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How wide at #1

WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 476 Baller
edited May 2012 in Technique & Theory
I have a question I’m hoping some of you may weigh in on. I got some coaching recently and was told I was going way too fast at #1...often resulting in some slack or requiring me to hit the brakes (both not good results) at #1. I am doing much better at #1, but I feel like I am narrower than I was before. I am skiing 28 off and 32 off at 34mph right now as I try to work some of these things out. I don’t have trouble getting around the buoy, but I am more wondering how this will work when I go to 35 or 38 off, which I haven’t even attempted again since I have been working on these new things. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

Comments

  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,137
    Been through the same thing with the same results. Angle cures almost all problems. If you have angle, the speed at 1 usually isn't going to be an issue. It's when you don't have the right line that the velocity becomes noticable. The big thing is keeping the upper body in a static position even while the ski is making it's transition underneath you.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

    Than_BoganSethskidanbirchHorton
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,809 Mega Baller
    In my opinion, going too fast at the 1 ball is almost always the result of what happens as you set up for and turn in at the gate.

    Roughly speaking, angle through the gate is good -- this will lead to being wide enough and running an early line. But excess speed into the ball (especially in the same direction as the boat) is bad -- this will lead to slack and/or slow turns.

    So the trick is to get one without the other. The key is getting that angle set early, so that then you don't have to pull long into the ball. And that's only possible if you get very high up on the boat on the pullout, turn in all the way before loading, and then don't overload. After those steps, your angle is set. Now "all" you have to do is stop loading somewhere around the second wake (or even a touch before for some people), but stay down and ride that angle out there. Because you didn't pull overly hard and didn't load much after the centerline, you basically can't be going too fast. But because you got that angle set, you're gonna be early and wide.

    DAMN it's easy when I'm here at my keyboard...
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    Sethskidanbirch[Deleted User]
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 476 Baller
    Thanks. As you describe it, I think this is the same issue I am having throughout the course in trying to ski more efficiently (rather than loading at the buoy as I used to).

    I am focusing on skiing back to the handle (throughout the course), but in an effort to do this my turns feel much less abrupt and slower and when I hook up I feel like I have such a short amount of space between where I hook up and the second wake within which to establish a good angle. I used to just pull longer out into th flats, but I am trying not to do that now. This new way works fine at 28, but I run into problems at 32 off (where I never used to have any issue at all) where I feel a bit later. Any thoughts on how to solve this?
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,809 Mega Baller
    Fwiw, I wrote my response without seeing Shane's, so I'd consider it significant that we both keyed on the same thing.

    Post a video if you can, but usually the key to getting better angle (at mid-course; the gate is a little different) is either at the very end of the turn or relates to body postion.

    At the end of the turn, don't necessarily try to make the ski come around slower. Almost the opposite. Just make sure it has come all the way around before you try to load the line. It's almost impossible to add to your angle once you start to load.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    danbirch
  • RichRich Posts: 272 Solid Baller
    On every line length all you want to go around the bouy is the ski. My experience is that being wide means that you held the leaning edge to long coming into the next turn. If you are 3 feet wide you held the leaning edge 3-5 feet to long. You want to practice running shortline slalom ski as narrow as possible. Having space in front of the bouy is a good thing, or being early. (Being wide is a bad thing) As the line gets shorter you will get more angle as you approach the centerline of the wake. You don't have to set angle wide, the angle will become greater as you approach the wake, try to maintain an open position, push your arms down your body, keep your body over your feet untill the 1st wake, at the 1st wake allow the ski to move faster than your body or shoot forward, which will transistion you into an early edge change. At outside of white water as your approach the bouy make sure you keep back arm pressure, starting to counter away from the rotation of the boat, pulling in on the handle creating a large arc. If done properly your head and eyes will appear inside the bouy line and it will look like you won't get around the ball. This is good. Reach slowly and stay off the handle as short a time as possible. The ski will go around the ball and you will feel like you grabbed a pole, the ski will come around the ball. Ski into the handle and prepare for accleration phase, repeat.
    danbirchAndersT
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,772 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    WLB, you received some very common and misguided instruction – speed is almost never the problem. What is frequently described as “way too fast” is usually a result of going flat and/or letting the arms out, or too much variation in speed (start and stop).

