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OK, my turn, fire away

75Tique75Tique Posts: 153 Solid Baller
edited December 2020 in Technique & Theory
Just read with interest the improve offside thread and earlier watched the Freddie Winter most common problem video because both are me. And since its winter without much skiing going on and because you guys like to critique, I figured I would post my most recent (final set this year) video and solicit comments. Let me give the video a little context first. Keep in mind, despite being a men 7 (tho never competed and never intend to, I just did that so I dont have to actually state my age) I am a relative noob to the course and just learning. Last year I made it to 30 mph, 22 off. So my goal this year was to get to 22 off 32 mph, my "official" speed. I started this year out at 32 mph and didnt come close. I backed off to 30 mph and for some reason took most of the summer to get back to where I was last year. So last outing, 10/15/20. I laid out my course and because of one thing or another, the guys I was going to ski with ended up not making it. I was planning on pulling the course in the next couple days and this was going to be my last outing and it looked like it wouldnt happen. I saw some kids boarding out on the lake and when they were done, asked if they would like to try driving a course. They had never done it. We made several practice runs though the course and it seemed they had it, so I jumped in. I told him a number of times to pull me at 32. Well I dont do the course at 32, I do it at 30. I free ski at 32 so I had that in my head. So my first several passes were at 32. Seemed fast, but he assured me he was going 32. It finally dawned on me what I had done. I was skiing at 32 while thinking I was going my normal 30. The good news is, I had my best pass ever, 4 @22 0ff, 32 mph. Practically this years goal without even knowing it. Once I realized what had happened, we brought the speed back down to 30 and I had the final pass in the video, probably one of my best form wise for the season. So, having made a short story long (sorry about that) fire away. I know Ive got the standard problem of leading with my shoulders, but believe it or not, that last pass has probably been my best form run I can remember. Maybe I can win someone here a beanie?

“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.”


  • swaterkdswaterkd Posts: 80 Baller
    So the first thing is let some air out of those bouys!! They look like beach balls. You can break a leg like that.
  • marknmarkn Posts: 405 Crazy Baller
    Skiing a new PB is always rewarding. Congrats! And behind a "new driver" too. Good skiing.
    Watched your video numerous times and saw many very positive aspects to your skiing. If you can work on the following, there is no doubt you will get into 28 if not run it.
    1. Slower turn in for the gate. Your first movement is "back" and quick. Slowly build angle and lean and maintain balance over both feet.
    2. Going to 1,3, 5 (off side) tendency is to ski to buoy then turn. Ski as wide as you can away from the boat and buoy. Keep ski going outbound to maintain space.
    3. If you look at your off side, you grab the handle at the buoy even before the turn is complete. Part of that is due to being narrow as you come out of the turn. As soon as you grab the handle, that is the end of gaining additional angle out of the turn as you have already applied pressure of the rope. Again, ski wide, complete the turn, establish your angle then "ride the line" to the other side.
    4. You exit the turns with an initally good position, but particularly going into the white water from your off side turn, you come up and pull in your arms. (from the looks of the wake, you are skiing a 1990-1996 Nautique hull, so the wake can be a bit larger than new boats, but keep your weight over the ski and keep your edge all the way through the second wake and you will be wide.
    You have a good foundation and the desire to improve. With some tweaks and additional work, your buoy count will increase.
    These are just my observations and I am sure other ballers will have even greater insight.
    Again, congrats on the new PB and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.

  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,587 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Wider at the gate. Arms down and in throughout. Hips up.

    The comments above are also good.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 1,110 Mega Baller
    If I was riding in the boat I'd tell you these two things . Sometimes 2 things is too much but one thing is at the gate, the other thing is mainly in the course.

    Pull out MUCH wider on your gate. From wider you can get the ski turned and pointing more cross course (more angle) before the boat starts pulling you. You never get much cross course angle because the boat is on you the minute you start to turn in. This will probably require you to mess with when you start your pull out as well, but this one thing will help a ton.

