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Maintaining speed through the wakes at slower speeds and longer lines

XR6HurricaneXR6Hurricane Posts: 327 Baller
I have some trouble carrying speed through the wakes at 15 off and 30-32 mph whenever I ski behind an inboard. Behind my outboard I'm fine, but the inboards just have such big wakes at those speeds and line length that I have no choice but to flex my knees to absorb it, to avoid getting launched. At that speed flexing the knees seems to rob a lot of momentum. I'm getting better at it and seem to be entering the wakes at a good angle of attack with a reasonably good stack but have trouble with the carryout on the other side because of the energy I lose from absorbing the wake instead of crashing through like I do behind the outboard. I don't have video but are there any "generally speaking" tips on how to alleviate this problem? I'm on a Coefficient X so if I'm having trouble carrying speed and getting width I've gotta be doing something wrong. Thanks.


  • gregygregy Posts: 2,456 Mega Baller
    If your pulling through the wakes on edge it shouldn't be a problem. You may be anticipating the larger wake and defensively bracing causing the ski to flatten out. You have to be stacked on edge and trust that you'll get through. You don't want to be stiff in the legs. You'll need some flex but don't brake at the waste, flex ankles and push the knees forward.

    What boat is it?
  • KcSwerverKcSwerver Posts: 389 Baller
    By bending your knees and absorbing the wake the edge and angle is lost. Even at those speeds try to keep your legs a little harder through the wake. By doing this you should slice right through.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 3,991 Mega Baller
    Run some wake cutting drills where you start closer to the wake and pull through them. Chest up and eyes looking across the lake. Not at the wakes.
  • XR6HurricaneXR6Hurricane Posts: 327 Baller
    edited July 2013
    Thanks guys...keep the advice coming. I appreciate it.

    @gregy The boat in question is a 2000 Prostar 195. I'd say the wake is in the middle of the pack compared to other inboards I've been behind.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,456 Mega Baller
    That boats not the great at 30 and 32. You get used to it and other boats won't phase you. Like AB advise - don't look at the wakes. Look across, at the boat, something just not at the wake.
  • PBDPBD Posts: 190 Baller
    It's all about being on edge. If you let the ski flatten out you will feel the wake a lot more than if you edge through it.

    My $.02 about where to look is to focus on the motor box until you're between the wakes then look toward the ball. This will help you as you speed up and start to shorten the rope. Less bad habits to unlearn.
  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 380 Solid Baller
    If you saw my thread from the other day, I also am dealing with the tendancy to let up and flatten out and "jump" the wake. Here is what I learned and it echos much of what has already been written. If you leg lock in an attempt to slice through the wake but let up early, your ski will flatten out, hit the wake with locked leg, and get launched. Been there done that...a lot. If you bend knees to "absorb" the wake, you end up not pulling through them efficiently and you get dragged down course and don't make the ball. Been there done that...a lot. Tonight's sets were proof for me...slice all the way through those suckers! You'll maintain direction and speed and won't stall out in the turn.
  • aswinter05aswinter05 Posts: 363 Baller
    edited July 2013
    @XR6Hurricane , Over the past year I've struggled with the same issue.

    Going along with what others have said... "look across, at the boat, something just not the wake"

    What has helped me more specifically is looking directly down the rope line. This has helped me stay on edge and be more open to the boat. Whenever I remember to do this, my wake crosses are much smoother.

    Best of luck!
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 679 Crazy Baller
    I have the same problem. Hmmmmm even a bit worse. Currently trainig at 27/28.
    I flaten out the ski already a few meters prior to the wake.

    Recently it has become a little bit better.
    I try to look cross course imidiately after the turn when adding the body lean.
    Keep looking this direction through the wakes.
    Shift and look at the boie direct after the second wake.

    But should one have a low position or a high position during the pull?
    I am quite low and I see some pros running really low and some high.
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,255 Crazy Baller
    What @aswinter05 said. If you look down the line or at the boat you prevent your leading shoulder from getting low which is a precursor to an OTF.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,226 Mega Baller
    The real culprit here is how you are standing on your ski at the moment of impact at the wakes. If your hips are behind you then your upper body is probably right above your knees as you hit the wake. Your knees then have to flex into your body, sending your hips further out the back, or if you try to stay rigid, pitching your body forward. Neither is good.

