So, I'm coaching on Saturday, trying to get the skier to keep the handle close to her core. Got me thinking about why this is a good thing.
Laws of physics say that angular momentum is conserved. When an ice skater does her spin, she rotates faster as she tucks her arms in. This is because she is decreasing the distance her mass is from the center of her rotation.
The formula for angular momentum H=rxmv. r is radius, m is mass, v is velocity. So, assume you've got about a 2 foot reach between handle at core and arms outstretched, butt dragging. The r at 35 off is 40 ft (roughly). So a 2/40 = 5%. This means that as you reach out and drag your butt, you immediately slow down by 5%. BUT, as the rope gets shorter, it matters more.
At 41 off, you have a radius of 34ft. 2foot reach/34 =6% slow down, just when you want to be maintaining speed. Cool