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Riding the tail.....

ctsmithctsmith Posts: 281 Baller
edited June 2013 in Technique & Theory
I'm at 15 off 28/30/32 mph. Run 28 most all the time, 30 sometimes, and best is 5 at 32 mph. My on side can not be described as good, but we'll say its not bad. My off side is terrible. I can't seem to get a stacked position out of 1/3/5 (RFF). The problem starts pre-turn and only gets worse. But first I need to get the foundation fixed. I am riding the tail through the entire course. You can see air between the ski and water under the front boot most of the time. Obviously I need to get more weight on the front foot but I seem to struggle continually with it. My only excuse is very tight achilles (tore both of them on a dirt bike huge flat landing). When I am in a good solid skiing stance over my front foot, it is nearly impossible to get my rear foot's heel on the ground. When my rear heel goes to the ground it pulls my balance from the front foot to the rear.

You guys know of any tricks to help me focus more on the front foot pressure, or overcome tight ankles/achilles?
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Comments

  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,136
    2 things....
    1. video- hard to tell what your real problem is without seeing it
    2. What is the ankle to ankle bone to ankle bone distance between your front and rear feet? And how tall are you?

    If you can't stand flat footed with your front knee over the ball of your front foot then either your feet are too far apart or you need some serious physical therapy. Or yoga.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

    bigtallweed
  • OldutskierOldutskier Posts: 52 Baller
    Think about bending your front ankle and putting 80% of your weight on your front foot. I you keep your front ankle flexed forward it forces you to put more weight on the ski

    I do not think it really matters if your rear foot is not flat on the ski.

  • bogboybogboy Posts: 699 Solid Baller
    @ctsmith, when I get on my tail, it really brings me down course more, and puts me into scramble mode to salvage the pass. Someone told me a couple years ago at radar lake that your front foot is an accelerator. This also helps me to stay off of my rear foot more. I have to combine that with body and handle position though. I am just a baby at this. I find it helpful to hear what the good skiers think.
  • ctsmithctsmith Posts: 281 Baller
    edited June 2013
    I guess video can only help but its painful. And yes I need yoga. BAD tight. 5'8" 185 lbs. Excuse the boat path and sound effects. My wife and 11 year old daughter (running IPad) only do this out of love and pity. Speed was suppose to be 28 on first and 30 coming back.

    https://vimeo.com/68001264



  • usaski1usaski1 Posts: 750 Crazy Baller
    At least on my ski, I really need to make sure I am riding the tail, especially around turns, or I will wash out the take around the ball and be done. Its kind of a touchy thing... I want to get forward as I come around the ball to help me get the best acceleration for the next one... and to slow the ski down.. but if I do it too much I spin out... I'm almost all the way back already on the ski.
    Mark Turner -- Water skiing changed my life forever.
  • OldutskierOldutskier Posts: 52 Baller
    Your front leg looks almost locked straight. See frame at :51 and :54 seconds. Flex your front ankle and bend you knee and it might help you.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,136
    Back leg bent and front leg completely straight = recipe for tail riding. You can't get that front leg any straighter coming away from the second wake towards 1/3/5.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • ctsmithctsmith Posts: 281 Baller
    edited June 2013
    I'm hoping to ski this afternoon. Will focus on bent front knee and ankle. Of course, Albritton has been telling me that every time I'm fortunate enough to ski with him. Can't drill it through my thick skull. I was hoping you guys had lightning in a bottle. I mean, this is easy, right? 14 year old girls running into 38 off consistently. Surely I can do it.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,136
    Don't focus on bent front knee. Instead focus on flexing that front ankle forward. If you tell 10 people to bend their knee, 9 of them will squat. If you tell 10 people to flex their front ankle forward, 9 of them will flex and bend their knee too. Boom! That's what you want.

    In your case, it also appears your bending your back leg too much, as you can see your back knee go beside your front leg. So when you flex the front ankle, you can straighten the back leg a bit.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

    crashman
  • ralral Posts: 1,791 Mega Baller
    @ctsmith, sound effects are the best thing in the video. Loved it!

    Regarding flexing or straightening things, you need to be aware of some issues about action and reaction.

    If you are bent forward at the waist and your hips are backwards, your front leg will be straight and your back bent for keeping you from falling. It is a consequence and not a primary position. It will be very difficult to bend your front knee and ankle with the same body position.

    Now, the US$ 1,000,000 thing. Hips up and shoulders back (as Drew Ross points out so graphically in one scene on his DVD) is far easier to say than to do. When thinking about bending your front knee, think also about hips ups and chest up and shoulders back. If you do that, the ankle will bend by itself.

    I guess it is easier to show it than to write about it...


    Rodrigo Andai
    Than_BoganBrady
  • ctsmithctsmith Posts: 281 Baller
    Appreciate the comments. If no fires pop up in the next few hours I'll get the the lake and give it a go (only get to ski on average 3 sets a week). This time baby girl (8) will be in tow. If I can convince her to run the Ipad it will be interesting!
  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    @ShaneH has anyone ever told you that you speak the truth! For the last two weeks I've been focusing nearly exclusively on my stance during the glide. Front ankle bend with tall stance= water breaking about 6 inches closer to the front of the ski and the next thing I know it's like I'm shot out of a cannon through the gate with about half the effort I'm used to.
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,808 Mega Baller
    @ctsmith: Don't stand in that position ... ever!

    I'm trying to be funny (probably failing), but I have an actual point: You need to think about standing tall, with back leg straighter and front ankle bent ALL of the time. Get out of the water and adjust your stance to there. If things are going badly in the course, don't ski it wrong, take the time to get to the right position.

