Success Stories for those stuck at 15off

gregygregy Posts: 2,398 Mega Baller
edited November 2016 in Technique & Theory
Have you ever dropped at the end of a pass and said to yourself "I'm a better skier than this". I was.

This is my success story of how I went from 15off to 32off in 1 year. Not bragging, more so people wanting to improve can know what's possible. After not skiing for over 15 years I started missing it. Well as fate would have it I happen to sit next to someone in a restaurant that was wearing a University of Texas Waterski team t-shirt on and introduced myself right away. It was @ToddL, not sure if he remembers it, he told me about a ski school he ran locally. This got me really thinking. So when summer came I dug my old ski up and headed to ski school. I was nervous I wouldn't get out of the water, but I did and made some attempts at 15off 30mph. In another twist of fate turns out one of my co-workers had a MasterCraft and did a lot of free skiing. That was about about 6 years ago. We started skiing together and blindly set our goals to run 28off. We thought it would take a year or so, but 5 years later I was struggling to run 15off 32mph and my buddy had pretty much given up on the sport. On top of that I had some non ski related injuries that had set back my training.

Over those 5 years I think I can say I built a good base and improved my understanding of Slalom theory. I got some coaching from pros when they came to my area, Seth Stisher, Andy Mapple, Wade Cox. Its hard to learn a lot in just a couple of sets though, but I picked up a little from each. I ordered all the videos I could find. Spent countless hours on BOS reading and youtube watching videos. For those thinking that I'm some super athlete, I usually was one of the last kids chosen for teams as a youngster. My family had a lake house though and I had a knack for water skiing early on. I only wish I had known about ski schools as a kid.

So 2014 was almost a bust due to injuries and life. Summer 2015 wasn't going well either. That is until I met @parkerc2112 and his girlfriend. We had similar work schedules and we able ski 2 to 3 days a week and ended up only missing a few weeks all winter. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Summer 2015 is done, I am sitting in the water after just struggle through a 15off 32mph pass thinking, I'm better than this, what's it going to take to improve. First thing I did was start videoing every pass and studying it. Next thing was sending some videos for coaching to Chris Parrish (who I pick specifically because he was LFF like me). CP gave me a few pointers mostly on gates. Gates was the key. Before long I was running 22off 34mph occasionally and one or two at 28off. Summer 2016 I started running 28off some. I ended up getting around 4 ball on a slow 32off as my best. @RazorRoss3 gave a pointer on the gates that added some more consistent. Ended up getting 3 @ 28off at BOS tournament, I was running it, went inside 4 ball.

Fin Whisper Book was probably one of the single biggest thing that improved my skiing I was one of first to get one and it was worth every penny. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to improve and be ready to experiment.

I also keep notes on setups and what I worked on for techniques, what worked and doesn't work. Sometimes I would go out with specific plans for correcting a problem. I might identify a problem and have three things I want to try to solve it. I use a RainWriter waterproof notebook but more and more I just use my smartphone.

Same day I did coaching with Mapple I was able to try a 2014 Vapor with the Wilson brothers. I skied better the first set, I was sold. I ended up getting a 2015 Vapor which I was running 22off on. I later got a 2016 Vapor which is what I started running 28off on. Definitely have to give @brooks some credit for success with setups and being available for a demo day. @Chris Rossi also helped with setup info as well. I was more of a set it to stock skier before, but I found a properly setup ski can really help with developing technique and the setup my need to evolve with your technique.

So to sum it up what worked for me:

1. Skiing partner that is dedicated as I am.
2. Video tape passes and study them.
3. Video coaching. @CParrish43 thanks.
4. Skiing 2 to 3 times a weeks through the winter, usually 2 sets each time.
5. Some tips and discussions from other skiers.
6. Reading BOS specially @jhughes thread about what the heck is so hard about 28off. Wouldn't of happened without BOS.
7. Get some professional coaching when you can.
8. @SkiJay Fin Whisper book, This was absolutely one of the most important things.
9. A properly setup ski. I almost gave up on the 2016 Vapor, so it makes a difference.
10. Take notes. Track setups. Note what works and doesn't for technique etc.

Each of the above was a part of my success. Remove any one of them and I'd still probably be at 15off. No special advantages, just a commitment to improve.

Anyone wants to tell there story feel free.


  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,703 Mega Baller
    I do remember that, @gregy! :smiley:
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 677 Crazy Baller
    Funny my story is similar and using a Vapor too! Private water, better coaching, more skiing and the ***-19*** loop got me into -22 in a few months.

    I have never been in the presence of 'pros' but my buddies telling me to get up on the boat more and 'keep back arm pressure' ect is really helpful and allowed me to have the best summer skiing to date!
    Vapor pro 2017
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 127 Baller
    This is awesome. Thank you for posting it. I am just getting back to skiing now and just had a very humbling weekend at a private ski lake. But I am improving and this note really gives me the motivation to keep working at it. Thanks!!!

    Just for my information - how do you video your sets? I know that this is something I should be doing. GoPro? iPhone? Other device? I'd like to know what works, without having to spend stupid amounts of money. Thanks!

  • gregygregy Posts: 2,398 Mega Baller
    @KRoundy a lot of people use Wakeye which is on the advertiser list at the top of the page as a tracking device. There's some other options. Wakeye has options for phone holders. I think the newer GoPros or ok but the older GoPros didn't have much zoom and had the fish eye effect. I have an older video camera I got off of craigslist. There is threads here on video cameras etc if you do some searches.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,132 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2017
    This story is right in my wheelhouse. Thanks for posting it!! Going to use it for my own planning.

    The skiing year around part will be hard to pull off in the central mountains of Idaho, at least waterskiing. But you never know. Could always schedule a trip.
  • JayproJaypro Posts: 138 Baller
    skiing year round would be tough here in Vermont! Congrats, I hope to make similar progress, thanks for posting.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,132 Crazy Baller
    @gregy Thanks for this. You asked for others to tell their story. I will not repeat boring details here. I am a long time freeskier that decided to really learn the course and discovered that wasn't so easy. I am now making progress and increasing speeds at 15 off. I hope, just for fun and the sake of progress to ski my max speed of 34 at 15 off this year. And play with 22 off at slower speeds. Maybe try 28 off just to feel it and get a sense what is necessary this year too, even if I am nowhere near making it. With a reduced speed from 34 of course. I definitely have a goal to reach 28 off as soon as I can.

    I found the @jhughes 28 off thread and will link it here for reference.

    I also found what looks like a good suggested progression to consider at this website Arturo Nelson:

    Basically, it suggests shortening the line more first before increasing speed too much. I may mix it up a little and not take this as gospel. But it gives me an idea of a progression. If anyone has some thoughts on progression, please let me know.

    Thanks again for the thread!
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,132 Crazy Baller
    Hey, did you use a rope with the in between practice loops to help the jumps between lengths? Did it work for you?
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,398 Mega Baller
    I didn't use the between practice loops, but I just ordered one to see if can help me get through 32off. I ran 32off 32mph twice last time out, 34mph still alludes me.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,689 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited September 2017
    Practice loop rope is a lot of fun. It's one of those things I don't understand why more don't have/use one. I think skiers want that next legit length so bad they don't want to do anything in between. Sometimes their attempts at that next loop look horrible, however, they are just practicing a mad scramble--that's no good.
    Why not have the options in your rope? You don't have to use 'em but they are there...if you want to have some fun and change it up sometimes it's worth it.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 464 Crazy Baller
    Getting one for next season. Could see that it would be a big help to move up the line. When your scrabbling at a shorter line length form goes out the window and it's hard to work on correct mechanics to make the pass consistently.
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