Tips from some of the guys I've gotten coaching from

Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
So this post is some funny things, and some helpful things. What have you all heard from coaches that made you laugh or made you better?

Lucky: When I tried to do what he told me to -- "did I tell you to try?"
Jodi: After I ran 35 - "on a scale of 1-10, how hard do you think you were pulling?" Me: "eh, maybe 5" Jodi: that was like an 11! You don't need to pull that hard!"
Jodi: and this is real advice. "square your hips to the direction of travel." Me, what about my shoulders? Jodi: "when you are ready to turn in and are crossing the wakes, your chest should start out pointing at the pylon, and stay there. Put another way, the center of your chest should be quartering between the direction of the ski and the boat".
Rossi: "I like your skiing. One change. In your gate glide, point your chest at the pylon, and then when you turn in just follow your chest across the wakes." (by the way, this has helped me enormously, and I think I can explain why if you want a long post!)
Chet: "stay on top of your ski. Two hands on the handle, outside the buoy line, on top of your ski"
Chet: "why are you trying so hard to make your ski go after the turn? You can't make your ski go, only the pull of the boat can. Connect to the pull of the boat and let the boat do the work."
Wade: Wade made me switch my grip to the way it should be. I had been reluctant to try it given some shoulder issues. Best thing ever!
Andy: "as soon as you know your ski will clear the buoy, move your eyes to the platform of the boat."

Some of these were just funny at the time, most of the others have actually been EXTREMELY simple and very helpful to my skiing.
Jim Ross
Bruce_ButterfieldandjulesMS9400HortonSkoot1123Ralph LeeJordanRazorRoss3bf`


  • dgarland10dgarland10 Posts: 17 Baller
    @Razorskier1 i would love to hear more about that coaching thought from Rossi
  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 383 Solid Baller
    @Razorskier1 What you are saying makes sense as I read it. However I am wondering how you keep width on the gate glide with your shoulders pointed inward? How do you not get pulled in? Rini coached me to face 11 o'clock during my glide to keep width. This works to that end but the two ideas seem to be in direct contrast.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @fu_man I think keeping gate width and shoulder direction is a fallacy. As noted earlier in the thread, I got exactly the opposite advice from Rossi, and it fixed my width, fixed my balance, fixed my gate load issues all at the same time.

    Said differently, ONLY if you are so immobile that the direction of your shoulders causes your ski to turn inward, should this imact your width.

    Conversely, suppose I put my shoulders square to the ski tip in the glide. All else equal, I could argue that posture will pull you narrow (if you don't carry enough speed to stay wide). Staying wide is a function of your speed vs. the boat, not the position of your shoulders.

    When I point my chest to the pylon I get wider, and stay wider, with no pull from the boat dragging me back in. Why? Because I carry more speed and am riding on the front of my ski.

    Try something. Stand in your living room feet side by side, shoulders back. Your weight will be in your heels, particularly if you are holding weight (like dumbbells), which emulates the load of the line. Now keep the dumbbells and put your left shoulder slightly ahead of yourself and leave your right shoulder in place (because in skiing your right shoulder won't go behind you due to the pull of the boat). Now your weight will be in the balls of your feet.

    I believe that for the average skier, like me, all of the advice about flex this, bend that, etc, to try to get weight on the front of the ski is too complicated and it isn't my natural body posture, thus making it diffficult to replicate or maintain. However, if all I do is think about where my chest is pointing (at the pylon on pull out and glide, then quarter way toward the boat (rather than directly in direction of travel) the rest of the time, weight distribution takes care of itself. Simpler is better for me. So, rather than tell you to flex your ankle, bend your knees, get your hips up, etc, I'm going to say stand like you would on solid ground, and let your shoulders "slightly" toward the boat. All those other problems go away.
    Jim Ross
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,729 Mega Baller
    @Razorskier1 Jim, during the glide with your shoulder pointed to pylon, are your hips still at "11 o'clock" to maintain width? I've never thought about where my shoulders are pointed during the glide, but in reflection I think they are at the pylon, too. I am only focusing on hip direction since I want my glide to maintain it's width as I decelerate to match the boat speed. It does make since because when I am ready to turn in, I just have to think "1 o'clock" with hips and all is rockin'.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @ToddL -- hips should, IMO, always be square to the direction of travel, but shoulders slightly offset toward the pylon/boat. Keep in mind this is not "open to the boat" or "closed to the boat". Those terms are overused and not helpful. It is a slight turn of the shoulders toward the boat (instead of directly square to the ski), while keeping your hips square, that works. Believe me, if you try the pull out I highlighted above this will become very clear. Look over at the wakes, keep your eyes there, and pull out. You will zoom up the side of the boat and you will stay wide (because you generate more speed). You will also feel like there is no load.

    Ever have those days where it feels like you are working too hard to get up for your gate? I have. It is always a result of where my chest is pointing.

    If you take this to the extreme (which is my Rossi approach), then when you turn in you actually don't feel like you are turning in. Your chest is already pointed that direction, so you just point your ski that direction and ski forward into the handle. Tons of speed, very little load.
    Jim Ross
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,729 Mega Baller
    Yep. I already do that pullout method. Look at the wakes was how I first learned/felt it. I no longer need that dramatic of a movement, but still it is as you described. COM goes forward, ski goes on edge; the result is efficient movement out and up.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 1,867
    Best Gate advice I ever got was learning a true One Handed Gate from Mike Syderhoud and Marcus Brown. Put me up on the boat every time with the greatest width and angle through the gates. Basically doing a 2 ball turn for your Gate turn in. Always felt more natural to me than the 2 handed gate, matching speed, dropping in, etc. No where else in the course would I ever make a move like that. Just never felt natural.