    Stand tall to get stacked. You said you lead with your shoulders. I see your shoulders over your feet and your butt out the back. Shoulders, hips and feet inline. I think about bending my ankles which moves my hips forward. Along with this you'll need to stand tall. If you are successful getting your hips forward but still bent at the waist you'll have your shoulders forward of your feet, very precarious.

    This advice is worth what you paid for it. Send some video to a proper coach for some truly valuable input.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 90 Baller
    My advice is that you should saw the front 12 inches off your ski and put it up for sale on ski-it-again. Though it may not bring a high price, you can honestly advertise it as "Never Used".

    Seriously, you are very far from being balanced over the top of your ski - and THAT is killing you. Because you're riding so tail-heavy you can never build much speed or angle, and with your butt so far out behind you you're extremely vulnerable to breaking at the waist. This was evidenced at the 3 ball on your warm up pass, when you engaged more tip than you're used to. Your shoulders were forward and your butt was sticking out behind you, so there was NO way you could avoid breaking at the waist when your tip engaged. Result... OTF.

    However, there are good things too, most obvious being your near fearlessness at attacking the wake. You hammer through the wake like it wasn't even there, and that is no small thing. If you had a solid "stack", where your shoulders and hips were aligned with a point somewhere between your feet, you might - scratch that, WILL - reach the level where the pull is coming from your hips instead of your shoulders. NOW you can put that power to good use.

    Several posts on this forum, some from Horton himself, give detailed explanations of what a good, aligned, stacked pull should look and feel like. Alignment and stack are THE necessary components of this sport; without those you may very well be hitting your lifetime ceiling where you are right now.

    That's my two cent worth... but for you today, it's free.
  • Fam-manFam-man Posts: 210 Solid Baller
    I ski about the same level as you, have run 28 off at 32 and 34 mph a few times.
    I worry less about going through the entrance gates and focus on making speed. Pull out wide enough to look straight down the 2-4-6 ball line. Progressive turn in building speed behind the boat. There’s a good spraymakers podcast on gates.
    You look taller in your last pass, which also had the best results. Focus on something that helps you ski taller. Hips up, proud chest, straight arms, squeeze bit cheeks etc are all ways to accomplish the same thing.
  • 75Tique75Tique Posts: 153 Solid Baller
    I'm surprised on a cold winters day, over 1100 views but only 6 comments. I get it tho. Same old same old. Get your butt in. I've heard that a lot. Problem is, I have found, easier said than done. Like I said, I've heard that from about every one that critiques me over the past few years, including Breanne Dodd, Nate Smith and Ryan Dodd (thanks to the Nautique Swervin' events) as well as other skiers better than I. Somewhere in one of Bob Marley's comedy routines he jokes about a skier saying every one says the same thing about his skiing and marley says thats because you keep doing the same thing wrong. I wish I could find that clip, but I cant. Anyway, Thanks for the input and yes, I know, I need to get my butt in and shoulders back. Getting wider for the gate is also useful information. Gates are tough for me because I dont have 55s, which would help with set up and timing. And @markn , good guess on the boat (either that or you peeked at my profile) but it is a 1996 1776. So my new question, any tips on how to achieve what we all know I need to do. Like I said, apparently easier said than done. Not sure how to make it happen. @ski6jones , you mentioned send vids to a coach. You know anyone that offers that service. Any of them to a quick prelim assessment at no cost?
    “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.”
  • scokescoke Posts: 704 Crazy Baller

    (place holder)

    I'll post something meaning full when i've got time to find my previous links.

    Watching your videos and then your previous post, the issue is not "get your butt up" but it's your fundamental thinking of what position you are supposed to be in. All these coaches are telling you the facts but your mind is fighting it and refusing to commit/believe/comprehend/over come objections. You can have another 15 people tell you the same thing, it's not going to help.

    The issue is your core fundamental theory of skiing is built incorrectly on "squatting and pulling" versus "leaning with your frame".

  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 90 Baller
    edited December 2020
    Sending videos to online coaches practically guarantees you're just going hear the same old thing - that your skiing posture is diametrically opposed to what you're trying to accomplish (fancy talk for "Get your butt in"). So here's an entirely different approach.

