35 off vs. 38 off

webbdawg99webbdawg99 Posts: 1,067 Mega Baller
edited June 2011 in Technique & Theory
Several years ago, Waterski Magazine did an article featuring Wade Cox. If my memory serves me correclty, they used a radar gun to record his speed through the gates at 28 through 39 maybe? All of the recorded speeds for 28, 32, and 35 were exactly the same. However, when he shortened to 38, there was a 2-3 mph speed increase. The conclusion of the article was that maybe this speed difference is why so many amateur skiers can run 35, but not 38. I'm starting to consistently run 35 @ 36mph now....but running 38 seems like a near impossible task. What are your experiences and opinions on this increase in speed or other fundamental differences between 35 and 38?
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Comments

  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,709 Administrator
    3 feet. What is the big deal?

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  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,801 Mega Baller
    it's also just a half meter between 38 & 39, yet it really gets inside your head
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  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,514 Mega Baller
    speed behind the boat vs. rope management around the bouy, you get out faster so you have to take up time in the turn.
    NWA....Heaven on earth!
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 7,002 Mega Baller
    edited June 2011
    Although I'll probably never be able to prove it, I've done a lot of math around slalom skiing, and I really don't think there is anything "fundamentally different" between each pair of line lengths (except maybe -41 and -43 since the increments are constant (0.5m) from -38 to -43 but shouldn't really be).

    But each line length is, in fact, considerably more difficult than the previous one. The forces required go up. The peak speed goes up (though-- I believe -- not the speed directly behind the boat if on the optimal path). The acceleration goes up. The penalty of a mistake is increased. So everybody who gets addicted to this will eventually find a sort of a wall where the combination of their athletic ability, strength, technique, equipment, etc. is enough to run one pass most of the time and almost never get the next one.

    I would place a small bet that if you take today's top skiers they will have relatively constant speed at the gate up through and including -38, but that at either -39 or -41 it will increase. In other words it has to do with nearing your failure point, not an inherent characteristic of a particular pass.

    But that doesn't at all mean that breakthroughs can't happen. It just keeps getting harder to make the next breakthrough. And it may require a big step back to eventually get there, which many of us (including me) aren't willing to take.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,709 Administrator
    I am just mental. I can go weeks without missing 35 and I can go many months without running 38

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  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 7,002 Mega Baller
    Perhaps unfortunately for you, I seriously doubt that is mental. If it were mental you could have your ski partner swap in a rope that was 3 feet too short (without your knowledge of course) and you'd run -38 thinking it was -35. I think you'll find it's just about as hard whether you know it's -38 or not.

    Well, ok, I'm sure it's a *little* mental... It's a lot easier to choke a pass that you desperately want to run than one that you run regularly.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,709 Administrator
    Trust me. I am mental.

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  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 7,002 Mega Baller
    I concede.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MAD11MAD11 Posts: 578 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2011
    I remember this article and thought it made a lot of sense at the time. I think 38 does seem like the point where you carry more speed, but sure that is up for debate. One of the biggest things I notice is that the visual ques really start to change at 38. The buoy moves more towards the center of your arc, but the tendency is to feel late and rush because at 35 you can still backside it easy. The shorter the line gets the more this occurs. That doesn't mean you can't backside it some, but when you don't, the panic of feeling late occurs and next you load early.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,464 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited June 2011
    Mental is a big part i believe. Very much agree with Mad11. But my mental need to backside 38 is difficult to let go of. I have had (and I think we all have) someone shorten the line without our knowledge either setting it on the wrong loop from the start or shortening line when not asked to. I made passes like that, that seemed odd but the confidence of it just being a warm up pass was there. Pass was competed with relative ease. Wasn't all hopped up thinking this is not a gimmy pass. Didn't tell myself I have to "step it ip" but skied relaxed/confident. I actually had to replace the 41 off loop on a line that a mouse chewed on and ended up grabbing and replacing it with the 41 off section from a switch line. Found out after weeks of skiing it that it was short. But ran my normal passes they were odd again but makable. It made the real length soooo easy and definatly boosted the confidence and relaxed skiing.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,709 Administrator
    I just ordered a special rope from Brenda with a 36.5 loop.

