Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Please help me improve

dhofertdhofert Posts: 216 Baller
edited July 2017 in News & Other Stuff
Alright, I finally got some other people in the boat so I could get some video of me. I am free skiing at 15 off. I have noticed a few things the first time I watched them but would like for you all to fire away at me. Keep in mind on the starts we have a few extra people on board and it took a bit to drag me up.

Hopefully I dont screw up and make a long link to my youtube because I can't figure out how to attach videos.

Please help me better my new favorite hobby.

Link 1

Link 2


  • Pat MPat M Posts: 693 Crazy Baller
    The best advise I can think of at this point is to commit to crossing the wake on edge. It is the hardest thing to get use to when first starting off. Keep your head and hip up, ski on edge all the way through. I see you starting towards the wake on a good edge, then stand up/stop when approaching the wake. Need to commit. Good luck and have fun.
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 939 Crazy Baller
    First off, not how bad are you, it is what we can help with. You are out there skiing so bad shouldn't be in the vocabulary:) I agree with what was said as well. Got to commit on edge across, it would make life much easier. Finish your turn and keep the momentum and stack to the next wake. The rest will come, work on one thing at a time.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,665 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    You look very comfortable and in a good body position riding behind the boat in the wake. Your balance seems good and you aren't riding the tail or excessively bent over - both positives. You also edge away from the wake with some decent body position and correctly let your hips and edge do the work (rather than your upper body). Your arms seem fairly straight when edging, as they should be.

    However, you aren't currently getting what you need from your wake crossings to generate enough angle and speed to allow you to execute a smooth carving turn. Some of this is a function of the apprehension about the wake and some is a function of not committing to pulling through on edge.

    The default reaction for novices is to flatten the ski and pull through gently to avoid the wake penalty. You are doing that and it will keep you from getting the most out of your slalom ride (i.e., carving turns and, eventually, one hand turns). To effectively get some angle and speed, you need to have the ski on edge and be leaning away from the boat as you pull through the wake. Important: you must not be bending forward or have your shoulders slumped forward. Any combination of flat ski, shoulders forward, or bent waist and that wake will may you pay. Keeping your arms straight is key when pulling through the wake, as you will pull yourself up into a flat ski if you pull in with your biceps. When pulling through the wake, you should be hanging on the rope and leaning away, not trying to win a pulling contest with the boat (hint: you'll lose).

    Getting some practice on a boat with a smaller, friendly wake would be beneficial. But, it's not required.

    Here is a drill you can try. Note that the turns here are not the focus and Seth executes those with both hands on the handle. The turns in the video are merely to help set the angle back across the wake, so that you are crossing at more like 45 degrees versus 60 degrees or more that you are achieving now.

    Mini Whips
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 216 Baller
    That is for sure the biggest thing I am struggleing with right now. I have it in my head to commit but pull up. I started small early this weekend with commiting to a slower cross with less angle but for some reason as the weekend went on I stopped that. I suppose fatiuge could be a factor as I have skied for the last 4 days straight.

    Honestly I was happy to see my body position when I first watched this.
  • Deep11Deep11 Posts: 221 Solid Baller
    I think you are doing really well given that - the boat looks to be going a bit too fast for you to be able to work on much, it's really bumpy and that's a big wake to get over. To work on attacking the wake you need to try and reduce the variables a bit. I wouldn't be disappointed with what you are doing. Most of the guys on here have the luxury of flat water, gps speed control and small wakes - makes a massive difference.
  • Moved2skiMoved2ski Posts: 19 Baller
    A drill on one of Andy Mapples videos from 20 years ago showed him gliding just 10 ft from the wake, then pulling through to the other side and gliding again. No turn at all, just slow, narrow wake crossings. You get to charge the wake without all the speed generated from pulling all the way from the turn. I learned behind an outboard with really hard wakes and had the habit of letting up just when I should have been pulling the hardest. This drill helped me a lot. I didn't work on turning at all until I was pulling. progressively through the white. Good luck.
  • david_quaildavid_quail Posts: 147 Baller
    edited July 2017
    Nice work in some pretty rough water conditions.
    Like others have alluded to, you have your edges all backwards. You do a short little turn at the apex, then ride flat to get to and through the wakes, then pull away again to get width. Watch any video of someone getting through the course to see which edge of the ski they're on. They turn, and are on that edge to the Center of the wake (or there about) and then transition to the other edge. Until you're on your inside edge headed towards the apex of the turn like this, it's pretty hard to learn how to turn efficiently by using the edge of your entire ski as it casts around, rather than trying to turn it like a hockey skate. Unfortunately the only way to get on your inside edge headed towards the apex is to generate enough speed into the wakes to carry you out. Oh the chicken and egg of slalom!!!
    Its honestly pretty tough to have the courage to establish this rhythm (slalom is all about rhythm) and to pull through the wakes, when you have a pretty big wake like this. Even though I was actually more stable and got less bounce when stacked and on edge, I still managed a few too many OTFs on our old bayliner trying to "tough through" the wake.
    So I suppose my only tangible feedback is a) nice work on some pretty good body position and b) you have to find a way to start skiing with the proper edges and rhythm. Perhaps Mini whips are a good starting place to start working on this rhythm while not risking a wicked OTF on a big wake.

