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Don't try to be smooth...

DavidPDavidP Posts: 161 Baller
edited February 2017 in Technique & Theory
I've noticed other threads mentioning trying to ski smooth, so I thought I would share this story. In June 2014, I was in the market for a new ski. At that time I was about 50% running 35off at 34mph. Andy Mapple was in the Houston area so I did a demo set riding the 6.1 with Andy in the boat. After a couple of (I thought) smooth 32s we shortened to 35 and I got 2. While sitting in the water, he could tell I was bummed and here's what he told me - which no one ever told me before (my wife was videoing in the boat and kept the camera rolling):

"Don’t try to be smooth. OK that sounds kind of funny, but being strong, quick and aggressive and a sense of urgency from the apex of the turn…your pulls should always start from the apex, not around the buoy, pull always from the apex. An aggressive skier will make a pass look smooth. If you try to be smooth, you’re reacting slow and then things go away from you. When you see the pros and you see them run passes, josh it’s so smooth and so early, it’s because they are hitting it hit hard…quickly and where they need to and that becomes the result…is a smooth looking pass. 35off you’ve got to hit it, smooth will happen. It will look smooth if you do it right, but don’t try to manufacture smooth."

I proceeded to run the next two passes at 35 and purchased that exact ski. So as the new ski season approaches and I get back into skiing shape, I will replay the GOAT's words and focus less on being smooth and more on hitting it hard where I need to.
David Panneton - LakePort Water Ski Club, formerly known as Muddy Waters
Steven Hainespvysohlidkeithh2oskierMISkierBruce_Butterfieldswc5150skiboynyRalph Lee6ballsLuzzFLeboeufGloersenjayskiski6jonesbogboylpskierDanELakeOneSkierSkoot1123jimbrakelakeaustinskierskialexReggieOSkiJayaupatkingpumpinpetericowtrskiorCaleBurdickart90notchBulldogJohn BrooksMarkTimmskiinxsparkerc2112skifanBroussard2tracmindFam-manrodeconGaryWilkinson
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Comments

  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,869 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    The only guy who ever told me to "pull harder". I was like "what???"
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I refuse to pull harder! Every time I do that a handle or a rope breaks!
    Jim Ross
    Texas6
  • cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 685 Crazy Baller
    edited January 2017
    This is interesting and makes sense. I had some interaction with an Andy protégé English female skier Nicole Aurther she said Andy told her to build speed early. TW has said the same thing.

    My question is for a RFF skier who abruptly gets on the handle too soon off 1/3/5 and heard the coaching from the well meaning guys in the boat ...'wait till the till boat picks you up closer to the 1st white water to get on your '....' insert you favorite term here: load /stack /pull whatever.

    Where is the balance between? Seems like letting the ski finish the turn is a good place to start?
    Vapor pro 2017
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 794 Crazy Baller
    edited January 2017
    @cragginshred - you need Andy's words ringing in your head; "I want you to turn quicker, not harder!"

    There is a difference (all too infrequently experienced here).
    cragginshredaupatkingchris55
  • So_I_SkiSo_I_Ski Posts: 79 Baller
    Andy coached a big group of us (22 skiers, I think) about 5 years ago and we heard the same things about being aggressive. Then some of us were coached by Mike Suyderhoud almost 2 years ago now and he put it in perspective. He said the guy who gets accelerating the soonest and quickest as he completes the turn like a runner out of the blocks will be the most successful. So don't wait to get on it was both his and Andy's advice.

    Although to me, sometimes it appears that the pros seem to wait till they're closer to the white water and I often hear others say not to pull too hard, too soon. Confused!
  • bogboybogboy Posts: 693 Baller
    @DavidP, sometimes I find it helpful to get a little mad when I want make my passes that I should be making.
    customski
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,869 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @wish perfect. I think the deal is Andy would get early enough, as do lots of the great skiers, that he was high early. Given he was high earlier, his pendulum starts to come back earlier; thus he drifts back behind the boat sooner after the ball, thus allowing him to get on it sooner and be early to the next ball.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • WishWish Posts: 7,302 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @6balls yep and with more swing speed so he is not digging himself out of a hole. Speed already out of the turn so connection seems seamless, controlled and smooooth...er ah a mean not smooth..hmmmmm....
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    Gloersen
  • cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 685 Crazy Baller
    @Wish can you explain your graph a little better starting with US numbers -28 -32 ect.
    Is this showing a turn ball scenario or glide thru gait width example?

