Coming over the top thru the wake and Realistic Goals for 2013

BradyBrady Posts: 1,057 Mega Baller
edited October 2012 in Technique & Theory
Hey Ballers. One of the biggest problems I am dealing with is staying too straight and rigid coming thru the wakes after the turn. I am generating plenty of speed between balls, but I am keeping my front knee too straight and not compressing my body as I come across the wake. My crashes are not pretty--almost every wreck is between the balls when I am coming over the top of the ski and kissing the tip. The wrecks are starting to cause damage, and I need to get this fixed. I am working on keeping the front knee bent more and absorbing the wake, and as we are getting close to the off season, I will have to work on it out of the water. Here is my question:

I would love some input from you guys on how you absorb the wake and how you go with it instead of fighting against it. I would also so love if some of you could post a video or picture on proper body position you should have as you go through the wakes. I have installed a ski handle and rope in my garage to simulate skiing behind the boat, and I would love to practice the exact position I should be in thru the wake crossing. Any help would be much appreciated.

Finally, I am now able to get thru the course at 15 off at 32mph and I am trying to set some realistic yet challenging goals for next year. Skiing 2 sets, 3 times per week, what would be a goal I should be looking at hitting for next year? Thanks in advance.
I ski, therefore I am
scotchipman

Comments

  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,890 Mega Baller
    Video would help. That said I don't think your only problem is a straight front leg. It sounds to me like you don't have your shoulders away from the boat enough. I can go through the wakes with stiff legs and not get pitched over the front because my shoulders are away from the boat and the handle is low and close to my body.

    @Horton and @Than_Bogan have both written articles on body position that would help and can be found on the site somewhere.
    Mark Shaffer
    Brady
  • Nick SullivanNick Sullivan Posts: 676 Baller
    Something you need to work on for sure. Try to focus on being in good body position entering the course and leaving the course. This is difficult to do when your first trying to change but have someone in the boat remind you to get back into the correct body position once leaving the course. Jodi Fisher was all over me about my hips for the 5 days I skied with him. He was constantly whistling at me to start and finish the course in good body position. His theory is that eventually it will carry into the course and become habit. It worked for me on my hips any way.
    MattPBrady
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,347 Mega Baller
    Body position is, as usual, the key. Maybe I should post a new link to my article. Bumping the old thread seems like kind of a bad idea -- I think most of us are really tired of seeing that on the front page.

    The most unintuitive thing about the wake, is that the more aggressively you cross it, remaining leveraged and on edge, the less you'll feel it. Some very good coaches believe this is the only thing you should focus on, and if you have the right personality type, they are right: Go harder; ignore the wake. But I personally find that some people require specific advice about "absorbing" the wake or else they can't progress, because they can't get through the part of killing themselves to get to the part where the wake becomes a total non-isssue. If you're in that camp; read on. If not, STOP READING NOW, and get back to just being more aggressive.

    At a general level, what you want is for your lower body to do 100% of the absorbing, and have your upper body not move.

    Absorbing does NOT mean being weak or tentative -- quite the opposite; see above. It means working like a shock absorber does on a car: breifly compress in a small region so that the rest of the thing doesn't get affected much by the bump.

    The mechanics of doing this are to allow your ankles and knees to bend -- they are the shock absorbers. But don't allow anything else to bend (or even move). And keep pressure on the ski -- just like a shock absorber this action is very breif and must not interrupt your keeping pressure on the ski and rope to maintain angle. If you're giving up the tiniest bit of angle, then you're doing it wrong.

    GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    Brady
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,168 Administrator
    @douglaslbrady front leg straight and back leg bent is the most common issue at your level. Everyone says I am crazy (for a number of reasons) but all you need to do is straighten your back leg. Or to put is another way you need to keep both feet as far from your chin as possible. Stand the heck up. As soon as either knee bends much you are weak and vulnerable.

    I take the exact opposite approach as Ban_Logan. I say be tall tall and never absorb. You will end up absorbing some but you should never try to.

    Some elite skiers do use a lot of knee bend. You and I are not elite skiers.

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    scotchipman
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,168 Administrator
    @douglaslbrady and yes I see you signature. I made a worse video last night.

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    Brady
  • BradyBrady Posts: 1,057 Mega Baller
    @Horton, thanks for the tips. I will now change my Signature. I will work on it when I am skiing again. And thanks to the rest of you for your input. One thing I definitely am not, and that is hitting the wake. I have always been a jump first look second kind of guy. With my weight and my speed being generated, when I am not in the right position, I am literally screwed. Could I get your guys thoughts on my second question? What would be a reasonable yet challenging goal for the end of next year?
    I ski, therefore I am
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,168 Administrator
    a few balls at 28 off is possible but not easy

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  • BradyBrady Posts: 1,057 Mega Baller
    @Horton, If I pull a full 6 balls at 28 off at 34mph, can I come out and ski with you at the end of next year? I am putting that out in my universe!!!! Oh, I use my own special rope mind you.
    I ski, therefore I am
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,168 Administrator
    @douglaslbrady you can show up any time. Not saying I will be there.

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  • BradyBrady Posts: 1,057 Mega Baller
    edited October 2012
    @Horton, consider it a man date! I will bring other Ballers with me and maybe it could be the first Annual Meet, Ski, and Drink with Horton If He is There For the First Time Festival. Or, MSDHHTFFTF for short
    I ski, therefore I am
    scotchipman
  • alex38alex38 Posts: 474 Baller
    when i was learning to ski (shortline) and was going to horton lakes, dr horton used to always tell me to "pull thru both wakes". this would help me get wide and early but also helped me "seek" or "develop" a strong position thru the wakes... so I could "pull thru both wakes" (not alot of people say pull anymore fyi)

    a good shock absorber does not bounce, it actually exerts quite a bit of force in return

    for the last couple years Ive been going for hips out as far as possible, shoulders back, chest out from start to finish, from once im up to when i drop to shorten, thru the wakes I attempt to PIN my elbows to my vest with arms straight, bent arms thru the wakes makes me crash

    this spring i was warming up with a little freeskiing, and i just happened upon this crazy position thru the wakes that is hard for me to describe; once the ski is pointed across course I "fall" back or lean away from the boat, with my hips up, arms straight, shoulders back i was finding this super-leveraged position that could not be disrupted by any wake. felt like i was arching my back a little more? i picked up on it by watching video of john travers and austin abel, i took this position to the course and it was sick

    so my humble advice is to find the position, practice it on dryland with a rope and a tree, try a few turns and crossings outside the course, and the only other thing i can think of is a freeski drill where my coach used to make me pull (no one says this anymore) as far out to the side of the boat as humanly possible and stay there, forces skier to hold the same position needed to blast thru wakes.

    good luck, dont you ski with some dude that gets into 39? he should be able to help too
    Brady
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,347 Mega Baller
    Fwiw, I barely disagree with Horton at all. I think it's just a matter of what you focus on. Try each of these different ways of thinking about it, and see if one works for you!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 6,028
    @douglasbrady A key thing is to not confuse "resist the pull" with "push against the ski". That's something that was really difficult for me to grasp as I was making the transition from 15-22 into 28-32. Think about absorbing the wake with your ankles, not your knees and body. If you think of it as flexing the ankles to absorb the wake, the knees will follow suit leaving the rest of your body tall. Most people that are learning try and bend their knees to absorb the wake, which typically results in your butt dropping back and shoulders moving forward.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

    Brady

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