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Open or closed or something in between?

HortonHorton Posts: 30,230 Administrator
edited January 15 in Technique & Theory
It seems to me a lot of skiers have an idea about hip and shoulder rotation that they assume is the right idea. I think a lot of these ideas are unrealistic and or overly idealistic or mechanically wrong.

I think:
At the ball I never want my shoulders to rotate faster or more than my hips and feet.

Once I am moving back to the wakes I want my hips mostly / relatively closed and my shoulders level but neither artificially open or artificially closed.

Tell me why I am wrong.

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Than_Bogan

Comments

  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,865 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    edited January 14
    "At the ball I never want my shoulders to rotate faster or more than my hips and feet." Agree - the turns should be dominated by hip and knee movement with the upper body as still as possible.

    "Once I am moving back to the wakes I want my hips mostly / relatively closed and my shoulders level but neither artificially open or artificially closed." This one is not so clear. If your hips are closed, its much harder to keep your shoulders level. The tendancy will be for the away shoulder to dip, which makes your stack weaker. The common result is when the skier hits the wake, the weaker stack will allow the hips to drop back and/or the away shoulder now gets pulled toward the buoy - no good. If your stack is rock solid like Caldwell, you can close your hips as much as you want and it won't matter.

    IMO, one trick that can help "some" skiers keep a better stack (and avoid the hip drop at the wakes) is to open the hips to the boat. Open is obviously a relatve thing, especially on the offside lean, but slight open rotation can make a big difference.

    The other conundrum is if you are closed off and max effort behind the boat, you have no choice but to give in and rotate your hips into the buoy (again unless you are Caldwell). I've noticed this even on some elite level skiers. If your hips are open into and at the wakes, you have room to rotate your hips away from the buoy. The "reverse C" motion is the extreme example of what I mean by rotating the hips away from the buoy.

    Confused yet?
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 899 Open or Level 9 Skier
    @Bruce_Butterfield Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly, but that last paragraph sounds like the exact opposite of what I am trying to do on the water. I am not particularly focused on "open" or "closed" relative to the boat, especially since having one foot in front of the other will cause your hips to be rotated more going one way than the other. In general I want to be square to the ski, and since the ski will have max angle at the 1st wake, my hips will be the most closed off at the first wake.

    Coming out of that max angle/max hip rotation position is what starts the ski to rotate into the turn and keeps me skiing on a path that matches the handle, keeping me from separating and keeping my swing speed up. If I try to rotate my hips further away from the boat off the 2nd wake, I will get peeled away from the handle every time. I will also run too wide too soon, causing my swing to stop and forcing me to run parallel with the boat.

    By rotating my hips toward the boat on the way out, I can start the ski's rotation early, stay connected, and maintain my swing all the way to the apex of the reach. Like this:

    Mapple:

    Smith:


    jimskiMattPWishSkierx
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,865 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    edited January 14
    @AdamCord this is one of those things that is not absolute and will work differently for different skiers and a little hard to explain. My main point is that it for many skiers, closing the hips behind the boat can easily lead to overloading, then giving it all back after the wakes. If you close off without overloading, no big deal. Think of it as one way to correct a problem that you don't have:)

    Obviously we cannot get the hips/shoulders comletely open with one foot in front of the other, but its a good visulation tool. This is a much better description of what I think of when I refer to shoulders and hips open to the boat. Wim is much more "open" than "closed" on both sides.

    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
    BG1jayskislow
  • bigtex2011bigtex2011 Posts: 557 Crazy Baller
    those were the days.. before zero off
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,230 Administrator
    edited January 15
    @Bruce_Butterfield
    you confuse me with left foot forward video.

    @matthewbrown any thoughts?

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  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,865 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    @horton all lefties should be shot!
    If there was a better demonstration of “near perfect” technique than Wim, I have yet to find it.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 899 Open or Level 9 Skier
    @Bruce_Butterfield I think I understand what you are talking about, but to me it's something of a catch 22. You can stay open and never get connection and swing, making it easier to maintain your not connected or swinging position off the 2nd wake, or you can stack, get connected, and swing, and learn how to maintain your connection and swing off the 2nd wake.

    What I typically see is people who don't get in a strong stack aligned with the ski, and then they try to close off and point the ski to the bank off the 2nd wake to get the width they need because they never generated enough swing speed. I have had a lot of success coaching people to obtain the stacked position (more square to the ski) and then open up to the boat off the 2nd wake, because it relieves the overloaded ski you are talking about while allowing them to stay strong against the line. On a top level skier this looks like the "Reverse C" you mentioned. The upper body is strong against the line, but the hips are starting to get the ski out of angle and initiate the turn.

