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Quick tips/pointers on my stack

slim__duncslim__dunc Posts: 7 New Baller
Hey guys! Getting back into the flow of things, almost back to the point I was at when I stopped skiing in the fall.

I *feel* like I have a good offside stack but when looking at it, I do not. I would say the handle is fairly low, but something still does not look right.

I think either my hips need to come up or my shoulders need to come back, but I’m not sure which I should concentrate on more.

Here are some pictures. 2 are during the gate pull and 2 are after buoy 4.

I can ski 22 off at 34 mph about 50% success rate, 32mph 100% and when I try 28 off at 32 mph to try to get the feel of it, that’s probably about a 1/3 success rate.

Any tips?


  • TravisNWTravisNW Posts: 94 Baller
    Some brief armchair advice.

    From the first picture looks like your body is leading the ski headed to the wakes, it is likely you need to put more effort into the turn’s finish In order for you to be in a stacked position at the hook up.

    Next observation is that in each photo your body position is vastly different. Finish the turn with the right position and be strong right away to get good acceleration and then don’t move. Keep your body movement to a minimum and hold the handle close.

    That’s it, good luck!
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,243
    There is no stack. Your hips are behind in every photo. Now where does that start? Since a picture is only a point in time, that's hard to say. But if you start your gate pullout and glide with your hips behind, they are going to stay behind. We'd need to see at a minimum a series of pictures there, but preferably video.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 275 Solid Baller
    Great flexion on ankles to get the CM forward to engage the ski
    However you're not locked in, as soon as you get line tension hit the wake the butt pops down. Under tension is no place to fix it, it begins earlier
    your torso/femur angle is like 165 degrees, push it up to 181 degrees you and you will lock in and zing. that begins with stance; when just skiing straight, chest out, flatten the torso/femur angle, flex forward on the ankles. that is your 'go home' position and for the most part, leave it there. when you loose it, stop and reset instead of practicing a compromised stack. If you cant feel your torso between your elbows, stop doing turns. reset. Roll in with cutting drills, reset stance after each pull till you find it. when you do, your 'pulls' will begin to feel like a 'push'
  • slim__duncslim__dunc Posts: 7 New Baller
    Thanks for the advice guys, I’ll work on those points when I ski the next 2 times and then I’ll get a video to share.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,559 Mega Baller
    My first thought is -22 at 34mph means that you are doing a good job, probably better that ~90% of people who call themselves slalom skiers. Second thought is you’ll get plenty of advice and varying suggestions from the many well intended people here. My advise would be to sign up with @twhisper at and get high quality coaching from a professional who understands the sport and can convey suggestions in a clear, concise way as well or better than anyone.
    Vernon ReeveKeith_Menardjipster43
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,959 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    The biggest problem is your knees are side by side. That automatically drops your butt back. Concentrate on tucking your right knee behind your left and get all your weight on the front foot. Practice that outside the course and try to keep the knees in line. That will make your stack significantly better.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 1,175 Mega Baller
    Thinking about your these pics your right shoulder, I know one coach that talks about hiding that outside shoulder from the boat....another that talks about setting that shoulder out of the turn. That will give you better leverage. Then maintain that during your edge change (after the wake,) maybe thinking more left arm pressure off the wake. I think that will help prevent you from being bent over also.
  • scokescoke Posts: 737 Crazy Baller
    Stack is probably one of the worst words in waterskiing.

    Alignment would be a better word. Alignment is dynamic and we can always be pushing to be aligned. Stacked is static. Not much static actually happening in real-time behind the boat.

    From this thread:
    Easy fix.

    Some guys "Squat and Pull" meaning they bend their knees, drop their ass back and pull across the boat with bent arms. They'll never own any real buoys. There has been thread after thread on here and videos of guys skiing that way. incorrectly.

    Other batch of guys "Pull but kinda lean". They roll the ski on a nice edge, their shoulders are pulled back 1 notch but their arms are bent and they are "pulling" themselves across the boat. That's you.

    Therefore you are "arm skiing" the entire pass versus using your legs and ski as a pendulum. The arms should be part of the connection, not the system making things happen. You are artificially swinging versus using the energy of the boat. Owning 35' will be near impossible at 36 using your arms.

    Freeze frame Nate, Freddie, Will etc. at the first spray and through centerline. Just focus on their arms. Now do the same.

    You'll see their arms are straight so the load is transferred into their lower half, thus creating swing energy.

    Until you change your approach of your arms, you'll be putting a band-aid on a broken leg.

