Can't get up!!

chrislandychrislandy Posts: 387 Crazy Baller
Embarrassingly, I couldn't deep water start this year! It felt like I just didn't have the strength to keep hold of the handle, I tried my double boot first, failed, switched to a RTP, still couldn't hang on. In the end I had to prove that I could do it and had to go up on a handle on the boom.

So, assuming my technique is probably OK but a little rusty. What off season training would be good to prep for next year?


  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 743 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2017
    It is not a matter of finger strenght.
    Try to forget ALL details of start that you are currently thinking about.
    Concentrate only on one aspect - pull knee to chest and chest to knee.
    Ski, fin and pull from the boat will do the rest of job
    Do not give up.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,338 Mega Baller
    Different driver
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 552 Solid Baller
    this happened to me a few times - using a slippery handle i got a few pulls that slowly ripped the handle out of my hand - after that I was done I could not hold on with any handle. Since then I have upgraded to masterline handles and no issues holding on. I always bring my handle with me.

    Over the winter I use the Captains of Crush grippers to build grip strength.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 7,128 Mega Baller
    One minor note: If you have one complete failure of grip, that usually results in nearly zero grip strength for about a week. Sucks if it happens, but about all you can do is rest.
    Nathaniel Bogan
  • JBBJBB Posts: 112 Baller
    When I was getting back into it, these helped...
  • JBBJBB Posts: 112 Baller
    Though, I will say that once you are getting up consistently, they can get in the way. For example, adjusting your hands or dropping a hand for a cut, they can be a real PITA. They were a good short term fix for me.
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 605 Crazy Baller
    Make sure you are not "plowing" water either. I instruct people I am teaching to try and keep the ski as parallel to the waters surface as possible and tucked up under you as much as possible.

    Less dragging and time plowing = faster planing and much less load.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 387 Crazy Baller
    Thanks, I was trying to tuck up as much as possible, it all came flooding back once I got in the water with the ski on, tip just breaking the surface, knee tucked to chest, ankle tucked to butt but couldn't hang on long enough, it was a slow drag from the hands type feeling.

    I'll probably have to try it with a different driver as it was the first time the other half had towed a mono - mainly wakeboarding - then once I can do it, train her how to drive it.

    Conditioning, I'm imagining TRX, handle pulls, core strength, flexibility etc, so just overall getting fitter to ski rather than skiing to get fit
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 743 Crazy Baller
    If you came to point that the grip is the only reason of start failure - there is no better solution than Captain of Crush (or something similar).

    Buy set of three - Trainer, N1, N2
    When will reach N2, power of boat will be not enough to pull out handle from your hands ))

  • Fam-manFam-man Posts: 220 Solid Baller
    My ski partner struggles inconsistently. Things that help;
    Ski size
    Ski angle in water (don't get the ski too vertical, maintain some angle so it climbs out of the water)
    Force against balls of front foot, don't use heel or back foot.

    For driver;
    Very different than wakeboarder. I use a very easy and progressive pull to get the skier moving and climbing out of the water. I've hardly moved the throttle off idle to get the skier moving
  • cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    Indoor rock climbing gym! The comment about the driver is likely an issue too. I like an 'ease an go' pull up where the driver does not pull the handle or jack my back.
    Vapor pro 2017
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,064 Mega Baller
    Not sure how big you are but losing some weight might help or a bigger ski. That said with proper technique and a good driver you don't need to be that strong. I recently got back on the water after a lengthy illness with very little muscle tone and I was able to get out of the water on a slalom. I was skiing on a 69" wide ride HO ski at 170 lbs but I came right up. I use a RTP and get up with one foot in.

    General strength is a good thing here. Deadlifts, pullups, squats etc are all good. Also just hanging from a pullup bar for as long as you can will help really build your strength.

