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Truth and Viability

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PostPosted: Nov 09, 2020 3:52 pm    Post subject: Truth and Viability Reply with quote

Just wanted to put this out there for "certain personalities" Rolling Eyes recalling claims about the 1st generation electric winches recently to the entirety of the podcast wakeskating world.

I want to start with an apology to the entire ws.com family (even those certain personalities).
I know in my youth there were many things said on these forums by me that were outlandish and were not in my own best interest to gain support and connection to the small community of ws.com
I was an idiot in my early 20's, especially on the internet. I can admit to that. I learned a lot from my early 20's and most of those lessons didn't set in until I was in my 30's.

I recently heard a short conversation on the Wakeskate Wednesday podcast and was instantly brought back to a place in time on ws.com when I had made several posts out of frustration. Looking back, most of my unhappiness was incorrectly funneled into the state of my winch development. That mostly stemmed from outside of wakeskating. Through my own immaturity that was not filtered correctly. A rough divorce and 10 years of being miserable certainly humbled me. Those life changes brought me clarity regarding my own personal shortcomings.
I do not regret having to learn this way, even though it was not the most efficient way to grow. Que this old tune - Everything I am

Regardless of my personality flaws, the claims I made about the Viability of Electric winches still hold True. Even almost 10 years later.

POPTART wrote:
Every electric winch can potentially be a driver-less system/2.0/winch. Imagine a box you could roll up to any spot and ride 2.0 alone, or winch alone, or have a driver. Depending on how you set up your single device.

I successfully created and set up my own 2.0 winch(possibly the first one) several years after making that claim.

Others like Re-winch have figured out how to make the same system Viable
Another one
The Moto-winch is now driverless. Proving all of the features I was describing and wanting to develop was possible.

The electric mobility world has come a long way since the first generations of our development. One wheel, electric scooters, etc. This development and range of available motors and controllers has expanded unbelievably in the past few years, but the most development has been in battery availability.
Sculpture winches and others are now using a high voltage lithium battery pack built with several Power tool batteries.

Even though lithium batteries were available in their infancy at the time the same problem for winching with them exists today. The # of pulls available.
The Re-Winch, Sculpture, and similar packs at best have a range of 20-30 pulls at full power.

Yes, lead-acid car batteries were bulky and ridiculously heavy, but we were averaging 60-80 pulls per charge. Unlimited pulls if we had 110 power. This gave our crew of more than 4 riders more than 10 pulls per person, so it was worth the extra effort. There is still, to this day, no way to pull at full torque for more than 20ish pulls without using a dedicated power source, lead-acid, or a DOLLY full of lithium packs.
For those of us who suck at riding it was nice to know My battle would not be cut short due to lack of power. Our system would work with the same newer power tool packs but we would still be limited to the same number of pulls. Our system was strong enough to ride doubles on the same line with little change to the number of pulls available. We focused on the strength and quantity of the pull, not the maneuverability of the battery pack. The new hub motors that are available also eliminate the need for a chain drive system greatly reducing the required size of the actual winch.

Nearly 10 years ago we were the first to pull an entire contest on an electric winch. (Retention 2011) The winch performed flawlessly and was able to be used the entire weekend. It took 2 gas winches to do the same that weekend due to maintenance issues.
That same electric winch unit is still running today. Validating my claims that what we were building, and were able to potentially build, was unmatched for the time and still unmatched to this day.

The Truth is, I was a young guy who made plenty of mistakes on and offline.
I didn't successfully collaborate with the wakeskate community.
I didn't gain the exposure from pulling a well-publicized event that I thought I would. I sent the first production winch we built to be used in a film, hoping that would show its Viability. The team of guys that used it put together a great video about wakeskating. We did not ask them to make us a winch AD, we wanted to see the riding those guys were putting together. I still think they were the best choice at the time to support.
I was focused on gaining these systems for the entire sport of wakeskating. I wanted to be able to put them in places like Ben's house and similar facilities at a time when the 2.0 setup and cost were prohibiting the number of future events. I had grandiose visions of a dedicated purpose-built batch of these systems being purchased and handed over to the community in hopes of more events with less cost and more riding for everyone. We were ready and willing to sell the entire system to a company/tour that would see that vision through.

I wanted to just throw this out there.
Because apparently after almost 10 years it's still worth mentioning. Rolling Eyes

I hope you all are well and that the apology for my immaturity of years past is sincerely received.

- Blake

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Backside 180
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PostPosted: Nov 17, 2020 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Poptart, what do you think of the motowinch

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Taco Bell Fa'Lyfe

Joined: 22 May 2005
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PostPosted: Nov 18, 2020 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having a hard time determining whether this is an "I told ya so" or a "sorry I was a douche back in the day" but either way, a lot of us grew up on these boards and when I look back on my own posts here, many of them make me cringe. If we're apologizing for being butt heads, I'd like to throw mine in as well and apologize to everyone I was ever rude to on here, even though I was right most of the time. Twisted Evil

As for the viability of electric winches.The tech was no where near where it is today, and for those of us who were not as mechanically inclined as yourself, it was hard to imagine a world where electric winches, batteries and all of the necessary components were more accessible and practical than petrol winches. I had the chance to ride behind your winch at Retention that year, and I remember (at least for me)the speed control being a bit of an issue. There was a solidness to the pull that was less bouncy than the pull of the gas winch, but I ultimately took more pulls behind the petrol winches because getting my speed dialed was as simple as setting the set screw where I wanted it and there was more of them available to grab a handle when needed.

