Wake Crossing

williammonkwilliammonk Posts: 5
edited August 2011 in Technique & Theory
Hey Guys,
I'm pretty much a recreational skier hitting the course maybe a couple times a year by coincidence. Right now I'm just working on feeling and looking good on the water. I've got a bit of a problem that I hope some of you guys have heard before: I have a hard time crossing the wakes.

I ski behind a newer SeaRay with a fairly small wake, probably about a foot tall.
Every time I approach the wake fast, I tend to flatten out in an effort to slow down.
When I do go across the wake fast I become very unstable and crash, usually over the front on the way down the second wake.
This is amplified crossing the wakes to my left (right foot forward). If I get any sort of air, my body tries to twist the ski.

Is there anything you guys did to help overcome this? It's really the only thing that's keeping me from being a good skier.

Thanks,
William

Comments

  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,359 Mega Baller
    Firstly, don't slow down into the wake. If anything, add more leverage against the boat. You want to chop the wake in half.

    Next: Knees bent. Arms straight. Both of these are key. Knees must be bent both for max edge and to absorb whatever happens. Arms straight allows you to create an on-edge position and makes it much harder to ski flat into the ramp (which is what the wake is if you are skiing flat at it!).

    Hips and belly button facing in the direction you are going. Shoulders as square to (i.e facing) the boat as possible (given the hip and belly button part). Keeping the shoulders relatively square is ideal slalom form anyhow, but it comes with the critically important side effect of making it almost impossible to get your weight over the front of the ski, which is what causes out the front falls.

    When this all comes together, you'll also notice the handle riding very near your hip, but personally I consider that more a result than a goal.

    Practice this position on shore and on the water as often as possible, even when you just pull out to the side and aren't crossing the wake.

    HAVE FUN out there!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • LazLaz Posts: 320 Baller
    This is a toughy, but mastering wake crossings will take you a long way. My trick...don't look at the wake, look straight down the rope to the back of the boat.
  • east tx skiereast tx skier Posts: 595 Solid Baller
    This is how our family skied during our formative years. We all learned and did our initial slalom progressions behind I/Os. The advice to hold that edge through the wake is correct. But I realize how scary it can be when you're looking at that 1 foot wall in front of you. No offense. Been there. Done that. But a direct drive (and yes, Sea Ray made them and my uncle owns a 93 Ski Ray) will throw a wake that you will have a better time improving your technique with.

    I know that's advice that, if taken, can prove to be quite expensive. But having been in your shoes, I can say that it will make a difference.
    Perpetual Longline Baller. Tyler Ski Club, Tyler, Texas.
    My real name is in my profile.

    www.tylerskiclub.com
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,418 Crazy Baller
    Like Than said - keep yer arms straight. When you make your turn, ski into the handle - don't pull it into you. Pulling the handle results in loading your arms and not your entire body - the boat wins that battle and you wind up broken at the waste doing some out-the-front aerobatics. Ski into the handle. Greet it with straight arms at your waist, and make your pull with your shoulders as you cross the wake.

    I spent a long time knowing that I was breaking at the waist as I was crossing the wakes, but it wasn't until I was told to keep my arms straight that I could do anything about it. Do that correctly and you can ski behind a BellBoy!

    JP :)
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,225 Administrator
    edited August 2011
    @williammonk I write maybe one thing a year that i am proud of. Below is maybe the most insightful thing I have ever written. Read it and then come back with questions.

    http://www.ballofspray.com/general-ski-news/54-basic-relaxed-position

    @Than Bogan I no longer teach or believe in knees bent. We may need a whole new thread about this. Watch any of this and lets talk theory.
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=chris+parrish+waterski&aq=1&oq=chris+parr
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=will+asher&aq=f





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  • Horton, will read that article tomorrow, Thanks. I think I'm going to pay your folks a visit in Barstow this weekend. Should be great fun.

    Everyone else:
    Thanks for the advise. Since I don't live on or really near a lake I think I'm going to go in for a days worth of lessons. It should really help me out and I'd rather go there and learn the stuff rather than going out to the lake with friends and being frustrated in the water 8( .

