Advice to G3 daughter trying to run 32' off?

BongoBongo Posts: 22 Baller
edited July 2017 in Technique & Theory
Brief background: By the end of last summer, my RFF (right foot forward) G3 daughter (now 16 yrs; 5'8" 125lbs) got to where she was getting into 22' off @ 34mph on her old ski that turns out to have been poorly set-up. (It did have make up speed on 2 and 4.) Earlier this summer, she got a new 65" D3 ARC-S and factory suggested set-up (Thanks Doug @ The Liquid Edge). In practice, she's becoming more consistent at getting past 28' off @ 34mph before struggling mightily @ 32' off. I'm a slalom skier and have run the course a few times, but she'd kick my a$$. So a marginal coach, at best.

When I'm driving and viewing in my mirror, as soon as she's finished the 1 ball, I've got a very good idea whether she'll run the pass or fail, even if she doesn't know. I've seen some different advice on this forum, so looking for a little guidance.

She starts wide before the gates and gets a sharp angle. My advice has been to get wide heading into the 1 ball, backside the 1 ball, and get ahead going to 2. This most often leads to what I tell her to be a "long and lazy" turn on the 1 ball. Occasionally, she really will backside the 1 ball, but then 2 ball becomes her long and lazy turn. And if she doesn't have a great 3 ball, she's doomed eventually...usually on her way to 6.

When she doesn't get as strong an angle through the opening gates, it turns out her chances of running the pass (whether 22' or 28' off) are better. In these cases, she'll barely get wider than the 1 ball, but turn right past the ball, grab on tight and rocket to 2. In these cases, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 balls all look to be about the same.

In other words, when all 6 balls pass by her ankles, she's better off than when early on 1 and it passes at her waist.

So is my advice of wide early way off base? Suggested suggestions?


PS: Yes, she'll get some better coaching here in the midwest over the next couple weeks. But I'll still pull her a lot more than anyone else.


  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,258 Mega Baller
    @bongo that's really good skiing, and I hope your daughter appreciates how great a dad that gets her an arc is!
    First, I strongly suggest you concentrate on driving straight and centered and not look in the mirror. If you are her only driver and coach, look for a Wakeye rig or some kind of video setup.
    Skiing "wide" is the path of the ski, so option 2, ankles at the buoy, is correct especially at -28 and beyond.
    Concentrate on good posture with weight centered on the ski and keeping both hands on the handle out to the buoy line ( w/o seeing video, school bus turns commonly are result of early release or back -foot pressure)
    Keep on ripping it up
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,330 Mega Baller
    @bongo thats awesome. The arc is a great ski and essentially every skier i see on it, it looks like the ski is doing exactly what it should be doing.
    Having her get wide on the gates is great. A very common problem is that the skier will start wide, turn in really hard, then let up just before the wakes. From your description, i suspect this is what is happening. The correction is to still get wide, but turn in progressively to where the strongest lean is right behind the boat.

    The rule here is that the speed at 1 ball is determined by how fast you start the turn in for the gates and how early you are is determined by strength of lean behind the boat.

    Post some video if you can get a camera man. Drago's comment about paying attention to driving is key. If you are trying to watch, the boat path may cause more issues than skier technique.
    If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    Extension on the Wakeye suggestion, once you have that video put it up on here and that's when the ballers can help a little more since we can see what's happening. Sounds like she's carving it up, spend a lot of time at -28, running it as early and clean as possible. 32 is just a quicker paced 28 so if 28 is consistent but wobbly then 32 will be a monster.
  • BongoBongo Posts: 22 Baller
    Thanks for the comments. While I think my boat pattern is decent as I only glance at her turn balls and don't often need much of a course correction, I agree that video from the boat from an observer / wake-eye to be more than helpful in gaining input. And my concentration on a straight pattern to be more than helpful.

    She did get some unsolicited advice from her tournament runs over the past weekend by skiers who go deeper into the line:
    - Bend your knees more. She stands tall throughout her run. Especially after turning a buoy, she seems too tall and not able to get enough angle (twist?) on her ski to get as good initial acceleration to the first wake as she could use.
    - Hold the handle consistently lower. Again, lean against the boat and pull from your hips, which leads to better initial acceleration.

    And while not advice, one of her tournament drivers nicknamed her "Scrappy". While there's some good to this (e.g. she can get thru a pass after the driver / boat judge have given her up for done), it clearly points to inconsistency in her passes.

