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Deep water start struggle leaning back

Hi! I’m new to this forum, but very excited to join.
I’ve been taking lessons to learn deep water start, and so far taken 8 lessons which makes it an approx 50 attempts, which is frustrating.
So far I have gotten to get pulled and ride while seating or half standing, and I can do 8-10 seconds like that, but then I fall forward because I think my ski gets wobbly. I think that my issue is that I don’t transfer my weight to the back of the ski and perhaps I don’t lean back. Perhaps someone could share tips on how to transfer weight!/lean back? Maybe it’s just not intuitive to me, because I’ve only been skiing on 2 skis previously. How to pass this transition from seated to standing? Thanks!


  • dshockdshock Posts: 26 Baller
    Have you tried to drop a ski or ski on a boom? Both can be invaluable in learning the "feel" of skiing before tackling the deep water start.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,125 Mega Baller
    50 attempts is like water boarding huh! Take any video?
    If you've been holding on 8-10 seconds I would think you'd be either up or off the rop!

    My personal theory on getting people up is that its not about leaning back, it is about riding the ski out of the water. You want to project yourself up/out as easily and quickly as you can. And for most people that means that very shortly after the pull starts you can keep your head and shoulders up, arms straight and start pushing your butt up towards your hands. You can even try this with out a boat on land you aren't leaning back you just tighten the rope arms straight shoulders tall and try to stand up.

    Once people do that they're almost universally up on a ski in a few tugs. If instead they try to pull back on the handle they basically rotate backwards sink down and the ski goes straight up in front of them, they drag like that till they can't and the handle goes boinggg.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 432 Baller
    when you stand up just make sure to keep your arms straight - if you pull your arms toward you you will fall. Good luck, I was there too :)
  • DangerBoyDangerBoy Posts: 338 Crazy Baller
    @Jchernyak You didn't mention if you're starting with your back foot in or out of the pocket. If you have an RTP, you have the option of trying it either way. If you have double boots, you've got to go with both feet in which is harder to master compared to starting with one foot out, especially when you're just learning to ski.

    Here's what really works for me for deep water starting with the back foot in. Just before the start, when the boat is trolling me at idle speed, I suck the knee of my front leg in as close to my chest as possible. The back leg is tucked in as much as possible too. I guess you could say I'm getting into the lowest crouch I can get into. Then all I focus on mentally is telling myself to push down as hard as I can with both legs after the boat starts to pull and then I tell the driver to hit it. As soon as I feel the boat start to pull my upper body forward, I push hard down with both legs (originally I was taught just to push down hard with the back leg). Pushing down on the ski like this helps to pop you up quickly and also helps you keep the ski on track and not go off to the side. You also don't have to pull as hard with your arms to get your shoulders out because your legs are doing most of the work. Just remember to always keep your eyes open, even if you get some spray in the face because one tends to lose their balance quickly when their eyes are closed.
    I can take anything apart
  • aspskiaspski Posts: 206 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Do you start with both feet in the ski or with one in and one out?
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,125 Mega Baller
    @DangerBoy I always tell people to look up at the top of the windshield - the mirror preferably if you have one, the middle seat passenger if not. As a driver if I see the skiers head go down its done.
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 983 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2018
    @Jchernyak - Welcome to BOS; you’ll get good advice on this forum, more background data will provide more salient suggestions.
    1.) Boat/motor-HP/speed control?
    2.) Type of ski and binding setup?
    3.) Age/size?
    4.) Proficiency riding slalom (after dropping 1of 2) (speed/wake crossings, etc.)?
    5.) Driver experience?
    Be reasonably proficient riding slalom before attempting deep water starts; emphasize FRONT foot balance (pressure).
    Sounds like you’re trying with both feet in, which is fine, but (as mentioned in thread) starting with back foot out (if toe loop) will train the brain to pressure the front foot.
    Stay tucked, have the boat idle, get aligned, keep the handle close (elbows in) and feel the pressure on the ball/toes of the front foot while getting on plane; if the handle gets too far ahead (elbows pulled away from core) balance is compromised and ski may wobble. Do NOT try and pressure the rear foot. Once on plane keep the handle tight/low, arms reasonably straight, bring hips forward (lower back arched, shoulder blades together, chest up, front knee over front toes with a flexed ankle); focus on the “feel” of riding in a stacked position.
    If the driver is inexperienced work together on a consistent throttle application to which you can adapt. If no speed control, be sure the throttle isn’t being applied too far ahead of desired set speed. Set speed will vary depending on your current slalom comfort/skill level.
    Sounds like you're in good physical shape in light of the many attempts. Persevere!
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,228 Mega Baller
    Palms down, rope on instep side of front foot, arms straight and handle low in the water, and as you pull your knees in, you can drop your elbows on the outside of your knees. You don't want the ski straight up and down in the water, try to pull your knee in but keep the ski at 45% or so before you start. When you say go, you need to tense up and not let your knees get mushy. Push the feet out in front, thinking that you are digging your heels in but not just pushing the back foot down, which will create a wall of water you are pushing. Wear tighter shorts so they don't fill with water..