    I'd rather not replace the boat, I've seen some guys do some amazing skiing behind boats with a pretty darn big wake. AND with the rise of the *cough STUPID *cough wake boarding boats it is probably a good idea to learn to deal with the wake rather than hiding from it. We don't always haul our boat out and it seems that almost everyone is in the mindset that a bigger wake is better.

    I really hate wake boats!

    William
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,359 Mega Baller
    edited August 2011
    @Horton. Hrm.

    If that's you're evidence that knees bent is unimportant, I think you need a new lawyer. (Did I misunderstand??)

    I would never tell that fellow to bend his knees more -- he's doing great with his knees. But many (perhaps most) beginning skiers have WAY straighter knees than that, and it really hurts them.

    New thread seems like a good idea. If your point is "you don't need a deep knee bend" then I 100% agree. There's a huge range of knee bend styles that can work. But the knees have got to be flexing and should be "soft" in the sense of flexing more or less to absorb instantaneous disruptions. If you disagree with that, then I am VERY interested to hear more, and will do my best not to assume you've lost it :).
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,225 Administrator
    @williammonk I will be at a out there this weekend so maybe I will see you.

    @Than Bogan we are going to need another thread for this. .... In short, 95% of my coaching is "Stand up" or "straighten your legs". I know it sounds crazy but ....
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  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,359 Mega Baller
    Ok, I will start new thread now. I have a funny feeling we aren't actualyl disagreeing much, but talking through it could be educational for us and others.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • tsixamtsixam Posts: 374 Baller
    A common problem is that some not so advanced skiers tend to rush the turn, lean to hard before the first wake and then get pulled out of position before the first wake and then ..flying.. I have not seen you skiing, but make sure that you have a progressive cut from the turn all the way trough the second wake. And read JTH´s “A basic relaxed position”.

    Tsixam
  • Hey Guys,
    Some of you said you'd not seen me ski so I put up a vid on YouTube. If any of you care to watch it then post your reactions here I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    William
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,225 Administrator
    Considering that you probably do not ski with tournament skiers, you are doing pretty well.
    Few things you need to do is get your camera person off the RedBull. That video is making me sea sick.
    Read the article again. It contains a huge percent of what I would tell you if I was in the boat.
    Shorten your rope to the Red loop. Don’t try to ski so wide on the boat. Set your position and try to hold it across the wakes.

    I will be at a tounament 10 minutes from my Dad's lake. Try to catch me... I would be happy to ride in the boat for you if I can.
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  • Just ski with a bunch of old guys...
    I'll be up there Friday now, if you're going to be around I'll do my best.

    William
  • normanwenzelnormanwenzel Posts: 35 Baller
    William, your Skiing good! Just stick with Horton he is it. keeping your hips under the torso is key. You laid down a 4min run though some beautiful water. was that Lake Powell ?
    There are few skiers that ski 4min straight with out rest. Nice ride and thanks for sharing and sparking old memories. I made the move from exactly where you are back in 95.

    Tournament water skiing is so awesome go as much as you can. skiing shorter lines can be not only addicting but frustrating at the same time.

    If you can access the equipment get on a some trick ski's too. they are a way to have allot of fun on public water.

    and I would not be true to form not to Highly recommend taking a ride over the jump. I mean you are in a area of really nice good people who will be kind to you so try Jumping. just ride over, nothing stupid that will come later after you are completely hook.

    My best
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,225 Administrator
    I will be out mid afternoon Friday.
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  • ScarletArrowScarletArrow Posts: 799 Crazy Baller
    William - that's a nice looking lake!

    I would say not pulling out so wide after the wake would help with the initimidation on your approach to the centerline of the wake.

    You turn hard to get big spray and build up more speed that what your brain thinks you can handle as you approach the wake and then shut things down (go flat on the ski) as a safety device.

    IMHO, cut your width by 75%...make the edge of the white water your target...only pull into the center of the wake, not after.

    This will cut down on the speed and intimidation factor until you get comfortable on your approach...you can add width as you get more comfortable.
    Anthony Warren

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