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Greatest Misconceptions and Misunderstandings & why

HortonHorton Posts: 25,184 Administrator
edited December 2014 in Classic Threads
What are the most common Slalom Misconceptions & Misunderstandings?

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  • WishWish Posts: 7,223 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited December 2014
    I would add to that thread title question..... AND WHY do you feel this way? Having just a list will do no good.

    And it would be nice if posts reflected the original questions. Please help steer it that way. I am very interested to here the best of the best chime in here. But also appreciate the insight of just about everyone. This could be really good. And please do not forget to be respectful no matter how you feel about the post. Stepping off soap box now......
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    Horton6ballsToddFather
  • WishWish Posts: 7,223 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Ok, maybe not the Greatest but if you have not tried EVERY ZO setting to see what works for you, you are risking buoy count. It is a HUGE misconception to think one setting is better then the next based on your buddy's recommendation, how you think you ski, what that really good Pro is using or what the flavor of the month is. Settings are there for a reason. It's so you can personalize and make ZO work for you and that may be vastly different then what someone else uses.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    Bruce_ButterfieldSMITTYmike_mapplembabiash
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,184 Administrator
    @wish don't you think that the perfect setting is often different from boat to boat. I mean from boat brand to band then there is engine choice and then Oooo crap prop choice.

    This could be a huge mistake on my part but I basically take B2 on every boat because I can not imagine how to exactly get it right from boat to boat.

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  • WishWish Posts: 7,223 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited December 2014
    @Horton, a consideration for sure. But, this is directed at the newcomers to ZO or the ones that may not have had or don't have a ton of opportunities to ski behind multiple ZO boats with varied engine, prop options. I know there are skiers that change settings based on the boat but I believe that the vast majority do not. Hence steering folks away from doing anything but testing all the optional settings of ZO to find that one that feel just right. And, if one is lucky enough to test or ski behind multiple boats with varied engines/props, the advice still holds true and is even more important as you suggest....it may be a different setting for a different boat.

    @Bruce_Butterfield‌ I respect your opinion immensely and would like to know why the dislike. Opposite to what I'm saying would be to do the list I gave vs finding the setting best for a skier based on how the setting felt to that individual.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,184 Administrator
    edited December 2014
    The whole concept of counter rotation is misunderstood and multifaceted. I do not think I can cover 1/4 of it in one post (while watching the baby). Here is a start.

    When I was a teenager (yes I just dated myself) counter rotation was the big new concept. I remember hearing "when you get out to the ball line turn your shoulders out as much as you can". Many skiers then and since work to twist their shoulders out. The key unintended consequence is that many skiers try to achieve counter by pulling back their outside shoulder. If you pull back your outside shoulder you will most likely shift most of your weight onto your back foot. That is not going to help your ball count.

    The worst part of this for me is that at my "on side" when I am late and stressed I do the above outside shoulder move. Sure it rolls the ski over a lot and allows me to move my hip to the inside but the end of the turn is then a big wheelie and I basically have to do a deep water start to get to the other side. It is terrible.

    I hope someone smarter then me expounds of this => in a nutshell counter about where your hips are pointing and is mostly the result of what you do with your hips from the center line to the second whitewater (roughly). It is not about your shoulders.

    To make all of this more perplexing Nate Smith turns his shoulders into the course on his off side turn. I have heard a plausible explanation about this but do not understand enough to repeat it.


    Ok this is the very short version. If no one else wants to fill in more details I will work on it later this week.

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    whitecaps
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,184 Administrator
    edited December 2014
    @wish this brings me to my all time favorite Will Bush story. I asked him his advice about something related to ZO. An hour later my head was full of all kinds of information that probably requires a degree from MIT to understand. About the time my ears started to bleed I said "soo I should use B2?" He said yes and that is what I have done ever since.

    I do not doubt that it is perhaps a mistake for me to not explore. If you or someone wants to tackle writing a real guide to skiing with ZO I want to see it. I understand the difference in the letters and numbers but I do not have a good rule of thumb about why one settings is better. I mean I get the core basics I can't imagine watching a skier and knowing thier setting is wrong. Anyone...

