Starting to get an ill-formed idea that I thought I'd share to see if we can shape it into something more useful. As always, a bit long-winded...
When skiing a longer line length (which in this context covers roughly -15 through -32), the phase right after the 2nd wake, often dubbed the "preturn," consists of making an actual turn. If you didn't begin to turn, you'd keep going and go well beyond the width of the course.
When the rope gets "very" short, and I'm especially thinking -38 and beyond, this aspect is a bit different. You don't really have to starting turning at that point, because if you just ride the arc of the rope, it pulls you right onto the path you want to be on.
You really don't "turn" until after the buoy.
I'm finding this an easier way to think about concepts like handle control and make them work better.
In the past, when I've stopped my "pull" phase at -35 or -38 near the centerline, as many pros suggest, I've felt I couldn't get enough width. I now believe this was because I unknowlingly transitioned into a traditional pre-turn. I'm on the "turning" edge, must be time to turn, right?
But, in fact, you want to continue to ski away from the boat even while on that "turning" edge. The natural geometry of the rope swinging out close to 90 degrees will give all the "turn" you could want, and if you keep skiing away from the boat it keeps the line tight while still achieving the desired width. It also prevents losing your "connection" too soon and then getting stuck "pushing against a string" when it's time to release the handle. Instead, you ski away from the handle with the line still tight.
In my mind, this basically feels like replacing the concept of a "preturn" with more of a "rideout" -- although I need a better name than that!
I realize this is nothing new -- but it's a different way of thinking about it. And it's always good to have more ways to convince your body to do the right thing!
Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan