Gates - When to Pull Out ? Glide ? Turn In Mark ?

2tracmind2tracmind Posts: 49 Baller
It is almost time to get back in the course ! I have had a lot of free skiing and i am very encouraged. I thought i took good notes but now realized that i did not record my timing ques for my gates. Please help
Left foot forward, two handed gate. I am a proponent of 10 o'clock - 2 o'clock gate, i think i may have been the first to post that, i got that tip from a buddy who has done many ski weeks.
When do you begin your Pull Out ?
How Long do you Glide ?
When do you Turn In ?
What are your visual Markers or Ques ?

I'll take notes this time !


  • keithh2oskierkeithh2oskier Posts: 454 Crazy Baller
    I think markers totally depend on the conditions, skier, speed, and rope length. What works for me might not work for you.

    For example I usually ski at 36 (22-32' off) and tend to pull out as the nose of the boat gets close to the 55s. However depending on the wind, I may move that point forward or aft 10'. As the rope gets shorter I feel I have to pull out harder to get the width from the boat. I tend to turn into the gates as the nose of the boat is going through the gate balls but I really need to work on that as I miss my gates pretty often.
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 216 Baller
    I am glad this was posted. I bought pull out gates for my course and need to figure the timing and visual cues myself.
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 936 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Hope this topic takes off as by the end of summer I'm hoping it'll be time for me to work the gates rather cheating them. Maybe somebody could make a drawing for us visual learners?
  • lcgordonlcgordon Posts: 282 Baller
    Great write up. Thanks again for that it really explains it well.
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,182
    edited May 2016
    I start just outside of the trough (two hand approach), from there I begin my pullout when the nose of the boat hides the right side green 55 buoy from my vision. This makes my perspective very repeatable. I ski 22-35 @ 34
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,396 Historical Baller
    I remember reading Schnitz' method, and it sounded about like a math treatise. I think it
    was around 1988, when I was TC for Schnitz' Thrilla At Hydrilla, run at a rather short-
    approach site. Watching the boat path with my Total Station, I noted that the boat was
    turning for the setdown before the skier exited the endgate. I used that as one reason
    for the 55m pregates. But another big reason was so to make the timing for the pullout
    easier to judge. If jumpers could have the 500 and 600 buoys, how about the equivalent
    for slalomers? Got into the AWSA Rulebook a year or two later.
    Interesting to see some slalomers now starting from the 1-3-5 side to cut out. Saw
    Chris Parrish do that at a LaPoint Ski Park event.
  • WishWish Posts: 7,550 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited May 2016
    I'd bring up swing and pendulum affect here but got talked down to last time I did. Let's just say high on the boat with high glide speed matters...a lot. Matters not line length conditions style or boat speed.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • Deep11Deep11 Posts: 210 Solid Baller
    @ToddL has explained it really well.
    The "when" only really becomes a factor if you have the "how" down ( which I think is what @wish is sayin)
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,481 Mega Baller
    @toddl you were pretty much even with the engine cover at 32off the other day.
  • wtrskiorwtrskior Posts: 704 Crazy Baller
    I got a great tip regarding gates from one of the greatest pros of the last 10 years... He had me pull out earlier (I had been using a hybrid 1 hand gate, trying 2 hands again) and with less abrupt intensity.

    The rationale behind a softer and smoother pullout is that ZO reacts to your action. The harder you pull on the boat the more gas zo dumps into the 400hp motor and the harder it is to maintain line tension, have a Smooth turn in and wake crossing to 1 ball. Critical.

    My passes have been smoother and more consistent with vArying weather conditions.

  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    The gates seem to be my nemesis. I'm pretty sure I've tried every trick in the book and nothing consistently works. Good gates and I have a decent shot but bad gates make life really difficult. Our course is setup on a banana shaped lake which makes things more difficult. On one side we cut out as the boat turns right and get a little bit of a slingshot if I cut out as the bow passes through the 55's. On the other side, we are pulling out with the boat turning left so it requires a little more effort. Either way, if I try to line up the 2,4,6 buoy line, I'll almost always miss the gate completely on the hard side so it's always a bit of a guess on how far to pull out. Funny thing is, as the line length gets shorter, my gate consistency goes way up but at 22off, it's a real PITA!
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    Bumping this for advice as I try to learn a real gate. Just kinda winged it before, and probably never did the same thing twice. Trying now to learn a good, consistent technique. I have not decided two handed, one handed, hybrid, anything. So, any thoughts you can give me would be appreciated. Will follow @ToddL 's advice as a start, but as I said, I don't even know how many hands I plan on using. I probably have used 2 hands typically before on my newb-ish self taught attempts. I want to throw that all away and start over.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    @RazorRoss3 thanks. I am LFF, which is info I did not put in before. I have pretty much always done 2 hand before, but was thinking about a Terry Winter style one hand, to help get my ski around. Think I should play with that or just go two hand?

