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I Just Realized How Bad I Am

BradyBrady Posts: 1,084 Mega Baller
edited April 2013 in News & Other Stuff
Okay, I am posting this video of today. I didn't make it through all 6, but it was also the second set of the day after skiing two sets the day before as well. i can barely move my arms to type this. I am almost out to the balls, but after looking at this, I realize truly how bad I really am! This is 15 off, 32mph.

Please critique the hell out of this. I know I have some very bad habits, and I want to get better more than you can imagine. This week was the first time I ran the green balls. I have two comments I would like to make. First, I feel like I am turning much faster than I truly am, and second, I feel like I am crossing the wake fast, but as you can see, it looks like molassASS. Thanks in advance, and I apologize if this video offended me! :)

I ski, therefore I am


  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    That looks like the most beautiful place on earth to ski. I must ski there before I die. I'll leave the analysis to the experts.
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 1,950 Mega Baller
    @Brady - your on your way to improving just by posting. Geat job. I am no expert either so I will leave the critiquing to the pros. What I do like is the free flowing rythym. Seems like your NOT in a hurry, which is good, because that is actually patience. Patience is key.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,586 Mega Baller
    @brady weren't we just have a discussion about fallen back = not good. Honestly right now just ski some and get in shape, have fun. Your getting your COM back out of the turn but a lot of us are looking like that this time of year.
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,441 Mega Baller
    @brady - you get an A for effort, it takes guts to post personal videos of skiing, so way to go. I'd get you the longest Radar P6 (71" ?) so that you can temporarily slow the boat down, giving you a little more time to work on form, timing and handle control. Resist the urge to ski multiple days in a row, you need rest to recover. If you're too tired, you'll develop bad habits.
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,960 Mega Baller
    I am not an expert, but it looks to me like you are pulling in with your arms and your hands are in front of you rather than near your hips. That will pull you up and flatten your wake crossing. When you flatten your wake crossing (and lead with your shoulders), you may be thrown a bit forward going into your turn. That takes some of the natural arc out of the turn, which is moving your COM, as @gregy mentions.

    Work to straighten those arms and get them toward the hip as you lean into a stacked position.

    But, I expect others may be more insightful than me. I'm learning as well.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    edited April 2013
    Good stuff @Brady, you're on top of the water in one of the prettiest places on Earth to ski. Things always look slower on video. Hard to critique a set this early in the year, but if I were to be picky and try and focus on one thing for now that I thought would smooth you out, it would be your arms and a more stringent focus on staying centered over the middle of the ski. The arms are getting away from your body really early and the biproduct of that is a lot of upper body movement, a bit of a break at the waist after the whitewater, and loss of width. Pin those elbows to your jacket and trust that leverage a while longer, concentrate on keeping your weight balanced a bit more over the center of the ski through the turns, and the rest will come into place after a few more sets. You're on your way!!!
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,406 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @brady you know I love ya brutha. One thing at a time.
    Agree with the big ski for now, you're a big guy at a slower speed.
    The level of your handle through the entire pass with bent arms is at your chest. If you did nothing else but let your arms be straight allowing the angle of your body to be further from the boat and be in a leveraged lean using your height and size to your advantage that would be a nice first step.
    This correction will help but also create the next re-post frequently and we'll get ya better.
    Wow, beautiful setting.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,586 Mega Baller
    Slowing down is really good idea suggested above. Took me half of one summer to convince my skiing partner to go down to 28 mph. Once he swallow his pride (and that was hard for him) he started progressing fairly quickly. I had a really good skier tell me when learning a line length do what ever it takes to run six balls.
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    edited April 2013
    @Brady The very first thing I would do is get out of the habit of sticking your arm through the handle as you did at the end of your pass, Brah. You just have to have one dumb fall the wrong way and the damage to your arm can be catastrophic and permanent. It's just not worth the risk. Your grip strength will rise to the challenge quickly if you just keep the handle in two hands while cruising. ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • HipsupHipsup Posts: 57 Baller
    @Brady Don't despair, it looks pretty good. Keep at it and things will improve quickly.

    You are a big guy and its really not easy skiing at 32mph or slower on anything smaller than a surf board at your weight. I have dropped from about 240 to around 210 this year and I cannot tell you how much easier things get when you drop weight and improve strength.

    I know that when I was heavier deep water starts used to absolutely kill me and learning to start with only one foot in made things much much easier and enabled me to save my strength for skiing. I don't know if you start with both feet in but if you do and you have grip issues at the end of the lake then try one footed starts - as @skijay says please don't put your arm thru' the handle!
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,262 Mega Baller
    Awesome site. It would be hard to be pissed off even if I blew a deep water start with that view!

    Many good points above, I will only add that you are leading with your head when the head should be up with eyes more level and lead with your hips and COM.

    On your dry land practice site, hold the handle to your waist arms straight, CHEST UP, push your front knee over you front ankle and have your back knee tucked into your front knee, this is the 50/50 BB is talking about. You may need to add a little line to a bridle because of your height. That is how you should feel behind boat every time. If you can get this, the buoys fall in place pretty quickly. Then we can work on getting the front knee flexed going into and during the turn.