    I think Marc is right. I ran a super easy 38 a few weeks ago at Cottonwood. I carved past 1 ball and then smoked the pass.

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  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,827 Mega Baller
    Scoke and I texted about this earlier.

    My belief is that the concept of the end of the turn occuring at the ball goes out the window at 38 and beyond. The ski must go out... the ski must come back. At longer rope you do not have to allow this to work to its fullest. At short rope (38+) it is a must for consistancy.

    Our attempting to prep to turn "on" the ball is a "root of all kinds of evil." i.e. not maintaining outbound direction, coming off the handle early. Then, once on the buoy we want to immediately load and go. Much like Skidawg said earlier, you have to manage the time off and on the rope differently at really short line lengths. The ski must be allowed to achieve direction across course before you load... then that extra speed stuff occurs.

    This is a reason I do not believe in "working" on mechanical thoughts extensively at long rope. The "feel" of time on/off the boat is simply different at 38 vs. 32.
    (all of the above is IMHO of course)
    sj
  • webbdawg99webbdawg99 Posts: 1,067 Mega Baller
    I slowed the boat to 35.5 today to get a better feel for the dimensions of 38 off....ran clean through 4 and came just inside of 5. Thought I had it ran. I'm pumped!
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,314 Mega Baller
  • webbdawg99webbdawg99 Posts: 1,067 Mega Baller
    I see several comments regarding not backsiding the ball and feeling late. This is something OB and I have discussed many times. It seems that at 38, the ski travels outside the buoy at the peak of its arc. If I did that at another line lenght, I'd feel late and try to make it up behind the boat. I think accepting that you AREN'T late is a big part of it. Obviously, being comfortable with a pass takes lots of practice. But I think its also important to understand the physics, angles, and dimensions. @Than Bogan, I'd like to see the article done again with a Nate Smith or Chris Parrish. Wade Cox was the man of his time. I'm curious if the same change in speed at 38 would occur with the younger generation. I'd venture a bet to say you'd see the same speed increase at 38. I'd love to get Waterski Mag to do it again!
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,310
    Half of it is mental. I'm slightly color blind and recently overshortened to 39 1/2 instead of 38 for my ski partner. He ran it without me telling him. I then acted like I shortened it and he ran 4.5. Before I told him I'd goofed and gave him that 39, he commented that was the widest 38 he'd run in years. LOL
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • MAD11MAD11 Posts: 578 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2011
    OB,
    Try slowing down instead of the half loop. See how that works. I like that better than setting up a different line length I will never see in an event. Two schools of thought and both easy to try. Also, maybe run some fast times at 28, 32 and 35. Makes them more fun and easier on your body.
  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,504 Mega Baller
    Speed is a measure of distance over time. I snap shot of speed at one instance is not material to slalom. Anybody and crank the turn in for the gates and maximize speed thru the gates, then what. It would be like who can throw a basketball at the rim the fastest?? It's a coordinated management of speen and distance, called acceleration which seperates the podium in water skiing.
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • ralral Posts: 1,946 Mega Baller
    @disland, Isaac Newton tumbled over in his grave with your definitions...

    Sorry, could not resist... Professional deformation...
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  • acmxacmx Posts: 259 Baller
    Horton, I think you'll find you can run that 36.5 loop as easy as 35. That's been my experience, but it did nothing to help my 38's.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,709 Administrator
    @acmx
    Yea I know. I know. I can have crushed the 36.5 in the past. It is mental.

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  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,297
    You can do the same thing by taking the .5 M switch section rope, placing a heavy duty carabineer type hook on it, fold in half, and then put both loops on the pylon. Now just clip your rope on wherever you want.
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  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I find that the less amped I get about running 38 the better I ski the pass. It seems that 38 is the first line length where timing matters a lot. For the pass to run well, I need the right rythm, not more speed at the wakes. If anything I would say that when I run it right, it feels like I am slower at the wakes, but that my speed is more constant through the ball (instead of the fast-slow rythm). I also find that if I do it right, I can still be on the backside of the ball. However, when I'm not, the best thing to do is just relax and run the pass with a later rythm instead of trying to get it back by overturning (which is my natural tendency at the 28-35 line lengths). I have played with both "intermediate line lengths" and taking a tenth or two out of the boat speed when working on a new length. I think I prefer the intermediate length. Slowing the boat down creates issues with rythm and timing that I don't like dealing with. I have the switch segment with the clip still in my boat, so if I want to do an intermediate length, I just take the line off the pylon and clip it into the switch segment.
    Jim Ross
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,297
    OB,

