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My body position has been described as "seated in a chair"... Please help

ecnoecno Posts: 24 Baller
Hey Guys,

The title describes it all. I can't seem to get a good position no matter what I do, how many tips, sets, videos I watch.

It's incredibly frustrating because I know what I'm doing wrong and I know what to do right but I just can't get it.

Is there anything I should focus on on the water? And or is there anything I can do off the water to get me into a good stacked position?


  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,350 Mega Baller
    edited July 2018
    Smart ass or not, that's what I thought about all the time when making my transition from being a hips back squatter to being taller with hips up. After years of skiing squatted I felt like my knees were practically hyper-extended (not even close but that's what it felt like). Especially the back leg. So that piece of advice helped... and I've been slalom skiing for 32 years.
  • hemlockhemlock Posts: 156 Baller
    I think there is some mind set too.
    And what I mean by that if you do extend your legs out and get in a stacked position it will feel very scary. Because... you will be fast.
    And that takes some getting used to.
    But trust it, and you'll see how early you end up coming up to the next buoy. :)
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,618 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @ecno what kind of ski are you on? Some of the beginner skis like the big daddy are difficult to ride and turn in good body position.
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • ecnoecno Posts: 24 Baller
    @UWSkier @Horton thanks! Is there anything I can do to get that in my head or kinda just have to do it?
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @ecno, I'm in the same boat as you so I feel your pain. A lot of these guys make it look SO EASY! The 2 things in my head when I'm headed to the buoy are "finish the turn" and "hips up". It seems a lot of times I am only able to do one of them. However, keep the thought in your head going to the buoy. Pick your phrase, hips up, straighten legs etc. and just keep after it. This sport comes easier to some than others. Just don't give up!
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • HipsupHipsup Posts: 57 Baller
    Fundamentally, you have to think about falling forwards and moving with the boat - not away from it.
    It helps if you start with as much weight as possible over the toe of your front foot but if you just fall back and away from the boat in a tug of war then it doesn't matter if your legs are straight or bent.
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,332 Mega Baller
    forget the ' straighten your legs ' advice -not because its not good advice but because its not why your sitting in a chair. if it was why your sitting in a chair terry winter and sacha descuns would be sitting in a chair every pass cuz they ski with very bent knees and *never* straighten their legs.

    but what they *do* do is drive their bent knees forward by bending their ankles forward also, which brings their hips up as needed, and both are world class skiers. develop a habit of bending your ankles forward when you bend your knees and your hips will come forward and up too. as always, imo.
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,013 Mega Baller
    If I knew the answer to this I'd be running 38's.
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 550 Crazy Baller
    @ecno and @gt2003 I too feel your pain. I have the same issue. Every lesson I get bend your ankles and knees get on top of ski. Every time I straighten my legs I get told dont do it. I know everything I am supposed to do but dammit it`s just harder for some people to get hips up. Maybe I will try @Horton advise for a while.
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2019 65 HO Syndicate Omni Vapor Bindings
  • ecnoecno Posts: 24 Baller
    @ski6jones that's what's most frustrating... My pull out for the gate is really good and my pull out to drop after the exit gate is even better... I just can't seem to replicate it in the course no matter how slow I go
  • KuzskierKuzskier Posts: 2 Baller
    To learn a new body position, first just lean on the side of the boat on one side and feel the body position thru a lean drill.

    Here you will be on one side of the boat with out crossing the wakes and without making a turn just lean against the rope until you can find the desired body position.

    Do this on each side of the boat until you are able to achieve the position easily

    Its important to also learn outside of the slalom course without the influence (and distraction) of those buoys
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,013 Mega Baller
    edited July 2018
    Regarding "lean drill" and "I can do it on the move-out": Both the move-out and a lean drill are for whatever reason not at all similar to actually crossing the wake on the off-side. I've never been able to transfer either action to the wake cross which is a down-swing movement through the wake building incredible acceleration instead of a gradual, controlled "climbing up on the boat" movement.

    There is something about a executing a stacked skiing position in the context of swinging through the bottom of the rope path which is just a totally different dynamic. I sure as hell can't figure it out.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,584 Mega Baller
    There are all sorts of mental queues that may help, but the one that works for each person seems to be pretty random!

    One that I don't hear many other people talking about, but that I find really helpful, is to concentrate on where your upper body is. If your arms are straight and you line your upper body up with the rope, there is only one place your hips can go: right at the handle.

