1. Ski with someone who runs 6 balls more than you
2. Spend money on pro coaching before spending money on equipment
3. If your ski is more than 5 years old, it is time for a new one. If you can afford to ski, you can afford a new ski.
4. Video yourself skiing
5. Focus on basic technique. Work on one thing at a time for many rides at a time. If your boat crew comments on something different after each pass get ear plugs.
6. Most skiers who do not run 32 off do not have a good “stacked position”. “Stacked” is shoulders over hips and hips over feet. If you are not stacked almost anything else you work on is a waste of time and gas.
a. To be stacked is to have your back leg bent equal to or less than your front. The more you bend your back leg in relation to your front the weaker your position and the more weight is on your back foot. Some pro and elite skiers achieve this with a lot of forward knee bend with both legs. The bottom line is where your hips are in relation to your feet.
b. Personally I try to ski with relatively straight legs because I think it is the easiest way to move my hips over my bindings. 90% of all the coaching I give involves some version of “stand up”, “extend your legs” or “press both feet away from your body through the wakes”. There is nothing more important in skiing at this level than getting in and staying in a stacked position.
7. Set your ski to stock or very near stock settings. Assuming that you are starting at stock, most fin and binding adjustments are a distraction and may mask real issues. If you are not centered on your ski (stacked) then are you adjusting from an incorrect vantage point. Ski adjusting is a science that few skiers at any level really understand.
8. With new bindings you must always measure. The “middle hole” on your bindings may not be even close to the stock setting.
9. Moving your bindings forward will not solve anything for a skier who rides back into the ball. Many stock binding positions are already slightly forward.
10. Don’t over ski. If you ski when you are not strong you are practicing bad habits.