    Using a slalom inboard it is easy to over power a beginning skier, so the driver needs to apply gradual throttle until the skier is out of the water and then get up to speed.

    I come out like a parachute, but those are the things that I think of.
  • JchernyakJchernyak Posts: 6 Baller
    @dshock I tried on a boom and holding one ski when on 2 for 30 seconds. Whenever I’m on a boom, I do all fine. At least that’s what the instructor says.
    Thanks, BraceMaker! I did take a few videos, and there I just look like I’m half standing for a few seconds and then the boat accelerates further, then either the ski gets sideways and I fall or I get pulled over by the boat and I fall.
  • dshockdshock Posts: 26 Baller
    @Jchernyak, you should drop a ski to get the feel for skiing on one ski on the rope prior to attempting the deep water start. All the other questions above - or video would help more with your deep water start, but in my view, you need to take a few laps around the lake on one ski and you will be ready to deepwater start without any problem.
  • JchernyakJchernyak Posts: 6 Baller
    edited August 2018
    Thanks for all the feedback!
    @Gloersen, sorry for the lack of background:
    The boat is 2014 Mastercraft prostar, the driver is the instructor so very experienced, I get very smooth and consistent pulls, the ski is like Radar’s butter knife, I think it’s an O’Brien. It’s both feet in, I’m LFF. I borrow it. I’m a 31 year old female, weight is about 58 kg, never done slalom before, just 2 skis. I have my own Radar lyrics with double boot binding and i was able to stand up and even ride a bit once, but not with an instructor. My instructor wants me to learn on a wider ski first so I haven’t been doing my ski at all. I also use a v-handle rope. Also, I’m able to get the ski to plane, but when the boat accelerates the ski starts to wobble and i fall.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,125 Mega Baller
    That sounds like a knee bend/butt back issue - strongly suggest you start video taping the lessons - you'll see what's happening to you, and you'll have a recording of what the instructor tells you between sets so that you can visualize the issue. It doesn't even need to be that focused on you the skier, so long as you generally can see whats going on and hear the drivers lesson.
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 983 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2018
    @Jchernyak - Good background info; it helps.
    IMO it’d be advisable to use a fairly wide 66-67” (68” ok) ski with a comfortable front binding rubber or Lyric type – (snug, but not too difficult to remove) and a rear toe loop. The O’Brien you mention may be setup this way. Choose as a paired ski for the right foot something that is light and can be lifted easily while skiing on both. Once you can comfortably balance skiing on the left foot slalom ski (by keeping the right ski elevated) you can then setup to drop the right. It helps to have an adjustable front binding on the drop ski so as to be set loose when planning to drop. Once dropped, don’t rush to place right foot in toe loop, just rest it on the back of the ski and calmly feel the loop with the toes, slowly secure it. Then you can focus on drills. Get super comfortable skiing on one only, don’t rush skiing above 30mph, 26-28 is a good target range for drills and gaining confidence.
    Once confident riding up and down the lake on one, you’ll be ready to progress to deep water starts. Use the same ski with the toe loop. Some find dragging the rear foot behind preferable, but with your V-type handle ski guide, that will facilitate a both feet in start; experiment if need be. The more water time you get riding slalom, the quicker the deep water starts will come.
    The Radar Lyric will be a good ski to progress to once the above is accomplished. Double Lyric boots are okay, but it may be preferable to change the rear boot to a toe loop (or Radar ART) but that is a later consideration when your level increases.
    Plenty of skiers transition to slalom from double skis by persisting with deep water attempts successfully, but if you're hitting a wall and getting frustrated, perhaps focus on the above.
    Sounds like you’ve got plenty of determination; keep getting water time!
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 833 Mega Baller
    edited August 2018
  • vernonreevevernonreeve Posts: 94 Baller
    Maybe try switching which foot you have forward. Also, you need slightly more weight on the back foot. The back of the ski is narrow, and the fin is at the back, and those are what helps you keep your balance. When I used to drop a ski, the ski felt very unstable until I was able to get my foot in the back stirrup and apply some weight to it.
  • rosspulliamrosspulliam Posts: 6 Baller
    I'm also learning the deep water start. I've been successful twice now, and I'm intimately familiar with your ski wobble! I'm taking lessons from Alan Hendricks at DFW Ski School and experienced the wobble probably a half dozen times just this past Saturday. He told me that as soon as the ski planes and I go to stand up I let my butt go backwards.

    Alan describes the procedure as let the knees come forward while standing up so that my core stays centered over the ski and helps the ski plane faster and easier. An earlier post really helped me to picture the motion by "bring the hips to the handle".