    I would say driving technique might have been an issue as well. You want your driver to gradually apply power. It sounds like there might not have been enough power to get the ski out of the water they come up slower than a wakeboard but you don't want the handle ripped out of your hands. Make sure to keep the ski on an angle not straight up and down in the water and ride the ski up.

    Mark Shaffer

  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 657 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2017
    A few questions - 1. How much do you weigh (I won't judge, I'm 250 right now - going down but still not where I want to be)? 2. What brand/model/size ski do you have? 3. What type of handle are you using? 4. What type of glove are you using?

    I had a very embarrassing time at a private ski lake a couple of months ago. I had a new pair of MasterLine ProLocks (similar to the Radar Vice above). No matter what I did I could not hang on to a handle at all. It felt like everything was covered in soap. So, I came here and quickly got a reply that when using a new pair ProLocks the strap needs to be sanded first. When brand new the strap is too smooth and slick. I got out my sandpaper and it completely fixed the problem. I have much better traction now. Also, I skied like crazy this summer and have a lot more strength in my shoulders, arms and hands. Exercise helps.

    Finally, do work on the techniques mentioned above. Even at 250 I can pop out of the water pretty quick now with better technique. Stay tight, knees in, pressure on my front toes. Just FYI - Double boot/Radar Senate/71".
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,977 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Here's a couple additional ideas. If you have a tower, put the rope on the tower. The boat will the pull you up, not just through the water. If you don't have a tower, put the rope on -32 (green loop). It too will help pull you up out of the water. Once you get up a couple times, you'll have it and you can go back to your customary line length.

    The question though is what can you do to get stronger. There are lots of options, depending on your current level of fitness. If you are totally out of shape, doing P90X may be way too much. You might be smart to just start walking or jogging lightly to get your heart working. Probably the smart thing to do is to see a trainer at your local gym or fitness center, get an evaluation, get a recommended program and take it from there.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,338 Mega Baller
    Not sure if this will help you, getting up on a slalom ski is really not a grip/strength game. You aren't trying to hold onto a handle that's pulling you through the water until you get up, that's just a drowning, your job is essentially to stand up on top of the ski.
    We do some dry land with this before we put people in the water when they are brand new - its very clear to people that if you dig their heels into the sand and pull on them they can essentially stand up directly on their feet and since the ski is large enough surface area to stand on

    On the ski we essentially are doing the same thing, you want to keep your head up, your chest/back straight and bend your hips and knees up in front of you. When you say hit it the boat driver snugs up the rope and pulls you. On a properly sized ski you can very quickly start to push your hips up which pushes your thighs down (knees still bent) and brings your head/shoulders/hips out of the water into a V trough the ski makes in the water. And you really don't go through the water just onto it.

    Tips are -
    you never "pull" your hands in, but you don't necessarily want to let the boat take your shoulders forwards.
    the ski is surface area - more of it in the water means more to get up on - you shouldn't bury the tip, but then again you shouldn't be trying to keep your front boot out of the water.
    Keep your knees together, you don't want to let them spread on the pull.
    Vision - if you can keep your vision on the boat it means you're not being buried - when you focus on this instead of closing your eyes and ducking your chin you'll be golden.

    To each their own - one of my buddies "submarines" - yells hit it, ducks underwater including the ski - of course he can also get up backwards on the ski. Another is a rear foot out guy. Both of these things work but I like to make it simple/repeatable.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 387 Crazy Baller
    Thanks, such great responses from everyone,

    To answer some of the questions, I'm 5'8", approx 180lb (only 10-15lb heavier than when I used to slalom 20yrs ago) and it's my old Kidder RL comp from the late 90's, I don't know what length but it's probably 67" or 69".

    Gloves, what are they? (joking)

    Handle and rope, well, 65ft of wakeboard rope and handle off the ski pole rather than tower

    My fitness and strength is "OK" but certainly not as good as it used to be and my core is definitely weaker (not too bad though - I can still wakeboard albeit rather more gingerly these days since the spinal surgery).