    Also, I have to really re-think, and learn how properly to initiate that turn in so that I end up with a good body position. I have looked at some other threads and do not think I will end up doing a true one hand/MB style gate. I don't do enough gates to get that to work for me.

    Also, I just read a couple other threads. @Horton mentioned 3 keys, wide, as much speed as practical, ability to arc in on front foot. I am certain that I have not been arcing in on my front foot well enough, and that I have steered with the rear foot, or some crap like that, and tried to regain a position from there. So any help anyone can give on learning to arc in on the front foot would be helpful. I am taking it that having speed, rather than waiting for load on the line, is key, and that any load should come after arcing in.

    This will be all new to me. As I said. Starting over with it.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,787 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    @sunvalleylaw my son and I are both LFF and use a two handed gate. My son tried a 1 hander for a while at the suggestion of Wade Cox but struggled with consistency. At the time he was running 34/15 and getting a couple at 22. My son went back to a two hander for consistency and runs deep 28 two a couple at 32 off at 36 mph now it has been a few years since he worked with Wade..

    For timing I start my pullout at 34 mph when the nose of the boat hits the right hand 55. I judge my pullout based on the angle of the rope on the boat rather than the width vs the turn balls on that side. I have to admit for that I am used to the angle I need and don't have a quantifiable angle to give you.

    Turning in to the gates I go when the nose of the boat hits the right hand boat guide. I totally agree with the recommendation of when you turn in go full steam. Don't let up due to missing the gate in practice. Adjust your turn in later for the next pass.
    Mark Shaffer
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,322 Mega Baller
    @sunvalleylaw, you certainly have it more challenging than me with your gate turn in being an offside turn.

    My suggestions above still hold, and especially as a LFF skier it would be easy for your shoulders to twist in towards the boat in the glide so it is even more important you try and keep them square down course as you glide for the gate.

    Related to your weighting and turning in:
    It will be impossible to have a consistent turn in on your front foot if you are riding the back during the pullout and glide so be sure to focus on the first point from above which is to get into good position before you pull out. If you are weighting the front foot in good body position and can think about pulling out/up the boat rather than pulling away from the boat then you will be able to ride out for your gate pull in good position on the front foot with a tight line. The distinction between pulling out/across/up vs pulling away is crucial, pulling away you play a game of tug-of-war you can't hope to win, pulling across/up the boat you are working with the boat and can maintain your line tension and connection which will make it easier to execute on the three things @Horton mentioned which I agree with entirely.
  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 393 Baller
    One of my favorite bits of advice from a coach: "Go down the lake until you start to panic and then go some more" Its the panic part that I can't handle. Don't like the glide either. The percentage of times that I nail the speed and turn in point is just too low. What if the gate turn in could be more like a two ball turn? The one hander solves so much for me. I abandoned it for over two years because I was coached to do so by people with superior knowledge. I just suck at the two hander. Physically, I do it better than I am describing but, mentally, I just can't get comfortable/confident with it. Benefits of the one hander for me:
    1. The only decision I have to make is when to pull out. As soon as I hit the top of the arc it's time to turn. Kinda like two ball. If I am too upcourse or downcourse, adjust pullout mark. In fact, I do not even have to look at the of the arc dictates turn in.
    2. Allows me to pull out 3/4 of a boat length later which helps with short setups.
    3. There ain't a much of a glide so I eliminate that pesky element.
    4. I am out there beside the boat for considerably less time so the wind doesn't have as long to work on me.
    5. Just like a two ball turn, the speed window seems wider. I just don't have the feeling that I am not going the right speed despite some variation in speed. With the two hander, speed at turn in seems more critical.
    6. I am a little bit wider by virtue of skiing away from the handle.
    7. The line is tight when I hook up.
    8. I am earlier to one ball, lighter on the ski getting there and the ski seems to roll out into the turn better.
    9. I think I am turning in close to the same position (relative to the gates) that I was coached to do with the two hander... "until you start to panic and then go some more"
    10. Last but certainly not least: no panic.