    I'm having to unlearn a lifetime of poor starts on 2 skis, so this has been a real struggle for me this summer. My goal for this year is to learn the deep water slalom start, and I think I'm finally really close. I just need to put those last little pieces together on the transition from out of the water to "up". Once I'm up, I can cross wakes and all manner of things, but getting up is the hard part for me.

    What everyone says above is really good advice. Tight tuck, knees to the chest, rear foot up as close to your butt as you can get it. When the boat starts moving forward let it push the ski towards you into a tighter ball, and then as the ski planes rock your knees forward and stand bringing your hips to the handle.

    It's so much easier said than done. I'm determined to get it though, and I know you will too!
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 322 Solid Baller
    edited August 2018
    I have two thoughts for you on the lack of stability once your up - first, it could be your standing to early, next time u start and think it’s time to stand wait a few more seconds.

    Second, once you up it’s important to have your weight on the balls of your feet and bring your hips forward so your locked in.

    If your bent at waist in a v shape - that’s what’s causing the wobbling. Bring up Seth Stisher or any other pro on YouTube to see their body position behind the boat.

    Good luck
  • JchernyakJchernyak Posts: 6 Baller
    @vernonreeve I actually did switch, I was doing RFF first. I think that's exactly where my problem is, weight distribution.

    @rosspulliam Thank you! that's very reassuring and encouraging that I'm not the only one struggling. I will try all the tips, maybe not all at once :) and hopefully find one that works for me! Definitely going to try "hips to the handle"

    Thank you @Gloersen! I totally agree it's time for me to start dropping one ski. I thought I could start with deep water start with no prior experience on slalom, but as you said I'm hitting a wall there. So, I'll try that now! Thank you for your great instructions!
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,210 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★

  • rosspulliamrosspulliam Posts: 6 Baller
    @Jordan that's the best vid I've seen so far, thanks!
  • JchernyakJchernyak Posts: 6 Baller
    edited August 2018
    @BraceMaker I've uploaded a short video of me trying to stand up. It's not one of my most recent attempts where I could hold on for longer, but it shows what typically happens
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 322 Solid Baller
    So based on the video, the good news is you are basically there, but it’s such a slow takeoff your standing up to early.

    Try to just hold your position and keep you butt down low for a few more seconds.

    Technically you can ski down the lake in a ball without ever standing, hence there is no down side to waiting longer.
  • JetsetrJetsetr Posts: 383 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Yup...standing too quickly...give it a bit more time...above is spot’re there....
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,584 Mega Baller
    Also: Weighting to the back foot will cause the tip to ride high and you to jack-knife. Very unstable. Weighting to the front foot allows you to stand athletically and puts the ski into the water where it can help you. As a maybe-not-so-minor bonus, this will also set you up for slalom course success. People who learn to ski with the rear foot weighted have to unlearn so much before they can progress!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • JchernyakJchernyak Posts: 6 Baller
    @Than_Bogan thank you very much! I will definitely try your approach as I haven’t thought about my front leg before. So, do yo straighten your back foot first? And then hips to handle, shoulders back?
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 322 Solid Baller
    @Than_Bogan - People that push hard and fully extend their front leg result in putting the ski dead vertical and hence are fighting the boat, which results in the handle being ripped out their hands.

    That’s not happening here, the wobbling is because she is trying to stand before the speed is fast enough to support her on the ski.

    My wife had similar challenges until she finally got it. The suggestions that worked for her were:

    1. Keep the handle down right on top of the front binding
    2. Pull you rear foot under your butt and put some pressure on the front foot to maintain your position as the boat goes
    3. Just hold and wait to stand up

    @Jchernyak - best thing to do is keep going with the professional coach you are working with given they can see live what is happening!
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,125 Mega Baller
    @Jchernyak @Jmoski so I disagree sith @Jmoski it isnt hold on longer it is get aggressive earlier. You are up. Get into a powerful stance on the ski. Push up hour hips. Stand pround chest up and ride that ski. From the minute that rope comes tight you are light enough and on a large enough ski to be up so go for it. Your videl just shows you riding all bend kneed. Need that to start dont need it 3 seconds later
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,210 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I agree with @Than_Bogan stand up are already up on the water with the ski planing when you fall.
  • ShaunTShaunT Posts: 41 Baller
    Agree also. Stand up sooner. It also looks like your weight is too far back and thats why its harder to stand and your feeling a wobble. Its also keeping you in the crouched position because the ski is wanting to go out in front of you.

    The front of the ski is wider and more stable even though you might want to keep that weight on the back. Keep more centered and dont be afraid to push with your front foot. I'm 180 pounds and come out with my back foot out and can virtually stand up as soon as the ski gets under water pressure. I kinda lean towards the ski if that makes sense and can stand up virtually as soon as the boat moves. You'll get it.
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