    Are you back on the Mid? Did you send the Nano back?
    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    OB, I think that's right about your 38. I used to get amped up and lean harder, turn harder, etc. It sucked! Now I just try to relax, ski it light, and let the ski finish on it's natural rythm. Not like I make them every time, but I sure feel better about them now than I did before. Seems mostly a state of mind to me. If you can run 35 with consistency, you just have to get your head to believe that you should run 38 just like 35. Someone who skied with Mapple last year told me the best advice he gave them was to ski your first pass with the same intensity as your last. I find that helps.
    Jim Ross
  • webbdawg99webbdawg99 Posts: 1,067 Mega Baller
    I'm not sure I buy the "ski it just like 35" advice. When someone is trying to run 32, I say ski it like 28. When trying to run 35, ski it like 32. But something changes at 38 in my opinion, and that article in Waterski Mag highlights that point....which was the original reason for this post. Following the "ski it like 35" advice....if you ski 32 like 28, 35 like 32, and 38 like 35, then you would ski 28 and 38 the same. Something is very different at 38. Maybe it's the fact that, for the first time, the handle won't reach the buoy. Idk, but Wade Cox and Waterski Mag argued that 38 was skied differently than 28-35. Maybe it's due to my current lack of ability and/or understanding, but I tend to agree with them. I'd like to see the percentages of amateur skiers running 35 vs the number running 38. Id expect to see a significant drop off. I'm a M2 skier....running 35 put you on the podium at 2010 Nationals, and running 38 is done by only a handful of guys.....almost putting these guys in the Open division. Part of the problem here is that I'm talking about 36mph, and I believe most on this forum are referring to 34. I would be inclined to believe that 35 and 38 are more similar at 34 than 36. I think the increased speed only highlights and amplifies whatever differences do exist.
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,314 Mega Baller
    Sounds like you need some professional help Adam. These hacks only know so much (jk) If only.... yea never mind you would not be interested in that. or so I am told
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,310
    The problem with saying run it like 35 is that most people that are working on 38 aren't really running 35 that strong. I know that's not what is meant, but you have to get back to the basics which is good technique.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I agree with Shane. Sometimes in the pursuit of a buoy count we try to run the next line b4 we really have the line we are on perfect. In WSM this month I think it was Forrester who said run the pass until it's perfect b4 trying the next one. I probably over-do this. For example, at the end of last fall I was running 35 90% of the time and 38 about 50%. The majority of my practice time, however, was spent at 32 and 35. This spring (which has been crap in MN!), I am certain that I ran well over 200 32 off passes before I shortened to 35 again. Probably a little more conservative than I need to be, but I like the pass to be perfect before I shorten. I just started running 35s about 10 days ago. I've now run around 20. Thus far I have looked at 38 only twice, but have been to the 5 ball both times. So maybe it isn't that you run 38 like you run 35, but I do think that it is more similar than different, and that perfecting my 35 is the key to running my 38. Hopefully another few weeks and I will be able to see that theory work!
    Jim Ross
  • skier2788skier2788 Posts: 812 Crazy Baller
    I find this discussion of particular interest to me as I am currently making the jump from 35 to 38 and am struggling. The paast few weeks I started skiing 35 about 60% of the time and have tried 38 a hand full of times when I am skiing really well. I haven't made it past the 2 ball yet. I do feel that there is a certain mental aspect of " I am six inches short of the ball" I also have the fear of not being wide enough and thus tend to ski down course and then throw a big hook at the ball. I believe skidawg was dicussing time management above. I feel this is a big key to running 38 over 35. Getting over the mental part of vein short and settig up early for the ball will help. I don't feel it is like running a really good 35 because you have that extra time in the setup that you need to use correctly in order to run the pass. I don't know I am no where near you guys in talent but I think the basics of trusting the ski to do its job and having a good perturb are the keys to that pass. Now if I can get my head out the way to do it. Sorry for the misspelling typing on my phone over lunch.
    Travis Torley
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