    Then again:

    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".

    Both of these posts are the reason the bell curve exists in waterskiing with [email protected] being the meat of the curve.
  • One_SkiOne_Ski Posts: 77 Baller
    @scoke: Thanks for your comments; I think this is the best overall guidance I've seen for fixing the 'butt back' problem. One thing I struggle with is that, when I'm coming out of my off-side turn with my body in the right position, I'm afraid to fully commit because it feels like my ski is going to shoot out from under me. Any experience with this concern and/or recommendations on how to fix it?
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,452 Crazy Baller
    You can never have enough threads on stack (or alignment!). Thanks @Bruce_Butterfield I have always struggled with my alignment. I thought I had heard every trick that could help trigger some sort of muscle response to find my most leveraged position, but I don’t recall every hearing knee alignment mentioned. I’m hoping and crossing my fingers that your tip will finally click in my brain.
    After listening to the Spraymakers podcast, I’ve re-upped my focus on straight arms too. It’s amazing how my arms will automatically curl on their own without my constant focus on keeping them straight.
    Good luck @slim__dunc ! I know what I am doing wrong, but finding the magical brew that will allow me to feel the correct stance and ingrain the proper habits while overriding life-long bad habits is a bugger.
  • slim__duncslim__dunc Posts: 7 New Baller
    Hey guys I'm back. Thanks again for the feedback.

    Here is the video (read below paragraph first)

    Video shows a pretty good 32 mph 22 off pass for me, and a pretty butchered 34 mph 22 off pass. I've run the 34 more like the 32, but in the video it really highlights my common problems. At the end of the video I have a slowmo clip that shows what I believe was a very good offside turn and pull, followed by two terrible ones.

    @TravisNW I agree, and to complete the turn a bit more I saw an article where TW said you can make your offside feel more like your onside by bringing your inner hip forward a bit. You'll see on my 2 ball on the video I share how I did that and it worked out pretty well.

    @ForrestGump I am attaching a link to a video at the end of this post. I also have a bit of trouble with the gate timing, the lake is 40-60 ft deep and there are no green (50 meter?) buoys. But I watched a video by Denali Skis on gates, and it seemed to help a bit. My gate still looks like crap though.

    @ReallyGottaSki I'll keep that in mind, I'll do some cutting drills next time I go.

    @ALPJr I plan on doing a TW video review and also go get a coaching session from Austin Abel soon.

    @Bruce_Butterfield I was going to try thinking about my knees today, but I crashed on a warmup run and had to get 9 stitches in my eyebrow. So I'll try that next time.

    @ScottScott Thank you, and ok I like that idea especially the thinking more left arm pressure off the wake. I need to keep those arms straight.

    @scoke I agree 100%. I can picture the "swing" and "lean" idea but its hard to put into practice. There have been a few times where I get just the right position and I feel like I understand it, but then I butcher the next turns and I can't remember how I did it. I do think overall my goal is to use the boat and make myself swing, so that's what I'll keep working towards. Also I think the video you are referring to may be someone else, my other post had no video.

    @jipster43 I also plan on working to keep my arms straight. And yes I'm glad I'm getting these problems now rather than later. Started skiing last year so everything is still pretty fresh.
  • slim__duncslim__dunc Posts: 7 New Baller
    Also that's about as smooth as the water gets on that lake. It was raining so while it did sting my face a bit we had to capitalize on no other boats being out.
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 254 Solid Baller
    @slim__dunc funny I’m exactly at your level in terms of speed/rope, and I have exactly the same problems. Your photos could be me. Interesting our common weaknesses are holding us at the same level.
  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 275 Solid Baller
    Your doing great for 1 year in, and admire your enthusiasm.

    However you really didn't implement whats been said here. You can keep doing this with little tweaks for 20 years or fix how you stand on the ski and take a quantum leap forward.

    I advise get out of the course and relearn how to stand on the ski. Stance. . You're still in combo stance.

    When you think your hips are too far forward, then they are halfway to where they should be.

    Arms straight chest out and like Bob Marley sez put your balls between your elbows or something like that.
  • DanoDano Posts: 187 Baller
    @ReallyGottaSki I have to agree. Get out there and free ski, do drills, take video, do it some more. Free skiing is a great way to learn new things. Don’t even link turns together. Focus on the one thing you are trying to fix. I like to practice pull out, and gate shot into a glide on the other side. Goal is to stay tall, connected with the handle in tight, and to keep a tight line all the way out off the wake. In this scenario there is no turn to think about just stack and connection.
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