    I'm not going to get the chance to ski again this year so it's all prep for next year now
  • mundomundo Posts: 17 Baller
    When I returned to slalom a few years ago I was having exactly the same problem, the worst was when I could not get up in a lake with "soapy" water. I started using Masterline Prolock gloves and it made a night and day difference! Another key point as discussed already is your body position and of course the driver plays a major part, to people used to only towing wakeboarders the amount of throtle required for slalom can seem scary, the way I do it is to instruct them is to put the boat in gear and once the hear "hit it!" to progresively but swiftly give full power (not really required with a modern ski boat, but you get the idea).
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,064 Mega Baller
    If you can get up on and ride a wakeboard you should plenty of strength to get up on a slalom. My guess is there are some technique tweaks on your side and some driver tweaks that should help you get up.

    A little video would definitely help but if you have access to a newer wider ski it would certainly make it easier right now.

    Mark Shaffer

  • igkyaigkya Posts: 859 Crazy Baller
    Maybe try golf?
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 724 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I want to stress one of the tips by @BraceMaker above . Keep your knees together! When I miss a start it is almost always from my knees spreading apart and my back knee going out and catching water that the ski isn't opening a hole in. It is really hard to overcome that additional drag!
  • dhofertdhofert Posts: 216 Baller
    I really struggled last year with this as well. This year is better, I was 92% in august on my starts. I like to keep probably 3/4 of my ski in the water, knees bent to chest and hands below my knees. After that I just stand when the ski feels ready. I can finally keep my eyes open on some starts and not get a wet face. I love my Radar vice gloves as well.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 387 Crazy Baller
    @igkya err...

    no ;)

    I did notice my trailing leg dropping back a lot so it's probably very rusty technique by the sounds of it, oh well, a winter of training and dry practice it is
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,338 Mega Baller
    @chrislandy Sounds like you simply need to squeeze those glutes.
  • igkyaigkya Posts: 859 Crazy Baller
    As a few other mentioned, keep your knees as close as possible to help eliminate any drag. Also, these skis typically don't ride straight very well, try a slight lean to one side (or the other) while you're getting up.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 552 Solid Baller
    i would also check that handle - if it's a wakeboard handle it just might be slippery.
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 657 Crazy Baller
    I think you might be surprised in the difference between a squishy wakeboard handle and the grip available on a solid, well-made slalom handle.
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 501 Crazy Baller
    Here is my magical 3 step starting guide guaranteed to work!

    1. If your LFF lean left until the boat goes (opposite for RFF)
    2. Just as the boat goes suck your rear foot under your butt (this puts the ski on a 30 degree angle to the surface)
    3. Push forward a bit and hold an athletic stance over the ski until your up.

    If the handle gets pulled out of your hands your too far back on the ski, if this happens try putting your head down a bit as the boat goes - you don't need to see.

    If you go out over the front of the ski your too far forward - try pushing back more on take off and just when you think it's time to stand up - wait another second.

    One tip for your driver - put the boat in gear for a second or two before throttling up. Also, It takes much more speed to get a skier out of the water than a wakeboard due to the extreme difference in surface area.

    Hope this helps
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    make sure the majority of the ski pressure under you, during pull up, is on the little toe side of the ball of your front foot.
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 501 Crazy Baller
    FYI - my 3 step approach assumes one is starting with both feet in (rear boot or rtp) - if your dragging up that's different.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 387 Crazy Baller
    New season update: I did it!

    Loads of gym work from christmas, PT working on core strength, grip, leg strength etc - I can now squat with an 80lb weight, whereas before I struggled to do them at all!,

    at christmas I was 210lbs, lost 30lbs and down to <180, still aiming to get back down to 165.

    Bought a slalom rope & handle which has made an amazing amount of difference.

    Got up second try :)

    core on, head down, tuck up and held on

    Probably poor technique now, but my hammies were killing me after a few minutes! and I forgot how fast mono was!
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