After 15 years, I have determined, “The single weakest leak in my chain is the “Edge Out”
A LFF skier Mens IV – 34mph. My thoughts just prior to Edge out. Weight on the front foot, hips up, elbows on the vest, arms straight, fingers relaxed, handle low, ski close to the wake as possible but out of the trough, I start when the boat is approximately a half a boat length from the pre-gates. As I go, I turn my shoulders slightly to the boat, with vision on the back of the boat’s platform to get my hips moving in the direction I need to go, (having my vision anywhere else has not worked in the past and causes me to break forward at the waist, as my eyes directly control my shoulders). Most of the time midway out from the start of the edge out, to the middle of the white water, I end up losing some of the front foot pressure, the hips squat back a little (strangely I never feel it until it is too late), connection (elbows to vest) is lost and I end up with decreased outbound speed and energy, instead of the opposite increased speed to take me high up on the boat. I believe once the hip drop occurs, I hang on the line a little bit too long (as a consequence) in the edge out to achieve that width. I feel like most of the time I have ended up with down course rather than outbound speed.
My next move is to stand tall and square up to look down the buoy line. I normally do get as wide as the 2, 4, 6 buoy line at 28 & 32 off. The end result is a slower turn in for the gate, ski gets stuck or trapped slightly behind me instead of out in front in a good stack position. The boat pulls me down course through the gates into a “late” one ball. Video displays a slight squat on the back leg through the gates with space between the elbows and vest (all as we know no good). I would say 75% of the time this is my start to the pass. So I want to really change it up this year more than ever. Searching for the why I allow the hips to squat a little, even with so much focus on not doing it. Note I have and will continue to do get more professional coaching just in Atlanta nothing is too close by, either over to South Carolina or down to Florida are the closest avenues.
A little background, 2012 I was a 35 off skier (scrapper, mainly because of the poor late starts), I managed to get one or two balls at 38. 2013 broke my L ankle right at the beginning of the season, hit 2 ball square and didn’t release (fogman bindings) and was done for the year (surgery). 2014 started my come back, changed my bindings got back to skiing 32 off (but never liked the new reflex bindings, were just too sensitive for me). Stayed away from tournaments last year just because I never made it back, Could not ski consistently where the first two passes were on demand out the boat, normally start at 28 off. Towards the latter part of the season, I just fell a little out of love with chasing buoys and worked more on free skiing instead of course skiing, with the intent to change up old ingrained bad habits. Free skiing helped some, (I am an adrenaline junky, so ripping 100 turns over a ski practice brought me back some joy into the pureness of skiing. but never helped me as much as I thought, once I would go back into the course) Overall, For me, if I am not skiing the course 3 times a week, I normally do not make forward progress getting shorter down the line. If you are like me, your perception of what is going on in the pass versus reality are nowhere close to each other. Long story, but hopefully the details are clear in understanding.
2015 is here I have decided to go back to my original fogman bindings that I really liked because of the stiff cuff and now have them mounted on the OB4 system. Really been motivated over this fall, & will be back to high school weight by the start of the season in March, dropping 15 lbs (180 down to 165lbs & I am 6’ tall). So wondering, How do you keep & maintain your stack in your edge out ? For those that have mastered your edge out if you can think back on what you did mentally to keep the hips up at all times. The start dictates the rhythm & speed of the pass. Any suggestions/comments are appreciated on what I listed above. I believe the RFF skiers may have different approach than the Lefties on the start, so if you would not mind advise which foot forward you are. Thank you