    Thanks!
    Vapor pro 2017
  • WishWish Posts: 7,302 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited January 2017
    HA! wish it were my graph but @AdamCord gets the credit and would explain better then I but it shows what each line length angle would look like as the skier rounds the ball And the relationship to the boat at that very moment. Not all line lengths shown as it would get to messy. But you can see the skier at long line can load almost out of the ball while the shortline skier has to time things better to allow the boat to pull away and connect on a similar angle as the long line skier. Colors of rope rep lengths.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 799 Crazy Baller
    If I understand that graph correctly it shows that at very short lines (rope at or near 90 degrees to the boat) the boat can't pull the skier down coarse until the skier comes back behind the boat to some degree. That location nearer the centerline results in an angle between the rope and coarse centerline that is more similar to the geometry at apex for skier at longer lines.

    Close?
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
    Wish
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 794 Crazy Baller
    edited January 2017
    @Wish - yes, Andy (all the great short-liners) epitomize an optimal vector quantity; they make the most efficient use of their momentum.

    "smooth" is kind of like "counter rotation"; it's the result of a cascade of effective technique, not so much a deliberate action in and of itself.

    then of course there is "calamitous"; a result of a corkscrew of cataclysmic technique. There were times when watching me behind the boat that I'm sure Andy wanted to jump out and swim to shore...but he never did! :)
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @Wish -- yep. Importantly, ask yourself -- am I "getting on it" behind the boat, or is it simply that I am resisting and the boat, because of it's position, is building the load? Said differently, I can't load the boat, but the boat can load me! What I want at the ball is to establish direction and speed. As noted above, you can't load at the ball -- there is nothing to lean against! However, I would argue that what we all think of as "loading" behind the boat is really just the fact that by maintaining our direction, the boat is loading us!
    Jim Ross
    [Deleted User]
  • WishWish Posts: 7,302 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,172
    edited January 2017
    @ski6jones, yes that's what the graph is suggesting, and precisely why the big dawgs and pro's look like they don't hook up until they are half-way back to the wakes.

    But that conflicts with what the message presented by Andy in this particular example, although I believe it is easy to confuse. Andy's theory always included skiing harder and doing more work behind the boat. Even at easier line lengths, he wanted you skiing equally aggressive, so it became muscle memory. I think it's fair to say the work zone moves from the apex closer to the wakes as the line shortens
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • WishWish Posts: 7,302 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I think the turn and being urgent in the turn or not smooth (rushed) in general is not the answer. But delaying something that seems would make things smoother is worse. It is a bit of a conundrum and suseptable to misunderstandings IMHO. I am glad that the turn is no longer my focus for the most part.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • MSMS Posts: 4,884 Mega Baller
    Nobody skis like the GOAT
    Shut up and ski
    ski6jonesWishGloersenHorton
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,452 Mega Baller
    The two things Andy told me was, one try to get wider (which I translate as being higher on the boat). He told me to think of a fense I was trying to bust through that ran parallel to the course. The second what's being talked about here. He said you needed to create speed and you had certain ares to create it so the sooner you started the more speed. He said the work area should be from the ball to the center of the wake.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,869 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited February 2017
    @rico I think sometimes that can make a bit of difference in coaching. Andy could build a ton of energy into the wake but then superbly manage it out to the ball. I can also build a ton of energy into the wake (certainly not as well), but if I do all of it tends to be released up course and narrow cuz I'm simply not as good as him after the wake in managing it to wide/high (not even close--like not on the same planet).
    I've always felt like the best skiers are better than the rest of us from wake to ball even more-so than they are better than us from ball to wake.
    With that, sometimes if the "coach" coaches their style and is on an admittedly different level than the student by a large margin...the coaching may not be the best coaching for the pupil at hand.
    More energy and speed generation via pulling harder only works if I can manage the second half...and so far I'm as good as I'd like to be over there.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • WishWish Posts: 7,302 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited February 2017
    @rico no doubt he hit his marks better then anyone (his outbound momentum was astonishing off the second wake) but he like anyone can only do so much with the handle path as there is a limit. What I wonder is how much of what he did prior to the turn was the "urgent" part and how much of the turn, as you say, is him just riding out the turn rather smoothly IMHO as he was "finishing the turn by the time he reached the buoy". My point is trying to not be smooth seems easily misinterpreted. What constitutes smooth in my mind is the guys like Andy that gets so much right in the gate shot and from the connection to the CL that makes his turn effortless...smooth. Don't try to be smooth or trying to be smooth in and out of the turn may not be the best plan of attack or focus. Where you find the aggression may not be from the apex..to me that's riding back to the connection. I agree to not manufacture smooth but where the urgency and aggression should occurr may be different then suggested. It may be only when the connection comes and hopefully the boat is farther away at shortline for that to occur earlier then later.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • lakeaustinskierlakeaustinskier Posts: 334 Solid Baller
    I try to think of it as leaning early but loading later. And I still screw it up. When the 200 first came out I went to a clinic where Andy was coaching and also promoting the new 200. I was fine until I got in the water, looked at Andy in the boat and thought "Andy freakin' Mapple is watching me". I promptly misgrabbed the handle and muffed the pull-up :)
    Ted Thomson, Austin Texas, Aquaplex
    6ballsWishAndre
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 794 Crazy Baller
    edited February 2017
    GOAT
    WishMS
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 799 Crazy Baller
    I need to master that 3 ball turn.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
    Texas6
  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 386 Baller
    This is the very core of my continued confusion.

