexperienced waskesurfers. This July we’ll repeat wakesurfing at the Scioto Wakefest. The course will be straight, narrow, and a little short. To compensate for the short narrow course I was planning on offering two options at the end of the course, 1) a suicide trick or 2) bonus points for successful rope catch for a quick turnabout back the other direction down the course.

Suicide Trick: Last year at the end of each pass of the course we encourage surfers to try a trick that they didn’t think they could pull off or to try a trick like a back flip off of the board, knowing they couldn’t possibly recover. We did not count these falls and down time against the surfers. In my mind this was a way to take a short coming and make it a positive. While this approach encouraged surfers to be creative, the starts and stops did increase the time to run the competition.

Rope Catch: For the 2007 Wakefest I was going offering scoring credit for a successful rope catch/pickup. Once the rider has the rope in hand we’ll be able to make a hard turn and stay in a relatively narrow channel. The advantage of a rope catch is faster conduct of the event. If a rope catch is unsafe then offering scoring points would not be good practice for a public event.

One other consideration, we’re going to have both Malibu and Centurion pulling in the same space at the same time. With two boats running at the same time, tight turns might not be possible. We’ll make up lost time to suicide falls since we’ll have two boats. So maybe I’m answering my own question, just go with the Suicide Trick.

Does this safety precaution rate with CO precautions, I think not. How many people per year die from wakesurf rope catching, how many show up in the emergency ward of your local hospital? Is this really a safety issue?
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-11-2007, 8:18 AM Reply   
Interestingly enough, I sold a board to an individual, this past summer, that separated a bicep muscle while getting up on a wakesurfboard. So I know that it's possible to get hurt with a wakesurfboard and a rope. I think the handle is a big consideration. If you're using a wakesurf specific rope/handle combination, there's probably little risk, but if folks are using a regular sized handle there is a slight risk of the handle getting over an arm or even over a riders head when tossed back to them.

In my mind Ed, do any of us want to leave the legacy of the "father of neck snapping" behind the boat? :-) Just seems to me that we know there is some risk and there are safer alternatives, so...why do it? ESPECIALLY if we have kids in the contest.
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-11-2007, 11:03 AM Reply   
After a fall I've been hit in the head by the rope handle while the boat was coming back at idle speed, bring me the rope for another pull.

There's at least one braided rope on the market with no handel at all. As you point out a traditional ski rope might be a concern but not a surf rope.
Old    Ed G (ed_g)      Join Date: Nov 2005       03-12-2007, 4:13 AM Reply   
I have that braided rope with no handle - I hate the thing.

I honestly feel if you weigh more than 140lbs, it's extremely hard to hang onto.

My wife can use it with no problem, I can't hang onto it and neither can my brother in law (and he's one of them big muscle dudes).

I love the T-Handle rope.
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-12-2007, 5:01 AM Reply   
I have the big'Ol orange braided and knotted T-handle rope, I like that rope a lot. That rope was too heavy for the 8-year old at Wakefest last year; fortunately they brought their own rope.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-12-2007, 5:42 AM Reply   
Ed, how was the rope too heavy? Are you having the riders toss the rope back into the boat, as opposed to someone in the rope "mostly" pulling it back in? I think that we've had the best luck with folks that had trouble tossing the rope...just sort of let it go OVER the lip and the wake pushes it away from them, thereby allowing someone in the boat to pull it in.
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-12-2007, 6:00 AM Reply   
Too heavy to toss, too heavy to manage in the water considering the rope was about 10% of the 8 year old rider’s body weight. The rope that this rider’s family brought had a small handle and a thick rope weave, but wasn’t braided and knotted so it was much lighter.

When we surf we often toss the rope over to the other wake and it just stays there.