    This does a few things that are super beneficial. First it keeps you from skiing away from the handle, making it easier to stay connected and swinging. Second it starts the ski's rotation into the turn. I'd much rather come into the buoy with the ski already rotated 50% of the way than have to do it all at the finish. Not only does it make the turn much easier, but that partially rotated ski is going to be scrubbing your downcourse speed, letting you reach with a tight line and stay in time with the boat.

    If, on the other hand, you point your hips to the shore coming off the 2nd wake then that's where your ski will want to go, even while the handle is trying to go down the lake around the boat. You will always ski yourself away from the handle like this, resulting in either disconnection from the handle and stopping your swing, or getting pulled over to the inside edge way too soon, stopping your swing. Both outcomes result in your path having to run parallel with the boat, and a ski that is still pointed out when you need to be starting a turn. The end result being you must make a hard turn, from a narrow position, while running too fast into the buoy (sound familiar?).

    When I watch the video of Wim I agree that he's more open on his onside pull than a lot of other skiers, but I still see his hips rotate into the turn on his 2-4 side. And then he's as closed off as anyone coming out of 2-4 into the wakes, and he then opens up to the boat on the way into 1-3-5 just like Nate and Andy.
    Skierx
  • elrelr Posts: 328 Mega Baller
    edited January 15
    I have never heard open/closed from any high end professional coach, I have heard "hips square to the ski" from many.
    Ed Rink - LSF Texas
    Wish
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,230 Administrator
    @elr
    "hips square to the ski" = closed hips

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  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,877 Mega Baller
    @Horton I use those terms quite differently. "Closed" is absolute: you point your hips toward the shore. "With ski" is relative: you point your hips toward your ski tip.

    There is a moment as you exit the buoy that the two are basically the same, but they diverge after that.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    ALPJr
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,230 Administrator
    @Than_Bogan yeah terminology is impossible in this sport

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    Than_Bogan
  • elrelr Posts: 328 Mega Baller
    @Horton - don't know that it makes any difference but I should have said "square to the ski tip."
    Ed Rink - LSF Texas
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,080 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I heard a great coaching tip on this very subject today. Skier is a lefty. Coach told him to the move the handle to a vertical position after getting both hands back on the handle and into the first wake on 135 and to move it into a horizontal position on 24. Try it. You can definitely feel how it rotates your shoulders.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
    skispraydchristmanlakeoWish
  • skisprayskispray Posts: 235 Crazy Baller
    @lpskier wow. That is so simple and I could be wrong but it seems like it would really work. What I like so much about that is that, at least when I try it on dry land, it seems like it would both improve structural alignment but also shift your center of mass toward the front of the ski, into the optimal acceleration position that we're really looking for. Really looking forward to trying that out. Now I'm mad that's January. :s
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,230 Administrator
    @lpskier I guess that might work for you but it does not address the question of what is the ideal amount of rotation.

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,230 Administrator
    edited January 16
    @Bruce_Butterfield

    thinking about this more there are times when my shoulders are level + my my mass is pretty forward and then I'm surprised how much my shoulders are rotated into the boat. So for me it's almost like the additional shoulder rotation is the result of doing the other things better.

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  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,212 Mega Baller
    I think it works. I picked that up watching the Regina 1/4 speed video a couple years ago... she does that.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,865 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    @Horton @AdamCord this is one of those funky things that "can be" a body position / visualization thing that helps get into better body alignment, similar to the handle rotation trick lpskier mentioned. All of these are really hard to describe in words without in person descriptions.

    "Closed off" and "open" can mean significantly different things to each skier. While I see Wim's hips on the offside being "open", Cord sees it as "in line with the ski". Neither is right or wrong, its an interpretation and one of many ways to think about the perfect technique. It is by no means an absolute. If any of these tips help, great. If not, flush it and move on to something else. YMMV:)
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
    AdamCord
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,080 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Horton Not me. I was driving and actually a Cali guy was getting coached. The coach was describing how to get the desired shoulder direction while under load, which in this case I believe is more closed than open.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,388 Mega Baller
    edited January 16
    Kind of a blend, closed facing the shoreline, open facing the boat/down-course.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,230 Administrator
    edited January 17
    @lpskier
    So you are repeating what you over heard from an unnamed coach giving advise to an unnamed skier with an uncertain intent? This is exactly how unformed ideas permeate this forum and create misunderstandings.



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  • thagerthager Posts: 5,145 Mega Baller
    Lighten up Francis!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
    Bruce_ButterfieldlpskierWishDaveD
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