Every year I eventually come back to simple keys to skiing well. Most often, they revolve around some aspect of "get high on the boat, do the right things behind the boat, and let the turns take care of themselves".
When watching the Bu Open, I heard April commenting on how still Regina is through the wakes. Her posture doesn't change, and her handle doesn't move. April defined this moment as "handle control". In prior years @Chet
has told me the same thing - "don't give up your hands", he would say. More recently @adamhcaldwell
told me that if I could just stay stacked with my handle close at the second wake, I'd be amazed at how easy things become.
So . . . wait for it . . . this year's singular thought. Get high on the boat, turn in, AND don't move anything all the way through both wakes. What do I mean? Well, as an older an arthritic fella, there have been times in the past (ask Caldwell) where at the second wake I controlled my handle, but broke at the hips, thus creating space between me and my handle. So my focus is ENTIRELY on keeping the relationship between my hips and my handle constant through both wakes.
This simple visual/focus area has made my October skiing so frickin easy. I feel more balanced, my handle stays with me longer (out to the ball), and I really don't even think about reaching or turning. Reaching happens when the boat pulls me to the ball. Out, back, and the turn is already done before I could even think about it. Then it's off to the races to the next ball with exactly the same focus. Keep the relationship of the handle and my hips constant through both wakes.
If it is late season where you are and you aren't skiing for scores, give it a try. If you are skiing for scores, give it a try anyway. This is something the best skiers all do better than the rest of us. It requires focus and constant vigilance. But done right it sure makes passes easy!
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