    Still, you have to find what works best for you !!! Other advise:

    Rossi: When you come off the Apex, keep falling all the way to the Centerline.

    Mapple: You have to make ZO work For you and not Against you.

    Loving the Reflex Supershell with R Style Rear and NRG with CG Fin.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,635 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2017
    @Razorskier1 I like the way you frame up this concept - easy to visualize. A while back @MarcusBrown, @twhisper and Mike Syderhoud explained this as countering to move out from the wake - counter by twisting COM slightly towards the wake rather than leaning away from the boat with shoulders facing out.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    From experience what @Razorskier1 describes works really well for easy speed generation and less load. I take off like a bat out of hell from the ball when I do this right and it just makes everything else I'm working on easier.
  • bf`bf` Posts: 119 Baller
    Heard by me (from April) many years ago: "So, where are you looking in the turn?"
    Me: "You know, I'm not sure..."
    April: "Well, I'm not going to tell you, but I will tell you where you should be looking."

    Helps me to this day.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 903 Mega Baller
    @bf` curious what she told you. She's always been one who whips her head around cross course before completing her turn.
    Ralph Leebf`
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    I had been working on the shoulders but hadn't been keeping the hips square with the ski direction, I fixed that today and everything really came together. Had 2 great sets and got to hang at the lake, not a bad afternoon.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,150 Crazy Baller
    I've had coaches tell me for the longest time to ski a gate pull that's not taking everything out wide and getting more progressive on my pull in. Never clicked for me. Skied with Zane Nicholson this week he told me "you're hitting the boat too soon! Hit me white wash to white wash!" That day ended with me running 35 off and getting [email protected] for a 3.5 buoy PB
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,657 Mega Baller
    @UWSkier April's head action whipping cross course is what was taught when I was growing up and likely when she was as well even though she is younger than I am. What is interesting about April's head action is she looks cross course in the turn then snaps back to the boat when the line loads.
    Mark Shaffer
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    Finding the buoy early, for me, is less about seeing the next buoy as it is to stop staring at the current one. If you're still looking at the buoy you're going around as you're going around it then you are by definition looking down which can cause you to break at the waist in the finish. If you find the next buoy early then your eyes have to be up and you'll finish the turn in better form. You already know where the next buoy is, you've run a thousand times but the eyes up, body tall as the ski finishes helps me a lot.
  • bf`bf` Posts: 119 Baller
    @UWSkier Yep, April does seem to look directly across course earlier than most. The advice she gave me was to spot the back of the boat as soon as I was sure I was going to make the ball, and stay on it into the wakes. I've since adjusted to spot the next turn ball in front of the boat (when not in panic mode), but that advice has really helped to keep my head and shoulders up and level.
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    @Razorskier1 -with all due respect, being rff just standing neutral on my ski if i keep my ' hips square to the direction of travel ' it seems i will be in a constant state of slightly countered for a left hand turn. thats okay in my glide because it keeps me on a bit of out bound edge and that keeps the rope tight. consequently, just letting my hips untwist back to their natural 30 degree angle* is about all i need to initiate my turn in.

    i get that everybody skis a little different but i've had the best success with making every effort to drive my inside hip forward over my front foot through the turn (either side) and again that is much different from trying to just keep them square to the direction of travel. as i watch some of the skiers that everybody wishes they were, like smith or asher or regina, i see quite a bit of hip twisting involved for them too.

    on the other hand, you ski at a much higher level than i do so i guess i'm very interested in your thoughts on why keeping your hips always pointed in your direction of travel works so well for you.

    *30 degrees for natural hip angle is of course a wag.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @mwetskier - if you asked guys like Jodi Fisher, they would tell you hip direction is ski direction. By keeping your hips square to the front, you are maximizing ski direction and maintenance of it. When I talk with Jodi about it, he says hips square, chest at the 30-40 degree offset to direction of travel (which is what I endeavor to accomplish). Now, are my hips always perfectly square? Probably not, but that's the goal.

    From my perspective, an additional part of this is minimizing movement. Watch the best skiers, and you will see that their stance on the ski barely moves from turn in to lean to reach to turn, to load again. Why does this matter??? Because every time you move you are either tugging on the line or releasing tension. If the goal is maintaining line tension and skiing the handle path, I believe you will be better at achieving it if you can find a comfortable body position that (a) maximizes efficiency and (b) keeps you from loading and unloading the line. I believe hips square and chest quartering toward the direction of pull is that position.
    Jim Ross
  • BoozeBooze Posts: 328 Baller
    @Razorskier1 - Are you RFF or LFF?
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @Booze - RFF
    Jim Ross
  • GaryWilkinsonGaryWilkinson Posts: 292 Baller
    Me after my first 2 passes to Andy at a clinic: "so? What do you think?

    Andy: stands, wipes his face, smiles, "where should I begin?" And laughs like Andy laughs!

    Awesome moment.
    I need to ski back to the handle obviously.
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