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Initiating the turn

So_I_SkiSo_I_Ski Posts: 142 Baller
A group of us in western Canada are on the water nice and early this year. We free ski for the first month before installing courses. One of our guys who is working on his 35 off is trying to change his gate. He is very tall, left foot forward who would bend his knees a lot and tip backwards to start his turn in. When we got him standing tall in his glide with lots of weight on his front foot he quite literally had no idea how to start the turn in without tipping back. When he got in the boat we suggested turning his left knee in and moving his COM in the direction of travel but it still did not help much. It wasn't until I thought about it the following day that I realized we were missing something critical that I didn't actually think about myself which explained problems that I would have from time to time with my turns and particularly on my off side.

So I have a question for you guys. Can you explain in specific detail the moves that you make to turn the ski, not just on the gate but during the pass and if it differs from side to side please elaborate. Like myself I won't be surprised if you do it so automatically that you can't describe it to someone else. Thanks.
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Comments

  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,209 Administrator
    @Colebrah said something interesting to me along these lines last weekend. He suggested I think about leading with my left hip of a rotated in. Cole did I get that right?

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  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    @Wish -turning any part of your body from 12:00 to 11:00 will always be a counter clock wise rotation. turning from 12:00 to 1:00 will always be a clock wise rotation. so you are telling this guy to start with his hips pointing at 12:00 and then rotate his hips counter clock wise toward 11:00 prevent drifting back in. then you're telling him to turn them clock wise toward 1:00 to initiate his turn in -and then keep progressively turning his hips clock wise after instating the turn in. Are you sure you don't have that backwards?
  • WishWish Posts: 8,056 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited March 2016
    No. It is correct. Pull out for glide and set hips to 11:00...hold (avoids drift in as it slightly sets an outside edge or at the very least keeps ski flat). Ready to turn into gates ..FIRST move hips to 1:00 and progressively more.

    Not complicated. Hips at 12:00 was just a reference to hips being neutral with the ski as in neither direction. You have to go to 11:00 and hold. I would think of this as points not counter or clockwise talk. That confuses things.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    [Deleted User]DefectiveDaveTexas6skialex
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    @Wish - okay last try. You say to first set your hips at 12:00 which i think we both see as squaring your hips down course. now you rotate them to 11:00 and hold. so are you saying that the same part of your hips which was facing 12:00 a moment ago is *now* facing 11:00 ? if so that is definitely the exact opposite of every thing i have come to know about slalom.

    to be clear i think you may mean to say that you point your *left* hip at 11:00 to hold and then point your *right* hip at 1:00 to initiate but that does not jibe with your above description. hence my confusion.
    Orlando76
  • DefectiveDaveDefectiveDave Posts: 479 Solid Baller
    edited March 2016
    @mwetskier,

    I believe @Wish is trying to say that you need the hips to face away from the course a bit during the glide. Then when it's time to move to the gate you rotate the hips towards the course. Conserving angular momentum your ski will then point and move outbound momentarily, which moves your COM to the inside of the ski initiating the turn towards the gates. It seems backward at first, but it's actually very similar to the concept of counter-steer on a motorcycle.

    Here's a good video that explains it in the context of a motorcycle. The primary differences for us are:

    - the hips can be thought of as the effective handle bars and the ski as the tire
    - the ski turns the opposite direction of the hips when in an upright position due to conservation of angular momentum

    WishHortonSkoot1123epnault
  • mbabiashmbabiash Posts: 561 Crazy Baller
    I took a couple video coaching sessions with Parrish last year.
    He had me doing the exact thing @wish is talking about.
    Imagine an arrow pointing straight out of your belly button.
    Chris said to point arrow to 1 o clock right before the pull out. Count 1 one thousand.
    Stand up on front foot at 12 o clock then point the arrow to 11 o clock to hold that line until the turn in and then back to 1 o'clock
    Works so good and helps initiate the turn without leaning my upper body first.

