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Very New at This - Looking for Advice as a Long-Time Skier

Tbone71857Tbone71857 Posts: 22 Baller
Tonight was the first time I got to ski on my new Vapor Senate Alloy - OMG, it was amazing. It's amazing how technology can help versus using an older slalom ski. Since I was 10 years-old I've been on a slalom ski. However, with zero input from experts or those "who know how to ski". Now, at 45 years-old, I'm at a stage in life where I want to improve.

"Today", I'm stronger and faster than before - also more aggressive. That being the case, the speed/acceleration that I'm experiencing on this ski is somewhat scary. Crossing the wake is hard - especially since I fractured a rib two weeks ago, so naturally, I'm cautious right now. I have a 19' Chaparral H2O and it has a moderate wake at 32 MPH, no trim. I'm at 15' off and free skiing.

What is your best advice to make my turn/edge and accelerate into the wake to the opposite side? I'm working on my body weight on the forward foot and I'm trying to lean "away" from the boat but the speed is amazingly fast and I usually come out of my position and everything goes south very quickly...

At 28 MPH, I feel it's very slow and I like the 32 MPH boat speed. I'll never compete but I do want "that wall of water", but most importantly, the confidence to pull through the wake at these new speeds. Thanks all in advance!


  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,093
    Video would help. I can say that you are going to be somewhat challenged to ever feel "comfortable" staying on edge going into the wake of that boat.
    Bob Grizzi
  • Tbone71857Tbone71857 Posts: 22 Baller
    @skibug, you're exactly right. That's what I told my wife last night once we were out of the water. I've watched a lot of video and the wakes are so much differen behind a true ski boat.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,245 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Congrats on the new ski.
    First thing to work on is called the "stack". A position where you are more or less balanced between front and back foot (at least to begin with). Hips forward, chest proud, handle down near your hips when you lean. You should be able to draw a line between your head chest waist and ankles.

    The trick is that this position will make you accelerate much faster, but you will be much safer than if you are in a poor position.

    Now, a word about your boat. These kinds of boats tend to have a pretty significant wake at low speeds and at certain line lengths. So try shortening the line and different speeds to fund the sweet spot on your boat. There are no rule, just figure out where you have the most fun!
    Finally, go take a lesson at a club or ski school. Do not be intimidated skiers love teaching! This will fast forward your improvement and not only will you ski much better, you will ski in a much safer manner!
    Go get 'em!!!!
  • Tbone71857Tbone71857 Posts: 22 Baller
    Jordan, great advice and I'm working on rope length as well as speed. I think the lessons will help and will reach out to DFWski for a day lesson. I think the boat will be the biggest obstacle with the wake. However, I'll work through that as it's paid off...

    Position is key. By biggest issue is front loading my weight. For the longest time, I thought skiing was rear foot sport. Man, was I wrong all these years. This site has helped me to understand that form is crucial and getting into a stacked position is key. Last night while skiing, I was able to accelerate so fast to the right side and was actually even with my wife who was driving the boat. I've never been able to do this. This ski is unreal. Then, when taking the edge towards the wake, the acceleration was intense. I love it and will continue to work at it. At 32 MPH, it feels as if I'm going 60 MPH on the edge.
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 831 Crazy Baller
    In addition to speed and line length, play with weight loading. You may find that a couple hundred pounds in the bow makes things smoother. Did you get the IO or the outboard?
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 857 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited July 2018
    Other guys, who are much better skiers will give you good skiing advice. I'm going to try to focus on your stoke for getting excited about a really awesome ski boat.

    I first slalomed on my Dad's brand new 1990 four winns 190 in the summer of 91. I grew up skiing that thing for the next 15 years after. As i/o boats go, it is just about as close to a tournament boat as they make them (which for the most part, is still just not that close).

    Then in about '05 my buddy's dad got an 84 S&S. I didn't have to ski that very long to be completely converted. Now I have my 97 SNOB and when I end up skiing behind my Dad's boat it doesn't last very long and I end up thinking "what am I doing? I'm just going to hurt myself." Below are a couple videos that do a good job of showing what kind of wakes are available at varying budgets in the ballpark of the speeds you are at. Keep in mind when watching videos to judge wakes that good skiers make big wakes looks small and bad skiers make small wakes look big, so looks can be deceiving a bit on video sometime. Also, heavy skiers make big wakes look small as well while light skiers make small wakes look big.

    Also, congrats on the new ski. I'm now on my second senate because I like the first one so darn much.

  • Tbone71857Tbone71857 Posts: 22 Baller
    Awesome videos. Yep, my boat can't do that and it's okay. I made a breakthrough today in terms of rope length. On my Chaparral, if I shorten the rope by five segments, then my wake is so negligible and I'm able to hold an edge. Now, today we had a moderate chop on the lake, less than a foot swell so aggressive skiing wasn't possible. I worked on my stack position and maintaining it through the wake...successful more than 70 percent of the time. The acceleration is still so new so it's slowly becoming more comfortable. Again, I absolutely love the Radar Senate ski.
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