Rossi Answers Chapter 1.0 (starting to try running the course)

HortonHorton Posts: 26,952 Administrator
edited January 2014 in Technique & Theory

rossiI'd like to start by thanking both BOS and its members for the opportunity to contribute. The idea is to give BOS members the chance to ask me questions directly. The lucky winners will get a response from me on the BOS home page and will be sent some swag from my sponsors. For those questions that I do not choose as winners, I will do my best to answer in the forum under the category of "Ask Rossi". Here are the winners of the first go at "Ask Rossi":

@foxriverat asks
Hi Chris. For us new ballers that are just starting to try running the course. What advise or most important steps should we follow in order to succeed in making our first pass through the course.

Thanks for your question @foxriverat. Learning to run the course can be a frustrating experience. I have three ideas to focus on that may help you:

Lets start with an important concept that holds most skiers back and that is their desire to run the course at all costs. For the most part, I see skiers at this early stage of course skiing putting maximum physical effort in an attempt to make all six buoys. I believe the natural thought progression running through this skiers head comes down to trying to pull harder with the thought that it will make them earlier to the next buoy and give them a chance to make it to the end of the course. If any of this rings true to you, I have a solution. Firstly, you need to let go of these thoughts. You are focusing on the wrong things. I like to start by telling skiers that running the course is easy. Don't take that statement the wrong way. It will be physically easy if you change your approach. Almost everything in this sport is counter intuitive. By pulling harder, you are taking away from good form. This would be equivalent to a new golfer trying to simply swing harder to hit the ball further. Instead, focus on completing your turn and getting into a lean that is not trying to pull the boat backward. No matter what your turn just looked like, when you feel the boats pull come through the handle, don't fight it, but rather accept it. Any bit of bent arms that may have come from a rushed turn should immediately be relaxed. Straight arms are key to running the course. By straightening your arms, you allow your body to lean more which rolls your ski on edge more. I try to think of myself hanging off the end of the handle with straight arms in a stacked position. I define a stacked position as having straight arms, handle low by our waist or upper thigh area, and having our feet, hips, and shoulders all in a line. For more on being stacked, check out my article "The Power Triangle" (http://slalomguru.com/articles.php?article=power). This concept will have a huge effect on your ability to run the course and will set your early course mechanics on the right path.

The next concerning thing I see beginning course skiers do is skiing at too fast of a boat speed. Don't be afraid to slow the boat down considerably. Over and over I see skiers trying to learn the course at 30mph or faster. I recommend adults learn the course at 22-25mph on a ski that is wider than a traditional high end ski. Now a days, there are a lot of choices in mid range skis that offer the support of increased surface area with the turn characteristics of higher end skis. By slowing the boat down, you increase your likelihood of successfully completing the course.

My third piece of advice is to miss the entry gates on the easy side. Almost all of the new course skiers I see drastically alter their first cut through the gates in an attempt to go through the gates (turn in, start a good cut, stand up and wait to go through the gates, then cut hard again to get out to the first buoy). If you look at all skiers who run the course on a regular basis, one thing they ALL have in common is a decisive cut for the gates. The moment you decide that it is time to cut for the gates, go for it! Even if you miss the gates by a large amount, it is better to develop strong habits at this stage of your skiing.

These three ideas should make learning the course a much faster and more enjoyable experience. Good luck and thanks again for the great question!

I look forward to continuing the discussion in the forum. Thanks again for the opportunity to contribute and thanks to my sponsors for making all this possible:

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Comments

  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 502 Crazy Baller
    John. Thank you for the opportunity to ask Chris our questions. And Chris. Thank you for the great advise on learning to run the course. I cant wait till spring to put it into practice!
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2016 66 lithium vapor
  • Chris RossiChris Rossi Posts: 277 Open or 55K Rated Skier
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 502 Crazy Baller
    @chrisrossi I was trying to run the course on my 15 year old 66 kd7000 at 34mph 15 off this summer. End of the season I picked up a 67 senate. I only got to use it once for 2 sets of free skiing. I couldnt beleive how easy it turned and got me back into my pulling position. I had never crossed the wake that fast. At 5.7 165 how slow do you think I can ski the senate? Thank you.
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2016 66 lithium vapor
  • WishWish Posts: 7,675 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I will say this. I have a friend that rode a Senate for a season trying to concur the course. We slowed to 30 but he couldn't get it. Sooooo close. We slowed to 28 and it was just to slow. A ski coach and good friend of mine basically told him to get a Radar P6. Thought he was loopy for the suggestion. But he literally kept badgering him to switch to the P6. Found an older one for $75. We slowed him to 25mph (NO sinking) and BAM... ran it his second pass. He's been on it and has even increased his speed. The Senate is still there for him when he is ready. @foxriverat not suggesting you should switch but for anyone else out there...The P6 is seriously a great first time course ski without question. Coach friend of mine has placed many many students on them with instant success. And it a Radar ski so I'm guessing @chrisrossi would approve.. ;-)
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    JJR
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 502 Crazy Baller
    @wish Since I already have the senate and the wife would kill me if I bought another ski. I was getting close on the kd at 34. Thinking I can do it at 30 on the senate. If not I will look for a used P6 this summer. Maybe by then she will have the new bedroom set carpeting etc etc and I can buy another toy.
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2016 66 lithium vapor
    Shakeski
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,952 Administrator
    @foxriverat
    30mph is pretty fast for your first full pass. Slow it down.