    Hope this helps. I was exactly where you are now about a year and a half ago.
  • david_quaildavid_quail Posts: 147 Baller
    I posted but it somehow got deleted. So I'll try again.

    1. Good job on body position in some pretty tough conditions.
    2. Slalom is all about rhythm. And rhythm is all about maintaining the proper edge. And unfortunately, likely because of skiing behind a boat with a big wake, you have your edges all backwards. You make a quick turn, ride the ski flat to and through the wake, and then have to pull again to get enough distance to get wide. Watch any video of someone in the course. They turn and stay on the turning edge right to about the mid point of the wake, and then immediately switch edges to start what effectively is their next turn. Until you have this rhythm and eges, it's really hard to turn the ski efficiently (on its full edge as it casts out), rather than trying to force it around like a hockey skate. The problem though is that in order to be on your inside edge, headed towards the apex, you need to have generated enough speed headed into the wakes to carry you wide. Which requires an efficient turn. The chicken and egg of slalom!! Mini whips might be a good way to work on this while not risking a nasty OTF on a big wake. Although, in theory , you're more stable while on edge and stacked going through the wakes, I've tried to "push through" this fear behind a Bayliners wake, and regretted it.
    3. About a year and a half ago I was in a very similar place you were wrt your level of skiing.
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 586 Solid Baller
    edited July 2017
    @dhofert you will find many (even more than you could expect) answers to your questions in Than_Bogan's article "Phase III: The Leverage Position". It is here on BOS.
    Waiting Phases IV and V from @Than_Bogan )))
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,523 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    Phase IV is pending cold fusion technology. So "real soon now" :smile: . Glad people still get something out of that. Direct link

    But honestly I see a boat that is really hampering progress. It's not just the wake being large but that it's a huge table, pitching you one way to climb onto the table and the other way to get off. Even a skier with very good form is going to struggle to "cut through" that -- it's basically a 10 foot wide wake.

    If that's the only boat that you can realistically ski behind right now, then my suggestion would be focus on form outside the wakes and really whip up high on the boat on each side.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 1,013 Mega Baller
    +1 on boat speed, seems pretty fast. Slowing down will probably make the wake bigger but I think slowing down will help. Once you are cutting into the wakes more aggressively you'll generate plenty of speed.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 216 Baller
    Lots of of good advice. Can't wait to get back out there and work on some mini whips. Will back the speed down a bit as well and see how that works. I was also thinking about taking off my wing possibly?
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    edited July 2017
    personally i think a lot of the advice you are getting is a bit advanced for where you are currently at in the sport. here is a drill i never see anybody on this forum suggest but it *can* improve your skillset if you approach it with gusto.

    1 -pull out wide from the wake just like you are already doing.
    2 -turn and cut toward the wake but *do not* cross it.
    3) -instead of crossing the wake, as you get close to it lay over into a turn that will whip you back out wide again.
    4) -repeat several times and then switch to the other side of the wake and repeat there
    5) -when you become more comfortable with this drill you can get more aggressive in how hard you cut toward the wake -this will force you to be quicker and more aggressive in how hard you crank the ski back out wide again.

    What this drill does is teach you how to lay over and *carve* into and through a turn, and it does this without risking the dreaded out the front off that monster wake. the turns you will be working on are the ones right next to the wake. the rope will be holding you up the entire time so you will have the mental security of feeling totally in control. You can become very comfortable in how hard and smooth you can carve your ski around a corner, and that is a very good skill to develop.

    later, when you have the opportunity to ski behind a boat *without* a titanic-sized wake you can work on the wake crossing skills described above. just one mans opinion but i bet if you try it you'll like it.
  • david_quaildavid_quail Posts: 147 Baller
    edited July 2017
    wrt taking wing off. I toyed with this as well when I was at a similar stage and actually did take it off for a set. But ended up putting it right back on the next time out. Like anything, there's pros and cons. A big challenge you will have as a newer skier (actually, it's not just new skiers), is generating enough speed to carry you out to get wide of the turn ball without having to pull past the wakes. In this sense, the wing is currently slowing you down and making this more difficult. But I'd say you're currently a long way from the wing being what's holding this speed back. I ended putting mine back on pretty quickly, since I wanted to really get the feel for the effect it had, in particular helping me slow down (with a ton of front foot pressure) particularity if I pulled out too long and needed to slow down to turn in for the gates. I just felt like with proper body position, I'd build enough speed, and that taking the wing off was just a band-aide (and not a very good one at that since taking the wing off alone will only get you an extra 2% of the speed you need). But others more familiar with tinkering with their ski may have a different opinion.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,665 Mega Baller
    +1 on @mwetskier drill. That sounds like a good place to start.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,245 Mega Baller
    Wow. Is that a 198x Four Winns Horizon 190? We had one of those for a couple years when I was a kid. It's still in the family.

