Deep water start trouble on new ski

Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 504 Baller
edited May 2019 in Technique & Theory
Hi All, The last few years I was on a 69" Radar P6 - I'm a bigger guy, but deep water starts were a breeze on that ski.

Last fall I picked up a 69" HO TX - Love the ski once I'm up, but was having trouble getting up on it with my normal handle. No problem with an easy up handle. Toward the end of the season I had several successful ups with my normal handle so I thought I had it figured out.

Fast forward to this year I cannot get up on that bad boy without an easy up handle :/ The ski is large enough, so I'm guessing that my technique is just not there and somehow my old ski was allowing me to cheat a little.

When I miss the start with my regular handle it's not because I'm falling to the side, it's because the ski will start plowing and I pop the handle. I use a RTP and i get up with both feet in. Not opposed to double boot if that will help me.



  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    Make sure to have your back foot tucked under your butt. It sounds like the ski is getting too vertical which causes it to plow.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 504 Baller
    @Chef23 - I believe you are right, how do you find it easiest to do that ?
  • 75Tique75Tique Posts: 197 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2019
    Conversely, since you have an RTP, I say get up with your rear foot out. If you've never started that way, I guess it will feel strange and take some getting used to, but its much easier to start with rear foot out as there is no pressure pushing the back of the ski down. That and you have the thigh of your rear leg serving as a planing surface as well, also aiding in getting up. With your back leg stretched out behind you and your chest on your knee, there is very little back stress getting up, which is a good thing for us old folks. Definitely old school picture from a book i've had since the 60s or 70s but still holds true.

    “So, how was your weekend?”
    “Well, let me see…sun burn, stiff neck, screwed up back, assorted aches and pains….yup, my weekend was great, thanks for asking.”
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 504 Baller
    @75Tique - my dad always got up that way - I guess it's worth a shot. I think i might need a different RTP - this radar is hard to slide your foot into all the way once it's wet.
  • jercranejercrane Posts: 391 Crazy Baller
    I'll throw out another vote for back foot out. At least try it. In college I always got up back foot in. Took a few years off (cough ... 18 ... cough) and got back into things in my 40's and I found I had some issues getting up. Tried popping the foot out and it has been such a relief. I get up faster, more consistently and with less energy consumption.

    I even find it easier skiing on short course setups now. I just get up on a plane so much faster by dragging the foot.

    I don't know ... give it a shot.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,291 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Try starting with a good amount of the ski out of the water...front toes near the surface. when the pull comes on let the water push the ski in towards you; knees coming to your chest. the ski will flatten out and you should let it do that. Keep your arms straight and the rope will pull you up on top of the ski. Then stand up slowly.

    As long as you can keep the ski between you and the boat and you don't plow, the boat will pull you up.

    Watch Jason McClintock here:

    And Terry Winter here:

  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    @Ski_Dad I get up with one foot in but I have taught a bunch of people that get up with both feet in. The only way I know is to try to just pull your back foot up as far as you can under your butt.

    I am capable of getting up with both feet in but it is much easier on my body to get up with one foot in. I have an HO Rear Toe Plate not the adjustable one and you can kick into it. I have also used a Radar fixed RTP and can kick into that no problem.
    Mark Shaffer
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,104 Mega Baller
    The Terry video is pretty good really shows how far up he has the back knee to get started.

    Regardless what you cannot do as a bigger guy is let your shoulders get pulled over your knees. that video shows it really well keep your spine straight your shoulders back and don't let your hands go to your feet, keep pressure on your front foot to prevent getting pulled fwd.
  • SkierxSkierx Posts: 83 Baller
    @Ski_Dad . Back foot out using it as counter Ballance. This is very important, LFF rope on the right of the ski as if you had two skis with rope between them, Also allow ski to naturally veir to the left as it plains out. Opposite for RFF.
  • SkierxSkierx Posts: 83 Baller
    @Ski_Dad forgot to mention, getting up this way is much like walking up stairs
  • tjmtjm Posts: 383 Solid Baller
    Make sure you are not wearing a baggy swim suit that will “parachute” and fill with water.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,879 Mega Baller
    Back foot out with your back leg dragging (it'll feel like doing the splits) gives you a second planing surface to push you up and out of the water. Instead of the ski providing all the lift (with both feet in), your back leg and ski are sortof parallel and both angling toward the water surface. It pops you right up.

    If you are an old dog and don't want to learn new tricks, I agree with the others. You have to get that back heel right up under your butt. It'll feel like you're sitting on your back foot.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,104 Mega Baller
    Draggers vs Dual Feet I can sort of maybe buy the dragging leg giving some lift or possibly a ruddering effect - but I can 100% tell you the issue getting up 2 footed is that people push on the rear foot.

    If you are one foot in the ski is very long behind the foot, when the boat pulls this flattens the ski out in the water and since you only have the one foot to stand on it sort of naturally puts the ski at the right angle. But when you are 2 footed if you push with your rear foot too much you make the ski vertical in the water.

    If the ski plows when you don't have the handle I think what you're doing is that those deep V handle's Cross rope is helping pull the front of the ski through the water preventing you from buckling and burying the ski.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    Did you change bindings when you changed skis? If you did and you have the old binding try putting it on the new ski and see if that helps. Sometimes a binding change can make a ski tough to get up on.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 504 Baller
    @Chef23 - actually yes I did - i had a 2015 Vector and RTP on it last year and got the 2019 versions this year. The new Vector Boa is awesome BTW.

    @BraceMaker @UWSkier - I think I'm pushing too much with rear foot, I will see how it goes tonight
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,104 Mega Baller
    Dont try not to push on the rear but focus on the front.

    Another that can help is look at your driver's head it keeps you from looking down and sort of rotating around the center till you drown.