    Wishgregy
  • Mateo_VargasMateo_Vargas Posts: 886 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I am LFF and the best and simplest gate move tip I have ever received came from righty Terry Winter. My 1st move used to be sink my knees and point my left knee towards the gates while leaning back which usually lead to a tail turn. On the last pass of my set he told me to stand up straight and just tip over. I thought for sure this would lead to an epic stack but I tried it. When ready to turn I fell sideways towards the wake, the ski came around and I just held on. It generated great angle with less moving parts.
    Success is failure that just hasn't happened yet
    ski6jones
  • WishWish Posts: 8,056 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited March 2016
    @mwetskier No. saying which hip just complicates it and it's to much to think about. And to be honest, my hips are attached each other. If I point one hip in one direction...hay.. lookey there..the other one follows. It's one unit..less complicated.

    So to complicate it.....If you are going to maintain a straight efficient glide and not get sucked in, this is a way, not the only way, but a way to accomplish this in a simple move and thought form. As you pull out, your already turning your hips that way (11:00) or at least you should be. When coming up into the glide you're basically maintaining this slightly away from the boat twist with your hips..aka 11:00. Again, for someone getting used to a new gate, this is a rather easy way to sort it out both in the outbound move and in the glide and finally the turn in. If you have been told to glide with your hips facing the boat rather then away (slightly) in the glide, I'd say perhaps some bad advice was given. Here. Watch Nate closely. He sets his hip at 11:00 aka COM for the outbound and then maintains that in the glide. You can see the small spray going at the boat and not at the shore in the glide. When the boat starts to move away..and it has to at short line.. he rotates his COM..hip.. past neutral (12:00) to 1:00 and past that. This keeps his COM on top of the ski and never does he end up on the tail of his ski. The result is very high speed into the center of the wake creating an early edge change. I say it that way because he is not forcing or doing the edge change, the edge change timing and where it happens is directly related to the speed he takes to the centerline. His ski is dead flat tip to tail in the glide aside from being on a slight outer edge. His COM is forward. His ski is now efficient and running without drag. His turn in ..COM first.. or hips is what keeps this COM going and since he already had speed and an efficient ski with speed, he's able to generate a great deal more speed in far less space then most of us creating an early edge change and getting a much longer run to the ball aka early (speed bleeding off somewhat before he gets there). The second you go to the tail in pull out, glide or turn, you have created drag. You then need more space and leverage to get the speed needed to get any kind of wide at the ball. This generally takes the pull/lean well past rt hand gate ball creating an edge change that now has to happen much much later. In tern lots of excess speed later into the ball with less space aka late most likely resulting in slack on the backside of the ball. The start is everything. Think of what the Adams have spelled out so far in GUT. Now that is complicated. But thinking of your hips (COM) at that 11:00 in glide and moving to 1:00 when it is time to go is not complicated. And if your COM is on top of the ski in the glide and your ski is as flat as it can be the differance in speed you will feel into the gates if you're any kind of a tail rider or even neutral on the ski will feel like night and day.

    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • WishWish Posts: 8,056 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited March 2016
    @mbabiash be careful with that first move Chris is having you do at the pull out (point arrow to 1:00) so that it is not creating drag in some way by dropping COM behind the ski. In no way shape or form is Nate showing his belly button to the boat crew in the pull out. Something to look for in your skiing and keep in mind. Drag is bad. I do like the 1 one thousand count. This keeps the outbound a short intense burst..also seen by Nate. If you take your lean outbound all the way out to the widest point, you are creating drag with all that leveraging happening and when you come up, there will be very little forward speed to hold decent length of glide and far less speed to turn in with meaning you will need a longer pull/lean phase..yata yata yata.

