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Winter training techniques

eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
OK, it's the dead of winter and the lakes are frozen. Really, 60f isn't frozen but my lake feels darn cold. How do I learn/develop/maintain skills? Relevant question at any level. I'll try some ideas here. If you have tips please post what works for you.

Probably the first thing to do is to get out the trick rope. Tie it off to something sturdy with enough room to move. Preferably indoors so you will actually use it regularly. Now practice all the basics on dry land. The handle work will become second nature. Stick on the toe harness - you don't need a release. Do the basics again. TO wrap in is a basic trick - play with it. Spend a few minutes every day along with some stretching and core work and you will be pleasantly surprised in the spring.



  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    edited January 2018
    @oldjeep My lake doesn't get to 60c in the summer. But it does get to 40c! 60f is cold for me.

    I actually used my rubber band shoulder therapy band instead of my trick rope tonight. Worked for the handle basics. But it reinforced the need for a high handle pass. Elbow high and bent 90 degrees, handle twists down then back up as you go backwards. Smooth pass to the other hand and keep the hand in as you finish the turn. Dry land is great for figuring things out.

    I found it was good for building strength in the toe leg as well despite having no harness but just sticking my foot in the handle.

    Just do things thinking about skiing.

  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    Playing last night with my rubber band and its short handle, I was surprised how weird a stepover (LB) felt. Had to really think about hand position. Dry land is worthwhile for figuring out little details.

    For LB, give a smooth pull from an upright position. Turn the handle down as you fold up the step knee. I'm RFF so I hold on with my left hand and drive my left knee to the rope. Lead with the knee on the turn - the more the knee is bent the better. Do not put the foot over first! Don't break at the waist as you turn. Keep it a low energy swivel. It doesn't take much to clear the rope with the step. Once you are around backward you can relax the step knee for the touch - but there's no hurry. All you have to do is touch sometime before you turn back front. In the back position, the back of my left hand is touching my left leg mid thigh. It's not centered between my legs or pulled way through. Play with things a bit. Notice how you can use the power in your leg to keep the rope in - just drive the knee. Spreading your legs wider stops an overturn, bringing them together finishes the turn. Keep those tits up for good body position and to keep your arm from getting pulled through your legs. Feel and channel the power.

    OK, stepovers are dinosaur tricks. Not enough points, requiring one foot out and technically difficult. But they are a worthwhile trick to build skills. Plus they are fun and look cool!

  • RivvyRivvy Posts: 143 Baller
    I’m with oldjeep get out and ski!
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    edited January 2018
    I'm up snow skiing. Can't waterski on that.

    However, there is great value in cross training. 360s on snow skis are very useful. Dynamic balance is similar when riding backwards on snow skis. So do railroad tracks backward. Spin your way down the hill - both directions. Throw a helicopter if you can. Throw just a WB on your snow skis (it's harder on snow skis).

    I don't board much but snowboards are quite similar to a trick ski and very similar to a wakeboard (more about wakeboards when the Minnesota water thaws). Ride that snowboard as if it were a wakeboard - just use wristguards ( I also wear hockey shorts, kneepads and a helmet - and have really needed them). It's a pretty good simulation of wakeboarding if you think of it that way.

    old thread

    Lots of similarities between snow and water skiing.

  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,362 Mega Baller
    Yeah, if the water is liquid I'm not sure that counts as winter. Before I moved down south more than half of my season was spent skiing in 60 degree water and colder. "winter training" starts when the water freezes.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    Kirk was doing ski ballet today on the snow skis. Something else that crosses over. (Anyone remember Kirk's jump from Regionals a few years back? Where he rode out with his skis crossed and pulled the ballet move to save the jump!)

    Go out and have some dynamic balance fun.

  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,846 Mega Baller
    Or pole vault.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    @Than_Bogan You said "Or". I hope pole vaulting is fun. It definitely is dynamic balance!

    You are setting the basis to become a good tricker!