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  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 502 Crazy Baller
    @horton I will go as slow as I can on the senate. I just read on a post today a guy at 6.5 168lbs didnt give ski length skis a senate c at 24 practicing the course. So I will just have to see how slow I can go to learn before ponying up for another ski.
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  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 605 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm no expert, but i'm in a very similar position as you. I had run the course occasionally a few years back on my 67" KD6500 at 30 and 32 mph. After getting all the way up to 185 last spring (5'11") I knew I was going to have to slow it down to 28 mph and I knew that my ski sunk at 28 even back when I was 155. So I got a new ski. I chose a 69" Senate - yes, it's too large for me, but hitting 185, I wasn't sure if I was maybe headed all the way up to 220 or more, I didn't know where the weight gain was going to stop, so I wanted a ski plenty big.

    I've run it at 28 and 30 and it still feels great. I'm currently at 175, so I have a 2" longer ski, but I also have a few extra pounds more than you. Anyway, based on my experience, I would be surprised if your ski doesn't feel just fine at 28 and feel great at 30. I'm anxious to see what speed it bottoms out at for you so I can probably kick myself a little more for not getting a 67 or 68.
  • rawlyrawly Posts: 467 Solid Baller
    That "Power Triangle" article is awesome.Can't wait to try some of it next weekend.The strait arms is also what I am working on (there is a real nice go-pro video of Terry Winter that really demonstrates the straight arms) maybe someone that knows what they are doing could post it ? What are the chances of getting you to Horton's lake once it gets water Chris ? Thanks
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 502 Crazy Baller
    @escmanaze Thanks. Thats what I was hoping for. Im sure I will be able to go pretty slow on the senate. I weighed myself at the gym last week and Im at 160. Its going to be a while before I can try though as it is -4 with wind chills down to -20 in Illinois now. : (
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2016 66 lithium vapor
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 605 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Ha ha ha!! Well, I'm not quite that cold here in Utah, but I also, unfortunately, am not in a position to be skiing right now. Early April is about the earliest I can possibly imagine my season starting.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,767 Mega Baller
    I've got a P6 that I use for beginners. I've skied it, too. Very stable and predictable. Can still carve a turn. Great ski. First times through the buoys should be no faster than 28 for most guys. Stay on lean a little longer, flow into the turn smoothly, finish head up, straighten arms and lean, repeat 6 times.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • Chris RossiChris Rossi Posts: 277 Open or 55K Rated Skier
  • WishWish Posts: 7,675 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited January 2014
    All 6 buoys can be yours at 25mph+ ...and for cheap.

    $16 dollars a ball. And that's just your first pass. Get it while the gettn is good.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2012-Radar-P-6-67-Inch-Slalom-Waterski-NEW-/400552447897?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d42c94f99
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    Than_Bogan
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 502 Crazy Baller
    @Wish Saw that last week. Now there running a sale on it. Thats an amazing price. I do beleive at 5.7 160 I can slow that 67 senate down enough though. Plus the credit card bill is due the 5th for my wifes xmas shopping. Its like making a double mortgage payment this week. Hope someone on here picks that deal up.
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2016 66 lithium vapor
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 502 Crazy Baller
    Making progress. Ran the course 3 weeks ago. Then high water burried the bouys and a floating tree took a few buoys out. Got back on course thurs last week mostly skiing inside bouys. Sunday morning did 16 runs through course. Last few sets made the gate and getting 4 bouys 29 mph at 15 off. Wont be long now.
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2016 66 lithium vapor
    Skoot1123Than_BoganToddLPatRe
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,289 Mega Baller
    That's great news!

    But unless you're a lot bigger than your picture makes you look, I think 29 is too fast and will hold you back a little. @Horton recently demonstrated that he didn't sink in running 26 mph on his regular ski (sized for much higher speeds), and I believe he's about 190 lbs.

    If you just can't stand any slower, then so be it. I don't want you to torture yourself! But you'll be able to learn more and faster with a nice big ski and the slowest speed you can tolerate. For a typical adult, that's about 26mph.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MSMS Posts: 5,097 Mega Baller
    5'8 195
    Shut up and ski
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,952 Administrator
    @ms I am 5' 8 7/8" 188

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  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 502 Crazy Baller
    Next time out I'll drop the speed down. 5'7 160 on 67 senate. I have no problem with ski sinking
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  • thagerthager Posts: 4,388 Mega Baller
    edited July 2014
    Opps, wrong post!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • PatRePatRe Posts: 72 Baller
    Wow, another great response by Chris Rossi! Me thinks it should be taken to heart by all skiers - not just those attempting their first passes.

    "Lets start with an important concept that holds most skiers back and that is their desire to run the course at all costs."

    Thanks Chris Rossi!
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 502 Crazy Baller
    Well I finally made it over that hurdle. Slowed it down to 28 and got all 6 bouys twice this morning at 15 off. After I start to get more consistent with it. What should I work on next. Bumping up speed or shortening rope?
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2016 66 lithium vapor
    davemacThan_Boganrodeconcrashman
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,289 Mega Baller
    I recommend BOTH of the following:

    1 Go slower and run it better. Focus on technique especially behind the boat.
    2 Go faster and learn from failure.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan

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