Help Holding Position Across the Wakes

epnaultepnault Posts: 188 Baller
This is my 4th season skiing the course (amateur and practice only on my lake) and I do progress each season. My new PB is up to 28off @ 32mph 5 balls. I have really plateaued in the past couple of weeks and need help. I took some video last week with my wife and it is telling. I am in decent position after the ball but it is like some ninja is kicking me in the belly button at the wakes. It is amazing I can get as many balls as I have. Any ideas on how I can brake this bad habit? I have the clips on my iphone but i can't figure out how to post them here.


  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    post a clip -- should be able to log in to the mobile BOS and just pop it in.
    Jim Ross
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 188 Baller
    I tried but all it does is access my image (stills) from my phone. Strange
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,801 Administrator
    @epnault we can all guess what you are doing wrong but the best thing to do is push some video to YouTube and then past the link here.

    My guess? You are not really in good enough position leaving the ball so when you get the wakes are are vulnerable.

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  • epnaultepnault Posts: 188 Baller
    Ok. Let me have it boys. I got thick skin.

  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,053 Mega Baller
    I have seen SO much worse. You're clearly aiming toward the right way.

    My first tip is that you need to turn off the auto-stabilization that youtube offers. On a waterski video, that option causes wavy artifacts that are hard to watch!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,801 Administrator
    edited July 2017
    the easy part is seeing what is wrong. Your back leg is bent more than your front leg so your hips are back and your shoulders are forward.

    The hard part is finding how you want to correct this. I would say you need to go all the way back to the start of the turn and stand taller on the ski. By the end of the turn you are already in trouble.

    Lots of skiers think I am crazy but i preach just trying to ski with straighter legs.

    It looks like you even lift your back heel sometimes. You need to get both feet flat on the ski and knees equally bent ( or straight).

    there are a number of tweaks you can do but for starters I say just try to be taller on the ski. When in doubt watch some video of Parrish. Always watch video of Parrish.

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  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    I think some extra gate height might actually fix a lot of the issues mentioned above. It looked like you pulled out a bit narrow and that haunted you the whole pass. Kicked you to the back foot and had you throwing the ski to make it around buoys. Pull out wider, take more angle through the gates, I don't care if you miss by a mile, miss with good angle rather than make with poor angle and then adjust pullout timing as needed.
  • matthewbrownmatthewbrown Posts: 340 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    I agree with @horton, when you are finishing your one ball turn the line becomes tight before your hip has skied all the way around to the handle. Your upper body is bent forward so that it is actually closer to the boat than your ski/feet/hips. Stand taller, maybe even scrap the gates for a couple passes and just pull out for one ball and try to perfect the turn from there. Sometimes you gotta be willing to go back, before you go forward.
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 188 Baller
    Good points all around-thanks!

    In my mind I know what to do the problem is I can't execute it.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,801 Administrator
    @epnault that is where things get interesting. How do you currently think about it?

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  • epnaultepnault Posts: 188 Baller
    I think I really have never felt or been in the proper ski position-ever. I think it would suddenly be like the time you finally realize there is a sweet spot on a tennis racket. I am looking for another approach to find this sweet spot.
  • Deep11Deep11 Posts: 206 Baller
    Hi @epnault - totally understand your frustration - coming back from a fractured ankle had humbled me even more to how challenging (and rewarding ) this sport can be.
    I agree with you that the wake position will make a big difference - if only to allow more time to work on the turn.
    For me the "sweet spot" you refer to is when you can load the line ( just outside the first white water) and are in an "indestructible position" into the wakes - meaning you "choose" to load rather than the line going tight and getting pulled. The "feel" is that you are being "whipped " through the wakes like the recoil on a rubber band. This allows you to ski - without effort - out to the bouy line and have time to consider the turn.
    Right now the boat is pulling you everywhere - the only time you are actually free of the pulll is when you are going too fast into the bouy (early to 1 but heading straight at it) resulting in slack line and having to bend over just to hold it and keep skiing - after that it's all fire fighting.

    Even at the gate if you look you never get free of the boat - you get pulled all the way to you max width - which is why it's not wide enough. On the pull out you can, and should experience the same "whip" by early acceleration, come up slowly into the front and glide free of the boat. Then its all about timing to turn. You do by the way come ono the front foot at the glide really well, which can be really hard to learn.

