Is it water temp or time on the water that makes the most difference?

skinutskinut Posts: 445 Solid Baller
So I've noticed that regardless of how many days I ski in the spring I struggle with being consistent in the shorter lines until the water starts to warm up. I can almost set a date on the calendar of when I will start running 32 off consistently, usually first week in July. Keep in mind I ski in water that doesn't get much past 73 degrees. Spring skiing is usually done in water temps between 50 and 60 degrees. Is it just me or do others experience this same phenomenon?

Comments

  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 1,199 Mega Baller
    I have experienced the same in the fall as water temps cool off. Performance decrease when I'm skiing at my highest level. I def think water temp factors into performamce. Spring is worse because you also haven't been skiing much (generally) so the affect is compounded.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • ColeGiacopuzziColeGiacopuzzi Posts: 505 Open or Level 9 Skier
    edited March 2019
    @skinut Cold water does not ski the same as warm water. When warm water arrives so does better skiing. Warm water allows our ski to cast out better and give us more space which in turn leads to more time to make a balanced turn since were earlier at the buoy. As the water cools off we start to lose that space we oh so love along with buoy count. Stay at your early passes and work on technique. If you really want to Experiment and see if it feels any better to you what I would recommend is going back with the fin or bindings. To give you an idea In the winter in CA we usually ski in water around 50s and in the spring its 60-70s and summer its 80-90s.
    jimski
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,490 Administrator
    When the water is cold I think there's some value in lowering your expectations in terms of ball count. Instead of chasing your harder passes when the water's cold it's time to just run your early passes perfectly.

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  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,792 Mega Baller
    @skinut - it's you, don't fall into the trap of blaming the water. It's always the indian, not the arrow. @Horton is correct in that it's perfect practice that improves performance
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
    jimski
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,490 Administrator
    @RichardDoane the water is different...

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  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,792 Mega Baller
    yes, the temperature is different, but if we're only talking about the green loop then it's technique improvement that's needed. I know that skiing in cold water usually means cold er air as well, so skiing "tense" doesn't do you any favors in the course
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
    Hortonjimski
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 698 Mega Baller
    I am only a 15 off 30-34 mph hack, but here in the cold north my last 3 months have been totally different than summer. I have always considered my gates & 1 ball strong; really struggling in the cold & dry suit this year. Mostly skiing 30 mph since Dec - that was my automatic warm up pass last 2 summers; now happy to make 4 out of 6. Come on spring! But the worst day on the water is still better than the best day at work :)
    RichardDoanejimski
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,792 Mega Baller
    @Rednucleus - when skiing in a bag suit, resist the urge to let a lot of the air out when you enter the water. If you "burp" out too much air, the vacuum-bag effect will really limit your movement and flexibility
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 698 Mega Baller
    @RichardDoane Thank you for the tip sir! Have never heard that so will try it this sunny weekend we have forecast. This is also the 1st winter I have continued to ski every week (except frozen Feb). I have not struggled in my dry suit before in March-May; 10 outings this Dec & Jan were a lot of work!
    RichardDoane
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,245 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Cold water skis differently. I won’t bother trying to justify it with physics and engineering (not sure I could anyway)
    but as an athlete I notice. Especially below about 55.

    But don’t miss out on other factors mentioned above. Cold air and body temp impacts your skiing. Certainly having a dry suit on makes it harder. Every spring when I get back down to my shorts and a top I immediately notice an improvement in exactly the same water temp.

    Short answer, I think water time is more critical. Say you were in FL regularly skiing 80 degree water and flew to Vancouver to ski with Zappy and took a ride in 48 degree water. Another skier gets off the couch in Vancouver and flys to catch their first ride of the season in FL. Who will have a better set?
    RichardDoane
  • adamhcaldwelladamhcaldwell Posts: 787 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Its neither water temp or time on the water. Its knowing how to use the tools in the tool box!!

    The cold water/warm water issue will impact all skier on all levels. You can spend a lot of time on the water getting beat up...or you can start to learn how to use whats available to you to adjust your ski for the conditions!

    I am of the opinion that water temp swings will have a greater impact on a skiers performance at beginner/intermediate skill levels as compared to those in the 35off and up.

    Skiers who have mastered short-line and the kinetic chain of “stack-swing-release” take advantage of position and timing between the ski, the boat, to move their COM cross course to the next ball. The resultant ‘influence’ in water-temperature variation is much less detrimental to ‘scores’ of higher level skiers for this reason. They are tuned into line tension/ski load and centripetal force. Therfore water-temp changes become a smaller factor in the whole equation. Couple that with long term experience/feel/determination/confidence etc. and typically the more advanced skiers are not losing too many buoys. They’ll overcome, and adapt to it much easier.

    On the other end of things, with longer line lengths; tangential speeds are slower, the relative flow of water tends to be at a steeper angle of attack, and there is less centripetal force acting on the skier. So forces and factors acting on the skier are quite different. A more novice skier typically spends more time getting dragged down-course behind the boat and has less time to accomplish adequate ski rotation prior the ball as compared to a shortline skier. Also, there is less centripetal force that will influence how the skier/ski move into the preturn/apex. So, for the apprentice level skiers the water temp tends to be a much larger factor in how successfully they will reach the buoy line and be able to turn on time.

    I am of the opinion that what works for guys running 35off and up will be vastly different then what works for 15/22/28 level skiers – though I am sure plenty of people will disagree with me. The influence of centripetal force and ski rotation is much more significant at short-line than at longer lines where skiers tend to separate much earlier, and before the ski ever starts a rotation into the turn.

    There are so many factors involved that its rare 10 out of 10 skiers – even of the same ability and skill- would make the same adjustments to correct for a 5, 10, 15 or 20 + water temp change. The adjustments to the setup all have to balance with the skiers skill set, issues, shortcomings, strengths, general ability level, and course philosophy. For example, a super short line-skier, I would usually expect the fin and boots to get further apart in colder water and closer together in warmer. But a skier at 15-22off, I would tend to push the fin and boots closer together (ex. fin fwd or boots back) and with a deeper/shorter fin in cooler water, but then further apart and longer/shallower in warmer water. As contradictory as this may sound, the reasons have to do with the geometry of the line length, dynamics of the swing speed, and relative angle of attack of the water flowing relative to the bottom of the ski as you travel in/out of center-line, and in/out of apex of the turn. Note, this is a very general statement and not necessarily the ONLY way to do things. Hell, if its cold and your skiing is going to suck anyway, why not try out some changes and see what happens!?!!.

    More importantly, keeping the body warm and mobile when on the water is hugely important for successful cold waters skiing for anything to work right!
    RednucleusRichardDoane
  • jimskijimski Posts: 616 Crazy Baller
    edited March 2019
    cold = slower reaction time,stiff tense body,cramping = I suck why can't I do this ? I skied way better in July
    My hands hurt where's the cooler of hot water
    And the answer always seems to be
    I'm moving to Florida
    adamhcaldwellRichardDoaneIGskiMISkier
  • skinutskinut Posts: 445 Solid Baller
    @jimski You nailed it.
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