    Why do most coaches now dislike the one hander?

  • Fam-manFam-man Posts: 173 Baller
    @RazorRoss3 I like your advice to "turn and go". If you miss the gate adjust next time. Some of the group I ski with will turn early and ease off their lean to make the gate. They end up late at 1 ball and struggle through the entire pass.
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 281 Baller
    As a fellow LFF course newbie I have been struggling with my gate turn in as well.

    My problem is generating enough speed so I am earlier at ball one. I am wide on the boat and gliding when I initiate my turn in.

    Last week I watched YouTube videos of Chris Parish (two handed gate) and Whitney McClintock (one handed gate) at 1/4 speed, and then tried to replicate both approaches and found Whitney's one handed gate helped me generate a much better cross course angle that immediately helped!
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,322 Mega Baller
    exactly, you'll just be late and narrow to 1 ball and even if you run it you will have done nothing but build bad habits. Better to miss them and ski right, that's what I'm currently trying to beat through the heads of the UT college kids I coach.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    Well, that is one thing I am making sure I don't do. Make adjustments after the turn to try and make the gate. (EDIT: I will admit I used do, in playing with the gates self taught and not knowing what I was doing.) Now, Turn and go. I am thinking some whip drills may help with my turn motion and making sure I am arcing off the front foot rather than any sort of "sit and spin" move off my tail. Which will also help with one of the things @twhisper noted in a video I sent him, which is improving my move in the direction I want to go on my off side. Seems like a consistent thing in some respects.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,787 Mega Baller
    @jmoski I had the fortune of skiing a set with Jack Travers in the boat a couple of years ago and he had me ramp up the intensity into the first wake to address the speed issue going into 1 ball. Jack wanted me hard on the pull as soon as the ski swung under the rope. This made a big difference swinging me wide and earlier at 35 off.
    Mark Shaffer
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    The concept of pulling out/across/up is an important one for me. Long ago, I did pulling drills that I saw on an old video tape, and I believe I pulled against to boat to get up on the boat. I will refocus on good position, and pulling out and up, rather than against the boat. Though I will admit as I type this, I have only a vague idea how I will change that. Will have to get out on the water and play with it.
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 834 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2017
    stick with basic 2-hand gate

  • DefectiveDaveDefectiveDave Posts: 479 Solid Baller
    @Gloersen ,

    From that angle Asher looks really compressed going through the gates. Not so much through the rest of the course, but he looks like he's doing a deep squat through the gates. I wonder if that helps him get into stacked position after the glide without having to fight the load on the rope. Bend knees, lower COM, and get hips closer to the handle; just have to be careful not to let the upper body break forward. I guess that kind of makes sense in my head.

    Anyway, back on topic. Looking at videos of big dawgs at 34 mph, from the initiation to the pull-out until the time they pass through the gates is about 5.5 to 6.0 seconds for most of them (2-handed gate). Furthermore, the pull-out timing is about 1.5-2.0 seconds depending on intensity and how you time it.

    Based on this, last year I started timing my gates such that I pulled out slightly before the right-hand pre-gate buoy was obstructed by the boat (this gives you about 5.5-6.0 seconds) and I held my pull-out for a count of 1.5 Mississippi's (so 1 Mississippi, 2 Missi-). After I started feeling the right intensity for the pull out, this approach really seemed to help my consistency on the gates. I could then also adjust the pullout intensity based on wind.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,744 Mega Baller
    @DefectiveDave 's comment, made me wonder - what do other skiers adjust about their gate for wind?
    a) Start earlier/later to account for wind, but keep same intensity/duration of pullout
    b) Start at same point/same duration, but adjust intensity of pullout
    c) Start at same point/same intensity, but adjust duration of pullout

    Personally, I try to keep intensity and duration the same, but adjust the start timing by +/-5 feet or so. Again, my goal is to hit the mark up on the boat so as to turn in just as speed matches boat, but load is not yet on me.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 877 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2017
    @Gloersen I've never seen those videos, but they're very much what I've been working on over the last year or so. Really good advice there in my opinion.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 834 Crazy Baller
    @ski6jones - concur, solid tips and insight from Campbell and Asher.
  • matthewbrownmatthewbrown Posts: 385 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    pull out for the gates when you feel like it, turn in for the gates when you feel like it, have fun.

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