    Others are on point. Slow the boat down and work on your edging. Everyone thinks about turning first on a slalom ski because the chicks dig big sprays. But edging back and forth is more important than your turn form. You can run a slalom course with 6 awful turns (watch some of the men's amateurs in the ProAm videos for proof) if you are in a good pulling position behind the boat.
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 216 Baller
    @UWSkier yeah it's an 84. We dropped in a 350 and modified the interior a bit by adding a large box in the back instead of the little rear seats to add more room to work on the larger engine. We did move the battery to the front to help with some of the weight difference.

    Slower it is. I'm just glad to be worrying about something other than if I am going to make it out of the water on starts or not.
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    @UWSkier -I would point out that if you can't turn the ski into enough angle to get onto your edge to begin with, so that you *can* edge through the wakes, then maybe at least a little ' turn form ' might be good to learn first. regardless of boat speed a flat ski is a flat ski. just sayin
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,245 Mega Baller
    @mwetskier sure. That much is assumed.
    @dhofert google Seth Stisher Whips. There are a few good videos on this subject and they're a great place to start once you're comfortable and stable on a ski, which you are.
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 216 Baller
    Well I made it out once last weekend and did a few whips.
    Couldn't ski today as we didn't make it out early enough to beat the traffic. I did however check our speed with my phone speedometer and compared it to the boats. We were pulling me at 30mph give or take on the boat speedo which registered on my phone as about 36. Will defiantly be slowing down tomorrow and working on my edges again.
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 216 Baller
    Slowed down today and felt I made some progress crossing the wake. I look to be sticking my butt out and leaning forward though and am planning on trying to fix that this week. Not perfect by any means but it sure did feel good to actually feel a little pull across the wake.

    Also comes with a little crash for your viewing pleasure!

  • david_quaildavid_quail Posts: 147 Baller
    edited July 2017
    Looks better. And nice crash.
    You do what I still do, but am getting better at. You try to rush the turn. I think we do this because watching the pros, and it looks like they start and finish the turn in about 1/10000 of a second. When in reality, the turn is accomplished from the center of the wake, until the turn ball has been rounded. It's one big progressive turn.
    Watch the Rathbun video on YouTube. I think it's his "lean in" drill to see how slow and progressive it is. But it results in a solid position for crossing the wakes (as opposed to being hunched over riding a flat ski ... Or swimming in the water ... at the finish).
    The turn will start to feel a lot more snappy once you're crossing the wake with speed, and immediately starting your edge change. With that speed and angle you can really let the ski carve. And it does so in a hurry on its own. As opposed to trying to muscle it around like a hockey skate.
    Keep it up... Looking better!
  • Fam-manFam-man Posts: 192 Solid Baller
    It's good to video and see what you're actually doing, I'm finding what it feels like and what it looks like is very different.
    It looks like your dropping your hips back to start the turn towards the wake which puts you in a position deficit from the start. This position is hard to undo once the rope is loaded.
    There's some good discussions you could search about how to turn in, most is in reference to gates but still applies.
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 216 Baller
    Well we made it out for the 4th day in a row today. Just a bit sore but thought I have made more improvement. Still not 100% committed to the crossing but I am not deathly afraid of it anymore. Still feels like and looks like I am letting the boat pull me forward at the waist just after my turn. I think that my focus of keeping my weight forward on the ski while turning is causing this.

    Of course I just have to add today's crash to the end of the clip as well, because who doesn't like watching a good crash?

    I really can't tell what caused it.

    I don't know if I should keep posting progress or if it is just cluttering up the forum so some input on that would be nice as well.

  • hemlockhemlock Posts: 150 Baller
    edited August 2017
    @Horton did a fantastic video of the course at slower speeds.
    Watch his video, and focus on his body position at all points from each ball and through the wakes.
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 586 Solid Baller
    Watching it on 0.5 speed. Very helpful.
  • JayproJaypro Posts: 314 Crazy Baller
    @hemlock I watch that video frequently. It is helpful. I wish it was at 1/4 speed like Terry Winters video!
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,665 Mega Baller
    @Jaypro, you can adjust the speed in YouTube by clicking on the gear shaped wheel. There are other options available there as well.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
Sign In or Register to comment.