  • ColeGiacopuzziColeGiacopuzzi Posts: 467 Open or Level 9 Skier
    #1 thing you can do is go ski hands down. 60f is warm, spring suit it!
  • MuskokaKyMuskokaKy Posts: 459 Crazy Baller
    @eleeski , what are your thoughts on the following? TrcikTrainer Does something like this really help? lakes are frozen solid here and no end in sight unfortunately..
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    @MuskokaKy Those are excellent training devices. Great for learning the basics of handle placement. Actually kind of challenging - especially for toes (but you need the rope tensioner for that). Good for balance as well. Really fun for a group to play with and generate some stoke. But you do fall and the falls aren't comfortable.

    For a serious skier trying to get training in the freezer, these are magic. Tricking in 60f water might be more useful (as noted above). Either way, it takes some dedication.

    The one I built didn't see enough use. For dynamic balance training I prefer a trampoline. I spend a lot of time on the trampoline practicing my runs (including the toes). For some quick indoor work, just a tied off rope gets me to actually do the exercises.


  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,176 Mega Baller
    @MuskokaKy check out Devices to practice Tricks on land. I think a Spooner on a slippery surface works better than a turn-table with a fixed axis of rotation.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    So we got to ski yesterday in midwinter Socal desert conditions. Brrr, 65f water 75f air. Why go out at all in those adverse conditions?

    Honestly, while I haven't skied in Minnesota, I have trained and competed in much colder conditions. The temperature was not a factor. But my conditioning, training and focus are solidly locked in mid winter. And a storm moved in as we left the lake and snow skiing might be back in the agenda.

    How do I make these snippets in the middle of winter work to improve my skills, body and mind?

    First, just have some fun. Skiing is viscerally exhilarating. My first pass was just wake jumps to enjoy being back on the water. Remembering how to press the front of the ski as I approach the wake, continuing the progressive turn all the way up the wake and good balance (not slalom leaning away) rewarded me with nice floating jumps. And a worthwhile skill refresh.

    Then a pass of basics. The 660 college run. Slidy WOs just to get the feel of handle passing and to play with some wake approach quirks. Real WOs got fun, easy and smooth. Then some WBs and WBBs into the full back. Pull the foot off as a prep trick for WLBB landing. Set down at the end panting.

    Give the arms a rest with some toes. Cold water really makes toes tough for me. I tense up and the harness hurts my foot. Pump the rope just to get confident that loading the rope won't break my foot. And build strength. Nothing in real life is like the pull of toes. A couple TBs, oh my! So jerky and unconfident. So I went down the lake just doing TB and TF as smooth and slow as I could. Much better. Ripped off a pretty sweet tournament toe run.

    That felt pretty good so try the hand pass. All the way through it. Well enough to start dreaming about tweaks to eek out a few more points.

    Stop there! The last thing I need is to pull out my back or shoulder in the middle of winter. Younger people should do a few more passes of wake jumps, exercise drills, easy basics and training your pin person to just be there for toes.

    Got a few slalom passes to test a new setup. Of course, when the clip broke on the boot the focus relaxed even more. Slow down and just make some turns. No buoy count pressure. But you do need to do stuff right just to play the game. Easy reminder.

    Surprisingly good set s for the middle of winter. All my dryland training in the living room, the couple trampoline sessions, snow skiing crossover and the yoga and conditioning made this fun.

    Enjoy the winter!

  • JAGJAG Posts: 178 Crazy Baller
    We got flooding here in the Midwest so I'll get my buddy to pull me down the street behind my Pickup. :)
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,711 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @JAG - what constitutes the Midwest these days? Our water is pretty much fixed in place at the moment
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    This is not what is supposed to happen in the winter. Technically it's now spring. And the water is pushing 80f. And I've been doing my dry land practice, stretching and my legs are strong from all the snow skiing. So how did I tweak my knee?

    WLBB isn't an easy trick but it's not particularly risky. Enough to collapse the knee. No tears or breaks, just pain and some swelling. Rest and physical therapy improved things a lot ( thanks @BHarwood ). Last week I just had to ski first ride behind the ZO American Skier - did it left footed (it's really hard to get up on the wrong foot!). Today I did an up and back on the right (right) foot. 660 run and some easy surface turns.

    This was a winter training thread. Coming back from an injury is much of the same. Dry land, conditioning and a patient rebuilding of skills. Hopefully it will work for me.

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