Skiing in FL during winter=humbling experience

I was pretty proud of the progress I made this summer. Started the summer skiing 32mph and by season’s end I ran -28 at 34.2 several times and I was full of confidence. I skied at Eden Ski Lake last month and was thoroughly humbled. I lost it all so fast it was a bit discouraging. Never even got 2 ball at 34.2 skiing -22 rope. Slowed it down to 32.5 and ran a few passes but never felt comfortable- and this was day 3 after skiing about 1-2 sets per day (also was extremely sore, I work out daily but I learned it is impossible to prepare the body). My last day a guy in the boat said “you get a few good buoys but you can’t find a rhythm” he was exactly right. Everything was happening so fast, everything was a labor, and I simply couldn’t hold stack through 6 balls. So... I’m going back in a few days & my plan is this: Slow it down to whatever speed allows me to hold a stacked position. Check my ego at the door. I don’t care if I’m skiing 30mph I gotta find a “rhythm.” Is this the best approach? Any other advice?


  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 292 Solid Baller
    There is no shame in skiing 30mph. At 30 you have a fraction of a second more time in every phase. You can make a mistake and not be penalized nearly as badly as at 34. You may find 30 to be more work, i.e. you have to lean against the boat longer going into a buoy just to get there, but that's okay. It might even force you to keep your stack.
  • CamCam Posts: 298 Solid Baller
    Don't beat yourself up too much it happens to most of us at our level, I know guys who can go straight back into running buoys after months off.
    Personally I can't so early season or when my standard drops as it gets colder I always free ski my first couple of passes starting early and turning before the buoys to try to find a rhythm before I try to turn some buoys and if I don't I will free ski the whole set.
    When free skiing I also like to have someone in the boat being super critical on my stack as this is always the first thing to break down with me.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,893 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I took my ski to Miami a few years back...would have been nice to free ski but there really wasn't space so right into the buoys for a set of 28 off openers. I think their club was a 6 pass thing with skiers waiting so that's all I ran. I got SO SORE it was a tough plane ride home a few days later.
    As much as I had fun, I don't think I will do that again mid winter and out of ski shape.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,657 Mega Baller
    Don’t worry about it. It is very tough to ski back to your average in the first set of the year particularly for a developing skier. On top of that there is nothing that emulates skiing perfectly to eliminate soreness. In the spring we always free ski for a week or two too get the muscles used to it again before getting in the course and even then spend 4-6 sets at least just running openers then running opener plus second pass for 4-6 sets.

    Have fun when you go back. Drop the speed to 30 run a couple of really good passes then speed up to 32 or shorten the rope at 30 and just have fun.
    Mark Shaffer
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 703 Crazy Baller
    @Buoyhead69 You never know it could be the differences in boats and/or speed control. I've had a couple unbelievably tough winter sets too that sounded just like yours. In one instance it was a new version of ZO (from two to one puck) and the other it was a boat that hadn't updated its ZO in many years. It felt like I could never catch up to the boat.
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 803 Mega Baller
    Check your fin. I've had a disaster winter set in Florida before and it turned out my fin had moved in transit.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,230 Mega Baller
    @Buoyhead69 , I feel your pain. I skied a few sets in California only a couple months or maybe even a month and a half after things shut down where I ski, and I felt like I skied not nearly to my capability. I am glad for what @Chef23 posted, as I definitely developed a lot this last summer, but did not have it together for those passes. (Also, I was coming off a mountain bike crash, but that is not excuse.) ;) Point is, I discovered that I really need to start out slowly and develop rhythm when I haven't skied. It will be interesting to start things up again this coming season.
  • ColeGiacopuzziColeGiacopuzzi Posts: 383 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited January 2018
    Don't beat yourself up @Buoyhead69 Like @Chef23 said we can't just jump back in slalom after months off and pick up right where we left off. Everything takes time, timing needs to come back, muscle memory, visuals and just being in slalom shape as well. I know after time off I'll run my opener just for 2 or 3 sets before I even start thinking about shortening. Just run passes where you feel comfortable and build rhythm before you bump speed. That's better than trying to scrap passes in the early season, it builds bad habits and kicks your confidence to the floor. You'll be good no worries, it will come back.
    Cole Giacopuzzi • Radar Skis
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 212 Baller
    Hearing stuff like this really worries me. I am going to the boarding school mid April. Really hoping the ice melts quick this spring so I can get on the water by at least April first again.
  • ColeGiacopuzziColeGiacopuzzi Posts: 383 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited January 2018
    @dhofert Look at it like this, @theboardingschool & @FWinter will give you the right tools early in the season to prep you for the rest of the year. I used to go down there every fall and spring when Brooks coached there to get an early spring tune up in some warm water, and finish the season strong in the fall.
    Cole Giacopuzzi • Radar Skis
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 212 Baller
    @ColeGiacopuzzi that is one thing keeping me positive about the whole outta shape early thing. Lucky for me I have not had too long to develop bad habits and hope they can pound into my head early in the season what to do. Then I will have all season to hopefully improve on that.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,657 Mega Baller
    edited January 2018
    @dhofert do lots of pull-ups, dead lifts and body rows. These exercises are the best I have found for a combination of strengthening your body and toughening up your hands. Farmers carries and suitcase carries with heavy dumbells help also.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Buoyhead69Buoyhead69 Posts: 73 Baller
    Thanks everyone. I feel a lot better knowing I’m not alone with this, it did shake my confidence a little. But, nonetheless, it was great to be chasing buoys for Christmas and it gave me a new appreciation for the challenges of course skiing. I should be back on the water tomorrow, going slooow but hopefully working with the boat instead of fighting it. I’ll try to post some video.
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 1,778 Mega Baller
    edited January 2018
    Our family went down to Florida over the Christmas break and we were able to squeeze two sets in at LaPoint Ski Park and at TheBoardingSchool. It was so awesome to get some sets in during the middle of winter. Getting the timing back and the rythym was the main focus - not trying to set a PB. I got a lesson at TheBoardingSchool and it reinforced the things I had been working on. Not to mention the great tips that Travis had. I know I’ll be back. It also made me realize how much I love skiing. Hurry up spring!