  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,027 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    she is young, and it seems quite talented. Some coaching will certainly help, but so will lots and lots of passes. Keep her skiing!
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    Keep her skiing, it's good to know what to do when it hits the fan but you like that to be plan Z not plan A. Spend time working technique at the early lines, you'll get more from repeated clean -22s and -28s than you will get from repeated attempts getting to 3 ball the ugly way at -32
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,053 Mega Baller
    @Bongo In my opinion, both of those pieces of "unsolicited advice" could mislead.
    Bending knees in the right way at the right time is great, but focusing on it usually leads to dropping the hips, which is almost never good.
    Holding hands lower is a consequence, not an action -- unless you have insanely strong rotators. When optimal leverage position is achieved, your hands end up touching your body. Trying to just force your hands to the body is often unproductive.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    Flexing he front ankle or pushing your front knee forward over your front foot can be better to think about than bending the knees which like @Than_Bogan said will probably just make your hips fall out the back. Keeping the handle down is not possible unless the correct pulling position is there first, based on the nickname "scrappy" pulling position may be the place to start before worrying about handle down.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,733 Mega Baller
    Everyone else trying to improve their slalom needs to be taller, LOL. Maybe leave that one alone for your daughter.

    From what I see in vids of pros, about the only time knees bend a lot is when the ski is moving under the skier leading into and during the edge change. Watch some pros ski their opening passes. They stay tall mostly everywhere. In fact, many "rise up" and forward during the outbound glide before the release. Also, it is at that glide time when they will move COM forward (if not already there) by flexing the front ankle (@RazorRoss3) and/or by very subtly moving the inside hip forward (left hip into 1 ball).

    I think @Bruce_Butterfield 's assumption is likely on target in that the way in which she is turning in for the gates from that wide point is creating some issue. When trying wider gates, the feeling is a little unsettling if the skier is used to turning with some rope load. It takes some getting used to. When wide in the glide, start the turn very smoothly. The visuals are a bit different in that it will seem like the turn is starting too late. However, if it is smooth and the leverage progressive with the boat's load, the ski's path should result in an earlier exit off the second wake with more "space" and outbound speed/direction before 1 ball. Also, a progressive load/leverage will result in a controlled/manageable edge change load and easier to have handle control during the outbound glide.

    As usual, it is all speculation without video to observe.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • igorskiigorski Posts: 3 Baller
    I have twins B-3 and G-3 my daughter is on a Quest 65' , tournament bst 3.5 at 32off , she was on the Radar Vector Boots[open toes] , I got a size 8 mens Radar Viper[Miami Nautiqe] on here front boot and left her Viper on her back .... she did not like it the first 2 sets , she complained that it forced her forward foot forward or on the ball of here feet . Yesterday she ran 2 back to back 32s at 34mph . We ski up in S.E. Michigan at Tivoli and some of the high end guys in our club tell her to 'patient in the turns and let the ski come around and give the handle to the boat-fully extend . If your ever in Michigan please bring her out and ski with us . 810-813-8423
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,232 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    It could be that what you are seeing as "strong angle" at the gate is really an abrupt turn in and fast load, and the "doesn't get strong angle" is really a controlled carve in for the gate and a progressive load. The latter works better than the former.

    Is she LFF or RFF? If she has long turns on both sides, it might help for the fin to come forward. I'd go 10/1000 and see what happens. Alternatively, (or in conjunction), suggest that she always aim for the 40/40 point, the imaginary spot forty feet before the buoy and 40 feet wide of center. If she can learn to ski to that point, she'll always have 40 feet to let the ski turn.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,003 Mega Baller
    As the rope gets shorter, it becomes harder to keep your width on the pullout, so it is imperative that she moves her right hip forward, keeping the handle low on her waist, so she can just easily rotate into her left hip for the gates.

    Every rope shortening wants to stand you up more behind the boat, so I always like to tell folks to think about getting your head/shoulders 6" lower behind the boat than the previous pass. In reality, they end up staying the same, but if they start with the same intensity of the prior pass, they get stood up more and less angle in the gate.

    Another key point at 32 off and beyond is not keeping right arm pressure going into 1 ball all the way into the whitewater, as it pulls you up and in without casting the ski out. There is a subtle switch from right arm pressure to left arm as the ski switches edges into the pre-turn, this allows the ski to cast out on a wider arc.

    The key is to get the maximum pull behind the boat so you can get the ski to arc out. If she is still "pulling" into the white water, she needs to work on getting the ski on the left edge getting ready for one ball, and vice versa going into two ball. Get the angle and speed and then change edges in the white water. That is the key.

    Of course, we always say get mean at the green, so grunting in the wakes is allowed and encouraged!

  • TDLTDL Posts: 12 Baller
    To cure the long and lazy turns: focus on leaning towards the next ball when making a turn. Having this mindset during a turn is surprisingly effective at eliminating unproductive movement.

    This method is so simple and effective that it was for decades a well guarded Arvin secret until somebody let it slip out to the masses on The Flowpoint Podcast, Episode #7.

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