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Free Skiing at 39.5 off

DefectiveDaveDefectiveDave Posts: 479 Solid Baller
I just tried this today and it was interesting. You can definitely feel the very prominent arc of the rope going out and you start to learn what you need to do to make the turn and get back to the other side.

I certainly don't think I would have been able to make it out to any buoys, but just feeling the differences compared to my usual length of 28 off was educational. You have to stick with the rope (i.e. handle control) right up until you initiate your turn to go back to the other side, otherwise it's slack city.

I also started to feel that if I stuck with the rope, the release of the ski to initiate the turn was much more pronounced. It's like you're saving that energy until you need it to initiate the turn and head back to the other side quickly. Also, it works totally different muscles than the longer line lengths, but that might just me using even worse "form" than normal.

Anyway, I felt like it was kind of an eye opening experience, but I don't know that I can translate what I felt to the course. I might need to try free skiing it for a while to see if I build any muscle memory that I can take back into the course.


  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,437 Mega Baller
    We messed around with that earlier this summer too. I took a couple crazy slack hits at first and feel the effect in my right bicep til this day. But after a few turns, got it figured out. For me, the feeling was "never stop turning." It's not like the longer lengths where you're more likely to set an angle and stay with it until edge change. More of a curvy path it felt like. And yes, stay on the handle like your hand is velcroed to it.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    I tried this 2 nights ago, but tried to run the mini course. Got .5
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,345 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited September 2017
    @rich just super cool insight on.

    Curious...any thoughts about running late. Seems most of us when we botch a ball and need to give it hell we pull not only hard but long in hopes of width...still trying to pull to shore and thus getting into bad position/narrow/hot situations when the line/boat dictate otherwise. Perhaps even when late the edge change should be early but remaining outbound is key? So hard to do. Thoughts?
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,232 Mega Baller
    The reality is, skiing the short stuff is fun and educational. Whether it's in the course or just ripping up the lake. After beating away at some line length for a month or more, there is no more exileration and wow factor. Not so at 39! A good hookup at 39 is like the first hill on a roller coaster.

    And the great part, no law against it!
  • GaryWilkinsonGaryWilkinson Posts: 351 Solid Baller
    Great thread. I ski at -32 and get to 2.5 on -35 so I only started free skiing this year at -35.

    Got to ask: do you guys slow the boat a couple of mph to get to know the shorter line? Or just go out balls to the wall? Takes me a good dozen or so turns to get the timing so that I don't leave my arms attached to the rope while I sink into the lake. But I am getting it.

    Got to try some -38 but I made myself the promise to not try it till I run a legit -35. You see when I was young and skiing competitively, George Athans was world champ and the WR was 5 at -38.
    Just gotta try that one time!
    I need to ski back to the handle obviously.
  • ShererSkierShererSkier Posts: 139 Baller
    I've been trying this also and I've had improvements in my skiing. I started free skiing at -28 and really noticed how different certain things felt and I think it translated into my course skiing. I actually ran -28 in the course a handful of times this summer. I haven't tried any shorter free skiing yet. I haven't had much of a chance to ski recently.

    I do like the idea of running the course and turning before the buoys like @Rich talked about. I've never thought about it but it sounds like a good drill. Thanks!
  • RichRich Posts: 263 Solid Baller
    Gary, slowing the boat down will allow you to pull longer and still feel what short line slalom feels like. You can try that, and also try the drill I suggested. I also see you like to free ski, so work on skiing wide, put tape on the side of the boat so you know you are getting the correct angles. If you pull to long you will have a slack line. Its timing & rhythm that will get you through the shorter lines with a tight line.
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