    @Buoyhead69 - don’t beat yourself up. You did great by skiing three or four days. Little reminders here and there during that time will help when our season starts up again.
  • MuskokaKyMuskokaKy Posts: 275 Baller
    @Buoyhead69 buddy don't even worry about it!! That happens to all of us northerners. Guys down south don't have that issue; maybe 0-3 months off....we go half the year off water almost... First few weeks in May i can barely get into a suit for work monday and tuesday...If you're ever in Muskoka give me a holler
  • TustinTomTustinTom Posts: 84 Baller
    +1 for all the comments above.

    I should confess I have experienced both the FL Winter AND possibly worse, the Dallas, TX Mid-Summer humbling.

    As a Salt Water (64-72*) skier, trying to get up mid-summer/mid-season in the 92* soft water in Dallas both exhausted and embarrassed me far worse than the FL Winter thing. I thought I would get coached up/past 15/32mph. Umm, NO. The water "felt" like getting pulled up through molasses, I had to swim to keep my head above water and resting in the water was a energy zap. I could only manage 1 set @ 9am, when it was cool at 90* and 80% humidity.

    I would go back to FL or TX ski schools in a heartbeat, but with properly adjusted expectations (as mentioned above) and a little more time in the weight room.

    You will have a great time !!!
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 212 Baller
    @FWinter It can't come soon enough! 88 more days.
  • cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 685 Crazy Baller
    The thing that stood out to me was your statements about how fast everything was happening. And that all the rider could offer you was pretty useless -a bummer he did not have a better eye.

    Usually when I am scorching into 1 ball:
    1) I am getting on the cut too abruptly
    2) Holding it too long
    3) Giving up my upper body to the boat resulting in down course direction and skiing straight at the ball on a flat ski.

    1) Try a progressive gate. Don't kill it. Maybe the water is faster than your used to as well? Turn in more gradually and have a really strong stack from the 1st whitewater just through the center wakes
    2) Release the cutting edge sooner to allow for a nice pre turn and actually decelerate coming into the ball, BUT keep handle control or elbows in all the way out with out staying on your cutting edge too long.
    For #2 to work you have to have a solid position in the wake crossing BUT if all you focus on is your stack without releasing the ski to edge change you/I just go back to problem #1 and scream into 1 ball.

    The reason why 32mph felt 'off' and fast too was because your doing the same thing there. The reason why I am so confident in this advice is because- We all Do it! Except the pros of course because they ski all year and are used to skiing different water all the time

    Also -get a better coach in the boat and Film your passes to see if your executing things that worked for you last summer.

    Keep us posted! I am jealous I wish I could spend some time in Florida in the winter.
    Vapor pro 2017
  • Buoyhead69Buoyhead69 Posts: 73 Baller

    A little late but here’s an update. I slowed it way down. My first couple passes were at 31mph. I eventually got to 32.5mph. Found a bit of a rhythm, hopefully have something to build on moving forward. I’ll go back in about 3 weeks, I plan to stay at 32.5 or so and just work on position, as you can see in the pictures (couldn’t load video) I’m not in very good position even at 32.5. Plus slowing it down was easier on my body- far less sore this time; trying to hop off a plane from MI and hammer out a pass at 34mph was a lot on my body. Surprisingly windy, didn’t get to ski as much as I’d hope. But it was a blast, skied at Eden in Ft Myers. Arthur and Prissy drove for me they’re both fantastic. Prissy is from IN, skied with Nate, she’s a wealth of information, as is Arthur.
  • gavskigavski Posts: 173 Baller
    I feel your pain...try removing 1deg off your wing,and moving your binding fwd 1 hole....or 1/8”...

    Cold water skiing has been discussed at length on this forum. So the theory about why and how is out there....

    Try reducing the boat speed a little...water temp about 60F, take 0.5 mph the winter months i would rather be skiing shortlines etc at a slightly reduced (factored) boat speed than hacking around full speed undoing all my progress made over the summer...

    (For every 1degC below 20degC water temp, i take 0.2kph off the speed) therfore 18degC = 57.6kph, 15degC = 57kph etc)
  • Buoyhead69Buoyhead69 Posts: 73 Baller
    edited February 2018
    @gavski are you saying move my front binding forward because of how I look in the pictures? Maybe that would help, I felt “stuck” on my turns, like I couldn’t let the ski finish the turn. I hate that feeling.
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