    The key is to have advanced your knees and feet slightly ahead of your hips by the time you hit the wakes. This allows your knees to absorb the hit out in front of you with no effect on your hips or upper body.

    If you watch the pros through the wakes, they aren't rigidly slicing through the wakes, they absorb the whole hit with their knees while keeping their upper bodies still and quiet. Their stack at the wakes is ankles, hips, shoulders, with knees out front, not ankles, knees, shoulders with trailing hips.

    Seth's video demonstrating 15 off at 30 mph is a perfect example:

    Here are two freeze frames to highlight just how hard his knees are working without upsetting his upper body. First, he is tall and his feet are moving ahead of his body as he approaches the wake:


    Here, he's hit the massive wake, but note how his knees are out in front of him taking the full hit without upsetting his upper body. His butt is under his shoulders and his knees are out front working like shock absorbers:

    image ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • XR6HurricaneXR6Hurricane Posts: 327 Baller
    edited July 2013
    Thanks a bunch guys...I'd really like to conquer this boat because I'm doing a fair amount of skiing behind it. It seems like the height of the wake is one thing, but the gentle slope is another. I'm one of those guys that would rather hit a curb than a ramp. There are times when I pull off a good edge angle and am amazed at how well I get through it...just can't seem to do it consistently.

    @SkiJay I seems like one problem builds upon another also. If you don't maintain speed through the wakes, you have poor energy going into the turn and none coming out. Then the boat starts pulling you through the turn before you're ready and sets you up for a pitching forward position which, in turn, slows you down through the wakes as you try to correct for it. The fact that an inboard has no give exaggerates my shortfalls too. I don't really slow the outboard down much, but it heels over on the V bottom slightly when the load comes on and that gives me a split second longer to get my act together. The inboard can't even tell I'm behind it.
  • ralral Posts: 1,691 Mega Baller
    @XR6Hurricane, @SkiJay and the rest are correct. Edge is the key, if you are getting launched, it is because you are flattening the ski in anticipation. Same thing happens with the 22 off bump. A ski on edge is not launched by inboard wakes. Especially at 30 and also at 32 MPH, where the wake is softer than @ 34.
    Rodrigo Andai
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,456 Mega Baller
    I read this on the other day by Corey Vaughn. Thought about Seths 15 off videos when I read it.

    Technique Coaching:

    What do you believe is the biggest misconception in slalom ski theory?

    The big misconception that I always hear has to do with wake crossings, specifically how long a skier (especially at 15 and 22 off) should hold his/her edge. There is so much bad and sloppy language on this subject: “Lean through the second wake,” “hold your edge all the way through the wakes,” “don’t let off your pull behind the boat,” “you’re popping off the wake, you must be going flat, lean harder,” “get your hardest lean right behind the boat.” To the 15 off skier, all of these statements are entirely false, and to the shortline skier, they completely miss the nuance of what is going on with a good wake crossing.

    Ask any pro skier to run 15 off 30mph and I promise they won’t do any of the things mentioned above. They will complete their turn into a balanced, leveraged position and build their edge progressively into THE FIRST WAKE. As they edge up the first wake (like liquid ramp that it is), they will keep their legs strong, not absorbing any of that liquid speed bump with their body. Their shoulders will stay back behind their hips but they will ever so slightly start standing taller, beginning to de-weight the ski as they come off the crest of the first wake so that they can be agile as they reconnect with the water ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SECOND WAKE and get right into their transition (edge change). In other words, they will attack the first wake, much like jumpers attack the ramp, and use it to their advantage. They won’t bog themselves down by trying to keep their ski engaged in the water through the turbulent prop-wash and second wake. Those areas would only create drag and pull their good position apart. Instead, they will sail clean over the middle and second wake, like a shortcut and take their good balance and power into the pre turn. If the skier is trying to keep the ski in the water through the middle or really give some oomph on the second wake that skier is missing the opportunity to take a far easier and more rhythmic path through the course. They are likely compromising position on the first wake (squatting back, letting hands out and/or absorbing the wake with the knees/hips) in order to “stay on edge.” Staying on edge does no good if it means sacrificing balance, position and power to the boat. From here the boat will just drag the skier along the narrowest remaining path and the skier will lack the control to make a good turn.