    So I'll introduce Butterfield's second law of slalom: “There is no such thing as too much speed - only too little control.”

    Angle and speed go hand in hand – you want as much of both as you can get and still stay in control. Yeah, I know, easier said than done, but that is your goal. When you have both speed and angle, you will be creating space and have lots of time to think and stay in control.

    I do disagree with Rich's comment that “(Being wide is a bad thing)”. If you are 30 feet in front of the buoy and only at the width of the buoy line, you are in big trouble. If you do end up making it to the buoy, you will be behind the boat and have to make a very sharp turn to get any angle. While trying to get really wide should not be your goal, you definitely want enough extra width to allow a smooth, continuous turn. (The rest of Rich's comments were very good).
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
    Sethski[Deleted User]skiron07ScarletArrow
  • SethskiSethski Posts: 135 Open or Level 9 Skier
    WLB, I think there is some good stuff here. Bruce, love the comments, and I also love what ShaneH and Than say about direction. I too believe that a little width is super important for the reasons Bruce said. Of course (as I really think Rich is suggesting) working past the wakes to try and get EXCESSIVE width is waste and runs the potential of really getting you out of rhythm.

    The goal in my mind is to maintain direction after the second wake in order to keep the line tight and take the most efficient path out to the apex of the turn. Also, when you maintain outbound direction with the speed you generate, you can get the ski to a wider point without having to travel as high up on the boat. Also speed, as Bruce mentions, will allow you to carve a smooth, continuous turn.

    My 2 cents...

    Seth Stisher
    SethStisher.com for water ski training and all of your gear needs!

    "Follow your passion by pursuing your goals within that passion at all costs!"
    danbirch[Deleted User]ScarletArrow
  • danbirchdanbirch Posts: 301 Baller
    edited May 2012
    Great thread. What I don't get, is that from Nate's perspective, it appears that only his ski gets around the ball on 1,3,5 (after his on-side pull), then goes somewhat wider than the ball line on his 2,4,6 side (after his off-side pull). It appears to happen on both his 32 and 39 off passes. Any ideas/reasons for that?








  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    Nate is a freak of nature. There is no way to describe Nate:)
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,137
    edited May 2012
    Dan, I've seen Nate ski a couple of times from the lake end and he gets plenty wide at 32off. The ski is easily 6ft+ wide when it makes it's arc back towards and behind the buoy. I think the perspective of the gopro camera shot throws the distance off.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 476 Baller
    Thanks all--I probably misspoke--I meant I was pulling too far out past the 2nd wake on my gate--not necessarily going too fast---but thank you for the tips. Can't wait to try them out.
  • danbirchdanbirch Posts: 301 Baller
    edited May 2012
    I agree, OB. As I said, his 2,4,6 looks wider. It was just interesting, to me, and I was trying to figure out why his onside pull seemed to bring him closer to the ball line than his offside pull did.

    Also, Nate ski's here fairly often. Hopefully, one day soon I'll be able to get a video taken from this same perspective I got of Scot Larson, which I think does show how wide his ski travels relative of the ball line. No angles/camera's to distort it (i.m.o.)



  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,809 Mega Baller
    @Bruce I'd be curious to get your (and others!) comments on something: I've found myself lately trying to get more specific about velocity (i.e. speed and direction). In particular, I'm making a distinction between "cross-course speed" (where more is usually better) and "down-course speed" (a bad thing above a certain point).

    Maybe I just took too much physics, but for me this difference seems instructive. If we load where we've all said to above, and get great angle, then we'll generate lots of cross-course speed. Yay! Cross-course speed means getting there earlier. Also, you need speed to take into the next crossing, or else you'll stall out at the finish of the turn.

