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counter rotation or just staying quiet and open

Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
edited May 2011 in Technique & Theory
Early season and I've been in the course once, but skied about 10-12 open water sets (which I do throughout the season). Despite all my notes, it always seems to take me this long to execute correctly. JTH and I had a short dialogue about counter rotation, in which he commented that he is rotating less. I have been too. But . . . this morning I just kept my chest open (facing downcourse) throughout the turn all the way until the ski came back to the handle. Viola!!! That's what I was doing last year at the end of the season that worked so well. It isn't really counter rotating. It is just keeping my shoulders up and facing forward. This is far more efficient and makes me far more "quiet" on the ski than countering and then re-setting my shoulders when the handle comes back. More importantly, it improves the performance of the ski throughout the turn, and it hooks up with massive angle and a very light load, which is just the way I like it! Why is it that reading my ski notes never quite gets me there? I always have to figure it out again.
Jim Ross


  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,272

    Agree with you 100% about being quiet and eliminating upper body rotation. Would just like to bring up one point on counter-rotation. I have worked a lot with skiers converting from old school to new, and the biggest problem I see is what I call "Bouncing off the Counter." They know they want to counter, but they lead with their shoulders, from the top down, and not from the bottom up. Leading with ankles, knees, hips, and the shoulders will follow...... They swing back so hard with the shoulders to counter, that they bounce of the back position and end up rotating even harder into the turn.
    I try to get them to progressively build the counter from the release to the apex and FREEZE the counter so as to slide the hips off the apex with the frozen counter to the hook-up. Sounds very familiar to what you are describing.
    Bottom line is to NOT ROTATE the upper body.

    Good Post, ED
    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,172 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    With all that southern skiing this winter, I am expecting to see greatness this weekend, Brent.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,602 Administrator
    edited May 2011
    I believe the thing that most skiers misunderstand is why. Why counert rotate?

    Especially on offside turn, rotating your hips and then your shoulders in the opposite direction of travel allows your hips to move towards the wakes. This moves your center of mass to inside and rolls your ski further upon edge.

    If you're riding a ski that does not want to turn on offside, moving forward with your hips and front knee the and increasing your counter will engage more of the rail and make the ski turn more readily. If like me, you tend to overturn offside, less rotation means a less radical turn.

    On a similar subject especially at onside if you're ski rotates faster than your hips and shoulders it easy to stay stacked. If you lead the turn with your shoulders and then hips you will generally exit the turn with your shoulders forward and hips behind you. This is also true offside but not as dramatic. I noticed this with my one-handed gate, (I'm right foot forward) if I rotate my shoulders prematurely I'll drag my butt to the gates.

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  • scuppersscuppers Posts: 477 Baller
    This is a very good synopsis.
    Chuck Link, Deland Florida
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,272
    edited May 2011
    If you look at the first pass on this video and stop action it when he is coming towards you, you will see a great reverse C at the edge change and a relaxed quiet counter going to the apex.

    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I love watching water skiing. Great way to learn.
    Jim Ross
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