Have we (or I in particular) underestimated or overlooked the importance of balance on your ski?
How well are you balanced on your ski? We have all heard the comments - “when standing on your ski going down the lake the water should break in front of your front binding.” This attribute is perhaps overlooked? In the “Fin Whispering” book Jay P. discusses adjusting your front boot location so you can find the perfect balance on your ski. The fin settings/location also contribute to your balance point on the ski. Having the proper balance on your ski allows you to use the fore-body of the ski which aides in turning, ski acceleration, and ski glide on your gate setup. This is a unique and individual setting that can really impact how well your ski works for you.
Example: I am on the lighter end of the mass spectrum for my ski (160 lb on a medium C75 Denali - think the weight range is 160 - 190 lbs). Thanks to GiveGo and some coaching by @colegiacopuzzi
he noticed the water was not breaking in front of my front boot coming into my offside turns. Ultimately I was having a hard time getting the water to break in front of my front binding, moving my boots around on the ski (I don’t yet have the micro just) made me either too far forward or too far backward. I just wasn’t able to get the water to break in front of my front boot and have the ski perform the way I wanted/expected. I tried to compensate by contorting and forcing some changes to my skiing with limited results. Needless to say I was getting frustrated and falling into a rut. Another way to interpret what the coaches were telling me is this - I was not balanced well on my ski. A major issue I have been having is my offside turns - wheelies, slack, pulling the handle in super high instead of down low, seeking a tight line after the turn and just having slack. Whenever I fell, it was mostly the offside turns and was a result of something being not quite right during the turn (I found myself rocking toward the “back” of the ski rather than being centered). Yesterday I made a few changes to my fin settings and “bingo” - simply standing on the ski going straight down the lake the water was breaking in front of my front binding. What a difference this made!! Greater glide speed on my gate, smoother and greater acceleration into the wakes, and the best yet - this simple change kept the ski underneath me into and through the turn (much better though a little more work might be needed). It allowed me to complete a clean and sharp arcing turn (vs a snap turn), and when the turn was complete - have a tight line to accelerate into the first wake. What a world of difference this made. Perhaps a game changer (at least to me). No longer did I feel rushed on my offside turn or try to contort my body into doing something un-natural or forced. The best description I can think of is “flowy” that @Horton
has used to describe a skis character.
Moral of the story - make sure you have balance on your ski before using precious time trying to dial your fin and wing in. It will help immensely and immediately. Happy swerving!