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Let the ski finish the turn

So, I'm just getting started again after yet another long injury-driven absence and am back at 15 off and trying to regain some form. I know that I'm bending at the waist and reaching for the handle too early coming out of 1-3-5 and was recently told to "let the ski finish the turn" before grabbing the handle. This makes perfect sense but I am struggling with how to make this happen out on the water. Any advice on things that I should be doing....or not doing....that would help in allowing the ski to come around a bit more before I grab the handle?


  • skiboynyskiboyny Posts: 231 Baller
    You should try to ski back to the handle. Keep extended until you see the ski come almost under the rope.
  • skiboynyskiboyny Posts: 231 Baller

    this video should show you what I'm talking about
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,349 Mega Baller
    What works for me, and of course it's slalom skiing so your results may be different, is telling myself to leave the handle out there. I don't allow myself to pull the handle in at all unless I'm way out of sorts.

    Incidentally, focusing heavily on this this year has cured me of a 3 year presence of medial epicondylitis.
  • WishWish Posts: 7,974 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Video of you skiing would be great. Your discriptions could easily be a symptom of something else happening earlier in the pass.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • rawlyrawly Posts: 516 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2018
    Hard to finish the turn correctly without starting it correctly. Most of our issues are from previous mistakes. Letting the handle out early makes it very hard to ski back around to it. People talk about getting stacked , but without keeping the elbows in and staying on the handle into the turn , it is tough to come out of the turn in a good stacked position. What Regina is doing into the turn is probably the most important thing to study. Staying on the handle shoots you into the turn.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,752 Administrator
    There is always the temptation to try to pull yourself around when the ski is not arcing on its own. My guess is that because of whatever bad things are happening with your technique are keeping the ski from turning on its own and then you are panicking - grabbing for the handle.

    So chances are it is not a matter of just being more patient. If your shoulders are forward and your hips are back then that is the core issue.
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  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,332 Mega Baller
    " be patient, let the ski finish the turn, slide behind the handle at the finish of the turn, ski back to the handle, etc ' are all coaching tips you're going to hear to help you fix this problem.

    and they're *all* good tips (though actually just different ways of saying the same thing), but none of them are truly possible unless you've carried enough speed / energy out to the turn, and then maintained it *through* the turn.

    the problem you're having at the end of the turn is actually caused by what you did during your ' pull ' off the last ball (or your gate turn in). the very moment you go flat out of your pull you've set yourself up for a weak, incomplete turn - and / or slack.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    I really can’t believe it hasn’t been said but... make sure you’re head is up as you’re turning the ball. That was an instant fix for me rushing my turn. Look at the next ball over the bow of the boat, the next shore, down the buoy line, or at the boat.
  • braindamagebraindamage Posts: 165 Baller
    edited September 2018
    @ESPNSkier I feel your pain. I struggle with the same thing. @UWSkier will attest that I’m no Uber-technician, but here is my $0.02.

    One thing that “must be true” in order for the ski to naturally cone around is for the water to be breaking in front of your front boot. Otherwise if only theback of the ski is in the water then the ski will not come around and you’ll lose all your speed.

    My problem is that I have 38yrs of a straight front leg that causes my weight to be back on the ski. If I bend my front leg to get the water to break up on the butt goes back and I’m back to where I started.

    I have to figure out an off-season drill or something to break this.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,349 Mega Baller
    @braindamage come ski with me this winter. We'll sort you out. :)
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,191 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I was always accused of not letting the ski finish and was told to chicken wing my free arm more, or make a bow and arrow draw with my arms.
  • ESPNSkierESPNSkier Posts: 168 Baller
    Thank you all, definitely some good advice here. I know that a lot of my problem starts with my gates as my timing is all out of whack and I’m not getting a good one ball.
  • GaryWilkinsonGaryWilkinson Posts: 342 Solid Baller
    @ESPNSkier I also feel your pain. I’ve been struggling with this for literally decades.
    Only this year did I figure out a few things that helped (though I’m still not all the way there, right Pierre T. ?

    First is that as mentioned above, a poorly positioned and executed pre-turn makes it really hard to get a good finish. Usually finishing arms further out than desired, butt back and riding the tail come from an approach to apex with a flat ski and very little outbound speed. I believe the secret to getting the ski to finish the turn and THEN hook up on the handle is to have great outbound speed, energy, momentum whatever you want to call it and have a tight line but (somewhat free of the boat).