    Edit, I just watched a vid of Chris..who am I to say it's wrong. But, he does drop his COM behind the ski pulling out. It looks very different then Nate and possibly the "point to 1:00 in pull out" is an extra initial move just not needed. KISS
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • So_I_SkiSo_I_Ski Posts: 142 Baller
    Thanks for all the comments started by my initial post so I guess it's time for me to weigh back in. If you look again at my last line you'll see that I mentioned that after thinking about it the following day I realized that I was missing a critical component to initiating the turn. And not just the gate but both sides all the way thru the course. We talk about COM but I don't recall ever reading an article that suggests exactly how to get our COM moving in the direction of travel although I have no doubt that a lot of the best skiers do it. They just do it so automatically that they don't describe it. In a nutshell what I found was that if I want to move my COM to the right, the starter is to drop my shoulder to the left and vice versa to move my COM to the left. As soon as you drop the away shoulder while thinking of moving the hips in the opposite direction, you exaggerate the movement of your COM and voila, instant acceleration. So with regard to all the gate comments, while I agree with the hip positioning from 11 to 1 o'clock what should be added is as you turn the hips to 1 o'clock, drop your left shoulder to cause your COM or the right hip to drive in the direction of travel. Now try it while you ski on both sides of the course. I was amazed at how easy it was to do and how the ski turned underneath me. And as my ass dropped to the water my torso stayed more upright which prevented me from falling. So to summarize what I am saying is that the starter move for you COM is NOT the COM itself but rather the upper body moving in the opposite direction. PUT A KINK IN YOUR SIDE BY DROPPING YOUR SHOULDER.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,056 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited March 2016
    So basically you're keeping your shoulders and eyes level to the water and not tipping inward as COM moves in a particular direction... yes? If so I believe I've read a few articles on level eyes and shoulders while COM moves underneath. Sorry I got off on the gate tangent. Thought that's what you were asking for with your buddy. But yes, I do try and keep shoulders and head level to the water which does put a bit of a kink in my body. But it is not the first move. It is a by product of keeping my eyes and shoulders level to the water. And I do a poor job of it most of the time. I look stiff.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,583 Mega Baller
    @wish I'm LFF. Dynamics are different than RFF, you really need to look at someone like CP or Whitney that is LFF to compare. To initiate the out movement I just kinda let my left hip fall out at about 45 degrees, count 123, then 123go on the glide. I bias my weight on the front foot and lean over like someone said above. Timing is essential. I try to just match or very slightly faster than the boat speed when I turn in to the gates. If you're slowing down you turn into a tight rope and ski doesn't complete the turn and not enough angle. If you turn in going to fast are try to force the turn in then you load to late and end up getting a lot of slack or created too much speed through the wakes. My 2 cents?
    WishozskiToddLgsm_peter
  • So_I_SkiSo_I_Ski Posts: 142 Baller
    NOPE! I'm not saying keep the eyes and shoulders level. I'm saying specifically that the easy and effective way to move your COM is to start with thinking about and specifically dropping your away shoulder. If you want to kink your body or stick your hip out, you don't just move the hip, you also move the upper body in the opposite direction. That move makes driving your COM easy and instant. Try it on the water and see what happens.
    gsm_peter
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,694
    I'm with @gregy as a LFF skier on the glide I keep my ski pointed where I need it to go, hips tend to follow the ski tip regardless. When I move I try to move everything with the handle path while being over my front foot, might sound a bit odd but that's how I process it in my head. On the pull out I'm thinking about keeping the handle low and creating speed early, I like to come up out of that initial lean quickly to avoid washing off speed and I find that gives me a nice long glide... Approaching the turn in I'm still thinking about getting over my front foot to the point of exaggeration, there will be a lot of water shooting out in front of the ski at that point. If I get everything right the turn in requires nothing more than shifting the handle slowly and slightly towards the pylon and everything just flows nicely from there and you don't need to crush it to setup a good 1 ball. I'm not about to say this is how you should gate but this is how my gate has evolved over the season and it works for me.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' 2021 MC As soon as it lands Ski - KD Platinum

  • So_I_SkiSo_I_Ski Posts: 142 Baller
    Wish, I think I have an answer for why you can't just focus on keeping the eyes and shoulders level. The fact is that once we start into the course, we all tip our shoulders either in the pre turn or at the beginning of the turn and then most of us continue to drop the shoulders more into the apex. Your shoulders are actually off level most of the time and so thinking about keeping them there doesn't solve the problem. Whereas, if you focus on dropping the away shoulder by kinking at the waist in the pre turn and into the apex, the result is that you will actually be tilting the shoulders back into a true level position.
    Texas6
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,832 Mega Baller
    11:00 in glide, 1:00 to turn in. Yep. I'd add that for LFF, also move the handle down and across your hips from right to left. You want the hips and the handle to come together before the boat load is full on. In other words, when ready to go, move your hips around and under the handle before you load.