During Wakefest we usually had someone pull the rope back in.
Old    Ed G (ed_g)      Join Date: Nov 2005       03-12-2007, 6:26 AM Reply   
When I said "hang onto", I meant it's hard to hang onto when getting pulled out of the water.
Old    Jay Pochynuk (sk_centurion)      Join Date: Oct 2006       03-12-2007, 7:34 AM Reply   
I made my own T-handle rope out of a thick tube rope that I happened to run over and had to cut out of the prop. I put a few knots in it for extra grip when you get going. The T-handle is a bit harder to get up on but I don't seem to have a problem with it. I always throw the rope back into the boat and we usally try to throw the rope back if someone is going to loose it. my rope is kinda short so its hard to throw back.
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-12-2007, 7:34 AM Reply   
What I want to know is why someone hasn't made a T-handle with a non-braided rope yet? (why the rope companies think it's better to surf with a 10 pound rope is beyond me)

That being said the biggest danger I've seen in wakesurfing is the tendency for beginners to "wind up" the rope around their arm to get up into the pocket. IMO this is something that should be written onto the safety disclaimer.

Also IMO tossing the rope back to the surfer is a recipe for disaster. However minute the risk, the fact is that there is a small chance for a mishap no matter what rope you are using.
Old    Rob Andrus (robandrus)      Join Date: Feb 2002       03-12-2007, 9:14 AM Reply   
Why is there more risk with a handle in wakesurfing than with wakeboarding?

Speeds are much higher with boarding, I frequently put the handle on my arm when my hands get tired boarding......Maybe this is a total newbie question but at 7-8 mph I just don't see the increased risk. As far as the handle falling over someones head, there is also a minute chance that the sun might explode right now.....
Old    Nick (nickypoo)      Join Date: Jan 2007       03-12-2007, 9:57 AM Reply   
I also have the 10 pound monster rope. I don't mind it, but most everybody struggles with it a little bit. I throw the rope back in the boat out of habit, but I feel you should really toss it over to the other side of the wake and have someone in the boat pull it back in. I smacked the top of a friends foot with the end of the handle on that thing and I'm pretty sure it didn't tickle.

I don't feel you should be throwing the rope, any rope, back to the rider. Just too many bad scenarios that are possible, however unlikely. I love the suicide trick as I finish just about all my runs like that anyway. However, I've managed to bruise myself with that one as well. Just a flesh wound though.

(Message edited by Nickypoo on March 12, 2007)
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-12-2007, 10:08 AM Reply   
The danger with the rope wakesurfing is when (typically) beginners use the rope to get into the sweet spot, drop it with loops still in the rope and then fall making the shift in balance.



(Message edited by caskimmer on March 12, 2007)

(Message edited by caskimmer on March 12, 2007)
Old     (insuranceman)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-12-2007, 10:12 AM Reply   
i also have the 10 pound monster rope with the t-handle.

no problems with throwing it back in the boat, but i have been concerned about knocking my boat driver out if it hit them in the head
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-12-2007, 10:21 AM Reply   
My idea of the "ideal" wakesurf rope would be a non-braided line with a carbon fiber T-handle.
Old    WakeDoc (riverrunner)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-12-2007, 12:35 PM Reply   
We use a Straight Line dog leash (the handle) with an old wakeboard rope and switch it out for a small ski handle it the person can not stay balanced with the small handle, most use the small handle. The problem with the big handle is that most people coil the rope and they fall into the rope and get tangled in it or stick a hand/arm through the big handle. We encourage people to keep the handle in their rear hand and have someone in the boat pull in the slack in as they ride.
Old    Nick (nickypoo)      Join Date: Jan 2007       03-12-2007, 1:03 PM Reply   
"My idea of the "ideal" wakesurf rope would be a non-braided line with a carbon fiber T-handle." -Sean "Psycho" Ward.

I'll take one with a 10" T-handle please. I really like the T-handle, but the one on the LF rope is too small.

(Message edited by Nickypoo on March 12, 2007. Just had to add "Psycho" in there.)

(Message edited by Nickypoo on March 12, 2007)
Old    Smed (smedman)      Join Date: Feb 2006       03-13-2007, 8:31 AM Reply   
We have the heavy braided rope with the small T-handle as well. Yes it is a bit heavy for small kids, but for teens and adults it is fine. I may be stating the obvious, but the braids help you pull yourself into the pocket without getting rope burns on your hands. If I use the T-handle when getting up, it us just as a "stopper" against the bottom of my grip on the rope. Other hand holds the braided part.