    For me, it all starts at zero ball or turn in from wide through the gates to 1ball. If you’re cutting in there with delayed or late speed you’ll do like many of us, lay off the pull and edge and ski flat while coming to 1 ball and try and hook, or drive your hips, knees and all your junk in the trunk around as best you can to try and salvage a bad turn into a decent stacked position. VERY tough to do. I know, been doing it for ummm,.. 4 decades. Then? Voila, coaching from my ski buddy Theriault saying don’t rush, wait. Has helped tremendously. That and a couple of drills to make the pre-turn better.

    Ideally, you are in a stacked, elbows in, handle VERY low hips up and cutting through the gate area and into 2nd wake. This gives you good speed and angle. Keep the handle in while changing edges to begin the turn at 1 ball, then at last second extend arm and drive hips and knees through. Then look for the handle and your extended left hand, grab on with right and go.

    I also used a great free skiing drill that one of the Adams talked about in here and has produced a video describing it and that’s the whip drill. Do all the above except really make sure you cut through the second set of wakes, but instead of changing edges, glide out high , no, higher than that! Release the outside hand with your hips up and extended arm, then, at the moment the boat starts to pull away turn in with hips and knees first and then grab the handle with outside hand as late as possible.

    You’ll find it much easier to initiate a great pre-turn and finish with a stacked position.
    And also, get away from 15 off, too long a line to get any rhythm or sideways pendulum effect and momentum, do this drill at -22 even 28off and slow the boat so you can do it comfortably at first.

    Cut, glide outbound on inside edge,see boat pull away, turn with lower body first, grab handle, hold on essentially freeze in that position for about a second and a half and repeat.

    See? Simple eh?!
    I need to ski back to the handle obviously.
  • JetsetrJetsetr Posts: 383 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited September 2018
    Do you really need to one hand a 15 off turn (I don’t anymore)? My coach suggests not. Sometimes that causes more issues, loss of connection, reaching, forward lean etc etc). I stopped doing it to keep proper form and it helped a great deal. It looks cool, but proper form and technique is much more important...if he’s having issues getting back into the swing @ 15, why would you shorten the rope to 22/28? Let’s make it harder and more frustrating! Slowing the boat down (24/26mph) getting the proper form and technique (slower speed buys time to get set correctly) has to come first. More speed and a shorter rope will come.
    Taking cover for the ensuing crap storm!!!
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,353 Crazy Baller
    @jetsetr, no crap storm. For many years I heard that two handing helps develop good form. I know Lucky Lowe teaches that. I've come to believe that except in rare cases it does not help. It's not the extension that's important at 15 off, or whatever, but the obvious inability to keep your shoulder back (i.e. right shoulder at 1–3-5) when holding on with both hands. This is definitely a hindrance to good form and makes any possibility of countering nearly impossible. Just my feelings.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • JetsetrJetsetr Posts: 383 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited September 2018
    I see your point about the shoulders back @LeonL if both arms are extended in the turn. But with elbows in and handle low in the turn, I don’t think it’s as much of a factor and the handle is closer to where it needs to be for the pull. Not sure it “develops” good form, but it’s one more thing to go wrong that he’s thinking about that’s not really needed @15 off. I probably should have not said it helps with form, although staying connected will never hurt. I’m still initially gliding around the ball with no load on the line so keeping my “up course” shoulder back isn’t an issue, and it helps keep my shoulders square to the boat for the pull. Good form and technique is the key at any speed and any length. Staying connected, elbows in and low, chest up, ankles flexed forward and all the rest is what’s important. More speed and a shorter line will come. But you must start with the fundamentals, and a slow speed will help with finding your balance on the ski and allows more time for the proper form in the course. As a new course skier who really sucked at it I found an outstanding coach who helped me a great deal. What I’m sharing is mostly his advice, and it worked very well for me. I still suck @ course skiing but it’s getting better. Went from 1.5 to a full course @ 15 off. Working at making every pass comfortably before bumping the speed up. Just my experience so far...back to lurking!
  • Fam-manFam-man Posts: 197 Solid Baller
    @ESPNSkier have you stepped right away from the course and focused on technique and conditioning free skiing? Take some time without the balls to get back to where you were previously, might even be a good warmup for you first pass.
    This year I've focused on being patient finishing the turn and it's really helped me progress from 15off. Here's what I'm doing;
    I don't worry about going through the gates until I'm skiing well. I pull out wider then the ball line, get stacked and glide feeling front foot pressure then turn in (slightly early) focused on making speed to 1 ball without worrying about gates. The goal is making good course speed and being early at 1 so there's time through the rest of the course. In the course I think about being stacked and patient. Reset your stack during the pre-turn as necessary.
    For the patience/ handle grabbing I can't remember if it was a Rossi or Cox article that recommended keeping your free hand at your hip like a western gunslinger and skiing that hand/hip back to the handle in the turn.
  • JoepruncJoeprunc Posts: 269 Baller
    Very interesting thread. I'm assuming you are RRF (so you 1-3-5) are your offside. I'm LFF, so I only have 2-4 to worry about ;). I had the same pestering issue last year, and early season. What everyone has said above really hits home with what I've figured it out this year, it was my onside pull. I pulled so hard and aggressively from the moment I came in contact with the rope till the middle of the boat wake. Then I was trying to start my edge change and preturn like someone would while skiing -35'. I was only skiing -15'. At -15', -22, and I think -28 you need to pull longer (at least through the second wake) and stay on the handle longer to keep your speed and outward projection. This will provide you with a better preturn and allow a more ideal speed through the rest of the turn.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,125 Mega Baller
    @Jetsetr whatever it takes to get new skiers standing up the pass down the lake, two hands, 24 mph, no gate, beginner balls it all is good so long as the person rides it out and makes progress. Make it simple and have em close it out.

