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Why is Cold Water so different?

londonskierlondonskier Posts: 190 Baller
edited December 2012 in Technique & Theory
Just had a great week skiing at Swiss Ski School, Orlando with some friends. Also got some great coaching with Phil Hughes and really felt I was getting somewhere. That water temp was about 65 F. Ran a PB of 4 @32 off. Back to London and I'm in 40F water today and a drysuit. Could not run a single pass, over two sets. Worse still, all my form has gone, cannot get my hips up nor turn the ski. The water feels rock hard, every bump like concrete really fast. I've noticed the change before but not like this. Why is it SO different?


  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,177
    65f IS cold water for some of us. ;)
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,550 Mega Baller
    our water was 44' and air was 38' yesterday, @londonskier - there's a huge amount of drag from the drysuit and with the faster cold water no wonder you were struggling, you just need to leave the rope out, run some BTB passes, and get used to the change again
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
    [Deleted User]
  • londonskierlondonskier Posts: 190 Baller
    @scotchipman that sounds right. I struggled to keep the ski in front of me.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,297 Mega Baller
    You can adjust the ski some to help. Things that get the tip up are pretty helpful.
    Shorten the fin a little, add depth, or move the fin forward (there are some that say move it back), and/or move the bindings back a notch.

    I would be curious to see if you make some of the above adjustments if you feel better.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,569 Mega Baller
    Drysuits have a lot of drag. We had to up the PP by 20 lbs skier weight for me in a full baggy siepel suit. Quit using it since and have more streamlined suit.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    You hit the nail on the head @londonskier. For all the reasons @Scotchipman listed (more viscous & more surface tension) it's harder to keep your ski from being dragged behind you. This puts you more on the front of your ski which makes it turn more after the edge change; which in turn points you straight at the ball. In addition, the viscous water makes the ski turn like it's on rails rather than sliding wide like it does in warm water. The bottom line is that cold water makes it harder to get wide and early. Fin tweaks to slow down the edge change help (fin shorter, deeper and further back), but most of all, you just have to work a lot harder at getting wide and early. ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I ski a lot of cold water and I feel like the biggest difference is that my ski feels like it rides higher on the water. Having thought about it a lot I don't think this is what happens. I think I actually maintain speed better in cold water. In warmer water I think it feels slow because I get across the wakes so early and have so much time that I actually slow down prior to the ball, sink a little, then take off. In colder water I think I don't gain as much "peak speed", and then I stay with the handle and maintain the speed better through the turn. As such, the ski doesn't sink in, making cold water seem "harder" and "faster", even though it very well could be just the opposite.
    Jim Ross
  • TuneyTuney Posts: 244 Baller
    When it gets cold out I don't want to crash. So I ski differently.
  • EricKelleyEricKelley Posts: 299 Crazy Baller
    I just decrease wing angle and focus on staying on the handle longer. Works pretty well, I can get close to my ususal in warm water...
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I think you can run just as many buoys in cold as warm. I ran -38 in late October with lake temp near 40 degrees. In early October I ran -38 in Florida (the next day I ran it in MN, then again several more times in Oct). Just have to relax and let the boat do the work -- "long, smooth strokes, let the tool do the work" (a little humor for those of you who see animated movies).
    Jim Ross
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,145 Mega Baller
    @ Razorskier You are a tool! Now get to work!!!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,314 Mega Baller
    40 degree water is not supposed to be skied on...wait a few weeks and skate or snowski.
  • BG1BG1 Posts: 207 Baller
    Another issue with cold water is the ski becomes stiffer the colder it gets.
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    edited December 2012
    More significantly, your bindings get stiffer too. ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    While there are ski and binding adjustments that help compensate, there is no silver bullet for cold water. Mostly, the key is understanding that the net result of the many changes due to cold water is a tendency towards skiing narrower. Just knowing that improves your odds of successfully adapting your technique to create more width and space. ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,242 Mega Baller
    @OB at the end of the day it's all about the beer.
  • colo_skiercolo_skier Posts: 784 Solid Baller
    edited December 2012
    Funny I had exactly the opposite reaction. When I skied in Florida the water felt really slow. When I got back to cold water in Colorado I had to add another degree to the wing angle to get the ski to feel like it did in Florida. We have really hard mineral laden water here though. I am skiing long line 32MPH max though so probably isn't applicable. I should also mention that there is 4000 ft elevation difference too. The coach were I was mentioned that when he came here to Laku for the Big Dawg tourney he did the same.
    Not sure I know what I am doing. The boat goes I follow. Trying to perfect the deep water start. Squirrel!
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