Hard or Soft

Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 1,573 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
Here is my dilemma, when I ski hard I run passes, but put in loads of effort which uses lots of energy, people often say put in a tenth of the effort, but when I back off, I do not run passes.
One water skier that I look up to a lot, has told me, the answer to skiing well, with Zero Off, is to try and be invisible to the boat, clearly I am not invisible to the boat, I am actually right in it's face, when I back off I seem to lose position and lack space and time.
There must be a way to reset my head, so that I can move on, I am actually thinking of dropping the speed and ski with the line a lot shorter to make it more difficult to lean hard, is that a good / bad idea ?

"My Mind Is In Control Of My Body - My Body Is Not In Control Of My Mind ”


  • addkerraddkerr Posts: 124 Baller
    My view on this, which is pretty much what mapple says, is the boat is going down the lake at 34 or 36 mph and your going with it. To get to the next ball early, you have got to get to the otherside as quick as possible, so that boat dosent pull you further down the course. Do this however you want. So if your quicker leaning hard, do that. If your quicker been lighter ,do that. Making things simple helps me, hope it helps you.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 3,862 Mega Baller
    "Pulling" with arms etc., is probably what they are referring to. Straight arms, handle down and elbows locked on the sides of your vest behind the boat makes skiing easy. Do you need to lean away and absorb increasing load from the boat, yes.

    Also, giving an extra yank right before the ball is not a good idea, as ZO will likely increase rpm as you reach to the pylon, causing undue stress before you hookup with your off hand.

    Make sense?
  • ColeGiacopuzziColeGiacopuzzi Posts: 366 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @Stevie Boy‌ I think I can help with this question. As we get to our harder passes, we think we need to pull harder but, actually its the opposite. When the rope gets shorter, it does all the work, which means the less you have to do. Keep in mind its not speed that gets you there, but angle. Next time you get to your hardest pass, don't think about pulling but simply leaning away resisting the pull of the boat.
    Cole Giacopuzzi • Radar Skis
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,046 Crazy Baller
    @Colebrah This is what one of my coaches told me for years and it worked through -28 but at 32 I was stuck. I mean stuck. Then I went and skied with a big dawg and he told me the opposite, to get more angle and ski more aggressive as the line gets shorter. Now I am running 32 up the line many sets. My personal experience is that harder works better.
  • tbrenchleytbrenchley Posts: 120 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Just out of curiosity what is your ZO setting that you use? @Stevie Boy
  • MarcoMarco Posts: 1,386 Crazy Baller
    @Stevie_Boy To be invisible to the boat takes speed and timing. Too slow and/or load too early puts you under the tow of the boat outside, which as mentioned above pulls you down course. Try to be more efficient in the work zone to create better speed, which will allow you to maintain the speed around the buoy and back to the work zone before the boat gets you.

    Don't confuse speed with acceleration. Maintaining better and balanced speed throughout the course will lessen the acceleration and deceleration intensity, which contributes to unwanted load. More speed results in less load and effort. Be aggressive, but smooth with balanced speed, and it will feel easier than skiing with lots of load and acceleration.
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 1,573 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Zero Off Setting was B2, it was suggested, that I was getting a little bit of lean lock and throwing myself over into the bouy, I have started using B3 which releases me earlier and allows me to standup more into the bouy.
    @AB comments have helped a lot, really making big efforts to lock arms onto the vest and keep them there, gives me strong position and much better edge change, but I am finding it difficult to pin my arms to the vest and keep them relaxed.

    "My Mind Is In Control Of My Body - My Body Is Not In Control Of My Mind ”

  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 1,715
    edited August 2014
    @Stevie_Boy.....Take into account that "All Loads are not Created Equal." You have to be able to balance the load you give to ZO with the load ZO gives back. As an example, if off the Apex you Pull the Handle in Quick, turn hard, and drop a shoulder, you will place a short HARD load on ZO...It will come back at you even harder and either take the rope away or pull you out of your lean...Even if you survived that it will now pull you narrow and fast to the next ball.

    If on the other hand, you are at the Apex, Free of the Boat, Hips Countered, Shoulders in line with the rope, and use the Handle as a Pivot Point...Now drop in with COM and let the ski finish the turn, you will have the Angle and ZO will not know you are there yet...IMPORTANT, when the second hand comes on the handle don't start pulling, but continue falling to your leveraged, stacked. forward COM Position...Now you are ready to let ZO know your there and load hard with your core...It is a Short, Strong, Progressive, Grunting Load...Actually more resisting than pulling to maintain angle..Done right with forward COM, it will feel more like ZO is resisting you, than you resisting it..At this point you are in balance with ZO and you should feel the ski accelerate "Ahead" of you, going into the Reverse C position with the lower body..If the ski stays with you, instead of accelerating ahead, then you did not time forward COM with the load..Now you have to force it to the Reverse C position from a longer pull, and try to set yourself up for the Apex to try over again.

    Done right ZO will give you the momentum you need from the edge change to the Apex, and let the SKI take the handle out wide with you to the Apex. So yes, the aggression is needed behind the boat to cast you wide and free.

    PS: Look at the picture Wish posted under "Backsiding a Buoy" to see the turn I am talking about.

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  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,177 Mega Baller
    Picture for @Ed_Johnson‌'s post above:

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  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 1,573 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Ed_Johnson, Great explanation, Zero Off, understanding how to work with it, is probably one of the hardest aspects of slalom, you can work on your technique, but obviously your technique, has to fit in with Zero Off.
    Can be frustrating when you know you have done all the right stuff, to find yourself narrow and fast at the bouy, we then try to change things, but all we have to do is the same stuff, but in a different phase of the course, the Zero Off factor can be very harsh at times, how many times have you heard a skier say "I Should Have Run That"

    "My Mind Is In Control Of My Body - My Body Is Not In Control Of My Mind ”

  • HortonHorton Posts: 24,617 Administrator
    @Stevie Boy‌ what line lengths are we talking about?

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  • SpeshSpesh Posts: 93 Baller
    @Stevie boy I would say that you would benefit from letting the ski carry back to the white water a bit more before trying to load the line. Loading early and then getting separated through the back of the boat means that you feel as though you have to work hard to get through the pass and are less able to control your speed and direction.

    Once i've let the ski finish the turn, I find that I actually have to do very little other than stand there and wait for the boat to carry me cross course (even on my harder passes). I think when you ski with less intensity, you are inadvertently giving up your position through the edge change.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,072 Mega Baller
    edited August 2014
    @Stevie Boy I believe you need to work hard behind the boat. I don't believe that most good skiers are not working hard behind the boat. The people like @Spesh (I don't know him or what level he skis at) that say they are standing and waiting for the boat have excellent body position and lean away from the boat. This theory follows what @Ed_Johnson‌ is talking about.

    If you are still working on running up to 28 off I think you need to work hard behind the boat from white water to white water. By work hard I mean get good body position and lean away from the boat not try to muscle the boat with your arms. You don't want to rush to the handle though and start pulling too soon as that gets you out of position and messes up your stack.

    For skiers still working through 32 off I think softer is generally not better.

    Mark Shaffer
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