    Something that Regina video shows and has helped me is to think about what you do with the handle, I used to just ski into the turn and ignore what I did with the handle hand which IMO makes it very easy to just grab at it through the turn. When you force yourself to do something specific with the hand, be it turn the handle over or hold it vertical to me it makes me more mindful of where I am in the turn and less hasty to grab it.
  • JetsetrJetsetr Posts: 383 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited September 2018
    @BraceMaker Agree 100%
    Video of skiing (your own or others) is a tremendous learning tool.
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,433 Crazy Baller
    Go to Terry Winter’s website and get some video coaching from him! He’ll send you a side by side video of you and him skiing the same pass with highlights of what you are doing wrong and a demonstration of how to do it properly. It’s the greatest learning tool since foxy tutors.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,228 Mega Baller
    A few fundamentals to check.

    Going into the buoy are you pulling your off hand shoulder and elbow back and keeping your off hand at your waist? Think pulling a chainsaw starter rope.

    Are you bending the front knee over the front foot and using the big toe to initiate the turn on your offside?

    Skiing your hip and offhand back to the handle? Not reaching across your body and pulling into chest.

    Focus on straight arm skiing whenever possible. Let your hips and lower initiate turns and edge changes the upper body then leveraged in alignment with them. Lean away not back.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,210 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    A coach once told me that can't do two things at once on a water ski. You can either turn or you can pull(lean/resist) but you can't do both.
    Ski your hips back to the handle do not try to pull the handle to your hips.
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,433 Crazy Baller
    You’re never going to ski back to the handle if you’re not stacked. Get stacked as soon as you get up. Make sure you’re stacked in your glide. The rope is a rubber band attached to 350 horses, so don’t try to add lean once you hook up - you’ll lose your stack before you get to the second wake. Just focus on maintaining your stack with your elbows in tight. Stand tall or push your feet out at the turn - whatever you need to tell yourself that will get you up on the front of the ski. Look back up the rope line as soon as you know you’re clearing the buoy (at this stage you’re thinking about so many things that trying to pick up the next buoy tends to complicate things too much).

    Go as slow and with whatever rope length you need in order to comfortably accomplish these things and stay there for as long as it takes to ingrain them to your muscle memory. If you have to chase buoys, be sure you’re doing this at least twice as much. Be patient. Even the greatest skiers have to improve their form if they want to gain more buoys and muscle memory is a mother bear!
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