If you are new to the Zero Off system, deciphering the different skier-option settings can feel a bit overwhelming. Before selecting your personal cruise-control settings, it is important first to decide what your pull preference is. Zero Off lets the skier choose when the pull from the boat will increase in relation to the finish of the turn. Further, you can even select the rate at which the boat’s rpm increases. The first step is to decide where in your cut you want the boat to respond to your pull.
A: The A setting results in a slower engine response to your cut, meaning you will be farther out of your turn before the pull increases. Additionally, the pull will stay on longer as you approach your next turn. If your style favors a smoother, longer turn, you may benefit from the extra time to get your body position set before the load increases.
B: The B setting is best described as a moderate engine response. The boat’s rpm will increase slightly later than with setting A, and back off slightly earlier as you approach the next turn. B is often credited as the “go-to” setting, fitting most slalom styles. Setting B is a great choice for skiers trying to adapt quickly to the Zero Off pull.
C: The C setting gives you the fastest engine response. The load will come on very close to the finish of your turn and back off earlier as you approach the following turn. This setting works particularly well for a skier whose style includes a faster turn.
Inside the Numbers
The next step in determining your perfect personal setting is to select an accompanying number for your letter. The number component of your setting is much more subtle than the letter, but just as important. The 1, 2 and 3 options regulate how much load (pull) the skier needs to put on the boat to initiate the rpm swing. This will be felt as a stronger or softer pull.
1: The 1 setting requires the least amount of skier load to initiate the boat’s rpm swing. This will feel like an overall softer pull behind the boat. If your goal is to minimize line tension, taking a more conservative cut into the wakes, you will benefit from this setting’s response.
2: The 2 setting is the midpoint setting. It requires a comparatively moderate amount of load from the skier to initiate the boat’s rpm swing. The pull will feel slightly stronger behind the boat than with setting 1. Like setting B, this is a good starting point for most skiers looking to familiarize themselves with the system.
3: The 3 setting requires the greatest amount of load on the rope to initiate the boat’s rpm swing. The result will be a stronger pull. If you are a big cutter, taking a good amount of load into the wakes, you will appreciate the stiffer pull.
By: Trent Finlayson Photo: Todd Ristorcelli