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    Bruce_ButterfieldWaternut
  • WishWish Posts: 7,223 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited December 2014
    @Horton that's just it. My opinion is there is NO one is better then the other based on what ZO is supposed to do. B2 may actually be what you end up on after going through them all...but maybe not. I cannot tell you how many folks told me to pick a certain letter because it would be closest to PP. I quit skiing tournaments in 2011 because of this bad advice for me. I'm sure it worked for other. After a week of skiing them all I was amazed by on setting. And it was opposite of what I was being told. It fit me. I could care less what it was supposed to be doing or if it is was called W setting for Wish. The science of it and having a real guide will not help. It can in fact make it worse in some cases. Best bet would be to have the driver just randomly run though them and take note of what the skier says. I think a "guide" just puts preconceived and possibly misguided interpretations/notions into the skiers head and they start trying to "feel" what the boat is "supposed" to be doing rather then paying attention to what the boat is doing to them while they are skiing their normal style.

    I had a skier out this morning on my lake that was frustrated with ZO. He's been told what setting to try and worse, what setting not to try and never really tried them all. I gave him my 2 cents based on what I know and how it would relate to his style, when he loads etc...coupled with being behind my PP so I could feel what he was doing. But, after my 2 cents of advice on a letter, I was very direct and left him with one though...TRY THEM ALL then decide.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    Horton
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,184 Administrator
    edited January 9
    @Wish‌ I think you make a really good point. I just don't want to hear it :-)

    denial is not just a river in Egypt

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,184 Administrator
    ZO philosophy. maybe that is a future thread. I've got opinions about a lot of things but when it comes to ZO I am just not sure.

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  • WishWish Posts: 7,223 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited December 2014
    @Bruce_Butterfield‌ could not agree more with your last statement. It's just that the thread is about misconceptions not what the biggest weak link might be. My suggestion being; feeling out all the ZO settings vs misconception of being told or assuming what's best. Essentially 9 settings could be gone through by just about any skier in an afternoon with little to no fixation I suspect. The almost infinite number of fin settings could take well....forever with obsessive behavior often linked. :smile: If it takes longer then an afternoon or a couple sets then ya, not worth it. Maybe there's just not enough skier self awareness to notice. But A1 and C3 are waaaay different and the likelyhood of a skier connecting with a setting for them is greater in my opinion if they go through them. If I had to stick with the setting(s) I was being told to stay with I'd still be done with tournaments or the setting would have changed how I ski. Also agree with @Horten in that ZO could be a thread in itself outside of suggesting a misconception with it. And it certainly is not the biggest misconception but hopefully will help many...so I'll drop it :smile:
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,830 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @wish agree. I don't get much ZO time (tourneys and one other week per season) so in FL when we met you I had tried all settings in the days prior. It was nice to have the time to have some fun skiing with the system.
    They were all interesting and my loading style certainly worked better with some than others. At longer lines I thought I was going to make a preference switch but it was tougher for me when short.
    I say try 'em out if you get a chance...it doesn't take that long and hopefully you find a preferred spot.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,184 Administrator
    Part of the problem is that I do not think you can really know if a setting works for you without spending a lot of time with it One thing I have learned from reviewing skis is that my impression after 2 or 5 rides is rarely the same as after 15 or 20 rides. For me just going through the settings seems unlikely to provide the ultimate answer. That said I do not have a better solution.

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  • WishWish Posts: 7,223 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @AdamCord‌ that is the coolest animation I have seen. What a great visual.!!! We can only hope the baby keeps you up long hours so we can appreciate your knowledge even more.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • MSMS Posts: 4,773 Mega Baller
    Top 5 post @AdamCord
    Shut up and ski
  • WishWish Posts: 7,223 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @AdamCord‌ ....smear.... But that is a discussion for another thread..oh wait there is one on that. ;-)
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,830 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @adamcord cool stuff. I have typed on occasion not sure why everyone is talking about getting more angle out of the ball...I can get way more than I need with problematic results. I also feel as the line gets shorter as in your animation above...the game is much more going "with" the boat on a 45, not trying to get against the boat in a 75. Keeps tension without overload and makes the most of efficient acceleration.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,184 Administrator
    edited December 2014
    @Luzz I just went back to re-read what you wrote back in the 7th.