    But if we load after the wake or make any of the other mistakes mentioned above, then we'll be adding more to our down-course speed. Boo! Maintaining down-course speed greater than the boat leads to passing the boat which equals slack.

    And this is extra-true as the rope gets shorter, because it swings out to a high angle very quickly. So even just after the second wake, if you are adding to your speed, then almost all of what you're adding is in the down-course direction.

    Super-geeky section for the hardcore physics nerds: Technically, all of your speed must become down-course at one particular point, at the apex of your turn. So I'm not trying to say that down-course speed is inherently bad. My point is only that you don't want to be *adding* speed that is primarily in the down-course direction.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    danbirch
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,736 Administrator
    edited May 2012
    I skied with Andy and CP last week. It was not like a formal coaching thing they commented my gates. The told me to take speed and angle into the gates so I could get out in front of and wide of one ball and then carry my speed back toward 2 ball.

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  • danbirchdanbirch Posts: 301 Baller
    I'd guess he's about 12' early of the buoy line. My math would be, if he's moving 34 mph, that's about 50'/second. If he spends 1/4 second outside of the buoy line, it should be around 12'. Just a guess, though.
  • danbirchdanbirch Posts: 301 Baller
    @WBLskier I'd bet you're a left foot forward skier. I am (LFF), and getting a crisp edge change (at the 2nd wake) out of the gates is hard, and something I'm always working on as well. Seems getting into an excellent body position in the offside (after the edge out/turn in for gates) is something needed and challenging for us mortals (at the 2nd wake/gates).
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    @danbirch it looks to me like Nate gets plenty wide at 32 off. His head may not get much outside the buoy line but it appears to me that the ski certainly does particularly given that the ski has pretty much completed the turn by the time he gets to the ball.
    Mark Shaffer
  • markchilcuttmarkchilcutt Posts: 947 Crazy Baller

    Nate @ 41!!!!
    Ski it if you can!!!!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    That 41 looks stupid easy for him.
    Mark Shaffer
  • markchilcuttmarkchilcutt Posts: 947 Crazy Baller
    @Chef23 Sic right?????
    Ski it if you can!!!!
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I have been playing with this concept as I start the spring ski season. Over the past few years I have tried to be less noticable to the boat. That meant picking my angle, holding it, and not building much into the wakes. It works, and it feels good, but it doesn't create as much space as I might like.

    Nate, Andy, and others talk about giving it 100% behind the boat. I didn't really want to give it that much. However, they ski a lot better than me, so I thought I'd experiment. I found that if I start in gradual but pretty much give the boat a good hard lean just before the first wake, then do what @Sethski says and just keep the line tight with two hands on (pressure on the line, keep moving outbound) that I carry more than enough speed and width, and I create an enormous amount of space before the ball, which is something that Andy often talks about. I'm wide of the buoy line probably 30 feet early (at 32 off) and am able to keep a tight line and execute a smooth arc and reconnect with the handle. Plan to play with this some more.
    Jim Ross
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    But isn't nice to know that it isn't your ski that's preventing you from running all those buoys?? I pay the money for a great ski for that peace of mind. The downside is, I have no excuse
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,772 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Than – you're thinking too much. Try to think about keeping your speed uniform, i.e. not stopping and the direction is controlled completely by the rope.

    Texas6 – Nate is not a freak. He simply carries speed through the turn better than anyone else. That's what makes it look so ridiculously easy.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    @Than Bogan if I thought that much when I skied I would fall over.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,809 Mega Baller
    @chef23 heheh, I don't think like that while I'm skiing! I use all this stuff to understand (or try to), and then distill it to a key or two to try to improve on in the slalom course.

    This kind of "wholistic understanding" also helps me to figure out after a pass what may have caused the symptoms that I felt, and thus identify something (simple) to try to fix it.

    Sometimes it's very powerful. Other times I just confuse the heck out of myself...

    But thinking is all I've got; I ain't exactly a Nate Smith level athlete!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
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