List of Slalom skiing fundamentals

sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
edited January 2018 in Technique & Theory
Was doing some certification training today, for snow instruction. There, we have what are known as the five fundamentals. The (not all that) short version is 1) relationship of Center Of Mass to Base Of Support to direct pressure along the skis, 2) tipping skis through of combination of inclination and angulation, 3) Control pressure from ski to ski and direct pressure toward the outside ski, 4) Control the skis rotation (turning, pivoting, steering) with leg rotation, separate from the upper body, 5) Regulate the magnitude of pressure created through ski/snow interaction. These are characteristics that are considered to be part of great skiing, and are not the same as coaching cues to help a skier get there.

My question is this, is there any similar list for slalom skiing? This is not intended to be a comparison of snow skiing to waterskiing, but rather a search for some list of fundamental aspects of good slalom waterskiing to help my understanding of what is going on out on the water. It seems to me something like Proud chest, or extend the arms, or upright head, or weight on the front foot are more in the nature of coaching cues, and I would love to understand the fundamental aspects of skiing those cues are trying to promote. Help a guy out?



  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,053 Mega Baller
    edited January 2018
    At the risk of always sounding the same note, I think the Denali "GUT" stuff is the closest there is to what you're asking for.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
    edited January 2018
  • WishWish Posts: 7,331 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited January 2018
    Have to agree with @Than_Bogan. It's much easier now to take advice or dismiss it depending on how it fits in with GUT as it answers the "why should I or shouldn't I do that".
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,236 Mega Baller
    @jhughes - you are correct. Same thing can happen on snow in the race course - the gates (like the buoys) become the focus and can take away from your ability to execute what you want to work on. Free skiing (snow or water) gives you more time to think and apply.

    @sunvalleylaw - I got my PSIA Level III in 1989, so I've thought A LOT about how we learn and practice on snow and water. On snow it's easy to break things into progressions, right? You break a turn down into it's smallest components, slow your speed, and drill on those components, feeling your way through until you can execute and connect those components, all with feedback from a coach/instructor. That's tougher to do on water with a boat. You could do it - with a patient and willing driver and coach, but never to the extent you can on snow. It's just the nature of the sport.

    The fundamentals on water ARE actually pretty similar to those on snow, just applied in a different environment and working with a different force - the boat. I think GUT is probably the closest thing to how snow skiing is coached. Where is your COM and how is it moving in relation to your ski and the force that is acting on you?
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
    edited January 2018
    @jimbrake , I agree, and disagree. First, the snow comparison misses my point. I want to approach this from Waterskiing first, not as a comparison. I can identify some similarities, and some differences, with one big difference is the primary forward force on snow is gravity, and the primary forward force on water is line tension/the boat, and water and ski interaction (ski pressure identified by @adamhcaldwell in his latest vid) controlled by COM relative to BOS affects that a lot. I like what @Bruce_Butterfield has to say too. But, that is where my knowledge breaks down. Or I may have even some of that wrong. So, I am asking the experts here.

    As far as the value of the information, I disagree that it holds no value on the water or is not possible in looking at waterskiing. Yes, there is no possible way I can think about a bunch of fundamentals out skiing. I would be frozen and have no flow or ability to move. Paralysis of analysis. And I don't do that on snow either. As @Luzz said on @MarcusBrown 's pod cast, the thinking should be on the dock, or off water. And for me, off snow. But understanding the fundamentals and background of movement, and these forces, helps me understand cues we use to improve. Once on the water, perhaps one light point to focus my brain and rid myself of distractions on the way out to the "zero ball" as Adam says, then let go of all that.

    I like to understand this so I can visualize better and imagine better, often as do as I go to sleep at night and clear my head of the day's thoughts. Closest to (unfrozen) water I am going to get right now. :)

    We have similar backgrounds in skiing. A joke for you I am sure you have heard. How do you pick out the ski instructor in the bar? Answer: He'll tell you. ;) Not directed at you. I mentioned it in the beginning. I don't want to bring a bunch of PSIA snow stuff into the forum. The only reason any of that was relevant to me in my question was that was where I got the idea of the fundamental aspects of skiing vs. coaching cues.

    Anyway, will be re-reading the GUT stuff perhaps starting tonight.

  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,236 Mega Baller
    @sunvalleylaw - no intent on my part to compare or start a thread on PSIA stuff.