    We need to recreate slalom language to talk about exploding “outward off of the first wake,” “being strong with the legs up the first wake,” “staying balanced into and off of the first wake.” My guess is that the bad language was created by skiers at 28 off and shorter, who no longer contend with wakes (rather a trough). Since they no longer experience “pop” they figure it must be bad to sail over the wakes. But if you watch any accomplished skier run 15 or 22 off, this is exactly what you will see – a series of 6 balanced pops and efficient transitions. Most struggling 15 off skiers have good enough body position to create this outward thrust off of the first wake but end up sacrificing the position because they think they need to go THROUGH the wakes.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,021 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Bottom line is that you must have the ski on far as possible.

    1) weight even on both feet

    2) elbows in...ARMS STRAIGHT....hands low near your waste

    3) lean away from the boat....lean away from the boat...and finally, LEAN AWAY FROM THE BOAT

    If your hands are out in front of aren't doing it
    If you are bent at the are not doing it
    If your arms are are not doing it
    If your ass/hips are behind your are not doing it

    Practice pulling out hard to the side of the boat from foam over and over will help you get used to the position. The great thing bout this drill is that it feels safer while you find that strong position.

    And, use video!!!!
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 679 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2013
    @gregy. Thanks for pointing this out for us 15off-ers.
    It seems like the key to progress is not to loose the speed across the wakes.

    Here is a split screen with two skiers at 15 off 26,7mph.
    One beginner and one experienced short line skier.
    One can clearly see the difference over the wakes.

    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • XR6HurricaneXR6Hurricane Posts: 327 Baller
    edited July 2013
    Thanks guys. It's of course a work in progress but this morning I worked on getting the ski out in front of me more and just "going for it" and wound up with a hell of a lot more speed on the carryout. Still bending a little too much at the waist but feeling a lot more confident. The people in the boat could read the "H.O." on the bottom of the ski so at least I'm getting it somewhat on edge, LOL.
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 679 Crazy Baller
    I am not there yet.
    Will never be with current setup.
    Radar is way to long to read during wake crossings. ;0)
    Really want to ski now.
    To much wind at our lake to ski last week.
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • XR6HurricaneXR6Hurricane Posts: 327 Baller
    edited July 2013
    Here's some video - for whatever good a head cam video does. I dropped one of the screws for my pylon mount overboard and haven't had a chance to replace it yet :(. Some of the wake crossings hardly move my upper body at all, so I must be doing at least some things right. This was my second and third runs so I was getting a little tired. Plus we skied like crazy yesterday. Looks like I could begin my edge change earlier. I think I was generating a little more angle yesterday.

  • OTFOTF Posts: 325 Crazy Baller
    I'm no expert but I would say just skip to 28 off and work on rhythm. Watch Seth Stishers whips drill on you tube a few dozen times.
  • 94009400 Posts: 565 Crazy Baller
    I know of a few people that have been "encouraged" to start learning the course at -28 at slow speed but I don't know of anyone that has been successful following that advice. Of the ones I know, I can't think of one that has run -32 at speed. I'm just curious if anyone knows of a success story with this method? I'll hang up and listen.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 3,991 Mega Baller
    The wakes at 15 off can seem like a wall to a beginner. I know the old saying of if the ski was on edge it would cut through them and note jump, but in reality, not every skier has the same fear factor. I have seen several young skiers run the mini course or regular course at 28 off until they get better at wake crossings and then go back to 15 off and really perform a lot better.

    And the byproduct is more fun and enjoyment for them.
  • xratedxrated Posts: 499 Solid Baller
    @gregy that seems to make the most sense to me as a long line free skier. I've always thought it looked like good skiers on youtube videos or behind the boat when i'm riding had their ski "jumping" the wake. It has kinda messed with me trying to take what I see and making sense of what I read.

    It at first in practice would scare me as it almost felt like I would lose control of the ski, but when I actually get myself to cut in such a manner so I feel that pop or jump I notice I am carrying way more speed across.

    Dang this BOS site I used to be content just making turns.
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