Rough Water Skiing - Good idea or not?

Went out late yesterday in the dreaded NW wind and the course had whitecaps. We decided that it could help our skiing to run some rough water passes and work on form. Two sets later I was not so sure that this was a good decision. I ended up reverting to all my old bad habits (riding the tail, hunched over, hips back, etc.) trying to survive the passes and popped the handle a couple of times to avoid a bad OTF. Missed -22 off for the first time in more than a month and generally just got frustrated. Woke up this morning and felt like I was hit by a truck. Shook it off and tried another run today with much calmer conditions now that the wind had shifted to the NE. Much to my horror, the old bad habits that I worked to shed all summer were back and my form was horrible. Finally ran one ugly -28 off pass on my 4th attempt. I think I need to take a few days off and get my mind and body back on track but I'm worried that I have taken a real step backwards.


  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    I don't think skiing in wind is a terrible idea, we do it a lot. But there is a limit to what I'll ski in before it gets frustrating. That limit is about 15mph. Now having said that, we once had Regina, Nate, and Parish here for an Eagle function and they competed head to head for fun. I shit you not there was a 20+mph head to tail and whitecaps, and I watched Reg and Parish both run 39. Regina ended up winning that day.
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I had a medium head/tail on Saturday. Felt like my hips were way back and I couldn't get my ski in front of me. I was running my normal passes but not well and felt really frustrated. Gave up after 2 sets of 4. Went out Sunday and skied my PB's 6 of 8 passes. The grass was greener on my side this time.
  • wtrskiorwtrskior Posts: 704 Crazy Baller
    Skiing in varying wind can definitely help. You have to stronger and quieter. White caps are a negative, can be pretty dangerous
  • bassfooterbassfooter Posts: 164 Baller
    We've had an abnormally windy summer at our site. While frustrating, it's been great for my form and confidence. @wtrskior said it best: you have to be stronger and quieter. But I draw the line if it's too crazy, out of fear of injury.
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,754 Mega Baller
    Always ski in wind. If it's whitecaps for a week solid, drop the speed 4 mph and work on body position and cut the line
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    I had to deal with this yesterday. I dropped my speed down and stayed at a longer line that I can run easily. Struggled to ski and gave up after 4 passes for fear of injury. Had it been a little better I would have stuck it out I think.
  • ESPNSkierESPNSkier Posts: 202 Baller
    Couldn't agree more @Mark_Matis and I have the utmost respect for the tournament skiers and especially the pros when I see some of the videos and images of tournaments with rough conditions. However, I'm a 60 year old novice/recreational course skier and I don't think skiing in white caps was a good idea for me personally as it seems to have set me back a ways. I've been skiing in wind and chop all summer and it really makes me appreciate those calm days. Still don't like a tail wind but I love a bit of head wind and am getting better at dealing with tails. White caps, however are not my bag!
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,417 Mega Baller
    I skied in a tournament back in the early 1980's that was off and on white capping. I snuck up into 3rd place ahead of a lot of guys who were way better than me, because we skied on our river course in just about any conditions. So it can help, but I was a 20-something year old back then, and no way would I do that stuff now... :)
  • Monkstr6100Monkstr6100 Posts: 108 Baller
    I don't "mind" skiing in some wind because wind water is constant. You always have the same chop. And its good to learn to ski with that wind pushing you one way (tail wind) and then adding super brakes the other way down the lake (head wind). I am a open/public water skier. So what is the worst is the random set of rollers, weather they are from a rich kids wake boat, or just a jet ski. When you are focused on your skiing and last min stuff the tip of the ski into/under a roller, and then its game over!
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,998 Mega Baller
    Buy a trick ski for days like that. Learn to run the slalom course on it. You can ride it in a tournament and end up being one of few skiers who run a pass in crazy tough conditions.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • DeanoskiDeanoski Posts: 1,125 Crazy Baller
    I ski wind amd rough conditions alot. Especially this summer
  • chris55chris55 Posts: 420 Crazy Baller
    I ski 97% on open water and we ski with wind, waves anything throwing at us we just go and ski. The only thing we really don't like is rollers from other boats bcause it can be dangerous. OTF hurts bad. What we do is we work most on our position on the ski. The better the stance and the easiest to handle rough water. I know I have to fight my instinct who is teling me to do the opposite of a good position which is bracing, hips back and pulling with my arms......wrong !!! I have to stand up, hips forward and handle close to my hips and ski on edge without chasing buoy or score. And when I have a good feeling on these conditions I am mentally stronger and I ski much better when it is calm or when I go on a private lake......this is desert for me with cream on the top...!!!!!! And you should see my smile on my face the whole time I ski ....
    I must be close to you @ESPNSkier I started slaloming 3 years ago and I am 60old
  • h2onhkh2onhk Posts: 355 Crazy Baller
    I have an older KD7000 slalom from the early 90's that is heavier and seems to handle rough water/chop better than my newer D3 if my form goes to crap (riding the back foot)....but if i focus on good form the D3 still turns better in the chop than the 7000 ever did in the smooth. Just have to know your limits. Rogue boat rollers worry me more than 10mph wind chop.

    @skibrain is that a hobie 18? you the jib man running trapeze for counter balance? really cool photo!
  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    as long as skiing in the wind is more fun than not skiing then I'll ski
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
    dtm8119CentRalph Lee
  • ESPNSkierESPNSkier Posts: 202 Baller
    Thanks for all the great feedback! I'll also keep skiing in the wind and light-to-moderate chop but no more whitecaps for me. I only ski on public water and agree that the worst conditions are the boat rollers (broke an ankle on a random roller out by 2 ball years ago).
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 1,348 Mega Baller
    I took an OTF, face first wipeout on boat rollers not too long ago. No long term damage, but no fun....I hate OTF. HA!!!

    Yeah, the whitecaps are a little much.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,732 Crazy Baller
    You learn things skiing in the wind, you do yourself no favors skiing when the water gets rough.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    I would say skiing with wind is okay within reason. If the conditions are really bad you can hurt yourself or start to ski protectively which could hurt your technique.

    I am fortunate in that we can generally get good conditions here on public water so if I go out one day and it is really bad I take a pass and come back another day. Most tournaments I ski in even if it is windy the surface of the water isn't to the point that I have felt it was dangerous.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Well put @LeonL. Kinda the conclusion I've come up with this season.
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