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The gate -- sometimes the smallest things make a difference

Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
edited May 2012 in Technique & Theory
Still early in the year but I have been shortening the line in to 35 for a week or so and now am looking at 38s again. I am running the passes, but I felt like there was something wrong with my gate pull out. I wasn't getting wide enough, or when I was, I wasn't staying wide. I tried to think about staying on the outside edge, but that didn't get me there either.

Aha! After pulling out to drop at the end of the course I realized that when I pull out to drop I keep my chest and head facing straight ahead. The result -- with very little lean I am up beside the driver. So I figure that might be it. Next pass I pull out for the gate but keep my chest and head facing straight down the buoy line in the glide. Result: my handle is low and at my right hip, the line is tight, and I am on the outside edge (and very wide). I took it so far as to not even turn my head toward the gate when I turned in. Instead, I just looked over out of the corner of my eye and then turned the ski in.

The results were frickin amazing! The ski turned in smoother and accelerated faster with less effort. I was wider and slower (feeling) at the one, and as usual, that rythm carried through the rest of the pass. The level of effort that I used to run the pass was probably 80% of the pass before, yet I was wider, earlier, and more in control of my speed.

Why is it that the little things make such a big difference in this sport --- and how do I manage to forget so much every damn offseason!!!
Jim Ross


  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,137
    edited May 2012
    That is exactly what Mueller has been beating into me and demonstrating to me for two years. One thing he is stressing that I haven't fully gotten yet is to relax the arms in the glide and not to keep tension with a bent elbow on that right arm. Almost to just loosely hold the handle in my fingers.

    When I do this whole sequence as he says, I can feel the handle pulling me along parallel to the boat path in the glide very wide rather than pulling me inbound. At 35, it all falls apart, though. hahahaha
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,369 Mega Baller
    Charles mueller is a bad man, national champ (several occasions) skied worlds, etc. Full o knowledge!
    Mr. Mom is Horton's favorite movie!
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @scotchipman -- I have tried two things. One, looking back at the wake when I initiate the move out. This has the effect of moving your left shoulder over your front binding and using the hip to move you out. Very efficient. Today I was "aiming" my chest and face out to where I wanted to go. Also works as long as you keep the handle pinned to your hip when you initiate your move.

    @OB -- absolutely right. Hadn't thought about it in those exact terms, but that is what I am doing. I am still looking down the buoy line at 2-4-6 when I initiate the turn in. Ski carves in quickly, accelerates and doesn't load up the line. The change in speed, space before the one ball, angle of approach and finish of the turn is dramatic.
    Jim Ross
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,806 Mega Baller
    Good reminders. Why are gates always a work in progress? I swear anytime someone asks "what are you working on" it's the gates.
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