    Standing in line? Get your stance.

    Bored at work? Bend front ankle and straighten rear leg.

    Making a fundamental balance point change like this requires a whole-scale effort to reprogram your mind and muscles. It's not easy. But in the end you'll not only run several more passes, you'll do so in a safer position!

    GOOD LUCK!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    Skoot1123ToddL
  • wilecoyotewilecoyote Posts: 197 Baller
    I couldn't have asked for a better topic, I'm just struggling to get to 3 [email protected] so all this applies to me as well. Glad to have all the help. I'll be doing another lesson with my instructor in the very near future, and he keeps telling me to bend that ankle. Should be easy, but it's not.
  • ctsmithctsmith Posts: 281 Baller
    Making a fundamental balance point change like this requires a whole-scale effort to reprogram your mind and muscles. It's not easy.
    Truer words have not been said!
  • ctsmithctsmith Posts: 281 Baller
    I'll be doing another lesson with my instructor in the very near future, and he keeps telling me to bend that ankle.
    Roger that! If Kieth would have been in the boat in the video, on the gate glide he'd be shaking the rope and motioning to bend the ankle. If you start bad it doesn't get any better.
  • ctsmithctsmith Posts: 281 Baller
    edited June 2013
    Yesterday was better. Most passes were successful with a little better form. Because of the setting sun and rookie videographer (my 8 year old), only one pass was adequately captured (maybe three, we'll see). I'll try to post it up tonight.

    I did a slightly better job of getting the front ankle bent/knee forward. But in the apex of the offside turn I still completely straighten my front leg. Aint slow motion video cool! I can be told it 1000 times but it really sinks in when you see it.

  • HipsupHipsup Posts: 57 Baller
    The thought that works for me is trying to force my front foot as flat as possible. If your front foot is flat then your hips automatically move forward and you get the front ankle flex that Shane is talking about.

    The other obvious thing that should help is making a conscious effort not to push on your back foot coming in to 1,3,5. Keeping your shoulders open and only turning with your lower body also really helps when trying to get your hips moving over your feet.
  • PBDPBD Posts: 190 Baller
    I have found that if I focus on feeling the toes on my front foot it helps keep me in a strong position. Focus on being able to wiggle those toes on right foot.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,724 Administrator
    I take a slightly different approach to this. Front leg straight is not the best and some skiers move their center of mass forward by bending their front knee/ ankle but for me the focus needs to be one of the following: Back leg straight, back foot flat on ski, back knee behind front knee, or both legs straight.

    If you think about it, any time your back leg is bent more than your front leg our center of mass is moving back.

    Driving knees and ankles forward is perhaps technically the best but for most skiers it is the hardest. I know very few skiers who really drive their knees forward – Greg Badal, Andy Mapple, Marcus Brown, Bruce Butterfield, Terry Winter come to mind. You might note that these guys are all super shortline skiers.

    For my personal skiing I spend a lot of time trying to be tall/straight legs. In reality my legs never get totally straight but by trying to do so I am more in the center of the ski.

    May of us were told for years that we needed to bend our knees as much as possible at all times. I have no idea why. We were also told to be on our toes. This idea often leads to skiers lifting their back heel. This is a terrible idea except maybe at apex.

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  • thagerthager Posts: 5,040 Mega Baller
    @Horton You will never be tall and I think you may be bow legged like me! : )
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,724 Administrator
    Vertically challenged yes. Bow legged no

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  • GOODESkierGOODESkier Posts: 1,107 Crazy Baller
    Watching people ski like Dave Miller and Regina Jaquess, it is amazing how much their knees are "bent". Search their names with world record and you can see some of the most bent knees I have ever seen. Also reminded me to try and "lead" with the hips.
    2003 Nautique 196 LE Star Gazer & ZBox - GOODE NANO OneXT 66.75" - Powershell 5 (LFF) - Tournament PB: 2 Balls @ 39.5' OFF (34.2 MPH) on 7/18/2015 at BIG DAWG BROHO!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    @Horton thanks for posting your thoughts here. We have a ski partner that looks a lot like @ctsmith and we have been struggling to get him off his back foot and your advice is different than anything I have tried.
    Mark Shaffer
  • ctsmithctsmith Posts: 281 Baller
    @Horton
    for me the focus needs to be one of the following: Back leg straight, back foot flat on ski, back knee behind front knee, or both legs straight
    Back leg straight seems to feel natural and get me in a better position that anything else. I'll give it a shot.

    @Chef23
    I've heard it a million times but until I watched slow motion video it didn't ring home. The light bulb finally came on. If your struggling partner hasn't seen himself on video lately its worth the effort. I am 100% focused on this now and I'll get it worked out!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,056 Mega Baller
    @ctsmith the guy we ski with has seen video. Frankly he looks a lot like you but left foot forward rather than right. I have been skiing since I was a kid so I have a hard time explaining how to get in good body position at times it got drilled into me when I was 8. I still think about and work at it but I am coming from a different base.
    Mark Shaffer
  • ctsmithctsmith Posts: 281 Baller
    edited June 2013
    Not the best video, but here's a few passes from yesterday.

    https://vimeo.com/68815296



  • bogboybogboy Posts: 699 Solid Baller
    @ctsmith, nice skiing! I will practice the "front ankle down flex" tomorrow. Lot's of fun!
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,136
    Rear knee bent, hips way back, shoulders forward. Those are the things you've got to concentrate on.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • bogboybogboy Posts: 699 Solid Baller
    @ShaneH, uh, ya, I didn't just fall off the humus truck yesterday. Your kidding, right? Do you like your slalom rope attached to a wake board tower?
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