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A cry for help! Leading vs. trailing arm pressure. Confusion and misconceptions.

HortonHorton Posts: 29,736 Administrator
edited May 2012 in Technique & Theory
@brooks @matthewbrown @Sethski

A few years ago I skied with one of the most famous skiers the world who explained to me the advantages of trailing arm pressure. The explanation at the time was that going to one ball if I had more pressure in my left hand at the wakes my center of mass would naturally move forward. (Going to 2/4/6 it is my right arm) If you test this theory on dry land it is hard to argue with.

With intermediate level skiers I have seen trailing arm pressure help with body alignment and stability at the wakes.

Now the problem….. Is this a completely miss-guided approach for “shortline slalom”? I am totally guilty of preaching the trailing arm sermon but I do not think I ever really integrated it into my skiing.

I am now working to learn to carry more load in my leading arm. As I am working on my own connection skills I am finding that I need to be aware of my right arm & shoulder going to 1/3/5.

My assumption is that the whole trailing arm idea was either misunderstood or misguided from the start. I need more load further from the second wake and the only way I think I can do it is with leading arm pressure.

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Comments

  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,218 Mega Baller
    edited May 2012
    Don't have time to do a long post. But I would say that there is something to be said for trailing arm control along with leading arm pressure. I will think and discuss it when I ski with @brooks tomorrow or Tuesday and report back.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,589 Mega Baller
    I'm interested in seeing where this leads. I've been free skiing and working on nothing but cuts and trailing arm pressure recently. I'm Left foot forward and my 1,3,5 balls have been terrible. So I went out in the lake and just made some cuts and I discovered I was pulling mainly with my right arm regardless of my direction of cut. It took several days at the lake to make any progress to change this habit. I practiced a lot of gate like cuts and I can really feel the difference in acceleration when I'm getting it right.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,470 Mega Baller
    I'm thinking a transition. Given the angle out of the ball when at shortlines and high on the boat, it would be near impossible to have immediate back arm pressure out of the ball. Seems it could transition on approach to the wakes from front arm to back arm and then back arm all important in the maintenance of angle to wide. No expertise from me implied : )
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,736 Administrator
    edited May 2012
    To be more clear what I am working on is leading arm/shoulder after the edge change and somehow not dropping my shoulders away super old school

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    Connelly  ★ Basta ★ DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate ★ MasterCraft

    Masterline ★ McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar 

    Stella Blue ★ Stokes ★ World WaterSki League

     

  • bmiller3536bmiller3536 Posts: 298 Baller
    @Horton I also tried the trailing arm pressure thing but I try to apply it to behind the boat. As long as I have 50/50 arm pressure behind the boat I am able to keep my left elbow tucked into my side on the edge change and it results in a much smoother turn (obviously). I try to still keep the 50/50 arm presure until I have completed the edge change. My problem is loading to heavy on my right arm (going to 1,3,5) behind the boat and having way to much load to release, which makes me fly off the handle early and travel down course.
    Brad Miller
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,854 Mega Baller
    Just random thoughts...

    1. What if you need trailing arm pressure at the start of the wake crossing and leading arm pressure at the finish of the wake crossing?

    2. What if the arm pressure prescription is a result of seeing a lack of balance. Thus, some skiers need more trailing, while other skiers need more leading.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,237
    I strive for back arm pressure at the hook-up. Front arm, Right, 1-3-5, goes straight, rear arm, Left, has Slight bend with elbow against vest. Load comes in at 60/40. This results in projecting COM in direction of travel and giving me the greatest amount of angle, with the least amount of speed. Especially at the gate.

    The more load I put on the front arm, the more speed I have into the ball with less angle on carry-out.
    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I feel the pressure on my right arm traveling to 135, and my left going to 246. This would be "leading arm" according to the terms of this thread. Until the boat is taking the handle away from me, it would be very difficult to get much pressure on the trailing arm.

    Going to 135 the point at which my right arm is "blocking" my ability to continue gaining width is the point where I will release the handle and let the pressure be held by my left arm. Can't do it while two hands are still on the handle.
    Jim Ross
  • DustyDusty Posts: 315 Baller
    Unless I misunderstood, (not unlikely)- Marcus explained the trailing arm pressure was important as you finish the turn and move towards the wakes- it does move the center of mass in that direction without any other movement, kind of automatically- I have watched (a lot) of video of Marcus, Jamie, Terry Winter Chris Rossi et al, and I don't see very much 'trailing' arm pressure at about the time they begin edge change near course centerline. I do see strong 'back' (outside, whatever you want to define it) arm pressure to maintain direction towards the buoy, until the ski in on its turning edge- maybe even after? Their strong counter-rotation seems kind of a continuation/finish of that back arm pressure through the apex?
    Maybe I am misunderstanding what I am seeing?
  • MarcusBrownMarcusBrown Posts: 192 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Ed I'd like to hear about more angle with less speed. I've always thought that to be impossible but I am open to someone disproving my theory.

    Horton, which arm do you brush your teeth with? Answer that, and u shall have your answer as to which arm to pull with!
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,432 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @scotchipman
    @MarcusBrown
    Yes, that would be great if you do a quick write up! MB is the guy I try to emulate in my skiing, as we're similar height, hair length, ASU guys, etc;) Plus, it's so similar to my alpine ski racing days, I seem to relate to it much better. IMO, slalom is basically GS alpine on water.
    Scott Calderwood
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