  • Zoro957Zoro957 Posts: 66 Baller
    Try a Goode Powervest. Expensive but worth it
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    For years I struggled getting up on a single ski. I even skied the course a while but used a drop ski. First time I ever got up one ski, It was that same HO TX you have but with double bindings.
    Things I learned:
    -Double bindings are way easier than getting up with a RTP IF you get up with 2 feet in.
    - Always felt dragging a foot was kinda like screen doors on a submarine
    - I prefer lots of throttle. For 30 years my only driver was my dad. I love him but he doesn’t understand the words more throttle.
    - More tip is easier.
    - Stay squatted longer. When you think you squatted long enough and surely your planing, wait another 30 minutes then stand up.

    From the very first time I ever gotten up on a slalom I’ve only missed maybe 3 starts, all of which were on a RTP.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    @Orlando76 I have to disagree on which is easier to get up. I can get up both ways but when done correctly there is way less drag with one foot. Some people struggle with the technique and feel more comfortable getting up with two feet but there is less drag with one foot.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Chef23 I didn’t really say which way was easier, 1 foot or 2 foot.
  • KimbymonKimbymon Posts: 159 Crazy Baller
    I have always dragged a foot coming up, it’s how my dad taught me. It’s kind of like stepping up onto a low table. The only issue I seem to have and it’s more of a precaution is to watch for possibly straining the hamstring on your front leg. Otherwise I feel my rear foot is my “rudder” that stabilizes me in the water.
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 465 Crazy Baller
    Given the handle is being pulled out of your hands that tell me your too far back on the ski. Try starting with the handle right on top of your front binding, literally on the laces. This will help shift your center of mass more over your front foot. Hold that position until the ski planes.

    As others have commented - sucking your rear foot under your butt just as the boat takes off helps hold the ski at a 30 degree angle to the water which will help it ride up out of the water. I think about this every time I take off.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,104 Mega Baller
    I never feel like I ride a ski up as it planes. More that once the rope is snug I can push my hips up and am in V of water and then I just wait on acceleration.

    The one foot method I can do but strains my hip. Tried that on trick skis a while. No good for me.
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 465 Crazy Baller
    I don’t necessarily feel the sensation of gliding up on the ski, but I am definitely on the front foot, riding it as I come up. By keeping the ski on a 30 degree angle you maximize the surface area the water is pushing on (with a good portion being in upward direction) hence you can stand earlier, which makes for easier starts.

    If the ski is dead vertical, one is fighting the boat the whole way instead of working with the boat and the ski. In this approach you have to hold until the boat is going fast enough to exert enough force on the bottom half of ski to cantilever you up out of the water. I’ve helped several people break this pattern, but it’s not an easy to change because your position is very different.

    Finally, everyone’s build and body composition is different, so what works great for me might not work as well for others.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 504 Baller
    @Orlando76 - that's cool you had the same ski. It's a fun ski ! I actually picked up this one brand new old stock for dirt cheap - i spent more money on the bindings - ha ha.

    i think I prefer more throttle as well
  • B_SB_S Posts: 319 Crazy Baller
    My deep water starts have been automatic for 35 years, but I had a real struggle after switching to my current ski. I had been using an Eagle vest, which has much less buoyancy than a USCG vest. I went back to my USGC vest, and starts became automatic again.
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 721 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2019
    I was a sort of disbalanced guy both in the fore aft and side to side - before start used either to fall on the side or sinking tip of the ski before pull. One simple advice changed this for good: one clever coach told me - "do nothing to prepare for start".
    Just lay relaxed on the back of the west. When rope is getting tighter say "Yes" to driver and only after this command pull front knee to the chest as close as abbs allow do this.
    Not before "Yes" but after, virtually at the first fraction of a second of pull from the boat.
    This timing do not give me a chance to go out of balance.
    Since that moment never missed a single start on any ski.
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 609 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2019
    When you say “bigger guy” some context would help. Are you over 225 lbs? If so, there are some very good high-end 71” slalom skis available. Radar made a high-end Senate in 71” in some years.

    Here are some good big guy get up tips:

    1. Get small. You need your front knee very close to your body. When the boat starts to pull you should have your arms wrapped around your front knee.
    2. Arms straight and both palms facing down. Don’t switch to a baseball bat style grip until after you are up.
    3. If your driver is good, have them roll the throttle forward. Don’t hammer it and yank the rope out of your hands, just a smooth roll forward of the throttle until it is fire-walled. You need the juice to get you up, but it helps if it comes progressively.
    4. Think about pointing the toes of your front foot towards the boat. As the boat starts to pull, think about pointing your toes towards the boat. Get that ski on plane.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 504 Baller
    @KRoundy - I'm about 225 give or take the time of year. I do let the boat pull me over the front of the ski when getting up. I didn't fight it last night and used the easy up handle (mostly b/c my arms were sore) Desided to just have fun last night and rest my arms.

    you are right about the throttle - i need progressive throttle but a decent amount. I have no prayer if someone hammers it - which is tricky in my boat b/c the prop i have on it is pretty hot compared to some of my friends boats.

    i will remember about pointing my toes - i really beleive the mistake I was making this year was pushing on my back foot - for some reason that was working for me last year about 2 seconds in the pull but I need to quit that altogether.

    my motto - "It's me, not the ski" - ha ha
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    @Ski_Dad at 225 pounds that ski is plenty of ski for you. At 235 I skied regularly on 68" skis like the Vapor, a D3 and an HO and got out of the water with no problem. Keep at it you will figure it out. I would also advise trying the old boot on the new ski. Sometimes the newer boot is stiffer and makes it difficult to get in the same position coming out of the water.
    Mark Shaffer
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