    It really surprises me that you said “…. being counter rotated at the end of the turn does not make sense ...” That is contrary to a corner stone of my coaching and something I wish I did better in my skiing. Please be gentle when you tell me how totally wrong I am.

    I am right foot forward and at apex of off side the more/longer I keep my right shoulder countered the more I will rotate my right hip and right foot. The result is not just angle it is also a stable stacked exit from the ball.

    If I allow my right shoulder to close and or If I bring my right hand back to the handle too fast my right hip will under rotate / my left knee will be bent more than my right knee and I am basically stuck in a crappy stack all the way back to the wake.

    I often tell skiers to try to feel their feet turning at a faster rate than their hips and hips at a faster rate than their shoulders.



    Bi-Polar Horton Semi-Self Contradiction
    If I am over countered (If my hands are too far apart) at apex (especially off side) that means my free hand has farther to travel to get back to the handle. If I am in trouble and my hands are far apart I am going to have more upper body action to get my free hand back to the handle. A panic big effort to get my free hand back to the handle results again in a crap stack and lack of control back to the wakes.


    Do I miss understand what you were saying? Can you straighten me out?

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  • LuzzLuzz Posts: 236 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited December 2014
    @Horton‌, my understanding of counter rotation is probably very raw and not precise, but what I have always got out of it is a rotation of the body to compensate the negative consequences that come with our body being not symmetric on the ski.

    Bring it back to two skis, IF everything goes well when you leave the wakes, and you are wide and ready to turn, the most logical thing to do is to follow your skis with your body, both in direction of your weight and rotation.

    Same thing with one ski, although the whole leaving the wakes appropriately is 100 times harder. However, if it does happen and out of the edge-change you are wide, fast (which allows you to be wide), and in control, I don't see why you would block the rotation of your body. And by rotation of your body I simply mean following your ski with your hips.

    One of the things I feel working best in keeping my direction off the second wake is feeling my inside arm connected to my inside hip. If I stay counter rotated at the end of the turn, I know I will not have that connection for the next pull.

    I should probably stop here before polluting the post even more. I spent the whole season seeing the end of the turn as a mere consequence of my pull and edge-change, so I may not be the best expert at what needs to be done at the end of the turn...
    Organizer of the San Gervasio Pro Am (recap videos from 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014)
    See what I am up to on Twitter and Instagram.
    jipster43
  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 584 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited December 2014
    OK @Horton what you're bringing up here points out another big misconception: PERCEPTION...Just because you perceive something one way doesn't necessarily mean that's what's happening, and it definitely doesn't mean someone else will perceive it the same way. I'll use your question above to try and illustrate my point.

    You focus on staying countered at the end of off side, and that's great if that's what's working for you. But what does that mean? Countered compared to what? I personally try to stay with the rotation of my ski on offside, without getting ahead of it. @Luzz, who is a much better skier than either one of us, says he's not trying to counter and he's trying to stay in line with his ski. So we have 3 somewhat different approaches and we are each probably telling people to do what we are trying to do whenever we coach. But are we really doing what we say? Or is that just how we perceive it...

    We are all right foot forward and the first 3 videos I pulled up all started at 32off so that makes this comparison very easy:

    Here's John at offside. My analysis of this is that you are sorta open in the first frame, and by the third frame you are pretty much in line with the ski, or "closed off". It's hard to tell in these 3 frames but this was a very nice smooth turn on video and you ended in a great position.





    Me...never really "open" per se, and I let my hips get behind me, but that's not the point. The point is in my mind I'm fairly "square" to the course at apex, and I'm in line with the ski at the finish. You can see in reality I'm probably a little too closed off at the start and the result is I lose my inside shoulder a bit at the finish.





    And then we have Matteo. Now Matteo is a much better skier than either of us, so it's interesting to see that he looks to be more "open" than either one of us. Goes to show that what he may mean by "countered" and what you may mean are not necessarily the same thing. It's all about how we perceive what we're doing.



    I was too lazy to try and find clearer shots for Matteo, but if you can't tell he's making a much smoother turn than John or me...