    So how to reset and find / experience the sweet spot? It's been said here a lot before but that's a big looking lake so free ski is the answer. Look for seths YouTube video on "whips" and just do it. This way you can elminate the turns and really work on what it takes to load into the wakes and get whipped across. When you get it right you should only feel the load into the first wake - the amount of energy you put in will determine how wide you get on the other side. Really don't worry about the turns - initially there will be a whole lot of gliding after each whip while you slow down enough to turn, That's natural and just shows that your next step will be your stack, shoulder and hip position off the second wake.
    Definitely worth taking and posting video of this as even if it feels wrong there will be good bits that need reinforcing.

    Free skiing is also fun and a great work out :)
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,003 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    I like to reinforce wake position on my pullout, as it is what is going to happen after one ball. So as Horton said, in your pullout try for more balance and straighter legs and fall away from the boat (not back). Get higher up as Razor says and think of maintaining tip pressure through the gates, again, with straighter legs and falling away (not back). This should get you a lot earlier and carrying more speed so you can ski your right hip through one ball and back to the handle opposed to reaching with your right arm to bring the handle in. Squeeze your elbows on your vest with straight arms and think about controlling the handle position on your inside hip and lock your core muscles so you don't bend or break. Really important on the offside lean through the wakes.

    You are skiing consistently so a few tweeks and you should be rolling through.
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 188 Baller
    Sweet stuff guys. I am thinking about building a ramp to dry land train the static body position behind the boat. What should be the angle of the ski relative to the rope say directly behind the boat and what is the angle of the ski (tipped over angle)

  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,003 Mega Baller
    Perfect Pull.
  • TELTEL Posts: 193 Solid Baller

  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    I own the same pair of board shorts but I don't ski quite like that ;)
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 188 Baller
    Holy crap that contraption makes me laugh. My wife already thinks I am too into this skiing thing and if she saw me on this I am sure she would be crying laughing.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,733 Mega Baller
    The symptom is that when you arrive at the wakes (when the force of the boat is the highest) that small little bump is all it takes to exploit any slightest broken stack which may exist.

    Straight legs or bent legs, either way your hips must be on top of your ankles and your shoulders must be on top of your hips. It is easier to achieve better "stack" by simply skiing taller. However, at higher loads, the legs will bend somewhat. The great skiers do this with ankles such that their hips are still on top of their ankles when their legs are bent.

    Once you are loaded, it is much more difficult, if not impossible, to make corrections to body position. The time to do that is before the load.

    Opportunity 1: Perfect your stack before the gates
    Opportunity 2: Perfect your stack during gate turn in
    Opportunity 3: Perfect your stack after the edge change / approach to buoy*
    Opportunity 4: Perfect your stack at finish of the turn / before the boat loads

    So consider what changes you can make at those points which contribute to finishing the turn with a bullet-proof stack before getting loaded.

    *If I have a less than ideal wake crossing, I realize that the time between wake to buoy line is the best time for me to "reset" body position, COM, stance on ski. Typically, this will make the exit out of that buoy better resulting in better stack, better wake crossing, and better approach to the next buoy.

    Also, the timing of your load effort can contribute to the issue. If you load too hard too soon, you may get pulled up out of your lean early and cause you to be less on edge through the wakes. Flat through the second wake makes that bump more pronounced and can more easily break less than ideal stack.

    At the finish of the turn, think be ready for the boat: Ski has come around. Hip has moved around with the ski. Free hand was patient and has followed the hip around. Ski has turned to an early line and you are simply stacked and ready to ride it tall and strong, exploiting the boat's power, to the other side.

    To sum it up... Get "right" before the turn, and the finish will be automatic. When the finish of the turn is automatic, the wake crossing is, too.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,801 Administrator
    @epnault dry land symulator is a total boondoggle.