    I also agree with @Mateo Vargas. Just tip over. In fact, "tipping over" drives your ski's right edge into the water and causes it to point to the right. That's pretty much how is it supposed to turn via edging.

    Watch CP. He just tips. Same with Whitney.



    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
    sgregg
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    @Wish - well i guess you do it different than the way i learned. what you describe seems to be exactly opposite of the gate instructional videos from marcus brown and thomas degasperi. Also, if you watch regina j. she *counters* slightly to go left then counters the opposite way during turn in. what is most impressive about that is she doesn't *look* like shes countering because that ski just smoothly slides around under her while her hips appear to remain stationary. but if she wasn't countered her hips would follow the ski around, which they don't.

    all three of the above skiers are right foot forward like me which means we all have a natural hip twist toward our left when stand still on a ski. for that reason just bringing your hips square to the ski equals a counter rotation movement toward 1 oclock.

    so when i square up my hips it tends to make the ski want to turn left and the opposite effect if i twist my hips to the right. this is how marcus and degasperi both instruct - counter to 1 oclock to initiate pull out then counter to11 oclock to turn in. i'm no world class skier but that seems to work the best for me which just goes to prove there's more than one way to skin a cat.

    thanks for going to the trouble to get what you meant thru my thick skull.
    WishThan_Bogan
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    @DefectiveDave -being a long time motorcycle rider i understand counter steer. but you seem to be saying 2 contradictory things here. first you say -' you need the hips to face away from the course a bit during the glide. Then when it's time to move to the gate you rotate the hips towards the course. '

    But later you say - ' the ski turns the opposite direction of the hips when in an upright position due to conservation of angular momentum. '

    so if i turn my hips to the right toward the course as in the first statement, won't the ski go to the left as explained in the second statement? what am i missing here besides a chromosome or two?
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,694
    A general comment about gates - I don't think these is another element of slalom that has been subject to more changes and fads and variations, I might be wrong but its a pretty safe bet that whatever is popular today will probably be different in 2 years or 4 years.. The most important gate is the exit gate, if your going out them then something is working. :)
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' 2021 MC As soon as it lands Ski - KD Platinum

  • WishWish Posts: 8,056 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @mwetskier as I said in my overly lengthy post, mine is not the only way. I see what Nate does through a different prism now having been taught GUT and the how with the Adams. That is what I am shooting for. There are lots of moving parts..pun intended and it's not easy to do and a lot of what is shared by others past my post are more puzzle pieces that fit in nicely. My original interpretation of the initial post/question was a guy needed help that was rocking to the tail of the ski when turning in for the gates. That is drag..drag is bad. With his COM up, how is he supposed to turn in.. was what I thought the question was. We all know through GUT that drag is bad..period..no matter what or who. Not a fad just a fact. So how can all these moving parts be simplified if your COM is over the ski in the glide...11:00-1:00. Simple. If a differant way fits into GUT and what you do fits with an efficient ski and the highest possible speed into CL then have at it in what ever style, components, fashion you like. But Nate does it better then anyone else. He has set the bar the highest IMHO with relation to GUT. So that is my perspective and a way to simplify it for that guy and hopefully others. And yes LFF and RFF will look and act a little differant but not so much that the 11:00-1:00 concept wont work and simplify it.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    I took the very simple 11-1 advice from @Wish last year after one ball kept screwing up my chances for success and consistency at 35 - Out of the two hundred things I was trying to improve, that one simple thought made significant improvement in my gate and one.
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
    Wish
  • DefectiveDaveDefectiveDave Posts: 479 Solid Baller
    @mwetskier ,

    My language wasn't as precise as it needed to be, sorry about that.