    The point is that you may perceive yourself to be open, but maybe aren't as much as you think. I may perceive myself to be square with the ski, but maybe I'm not. It's more valuable to get video and really watch what we are doing and evaluate, as opposed to going off what we think we're doing.
    Bruce_ButterfieldThan_Boganjipster43
  • LuzzLuzz Posts: 236 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @AdamCord‌ that was a 35off for me, so not fair :smiley:

    I agree with you about perception of what we do as opposed to what we are actually doing.
    However, perception is what we ultimately base our skiing when we are out on the water. Watching video really helps when it comes to comparisons, whether it is between different skiers or, better, between you on video and your perceptions of what is happening.

    I was asked to develop on a sentence, and I did my best to try and explain what I think. However, when I coach, the challenge is twofold. On one side, I have my understanding of technique (which I try not to pollute with what I am doing with my skiing), on the other I have to work with what I see and especially what the athlete feels.

    So I am not sure that perception per se is a misconception.
    Is coaching someone else based on your perception of your own skiing deceiving? Probably....
    Organizer of the San Gervasio Pro Am (recap videos from 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014)
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    jipster43
  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 584 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @Luzz very good point. I suppose we could file this under "Misunderstanding" as opposed to "Misconception".
    DanE
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @AdamCord great visual way up in the thread. That jives with one of my mental constructs. Most people focus on getting width at shortline . . . I say you need height at shortline. Height is width, in other words. This follows (for me) your comment about racing the boat. If I don't catch up with the boat I'm not going to be high enough/wide enough to make the next buoy.

    @Horton and @Luzz -- comments on open and closed are always open to lots of interpretation. As a RFF skier, I will tell you I make an effort to keep my left shoulder up and my right shoulder back from the release of the handle all the way through connection and load on the 1/3/5. This could be interpreted as staying open, or being countered. However, I think all it is really doing is compensating for the fact that my feet are in a position on that side where I will naturally be more closed than I would be on the onside. So I'm not really trying to be countered or open, but trying to create some symmetry with the onside turn position (upper body). This gets to your point about what I feel or think, vs. what you see. Additionally, this thought process helps me avoid what can be a bad habit, which is to twist with my shoulders at the completion of the turn, causing my left shoulder to be down on the water, my head to be down, and the loads to be unmanageable. So in the end all I'm really doing by all these mental gymnastics is keeping my head and shoulders level! If only it were so easy to execute!
    Jim Ross
    LuzzJaxe
  • WishWish Posts: 7,223 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited December 2014
    Agree with @Razorskier1‌ as a positional thing. Stand feet shoulder with apart facing an imaginary boat. Now place your front foot in front of the other..for me RFF. Your shoulders and hips will follow your foot. Stand like that and imagine looking down the buoy lines. You will be "closed" on one side and "open" on the other..naturally.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    While we are on the topic, one other comment. Recent threads have talked about Terry keeping the handle close off the second wake, and how important that is. Totally agree. But . . . how to achieve it???

    I can tell you how not to do it. When my handle gets away from me, it is a result of an uncontrolled edge change. Typically this occurs from too much load too late in the pull (like at the second wake), causing my stiff-legged self to be pulled up fast as my ski does a rapid, and large move from edge to edge with the boat pulling the handle away from me. To control the handle, I need to control the edge change. To control the edge change, I need to control (or at least manage) the load. Done right, the edge change becomes a process instead of an event. Transition from leaning edge, to flat, to inside edge occurs in a more measured fashion, the handle stays in close and everything is great.

    So . . . if I'm perfect at load management, this can occur without tremendous management effort. However, to be consistent I need to focus more on control at the point of change. Let's face it, pulling hard is easy. Transitioning from pulling hard, to controlled outbound travel, to inside edge and hook up, is far more challenging. For me it all starts with not allowing the ski to just skip straight from leaning edge to inside edge. The better I control that transition, the more space I create, the tighter the line, and the better I am at back-siding the buoy.
    Jim Ross
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,184 Administrator
    Here is a classic. Nate Smith does not lean very hard and or "light on the line" means not leaning very hard. I do not think i am the right person to author the definition of "Light on the Line"

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