    Rotate hips back to handle, set angle (at the apex) and wait for the boat to create the tension or load? Or, carry as much speed through the turn as possible and ride the ski to the first wake and kinda blend into the load? Have been coached both, by very well known coaches, in the same month. I have watched from the boat someone run 39 where the gate shot started early and most definitely looked like nothing was happening until the first wake (blend). Have also watched 39 gate shot of another skier that waits way late to turn in; looks more like shot out of a cannon. The ride down the course for the former looked more blended in terms of speed and had a longer pull. The latter hauled ass and was done at the center-line. Both very respected skiers. Tomato, Tomatoe? If I have understood the Adams GUT material, they are advocating shot out of a cannon? A person of one methodology will say the other is wrong if they are coaching (or at least they said it to me). I'll leave it to them to say a methodology that runs 39 is wrong. I have a hard time seeing it that way.

    One thing that really stood out to me, was the Adams demonstrating that the faster we are at the center-line, the less load on the skier (double benefit). Because I pursued the flowy method for so long, I don't think I have learned what to do from the center-line out with the speed of the shot out of a cannon approach.

    Then there is Mapple's no gate 39? 38? to really muck up the discussion of what is "required" in terms of speed at the gate. Perhaps merely a demonstration of off the charts athletic ability.

    Another random bit is a current top skier who has run 41 said that he gets his best pull after the second wake. Not strongest pull but, best pull. Hmmm.
  • WishWish Posts: 7,302 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited February 2017
    I'll suggest "best pull off second wake" is maybe the acceleration which does occurr at its highest point off the second wake especially with being "shot out of a cannon" style...and the skier is still connected/pulling there. Speed management is certainly a mixed bag. You can have skiers that turn with speed and blend connection and acceleration (smoother..less veriation in speed) and those that dig a bit of a hole out of the ball and get significant speed variation from a stop to a go (exaggerated). Both can get it done but to me one is more efficient with less loads overall. Even at shortline. I'd suggest that the Adams do not advocate the shot out of a cannon style but the opposite. They want us to turn with the highest speed manageable and blend that speed into the connection, load and acceleration all timed in rhythm with the boat (not the course). Their ski design helps greatly with this. Since GUT, my loads have gone way down, speed through the turn way up and is a more seamless connection that allows me to use swing speed from the boat. We were fortunate enough to have @thager out this past Sat. He mentioned to the driver that I am a completely different skier from last time he saw me (2yrs ago). My guess is from the "shot out of a cannon" style 2 yrs ago to a blended smoother style with little veriations in speed...well, at least not as dramatic. But that is a guess. He may have seen something different.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,271 Mega Baller
    @Wish You are way smoother and controlled than I remember. Muy Bueno! Very impressed! Definitely not like my "Arrhythmic violence" style of skiing!!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
    lakeaustinskierWish
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 185 Baller
    I love this conversation. I think this is at least one of my many problems (trying to be smooth)

    I will throw another one out there that I think is my root cause. I think I have admit I am scared of the wake. I may not think it in my head, but my reaction on films show it. Prior to me getting a legit skiboat I was free skiing regularly behind a cross over MasterCraft with a hard and tall wake for skiing. I know I have developed bad habits from this wake because of some nasty falls. Its getting better each season but I know if I could just pull through the wakes I would be a better course skier. Anyways, how does a guy get rid of the hesitation to pull through the wake?
  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 386 Baller
    @Wish Glad I asked because I may have misinterpreted the GUT stuff I read. When I say "shot out of a cannon" I did not mean from a slow position or in a hole. I meant it in the same way a jumper can wait later to cut to the ramp in an effort to generate more speed as a result of the increased angle. Not slower at turn in; just later. That move in to the gate seems to vary a lot with skiers I have watched. One coached: be moving/start move inbound when the nose hits the gate (@34.2) Another one: wait till you start to panic and then go down the lake some more. I scared myself doing the latter but it definitely demonstrated that I could move a lot faster than I had been. I was missing the 2nd wake out skill set to handle it.
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