    Oh yeah, nice spray!
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    I'm not much better than you but here is what worked for me... I was used to skiing open water around 32mph and was convinced to go to 28mph as well. The guy I ski with actually told me to only worry about rounding buoys and he'll worry about speed. As long as your ski is big enough (most important part) so that you don't start sinking at the buoy, and you'll be amazed at how much easier it is to get into position and learn at slower speeds. Falls don't hurt as much at 28 either so you can take more chances without feeling as scared.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,117
    @Brady I can't really add anything more than what was already said by @Texas6, @6Balls, and @Bruce_Butterfield . But I will say this....... you and Andy Mapple, Chris Parrish, Will Asher, Regina, etc all have something in common: You all went through the exact same thing at some point. The great @Mapple didn't get out of bed one day at 13(or whatever age he started skiing) and say "I've never skied before. Maybe I'll go out and run 391/2 off". All of them had to get through long line(in some cases, which is crazy hard. lol) and 15 off and up to maximum speed. We're our own worst critic when we see ourselves on video.

    Now, zoom that camera in next time. Although the view of the mountains in the background is way sweet, it'd sure be easier to get good critique if you didn't look like a little ant back there. :)
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • thagerthager Posts: 4,983 Mega Baller
    I agree with getting wider on the gate, just not at that line length at that site unless your fin will cut thru reeds. Definitely slow the boat down.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • MarcoMarco Posts: 1,430 Crazy Baller
    edited April 2013
    I agree with everything said above, especially with Bruce Butterfields comment about getting up on the boat. The relatively narrow line you are taking through the course dosen't allow you to get free of the boat at the buoy, and consequently it is pulling you up over the top of your ski.

    I would also think about incorporating the reach. Two handing at the buoy is contributing to rotation of your leading shoulder (right going to 1 ball) to the inside at the buoy, again not allowing you to get into a good stacked position at the hook up.

    All in all great skiing, especially in early season in a dry suit! We haven't even started skiing here yet. Keep up the good work!
  • ralral Posts: 1,764 Mega Baller
    +1 on slowing the boat down, go to a bigger ski if needed. As @Marco states, skiing the course with two hands at 32 or faster is in fact more difficult than with one and reaching. Two hands work well at 28 or below.
    Rodrigo Andai
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,406 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    If the ice ever goes out here...I'll realize how bad I am.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • madcityskiermadcityskier Posts: 112 Baller
    As you can't start wider, I would try to start the turn in later to get better angle through the gates. This will give you a better chance of getting outside the one ball. If you let your shoulders stay open until the ski is ready to turn you'll stay wider. When the ski is ready to turn, concentrate on initiating the turn with your thighs. This will cause your knees and hips to turn and lead your body across course generating angle. You're currently standing upright and dropping your shoulder. This puts you pulling your a$$ off for little angle. Try to keep your hips low to the water across the wakes. Keeping your shoulders down course will prevent loading the line to much, which will put you fast and out of control at the bouy. The previous statements about weight are also true, but I think it may be trying to pull the ski around as it never gets enough speed to break free of the boats pull and carve the turn it was made to.
    There's a lot of stuff here. I would start by working on a centered stance. Next initiating the turn with your thighs. Once the turns are generating angle you will find your hips low. The angle will get you across course faster and earlier. This will allow you to change edge and use the momentum to carry you outbound to the bouy. Now your ski will have a longer setup to the turn, and generate even more angle. By this point you'll have a dozen new things to work on anyway. Oh, and gave fun. Not enough people do that in this world.
  • GaryWilkinsonGaryWilkinson Posts: 355 Solid Baller
    @Brady good on ya for posting your video of not, I imagine your best pass, but a typical one. Shows great courage and a realistic focus and determination to get better. Adda-boy!

    First thing that hit me was how flat your ski was most of the time. This is a result of your body position and mostly your position in relation to the pull you are receiving from the boat which is all arms. The one time you set a good edge and angle, coming out of 4 ball I think, your body was straight, hips back, and handle and arms too "high" and far away from your hips and core. This resulted in your being pulled forward, losing your edge, angle and distance down course instead of across.

    My advice? 1) read Than's article on leverage position, find a picture of this position and etch it in your mind for each set, each buoy. It will make a huge difference in your skiing! Specifically, (something I also noticed) was your shoulders and arms seem so high on your core, almost like you're shrugging your shoulders in the "up" position full time while you ski. After reading the article you will see and visualize how low, straight and close to your hips the handle is for a good slalom turn.

    2) bending your knees and ankles slightly more will allow your body to move more forward on your ski, getting your shoulders back and arms down. It's all part of getting into an overall better, stronger position of leverage for the intense pull and resistance you get in slalom.

    Here's the article:

    Last thing, when you get it all right, good position and timing, it will feel sooo much easier!!
    like someone moved the buoys closer and the pull was soft and easy.

    What a beautiful feeling! Best of luck !
    I need to ski back to the handle obviously.
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,072 Mega Baller
    @Than_bogan is right on the money with the patience part. In addition to all the good technical stuff above, it's going to take water time above all else.
  • JTDixonJTDixon Posts: 19 Baller
    So, and pardon my lack of knowledge here, when we say "arms straight", do we mean forearms or entire arms? Because if my entire arms are completely straight, then the handle seems like it would have to be an arms length away from my body, and thus away from my hips. I'm a little confused.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,117
    Arms from the shoulders to the hands straight. You can ski this way with the handle at the hips.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    @JTDixon let OB show you how!
    OB.jpg 100.1K
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
  • JTDixonJTDixon Posts: 19 Baller
    Ok that makes sense. I was thinking more about the beginning of a run before you're able to get those shoulders back.

    But I do have another question. Should we be trying to avoid the position seen here?
  • estromestrom Posts: 512 Baller
    That's a great pic of OB. Here's one of CP that also shows the straight arms with handle close to hips.
  • estromestrom Posts: 512 Baller
    @JTDixon, he would have to have the strongest arms in the world to maintain that position across the course. And if he could, he would still be much less efficient and slower than OB and CP in their positions.
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