    Get set up with a Wakeye, Ski-Doc, or home made camera system. OR have your 2nd-BFF shoot video (while your 1st-BFF drives). Whatever. Just capture video of your skiing. But in between video shoots, carefully study video of one good skier you'd like to look like. Could be Terry Winter, or Rossi, or even Freddy Winter. Try to figure out why they look different from you - which, in this case, could be that their hips are forward, up, and "connected" to the handle.

    Now, go out and ski, with the singular goal of LOOKING like what your chosen skier looks like. That's all, just try to imitate what you've been watching. Of course, you need video of each your attempts, and you should pause frequently to watch it. As you continue to try to imitate your goal skier, forget about counting buoys, and ESPECIALLY forget about any tips you've been given. Your singular goal is to LOOK like your "hero". How you do that is irrelevant, because if you LOOK like a good skier you will SKI like a good skier.

    Sound silly, doesn't it? It's not. Again, if you LOOK like a good skier you'll SKI like a good skier. In other words, say you notice that Terry Winter always has his hands very close to his hips during his pulls / wake-crossings. Does it matter if he drives his hips up to the handle - Horton's "hump the handle" - OR if he's stretching his hands down toward his hips - Rossi's "push the handle down"? As long as you find a skiing posture that has you looking connected hips-to-handle like Terry Winter (or whomever) you'll be skiing with your hips and handle connected.

    Or, suppose you notice that Freddy Winter always drives his inside hand forward as he releases his outside hand while initiating a turn. Is he "counter-rotating", OR is he "reaching forward"? Doesn't matter. The closer you get to looking like Freddy Winter the closer you'll get to skiing like Freddy Winter (caveat: within the limits of normal human ability).

    Now, before I get a bunch of "dislikes", let me just say that I agree getting video coaching is a very good idea - maybe best. But remember that you've kind of rejected that, due to past experiences... so here's something different that you haven't tried. You can't LOOK like you're getting your hips forward (on video) unless you ARE getting our hips forward. It'll be up to you to try different ways of accomplishing that until you like what you see. And if you DO like what you see, it's then time to figure how to repeat that until your body remembers what it feels like ("muscle memory").

    Again, this advice is certified to be worth every penny you've paid for it.
  • 75Tique75Tique Posts: 153 Solid Baller
    @scoke The issue is your core fundamental theory of skiing is built incorrectly on "squatting and pulling" versus "leaning with your frame".

    Thanks for your input. What you say is very true, tho its no so much a case of it being my fundamental theory, its a case of that's what I do and I dont know how to fix it.

    @RGilmore Thanks for your additional input. Please understand, I was not saying I dont like hearing the same thing. As long as I am doing it wrong, I have no problem with people telling me I'm still doing the same thing wrong, and appreciate the input, even if it only verifies what I've heard before. Also, dont think I've rejected the idea of video coaching, I've just never done it before and dont know where to go for it (hence, no bad past experience) As far as your two suggestions, I video pretty much every pass I make and a lot of free skiing as well. A video camera, (a real video camera, not a phone) is pretty much always in the boat and I have myself recorded as well as the folks I ski with as we are all rookies looking to improve) (a number of, but certainly not all my videos can be seen on youtube, at channel "75tique") As far as your suggestion of watching a pro and trying to mimick, my favorite go to video is the Regina Jaquess 1/4 speed video. Its awesome. Not that there arent a ton of the pro guys videos posted, its just that hers was the first I stumbled on and I was so impressed by it. It also is sort of consistent with my opinion that women are probably better form skiers than men as men can rely more on muscling their way through and the ladies have to rely a bit more on form.

    “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.”
  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 90 Baller
    @75Tique Ah yes, Regina. You'd be hard pressed to find a better skier to emulate.

