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What the elite skiers work on.........

The same exact things as the rest of us! I thought I would share this because our skiers who are learning more of the basic techniques probably never consider this. I ski with Big Dawg skier Mike Munn a good bit. A month or two ago he said he struggled with turning too hard, unloading early and that was something he was really having to work on. Uhhhhh, yeah I do that too. And then a few weeks later I heard the exact same thing from Seth. Then today, Matt Brown tells me he's working right now on keeping his chest up through the edge change and moving his hip over the center of the ski, so he doesn't leave his hips behind. Yeah, I'm working on that too.

The point is, we're all working on the same things. And we all started at the same place. So there's no reason to think you're the only one struggling. Because the guys that are out there smoking 39 1/2 off and 41 in tournaments are struggling with some of the same things the rest of us do.
Shane "Crash" Hill



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  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,609 Mega Baller
    Whenever we fly somewhere, my wife insists on buying those trashy celeb gossip magazines at the airport shops. I noticed in one one time there's a section (I guess in every issue) about how "celebs are just like us." Usually shows celebs walking their dogs, shopping at Trader Joe's, etc.

    Guess this is the skiing equivalent. Interesting.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • ToddFToddF Posts: 591 Solid Baller
    Isn't that what life is about?
    Master the core fundamentals of what you want to do well, then go back refine and repeat.
    The elite at their chosen endeavors don't do anything different than the rest of us, they just do it better.
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 885 Mega Baller
    And here I thought Elite skiers just spent all their time worrying about who the boat driver was ...
  • WaterSkier12WaterSkier12 Posts: 269 Baller
    Bruce Dickinson-babies!!^^^^
    Classic Walken!!!
    Well played😜
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,203 Open or Level 9 Skier
    If there are 100 things a skier needs to do right when we ski, elite skiers may be working in the same three as an aspiring skier. I think the difference is the best skiers have 90 of the other items under control while aspiring skiers have less.

    Like @BoneHead in my conversations with the worlds best skiers, it’s nice to hear they are working on the same or similar things. That said, I always learn something new in those conversations.
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 1,098 Mega Baller
    My kids had an electronic toy called "Bop It". Great game. When you finally messed up one of the things it would say was "Do it again, only better". I always think of that as I get to my hardest pass. Don't go harder, or do more, just do better.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • TELTEL Posts: 404 Crazy Baller
    I would rather work on running 41 than beat myself up trying to run a descent 28. It's not even their opener. :/
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,854 Mega Baller
    I have said that each season my goal is to get one more fundamental "thing" burned into muscle memory than I did last season. It seams that each off season causes a handful to fade from muscle memory. I just hope that at the start of each season I lose fewer than I gained previously. (Go back 4, but then progress forward by 5. Rinse repeat each year...)
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • emacemac Posts: 22 Baller
    I have been skiing with a very, very good skier for many years. He has told me everything I could possibly want to know to work on. I have watched him ski countless sets. My best skiing is his starting point. We are on different planets. We both work on getting the left foot in the front binding.....that is where it ends for me. I have to handicap it.....I get 10 extra feet and 2mph.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,293 Mega Baller
    I think there are some basics that are needed to run a pass, like leverage through the wakes versus letting up before the wakes and a big turn, that most of us started with. Once those basics are mastered the speed increases and rope shortenings just make those windows to run a pass a little smaller each time.

    A new set of windows needs to get opened up as the rope gets shorter and shorter, like advancing on the boat, counter rotation, reverse C, etc. All the while the boat just keeps going down the lake and those core skills must remain rock solid.

    That’s why you don’t see many good skiers chewing gum at the same time.
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 379 Open or Level 9 Skier
    I believe the one distinction is that Elite skiers have a solid body position and work on other nuances.

    But, what I typically encounter is that average and above average skier tend to concentrate and fret over relatively trivial aspects (hand position, counter rotation, optimal fin adjustment, etc, etc) of skiing. And they neglect the most significant fundamental element, your body position from completion of the turn, until and through the edge change. If you have decent body position and hold on to the handle you can run fairly short line, and then work on the nuances.

    Working on body position isn't sexy, requires boring repetitions, and progress will seem slow. So most talk about it, but don't really work on. Chet Raley has a good video talk (on body position) that he gave at WPB a few years ago, that is floating around that should be reviewed by any skier, and become your skiing bible.
  • adamhcaldwelladamhcaldwell Posts: 696 Open or Level 9 Skier
    I think the more evolved your technique gets and the deeper your understanding of they dynamics/mechanics/physics that are involved, the more you'll trust and believe in what you are working towards executing on the water.

    I have found there are certainly a few very key fundamentals that are necessary in the course, not matter what the line length.

    #1 - Skier to Boat timing. This isn't even a technique. It just takes "critical thinking".

    #2 - Creating vertical space above the ski to allow hips 'space' to move forward over the feet and under the shoulders

    #3 - Managing COM position over the ski and elevation above the water to maximize leverage over the hydraulic lift/drag produced by the ski while still being productive with the centripetal force from the rope.

    I have been coaching skiers at 30mph 15off to 34mph/36mph 41 off on these exact concepts and seeing huge gains/improvements, even at 38/39off.

    I put no effort in coaching turning, counter, handle position, etc. Those things are what I call "false" technique. They might sound and look great, but they are more a byproduct of other fundamental elements.
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 379 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Adam, You made my point about the futility of counter rotation, handle position much better I can. I am though having a hard time visualizing your #2, so I certainly am not thinking about it and most likely not accomplishing. Do you have an alternative way to conceptualize?
  • 76S&S76S&S Posts: 101 Baller
    I interpret #2 simply as being tall on the ski. I physically can't move my hips forward if my knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. But yes, please clarify what you mean on #2.
  • emacemac Posts: 22 Baller
    Very well said! I have been told and told myself hips up for 10 years.....finally sunk in this year when I slowed my speed down and started over again.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,143 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Adam thanks for the diff way of conceptualizing the montra of "hips up". For me it's never amounted to much change. I've just accepted I'll never be a stand tall skier. Now there may be hope.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,854 Mega Baller
    @adamhcaldwell - spot on! Tall, forward, and I'll add "still". I see too many skiers who move around a lot (forward and aft mostly) trying to make something happen. They typically do... the end of the pass before the exit gates. In all seriousness, what you wrote simply puts more ski in the water in a strong, efficient stance so that a still skier can ride an efficient, connected ski in the direction they have pointed it.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • adamhcaldwelladamhcaldwell Posts: 696 Open or Level 9 Skier
    edited June 2019
    @ToddL agree, Moving around is a sign your getting compressed and needing to stand back up. Nothing I recommend as a technique to be striving for.
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 379 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Adam, Thanks. For some reason I was trying to visualize "Creating vertical space above the ski' as in the turn. Although for the transition from preturn to turn, somewhat related to Andy's "imagine a rope in the sky tied to your head that pulls you up just before you drop into turn.
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