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  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 598 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2017
    I'm thinking slow down a little, and/or longer rope. Each ball you got a little more behind till you lost it trying to catch up after making rushed turns and not being able to get into good position after the turn. Maybe more of the set should be locking in good form with passes you can be early and wide to the ball, encouraging good form.
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    @epnault -maybe something like this could be adapted to slalom training - wtf device
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 820 Crazy Baller
    Extra width on your pull out will provide more width at the balls and better direction across coarse into one. You're starting narrow and will maintain that width throughout the course. @RazorRoss3 is spot on with that observation. Also by starting out higher on the boat you will have more time to turn in and set your position before the rope gets tight. If you aren't in position when the rope tightens up you probably won't ever get in position.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • DekeDeke Posts: 364 Baller
    @epnault listen to @Horton on the dry land thing. The issue is that dry land is static and on the water it is dynamic. You want to be balanced against the rope, not holding yourself up with it. It helps to hang on a rope to get an upstanding of alignment but you are never just simply be in a pose like that when behind the boat.
  • cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 685 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2017
    -25 loop has helped me nail -28 just about every set. Closer to 28 than 22 and allows you a little more space and time to perfect everything that has been described here.

    99% these guys grew up on a private ski lake or at least skiing buoys from a very early age so it's pretty easy for them to run this line length and do what has been described but it takes a lot of reps. Also don't think of too many things at once going into your pass

    1) Get up on the boat farther as stated many times,..with a progressive pull out and drop in toward gates -don't kill it. This will result is crazy angle putting you early into 1 ball to Finish your turn at the ball and Not start your turn at the ball

    2)Keep a long straight back . arm, but the trick is don't get lean locked.....rather allow the ski to release and get an early edge change ** while keeping long, locked in back arm all the way out bound.

    At -22 you can get away with a lot of mistakes at -25 and -28 you get late and eventually your body pays for it.
    Vapor pro 2017
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,733 Mega Baller
    The only thing "dry land" is good for is to feel "it" the first time, often with the help of an instructor to make sure you are standing tall and "stacked" over your feet with some ankle bend. Once you feel this, then you just have to find it on the water behind the boat. Next comes learning how to retain it during the pullout, glide, gates, etc.

    Many skiers think they are stacked, but are more like 90% there. Obtaining that last 10% is what separates the many from the few.

    Totally agree with @RazorRoss3 on gate width/up on boat regarding specific difficulties with the video passes.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,027 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    The strange thing about coaching in any sport is that words or phrases sometimes convey the exact message to the student and sometimes they suggest something completely different in the student's mind.

    Here are a few things that worked for me and a few that didn't.

    For example, say a coach says to pull harder behind the boat. This used tell me (in my mind) to pull in hard with my arms. All that made me do was kill my biceps, tire me out and encourage me to break at the waist.

    Then one day a very good skier talked about just resisting behind the boat...I was stunned...but it was a better message for me. Taught me to maintain good posture behind the boat and let the boat's pull turn into speed.

    Then someone once said to me, "ski your hips to the handle, not handle to hips". taught me to be more patient and to complete the turn. I used to pull the handle back to my hips, and all it did was put me in a bad position and make me break at the waist.

    Then a couple of things happened simultaneously. Along came Youtube and I could watch a ton of great skiers...also @Bruce_Butterfield wrote his article on Handle Control and what I had been seeing suddenly made perfect sense.

    I think there are many ways to say things and I doubt that I have much to offer you compared to the great advice offered by some very talented skiers on this site, but try working on posture and balance and try to feel what creates speed.

    The best thing about being stacked and in balance is that you will go faster, but you will do it more safely. The end result is a love of speed and the lack of hard out the front falls will have you attacking the wake and progressing quickly in the course. don't have that much to fix, have fun!
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 188 Baller
    Wow. Thanks for all the help on this tread and the multiple pm. Thanks
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 705 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Take this from a guy who has never skied a full pass... How fast were you skiing? I slowed the boat down from 30mph to 26mph last night and it made all the difference in the world. Yes, it was more work for me since I'm fat and was not riding high on the water. BUT, at 30 mph, I was having difficulty making it to 2 ball very often. Last night, I rounded 3 ball consistently and came very close to 4 a few times. Maybe consider what @ScottScott said and slow it down a little bit! Good luck.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,259 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2017
    It feel a little foolish commenting after @Horton , @matthewbrown and all the rest of you guys who know much more than me, but what I saw in addition to all the good advice is the effect it had on you by not holding what you had all,the way through the wakes. 32 mph is gonna require that you hold your pull, lean or resistance, whatever you want to call it through the second wake. No getting away with edge changing off the second wake' at least for those of us who don't have excellent efficiency. I'm surprised that no one mentioned that. If it was mentioned I missed it. To answer your thread title, "just hold it longer"
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
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