Starting your Gate

Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 1,750 Mega Baller
There have been a couple discussions on turn in for the gates, but how about even before that? What do you do? How intense of a pull or lean do you obtain in order to get width so you can have the optimal gate? I have tried a variety of things, but don't know that I have been consistent enough with any of them. Looking for ideas and tips. Thanks!


  • madcityskiermadcityskier Posts: 112 Baller
    I try to start my pull out when the boat is nearly to the pregate. Get wider than the turn ball line, and get enough speed to glide without sinking, while not ending up slack on my turn in. When the driver is getting to the end gate, I start my turn in and by the time the platform is moving through, I should be starting to load the line.
    Try it to see what you think, your results will LIKELY vary. If it matters I'm a 2 handed gate guy.
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 1,750 Mega Baller
    @madcityskier - thanks. Just trying to get people's point of view, reference etc. I am trying to figure out what @razorskier1 does. I didn't want to high jack his thread on Chris Rossi - Gate/Angle.
  • MSMS Posts: 4,338 Mega Baller
    @Skoot Did KC have any input to your gate prep?
    Shut up and ski
  • Deep11Deep11 Posts: 195 Baller
    Rossi's article on gates is difficult to surpass. The pull out is the one area in the course when you really can accelerate with minimal load, just by falling away on a balanced ski with the handle connected.
    Troublesome issue I had was occasionally 'tripping' over the ski (falling in the pull out not cool!) sorted by making sure that engaging the edge of the ski is the first thing to happen before falling away (or whatever you want to do). Ie stand tall, handle engaged, balanced on ski, then rotate outside hip slightly to engage left hand edge of ski.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,418 Mega Baller
    @Deep11 -- I think it all starts with your stance on the ski and position behind the boat. Be standing tall, feet flat, chest up and be riding on the whitewash outside the left wake (not in the trough of the wake). Handle should be low and centered in front of your belly button. The timing of the move out can vary, but what I started using last fall was watching the nose of the boat. When the nose of the boat obscures the right side pre-gate, I start to move out by pointing the ski outbound and leaning gently outbound. This motion will automatically pull the handle toward your right hip. Keep your elbows to your vest and your handle close to that hip. Throughout my pull out I am watching the gate and the one ball. Why? That's where I'm going next and I want to look where I'm going. I continue to gently lean outbound, staying on the outside edge, with the handle right on my right hip. When the left hand gate ball crosses the one ball, I start to turn the ski in. This is different than leaning. At this point I am simply changing the direction of the ski without loading it. Once I have the ski at the angle I want, I lightly load the handle and then just block, or hold that angle. I am not trying to add load, but simply maintain the angle I have. I find it counterproductive to try to add too much speed or load. Now I just focus on keeping my vision outbound across the second wake and maintaining my handle control. Elbows close to the vest, handle low.

    If I do all of this correctly, I appraoch the one ball early, wide and in control of my speed and, more importantly, my edges. As the boat takes the handle away (due to me being outbound and the boat moving up course), the ski finishes changing edges and creates a natural arc aroudn the ball. Now I just have to hook up and repeat.

    Pretty much all the skiers on this site approach this differently. This approach, which I only began refining this year despite many years of running -35 and -38, has so far meaninfully improved my success and confidence at shorter lines (confidence because I always know what one ball will be) and is nice and easy on the body. Hope this helps!
    Jim Ross
    Jim Neely
  • skiepskiep Posts: 254 Baller
    Same for me as Razorskier1 Just started this late last year.
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 1,750 Mega Baller
    @MS - Yes, KC and I discussed the gate quite a bit. Most of it was about the turn in towards one ball and setting the angle correctly. One of my bad habits is I tend to get a lot of seperation between my arms and body, so I need to work on that. (I think I'll be going back to a two handed gate vs a one handed gate this upcoming season) @razorskier1 - For the pullout it was described to me as a gentle stepping to one side in order to get moving off the wake. In other words, not heavily loading the rope is what we are after. What are we after? A tight line. It was windy when we skied, but we could both tell a difference when doing what KC was telling us. Tight line also means handle control. SOOO important!! BTW - I was skiing at 22 off and 34 mph just working on the basics. Another interesting thing that KC told me was to work on the gate without being "distracted" by the entrace buoys. Get the gate dialed in, then if needed, work on timing.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,418 Mega Baller
    @Skoot1123 -- Agree with all of what KC is focusing on. When you are just trying to get your angles and loads, don't worry about going through the gates. Here's the difference in where I am: knowing where the gate is actually enables me to maintain the correct load and angle. Said differently, if I turn in as early as I do now and actually lean and load, I will be way early of the gates. So, when I turn in I mentally use the gates to keep me on the correct line and to keep me from creating excessive load or angle.
    Jim Ross
  • Deep11Deep11 Posts: 195 Baller
    @Razorskier1 - well written! Courtesy of the discussions on the site, this is pretty much what I have been working on for the last 6/12 and while I am only midway down 12 at the moment it makes 1 bouy so much more predictable. "Blocking" doesn't really work for me as I find that I tend to edge change too late. "Turn and burn" clearly doesnt work as, as everyone knows, load too early and arms out off the wake (how do Andy and Jeff R do it? - do they actually do it???) Again I realise that we are actually trying to achieve he same ultimate effect, but for me I am aiming at maximum load at the second wake which forces a controlled edge change. I know "blocking" has the same effect of increasing tension to the midline, but it's funny how the mental picture affects what you do !? It s the same as your comment on "changing direction of the ski without loading it" for me this works as getting the edge engaged before moving my COM where I want to go. Interesting stuff.

  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,418 Mega Baller
    When done correctly, I don't feel that I create the load. I create a change in direction of the ski, and the boat (because I am now pointing across the course) creates the load, picking me up and accelerating me through to the other side. I am just resisting the load to maintain the desired angle.
    Jim Ross
  • Deep11Deep11 Posts: 195 Baller
    Totally agree ( hope it doesn't look like I don't !) I think for me its also been important to be able to "feel" when I am getting it wrong and applying load in the wrong place esp. when drift to the back of the ski and act like an anchor! Now rather than fighting a lost cause I give it up and have another go.
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