Watermelon Launch Woman: Why she failed

Discussion in 'General Slingshot Discussions' started by JoergS, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    The watermelon fail video, published by the CBS show "Amazing Race", has received over 4 million views by now, and counting.<br><br><br><br><br><div style="margin:auto;text-align:center;width:100%">
    <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6xiCM5AoD_g/UCzScRMde3I/AAAAAAAACCM/rLBL2VfmGy0/s1600/WatermelonFail7.jpg" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6xiCM5AoD_g/UCzScRMde3I/AAAAAAAACCM/rLBL2VfmGy0/s320/WatermelonFail7.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a><br><br><embed pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/8cfeTZNcA3g" width="425" height="350" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" quality="high" scale="exactfit"></embed><br>
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    <br>It has a rather negative effect on the slingshot hobby, as many people are now afraid of returning balls.<br><br>I have looked at the video another time and found that the pouch design and - mostly - the grip technique the poor woman used were the cause for the epic fail.<br><br>Returning ammo is - from my point of view - always caused by a twisting pouch. These twists can have several reasons, and a shooter is well advised to avoid all of them.<br><br>a) Bad pouch design, with basked or bowl shaped pouches<br>b) Bad rubber/pouch attachments, using attachment points at the pouch corners rather than in the middle<br>c) A release technique that releases the upper or lower side of the pouch first<br><br><br>The (still) biggest forum for slingshots (I no longer use it) recommends a narrow fork, but I disagree - the fork width has no influence on such issues. I have slingshot crossbows that feature 70 cm fork width, and no such issues ever occured. I think this theory is scientifically unproven and more like a superstition than a fact. <br><br>In the case of the watermelon woman, a), b) and c) have caused the fail.<br><br>Let us look at the pouch first.<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:auto;text-align:center;width:100%"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pLssM2aBeVc/UCy4-gNOdNI/AAAAAAAACAU/O1nZyLUo0do/s1600/WatermelonFail5.jpg" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pLssM2aBeVc/UCy4-gNOdNI/AAAAAAAACAU/O1nZyLUo0do/s320/WatermelonFail5.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a></div> <br>Look at that pouch. It consists of a piece of raw hide or textile (hard to tell) with eight holes, two in every corner. The thick rubber bands (I estimate 12mm industrial rubber) have been put through the top left/top <br>right holes (upper band) and, respectively, the lower left/lower right hole, with the rubber bands running through on the back side of the pouch. Like this:<br><br><br><div style="margin:auto;text-align:center;width:100%"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FdBUiscDco8/UCzQl52Sx1I/AAAAAAAACB8/_4Fp67-JViU/s1600/PouchDesign2.jpg" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FdBUiscDco8/UCzQl52Sx1I/AAAAAAAACB8/_4Fp67-JViU/s320/PouchDesign2.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a></div>This pouch design and band attachment is rather bad. It creates a "tobacco pouch" effect, as the bands will tighten the pouch edges until they touch each other. And they won't open at the end point of the <br>acceleration either.<br><br>The band attachment is also very dangerous because it twists the pouch easily. If you pull out slightly off center, the upper and lower bands won't be stretched evenly, and this leads to twisting. Look at the shot, taken right after the release, with the bands still swinging.<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:auto;text-align:center;width:100%"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SD_XC_C7Utk/UCzEXkgkhQI/AAAAAAAACA8/8qo4lcq_mNs/s1600/WatermelonFail6.jpg" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SD_XC_C7Utk/UCzEXkgkhQI/AAAAAAAACA8/8qo4lcq_mNs/s320/WatermelonFail6.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a></div>You can see the twisting - and that was a SUCCESSFULL shot.<br><br>She did in fact draw out nicely, for the most part. See her draw before the success shot:<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:auto;text-align:center;width:100%"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-co2lI58xeMM/UCzEsyvbPuI/AAAAAAAACBM/ODpIwvgclLU/s1600/WatermelonFail3.jpg" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-co2lI58xeMM/UCzEsyvbPuI/AAAAAAAACBM/ODpIwvgclLU/s320/WatermelonFail3.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a></div>She holds the pouch in the middle, and both bands are evenly stretched. It worked.<br><br>Now see how she drew out when the shot failed:<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:auto;text-align:center;width:100%"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wnsCzlOtsQU/UCzE88D8Z9I/AAAAAAAACBU/VucLAutrBX4/s1600/WatermelonFail4.jpg" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wnsCzlOtsQU/UCzE88D8Z9I/AAAAAAAACBU/VucLAutrBX4/s320/WatermelonFail4.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a></div>You can clearly see the difference. The upper bands are stretched more than the lower ones, and the melon is totally off center. This no doubts caused the pouch to twist, the melon did not release - but came back at her.<br><br>Now let us look at a much better pouch design - employed by my slingshot cannon.<br><br><br><br><br><div style="margin:auto;text-align:center;width:100%"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YgO1uF864y8/UCzJs-1vf4I/AAAAAAAACBk/q__xnfZI7r4/s1600/CannonPouch1.JPG" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YgO1uF864y8/UCzJs-1vf4I/AAAAAAAACBk/q__xnfZI7r4/s320/CannonPouch1.JPG" border="0" alt=""></a></div>As you can see, it is longer, but narrow. And it has a generous center hole, so the ball will always be in the middle. The bands are centered, too - not much room for twisting. And it works - see the bands after <br>release!<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:auto;text-align:center;width:100%"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1pXwhWF7v_k/UCzK4pAMZnI/AAAAAAAACBs/17PDHPLAXtA/s1600/Cannon1.jpg" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1pXwhWF7v_k/UCzK4pAMZnI/AAAAAAAACBs/17PDHPLAXtA/s320/Cannon1.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a></div>No twisting, just a totally clean release.<br><br>If course, it is harder to draw out a pouch like this with your bare hands. A mechanical release makes a lot of sense. Just an upscaled version of this here would do the job just fine:<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:auto;text-align:center;width:100%"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I5vozUuUSxs/UCzRZ1vBAyI/AAAAAAAACCE/nFyN8NNXCCs/s1600/Treerelease2.JPG" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I5vozUuUSxs/UCzRZ1vBAyI/AAAAAAAACCE/nFyN8NNXCCs/s320/Treerelease2.JPG" border="0" alt=""></a></div>
    <br>So - I think I have demystified the video just nicely. I may make a small scale model and record the effects in slow motion, someday soon - it is on my list of future projects.
     
  2. onnod

    onnod Im from Holland, isnt that weird?

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    that make sense and it is pretty interesting, but what is the value of knowing this, except for the knowing??
     

  3. JoergS

    JoergS Administrator

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    Well, if you know this, you can avoid the errors these guys made and shoot without fear.
     
  4. Muizert

    Muizert New Member

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    Wow thats a kinda brutal way to get a refreshing pice of watermelon <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_evil.gif" alt="Evil or Very Mad" longdesc="12"><img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_biggrin.png" alt="Very Happy" longdesc="1"><br><br>All the best
     
  5. Antraxx

    Antraxx #7

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    The closeup where the watermelon is way above the center of the pouch is not the shot that came back.<br>That was just edited imo. The failed shot was taken from a different angle, you can´t see a cameraman in the wideshot.<br>And you can see that the melon is not "that" far on top of the pouch even from that distance.<br><br>When<br> you stop just the moment when the closeup appears at 0:19 you can see <br>that the camera is higher and left of the starting point of the pull. <br>Then she pulls the slingshot parallel to the camera and out to the left <br>side of the screen so the cameramen is to her right now (looking from <br>cameraman position). Someone taking that closeup would have been on tape<br> on the wide angle or on a crane with a very good stabilizer <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_smile.gif" alt="Smile" longdesc="2"><br><br>Just<br> going the "logic" way your first picture "lets look at the pouch first"<br> looks way more dangerous...you can even feel the pouch wrapping around <br>the melon.<br>The closeup where the melon is placed too high looks more <br>like "pouch gets pulled away under melon and melon flies only one meter"<br><img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_smile.gif" alt="Smile" longdesc="2">
     
  6. Jan84

    Jan84 New Member

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    ooooooh bad !!! <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_biggrin.png" alt="Very Happy" longdesc="1"><br><br>the pouch design is really dangerous i think.... it looks like the pouch is wrapped around the melon. oh my god! <br>she was really lucky that she had no serious injuries.
     
  7. softgoat

    softgoat New Member

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    Excellent analysis by Joerg. Seems there are a few similar fails to be seen on youtube. If you look at 0:39 on the video below this fellow escapes with only minor injury, a direct hit in the head would have been serious.<br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0nO4XspG2M&feature=watch_response" class="postlink" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Dangerous Beer can Launch Video</a><br><br>The video description says they were using a water balloon launcher, most water balloon launchers I have seen have a pouch and band design that is similar to the one in the Watermelon shot. I guess the lesson is: If using a water balloon launcher stick to water balloons, don't use Beer or heavy fruit as ammo.
     
  8. brat boon

    brat boon New Member

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    <div>Joerg is a smart guy Xd</div><div class="clear"></div><div class="signature_div">
    <br><strong>at school, I am a slingshot expert</strong> <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_biggrin.png" alt="Very Happy" longdesc="1"><br><br>on this forum a noob <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_neutral.gif" alt="Neutral" longdesc="20">
    </div>
     
  9. onnod

    onnod Im from Holland, isnt that weird?

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    <table width="90%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="0" border="0" align="center">
    <tr><td><span class="genmed"><b>JoergS wrote:</b></span></td></tr>
    <tr><td class="quote">Well, if you know this, you can avoid the errors these guys made and shoot without fear.</td></tr>
    </table>
    <span class="postbody"><br>okay that is quite a good point</span>
     
  10. e_monster55

    e_monster55 New Member

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    This is some very good information, with out this information, some ppl could screw up their slingshot designs badly. One person's failure can translate into another person's success.
     
  11. Glaiceana

    Glaiceana Junior Member

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    Great explanation Joerg. Its interesting to see how the pouch design makes all the difference. If I ever see one designed like that melon shooting one, I'll be sure to run a mile <img src="http://illiweb.com/fa/i/smiles/icon_smile.gif" alt="Smile" longdesc="2">