    I can tell you one thing for your visualization - keep it simple. How each of us thinks about and articulates what we do or want to do on the water is very individual. For me, it's just move COM over my feet to start all accelerations (gate pull out and getting back to the handle in a turn) and keep my shoulders essentially level at all times. I know the last one will elicit some disagreement, but it's huge for me as is keeping my COM moving forward over my feet.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,258 Mega Baller
    The first thing in both sports is stance. Different stances, but you cannot expect to improve (for long) without correct body position .
    Then maybe how you edge the ski or skis to change direction.
    On the grand scale , you must understand how a ski works (or skis.
    Piece of cake :)
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,027 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Stack and Handle position....oh and did I mention Stack?
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 119 Baller
    @thager - now that's funny...... How true
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,434 Mega Baller
    I see a number of skiers returning to the sport every year, many that have not skied on a course since in some cases as far back as the late 80's early 90's. one of the biggest things i see and try and coach is don't exceed your capabilities. Many of these skiers say but I used to run 32 and 35 off. I say yea that was with hand driving or PP not Zero Off!
    Want to stay healthy? Take a slow approach and work on fundamentals the first number of sets. This also applies to skiers that have to take a long winter break. The Idea is to stay healthy and don't hurt yourself. Personally I dont enjoy gathering up one of these skiers after they take a otf off the wake, but sometimes that's what it takes to get them to understand!
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
    edited January 2018
    Well, @Jody_Seal , I don't know that that is a technical fundamental of good skiing. But, it is good advice. I buried the tip off the wake in 2012 (headed into three ball after not maintaining stack off my offside on 2 ball) after I got a new ski and was trying to get back into it. That was not fun. I was skiing way too fast for my ability level re-entering the course at that time. The boat was a zero-off equipped nautique. Not that the brand of boath had anything to do with my fall. More trying to do too much on a zero-off boat without understanding what was necessary and how to stay within my limits.
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,529 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    It is also important to work on vision. Terry Winter has a great video about where to look when skiing.
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,529 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Sorry I didn't read the original question before posting. I thought horton wrote it and skidawg was going to tell him to keep it simple.
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 598 Crazy Baller
    edited January 2018
    I like @Bruce_Butterfield list with the addition of @Drago and @Jordan s body position, stack and alignment, COM forward.
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,330 Mega Baller
    #3 on my list is “keep it simple”
    If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
    edited January 2018
    With regard to looking for a list of fundamental aspects of good skiing, I view it as an aid to viewing good skiing, and understanding properly what I am seeing. Understanding the forces, the bio-mechanics, and efficiency. Then updating my own visualizations. This is all to be done well off the water, and thinking about defined fundamentals lessens for me as understanding is improved and I can move just more into visualization.

    None of this analysis and thought would happen on the water. Or even the dock. This level of thought is for well before hand. Then my intent would be to let that go and keep it simple when it is time to ski.

    Same in snow skiing. Out on the snow, keep it simple. It is one reason clinics, where people want to talk and debate on the side of the run, can be "challenging" or even frustrating. Talk inside, or if you really have to talk about something much, on the chair. On the snow, time to develop awareness and feel, and to ski and enjoy.

    EDIT: and to me, this has to be even more simplified and let go of in slalom waterskiing, particularly passes in the course. I suppose one could spend a bit more time playing with a concept in a free run. Passes are over way too quick to be in your head much. @Luzz talks about this in his podcast with Marcus.

    Just to be clear that I don't want to complicate things on the water. It is the understanding before hand well off the water I was interested in, and if a set of agreed fundamentals existed.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
    One other point. I fully recognize that a lot of folks who are PSIA members treat stuff like this as some sort of bible and memorize a bunch of stuff and treat it too rigidly. I view things such as these as tools to use in developing understanding, and moving toward more efficient stance and movement to maintain efficiency. The USSA has a ton of drills and progressions that are also good tools for development. And some people desire more verbal understanding than others. Others are visual only. Point is, anything like this is just a tool. In my view anyway.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,232 Mega Baller
    @jimbrake Where do you snow ski? My son lived at Tahoe for five years, so I’ve seen a lot of Northstar and Squaw.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • braindamagebraindamage Posts: 134 Baller
    @Dirt - do you have a link to the vid?
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,529 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited January 2018
    On the dock with Terry Winter video.
    There is a whole series of videos. The Train with Terry membership is a great investment. You can email Terry with questions and he can analyze video for you. It is really reasonable, prob the cheapest investment you will make water skiing.
    We spend tens of thousands on this sport and then cheap out on coaching.

    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,529 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Here is the body alignment video and the Train with Terry

    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • FraserFraser Posts: 33 Baller
    @braindamage I agree with @Dirt as I've been a member and now for almost a year and completed two video training sessions with @twhisper. The personalized video analysis, along with the video library and member Q&A section have helped a ton.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
    I also have enjoyed video training, in person training, and member Q&A with Terry. Worth more than every penny in my book.
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,236 Mega Baller
    @lpskier - Squaw. This year is my 50th anniversary there.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
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