Another reason I'm for the heavy rope is that as caskimmer mentioned above- there is a tendency for some to "wind the rope" up as they are getting into position. (if you fall and it is looped around your arm or finger -- ouch!). With the larger rope there is no way to wind it.

We sometimes throw the rope back to the boat, but lately I've been encouraging people just to throw it to the other side of the wake. My thought is that unless you are throwing some crazy 3s or backflips you are not going to come into contact with the rope again. Also, make it less likely for you to get wacked in the head when you are waiting for your next run and your buddy throws the rope back at you.
Old    Johnny Wadd (surfnfury65)      Join Date: Aug 2004       03-14-2007, 5:55 PM Reply   
Here is what happens when you throw the t-handle rope in the boat. Look at my sons face. He took it square on the head.
Upload
Wadd$
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-14-2007, 7:14 PM Reply   
OUCH! Poor little guy.

I can't remember the guy's name. He was the resident pro/instructor down at the Moomba/Supra Jamboree in Florida last year. Anyway...he had us toss the handle on to the swimdeck. That got it out of the riders hands, and out of the water. Nobody in the boat had to get up and pull it in, PLUS when the boat stopped after the rider fell, the water would pull the rope and handle OFF the deck and no one had to toss it back out to the rider.

I never could seem to do it behind the Supra, but others did. Has anyone else tried this method?
Old    Nick (nickypoo)      Join Date: Jan 2007       03-15-2007, 7:51 AM Reply   
Huh, I haven't tried throwing it on the platform. I definitely will though. Sounds like a great solution so long as you can get all of the rope on there.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-15-2007, 8:19 AM Reply   
My problem, Nick is I am BEYOND nearsighted, so my clear field of vision without glasses is like
3 inches. :-) I kept bouncing the handle off the
transom or I'd overshoot the swimdeck. However, the young whippersnappers :-) were able to get the handle on the deck and just a small amount of rope dangled in the water, at surfing speeds. When the boat slowed down, more and more of the rope got submerged and the handle eventually floated off.

I can't remember the Supra's swimdeck now, I'm wondering if it was higher off the water? It was their big boat - 24 SSV? or something like that.
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-15-2007, 8:45 AM Reply   
I'm blind as a bat too, but when I'm wakeboarding or surfing I wear disposable contacts, they cost less than a buck a piece.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-15-2007, 8:56 AM Reply   
I really should look into that, I know you've mentioned that before Ed...I just can't bring myself to putting something in my eye! Even the thought creeps me out. :-) On the slopes when it's cold, I have such difficulty with my glasses fogging. I use the Smith's Turbo (or some such name) goggles, but invariably my glasses fog up and I can't see...the contacts would make that easier too, I'm guessing.
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-15-2007, 9:03 AM Reply   
My son wasn't able to put lenses in, to creepy for him too. Once you've done it a few times, it's no big deal.

For me it's well worth it, I hate not seeing what I'm doing or where I'm going.
Old    Ed G (ed_g)      Join Date: Nov 2005       03-15-2007, 9:05 AM Reply   
Jeff, just fyi, you were riding with Russ Wilde:

http://www.supraboats.com/news.php?view=article&news_id=30
Old     (insuranceman)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-15-2007, 9:06 AM Reply   
have either of you ever thought of having lasik's done.

i use to wear contacts and had the surgery about 8 years ago and it is simply the best.
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-15-2007, 9:18 AM Reply   
I think about it, there are a few at work that have done it with very good results, one guy started printing handouts in 6 point font - on one else could read them. We’re starting to send kids off to college pretty soon, not in the budget right now.
Old     (insuranceman)      Join Date: Jun 2005       03-15-2007, 9:28 AM Reply   
ed, i understand. i can't believe how much the price has dropped since i first had it done. i think i paid something like 1500 or 2000 per eye and around here you can get it done for around 600 a eye.
Old    christy smith (wake4fun)      Join Date: Oct 2005       03-15-2007, 10:53 AM Reply   
The best rope I have ever used was the yellow knotted surf rope Liquid Force came out with about 3 years ago. Since then the ropes have all been braided with little handles or a ski rope with a little handle. I think LF went back to that original rope this year although I haven't seen it yet. Straightline also came out with a new rope with no handle that doesn't look all to heavy.

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