    Whenever I get into a slump, I remind myself about using my upper body this way and my leverage (usually) returns.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 915 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2018
    I try to think about pushing my knees forward, and try to keep the 2 knees working together. I haven't really accomplished much yet, but that image seems to make sense.....we'll see. I feel like if the knees go forward, the hips will follow, and it will happen relative to where my shoulders already are without pulling them back (which can put me on my back foot). And with knees together, the hips will stay aligned.
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 1,053 Mega Baller
    I think that's why @Horton likes straight legs which is what i've been coached. If your goal is bent knees/ankles you can get lots of results dependimg on how you do it. If you go for tall/straight legs you probably won't get it but you will be more "stacked".
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • JohnNJohnN Posts: 125 Baller
    I run into this with snow skiers. The first thing is to feel the balls of both of your feet when you're standing up. Then feel them when pulling out, and so on. If you're feeling pressure in the balls of your feet you're hips and weight will be moving forward. But the first step is being aware of the pressure on the bottom of your feet.
    ski6jonesecnoLieutenant Dan
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,332 Mega Baller
    fwiw, for years chet raley has coached the body position of ' chin over belt buckle '. interestingly, that fails to address the skier's knees and / or ankles at all.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,753 Administrator
    edited July 2018
    @ScottScott knees forward is idealistic but unrealistic for most skiers. If you can do it you are ahead of the game but chances are you can't really do it. Just stand up.

    Freddie Winter, Terry Winter and Sacha ski with knees forward. If you are that talented you wouldn't be asking you for advice you'd be giving it.

    I suggest you go find some YouTube of Chris Parrish. Tall - Simple - Efficient.
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  • ecnoecno Posts: 24 Baller
    @Horton ... Chris parish is exactly how I want to ski, I'm usually the opposite, PANIC... And I rarely shy away from giving advice regardless of whether it's not solicited and my knowledge level haha!

    Thanks everyone for all the help! It's really cool how everyone is so willing to help out!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,989 Mega Baller
    I agree with @Horton here. Freddie, Terry and Sacha ski with deep knees but they are supremely talented. If you look at videos of lots of very good skiers they ski more with long legs. I love watching Parrish ski. I realize he is a monster physically but I also think this makes him have to ski more precisely technically because if he gets out of sorts it is hard to get that big body back where it should be.

    Looking at other high end skiers there are more skiers that ski stacked with longer legs behind the boat than ski with more bent knees/compressed. I looked at Nate, Parrish and Asher quickly and they all ski longer and more stacked behind the boat. Mapple was like that as well.

    I would watch the women as well they aren't as strong as the top men and I think need to be better technically to get the results they do.
    Mark Shaffer
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,210 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Interesting problem. @ecno I think you explained your problem in your last post:

    Chris parish is exactly how I want to ski, I'm usually the opposite, PANIC

    FWIW, panic causes you to assume a defensive posture which almost always means, ass back, arms out. I used to ski by pulling like a freight train, and used my arms far too much. The result was a poor position and an alarming number of hard out the front crashes. The solution was to learn to get properly stacked and to learn to lean with my arms and elbows close to my vest, handle at my hips.

    This is tricky at first as you get a lot more speed. It takes some time for your brain to accept that even though you are moving much faster, you are indeed much much safer!

    Ultimately, you will not only become more comfortable with speed and acceleration, you will crave it.

    I think you need to practice this free-skiing. Long swoopy turns where you patiently hook up and then lean increasingly more as you cross the wake.

    You will get there, just stick to it!

  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited July 2018
    I submit the following as a longer liner course skier who has been working on the same thing. I am not a coach and there are coaches here who have posted really good stuff. But I will share some of my focus. For me, straightening my legs more is necessary, and is a better cue than driving my knees. But how I do that is key. I can straighten my legs and still have most of my weight on my rear foot. So in addition to staying athletically erect in stance, I need to make sure my hips are more over my front foot. That happens for me not only by staying tall, but also by simply shifting my hips forward over that front foot. I suppose it would be ideal to be balanced and not totally focused on the front foot, but while I work on it, feeling weight planted more on the front foot helps in the correction. In practice runs, I can check in at various points in my run and feel where I feel weight on my feet, and attempt to adjust from there.

    Also, for me, standing up and straightening my legs cannot mean locked out. If I ski locked out, and do not keep some flexibility and touch in my ankles and knees, I tend to get bent at the waist. Not a good feeling for a guy that blew a disc L4/L5 in the past. In that, it feels to me like a nice tall athletic stance that is not completely static and rigid. Chest and shoulders up over hips, hips over feet, and for me, emphasis on the front foot.

    Getting in that stance in the glide, and any time I am coasting or gliding behind the boat before getting going helps. Now I want to make sure I am there in the top portion of the turn as I come out of the working section and approach the ball, and that I do not let my hips or center of mass fall back there.

    Again, I am not a coach, and I am just sharing what seems to be working for me.
  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,396 Historical Baller
    That position works for jumping as you are about to hit the ramp. Looked at some movies of Jimmy Jackson, and instantly added 20' distance. Slalom: uh-uh.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,753 Administrator
    edited July 2018
    @sunvalleylaw IF both legs are equally almost straight and booth feet are flat on the ski and your back is reasonably straight - as if you were at the top of a squat movement in the gym - that would be better position them 99% of the skiing world.

    it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to have you back leg straight and have your weight back. Now straight front leg and bent back leg is typical and terrible.
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