Even now, electric winches are not the most practical option. Your average wakeskater is still not willing or able to drop $3000+ for a winch. Many of us are older now with careers and more resources, but that price point puts you in the ball park of a small vessel. None of the electric winches on the market right now require a dolly of batteries though.

The Motowinch battery fits in a backpack and can allow for hours and hours of pulls, closer to 150 than 20. The ReWinch entire package of a winch and battery can fit into a backpack, and while that setup can only support around 20 to 30 pulls, additional batteries can easily fit into a back pack and get the number of pulls up where it needs to be for a multi-day session. Sculpture winches, offer in the 20-40 pulls range, and also have a "winch brain" that can compensate for the changes in speed caused by the change in diameter of the spool as the rope comes in. It also has the advantage of using consumer batteries that are readily available and covered by warranty (as the winch itself is) giving you peace of mind that you won't be out of luck if you have any issues with them.

All in all, I'm excited that electric winches are becoming smaller, cheaper, and more available. I hope to see them one day soon in that, $1500 range that will allow more people to get out on the water and enjoy wakeskating. It would be incredible if those DIY 2-way systems that you set up way back when became common place in wake. I know I want one! As for giving credit where credit is due, I'd say you were the Elon Musk of winching, but I think you'll have to share that title with Jeff Knox. While I don't know if he ever dabbled with electric winches, the OG's on here will remember he had some wild ideas for the future of winching including a winch that could fit entirely in a small backpack. Looks like you were right all along, and we are lucky to have people like you interested in wakeskating!
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PostPosted: Nov 23, 2020 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

canalskater, It's a bit of both in there.
Sorry for being an idiot, but I wasn't just making shizzle up. The comment I was referring to is that what I had said about electric winches was neither true nor viable.

I was pretty in tune with what was available and what was possible at the time and in the future. Even though I was not able to put it into a working unit at the time, we spent quite a bit of time and quite a lot of money trying to explore it. I was just a shiznackle spokeperson.

Shortly after Retention, I was able to dial the speed by adding a guitar volume knob ( a POT sensor) into the throttle assembly to give us the speed set screw adjustability that gas winches offered. The winch there at retention speed control was all on the driver, and Tommy did a great job driving something few people had ever drove. I know that in a contest setting speed adjustment was a feature that would have been very helpful for the riders who are looking to eliminate as many variables as possible.

We also eventually made a winch with a smart controller that changes speed according to line pile up.
Which is one of the ways a 2.0 with two variable speed spools would work. (from what I gather this is how elsium is doing it)
We even built a winch with a "brain" that would count out how far the line was un-spooled and could pull you driverless without a remote on the handle. It's still being used to pull kids into an airbag ski jump. Just a tug on the line activates the controller to start pulling the rope back in.

I have not been around one or seen exactly what these new winches are using for motor setups and batteries, but from what I can tell they are getting it dialed in. It is good to see people are still trying to get the perfect pull out of them and make them available to all kinds of riders.

Terry Bailey brought me a winch from the VWC crew a few years ago that they were working on and I wired it up to run when they couldn't figure it out, but I don't think it worked out due to power/torque/motor/controller choices they made in purchasing. I still think building one is the best option if you are looking to save some money and want a super low maintenance winch.

I think a high-quality electric winch is still going to cost anywhere from 1000-2000 depending on motor, controller, and battery pack choices. Then you add retail markup on the build and you're pushing 3k. Back then we were spending 3k+ per build our cost.
I also agree that a nice little 2stroke outboard and a 14-18ft boat cost about the same. That's what I've been running for almost 10 years now and it's a lot less work than winching.

I appreciate the Musk comment but I was nowhere near earning that kind of reference. I was just a dumbass kid with a passion for trying to make cheap 2.0 setups in hopes that more places like BWJ would pop out of nowhere. I wanted to see more riding and more video parts come from an easier and more consistent winch option.

miller, From what I have seen the moto winch is getting pretty dialed in. I have no clue what motor and battery setup is like on it. I just found out that they are getting more than 20 pulls in this thread, which is proof of how far lithium batteries have come in the recent years. Their site requires a login and I haven't been curious enough to go figure out what they are building with.

I also like that Moto-winch is getting a ton of different applications into winching too. It's cool to see surfers/skim/skaters and more snow guys using winches to hit new spots.

I also love the Moto Winch the VWC crew is running lately that's hidden in a cooler. That was a great idea, so ninja.

I also really think the re-winch is great for the price, but again I don't know much about them.

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