    When I said "the ski turns the opposite direction of the hips when in an upright position due to conservation of angular momentum", what I should have said was "the tip of the ski changes direction counter to the direction change of the hips".

    In a simple example, say I'm floating the vacuum of space where there are no outside forces acting on me. When I then turn my head and upper body to my right, my lower body must respond by simultaneously changing its orientation to point to the left. Within a closed system this is necessary to conserve angular momentum as a direct consequence of Newton's first law of motion.

    However, when skiing we are not in a closed system and thus this motion only has a momentary effect before external forces of the water and boat become more important, but it is a critical effect. Rotating the upper body inwards towards the course causes a momentary change in the orientation of the ski to point it outbound towards the shore, thus sending it on a different trajectory which moves it to the outside of skier's COM (relative to the gates). The skier then begins to "fall" inwards toward the course. Shortly afterward falling inward, the ski's interaction with the water becomes more important and the curve of the ski causes it to bite and begin arching back towards the course. At this point it's more of a game of force equilibrium and body position to obtain optimum results.

    Rotating the hips towards the course serves only to get the ski outside of the skier's COM to initiate the gate turn-in. It's a critical move which I believe all of us do (at least sub-consciously), but there's definitely more to the gate if we want the best results.
  • So_I_SkiSo_I_Ski Posts: 142 Baller
    DD, if as you say in accordance with Newton's law that by rotating the upper body inwards, it "causes a momentary change in the orientation of the ski to point oubound", does it not follow that by dropping the outside shoulder it will further promote the skier's COM in the opposite and desirable position which is inbound or cross course?
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,832 Mega Baller
    edited March 2016
    If the skier counter rotates then while counter rotated leans back, then it works as @mwetskier describes. To explain this further, imagine you are to the left of the left wake waiting to pull out for the glide. Image if you could rotate your hips and shoulders to the extreme right so much so that you are looking back at the center-line of the boat's path, yet your ski is still pointed straight down the lake and you are still stacked, forward, and over your front foot. Now, image if you leaned "back" relative to where your hips and shoulders are pointed. Due to the counter rotation, this "back"-wards lean isn't really back away from the boat. Rather it is a lean that is to the left or rather away from the center line. Since this "back" lean is NOT backwards from the boat, but rather to the left, your COM stays over the front foot, while it drives the edge of the ski into the water sending it outbound. Thus, more of the ski is in the water and the movement is more efficient.

    As a LFF skier, this description of the counter and lean "back" makes a lot of sense for the pull out. Likewise for RFF skiers, the same concept can make sense for the turn in towards the gates.

    The whole counter to turn concept can "feel" functional for you on-side turn. However, your off-side turn is different.

    Your ski will always go where the tip is pointed. In an off-side lean (or in the finish to an off-side turn), your lower body is more closed to the boat. Thus, it is nearly impossible for your hips to be somewhat "open" or "counter-rotated". Maybe your shoulders, but likely not the hips.

    Also, the turn into the gates is more like the finish of the turn vs. the pre-turn stance. The glide is more like the pre-turn stance. So, if a skier is having difficulty initiating the turn into the gates and that skier is LFF, then the whole counter rotation solution may not be applicable.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    @Colebrah - ' . . . I think about taking that left hip and twisting it and leading with it. so the ski can turn underneath you. '

    i gotta say i simply don't get this. it sounds backwards to every thing i thought i knew about skiing. heres a pic of one of the very best 34 mph skiers in the world on her turn in for the gate and there is *no* way she is leading with her left hip -


  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,832 Mega Baller
    RFF skier picture doesn't solve a LFF skier problem (original poster of this thread).
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
    DanETexas6
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,832 Mega Baller
    Here is Regina in her offside turn... This would be the same as a LFF skier's turn into the gates. (sort of).








    To me, her hips are not anywhere as "open" or countered as the pic in the prior post.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
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