    Pull up that video and freeze it at 0:34. Notice how her pelvis (hips) and the handle are so close together? If you go back and pay attention up to that moment you'll see her hips were NEVER back behind her. That's not an accident As she rolls into her gate turn in she is obviously applying forward pressure on her hips to keep them forward and driving into the turn. The handle gets lower and lower until her upper body is leaned away, straight in line with the rope, the handle just naturally settles in to a nice low, locked position as she accelerates toward the wake. Near perfection for sure - and that's her "warm up" pass.

    Now go back to 0:34, and memorize what her entire body form looks like. Notice the angle of her ski, the openness of her shoulders, how the spray comes off the edge of her ski. Go to any one of your own skiing videos and find that same moment in time (more or less). If you don't look like she looks, you're probably not gonna get what she gets.

    I can't tell you what to think about or focus on, or how to trigger yourself into achieving a similar position at a similar point in the course. No one can. No one except YOU. You have to embrace and visualize your goal - which, in this fantasy scenario, is to have that same hips-up, hands low, arms straight, shoulders square and back. Visualize that, and then go out an try to get it. Forget running buoys. Every pass through the course offers you three opportunities to pull out, glide, turn in, and go. Spend a week doing nothing but that (I know, BORING) and video every set. When you can freeze a video and find yourself seeing what you see when you freeze Regina's video, congratulations - you will have found yourself at a whole new level.

    Chet Riley, a GREAT coach, has often described the progression of learning thus:

    1) Unconscious Incompetence - you aren't doing it right, and you don't know why
    2) Conscious Incompetence - you aren't doing it right, but you know why
    3) Unconscious Competence - you ARE doing it right [sometimes], but can't repeat at will
    4) Conscious Competence - you're doing it right, and CAN repeat at will

    You're at stage 2; probably have been for a while. Everything you've done up to now brought you to this point. If you want to progress beyond this point you're going to have to try something new. Otherwise you'll just keep doing what you did, and getting what you got.
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,096 Mega Baller
    Seems like you may be waiting around for the right “tip” that finally resonates and boom, you’re in perfect skiing position. Doesn’t work like that in most sports including slalom unfortunately. Luckily in this case, as opposed to throwing a slider or knuckleball properly we are simply talking about executing “standing up”. The result is easy to conceptualize and there are no tricks to it, really.

    At the end of the day, executing it is work, mental and physical and it's over a determined period of time. It’s putting a process in place with a feedback loop over the entire next summer. Being determined that this is the truth and the way and asking yourself if you did it every set. It’s easy to do behind the boat just standing there, so do it in the move out, then the glide, then the turn in, then the turn, then ball to wake, etc. bit by bit. As Scoke said the overarching concept is lean+resist vs. squat+pull.

    Watch this:
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,587 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @75Tique To improve your body position, the drill where you pull out wide of the boat and hold that position. This allows you to move your hips and arms/shoulders where they should be. There was a video of this somewhere but I can't find it now. Perhaps someone else can post a link.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • LK_skierLK_skier Posts: 57 Baller
    I have been working on my lean - that's the bit after your turn - your turns aren't too bad and the good news is that your attacking the wake so that fear that some people have won't stop you from achieving a good lean. If you lean well (some people call it stacked etc) then you will generate a lot more speed across the wash from buoy to buoy. Then you'll be earlier and you'll be able to have a "relaxed" turn and get more angle etc etc.

    I'd say I've been working on getting some lean for the past 6 months - prior to that I was just more worried about making passes even if they were ugly. So I finally told myself its ok to go longer rope or slower speed in order to find this lean. What I'm saying is - stay at 30 and find your lean.

    What does lean feel like - my biggest wow moment was when I finally felt most of the load come through my back arm (only on my on-side pull tho) - that's when I knew I had made progress - It took me a few sets to get use to it and then I had combat the extra speed I had created. I watch back video and it still looks pretty terrible but feels heaps better which tell me I have a way to go. Now I'm getting some lean on my offside which is making skiing a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.

    So for me - take a step backwards to help you go forward in the long run - find the strong body position and then figure out how to make that work when you are in the course...

    and have fun!
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,208 Mega Baller
    edited December 2020
    A sage once said "straighten your back leg". There is no way to have your butt back with your back leg straight.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
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