I'd like to start by thanking both BOS and its members for the opportunity to contribute. The idea is to give BOS members the chance to ask me questions directly. The lucky winners will get a response from me on the BOS home page and will be sent some swag from my sponsors. For those questions that I do not choose as winners, I will do my best to answer in the forum under the category of "Ask Rossi". Here are the winners of the first go at "Ask Rossi":
What is the best drill, exercise, and/or visualization to keep elbows/arms in through the wake and after the whitewater? In other words, how do I improve my ability to keep the handle for myself (in close) through the edge change and into the release?
This is a very hot topic right now @MISkier. I believe this is one of those things you have to set up in order to do. Most skiers are not "stacked" in a proper position from a proper width to be able to accomplish this last step. The goal is to complete your turn and ski into your stacked position as close to the back side of the buoy as possible. This gives the skier the maximum time in the acceleration zone (back side of buoy to the centerline of the course). Most skiers I see do not get in their stacked position until half way back to the wakes (if at all) and thus do not generate enough speed to be able to release the ski at the centerline. Pulling past centerline (directly behind boat) causes the rope to rapidly overload and ends by yanking the skier up out of their cut and sets them on a path inside of the optimal trajectory. To be able to control the handle in a positive way, work on getting into your stacked position closer to the buoy, holding an aggressive lean to the centerline, releasing your ski edge at centerline, and once your ski passes under you, focus on holding onto the handle much like you would do on a rope swing once you have passed the bottom. The key reason to control the handle after edge change is to stay connected to the boats pull so that it can pull you forward on your ski. With the way skis are shaped (fat in the belly and narrow in the tail), as your weight moves forward onto the belly of the ski, the tail loses its hold and starts to release. The more your ski is smeared or rotated before you get to the buoy, the closer to the back side of the buoy you can get in your stacked position and utilize the acceleration zone mentioned above. The goal is to have your ski smeared so the tip and tail of your ski are parallel to the buoy line when you cross the buoy line and release the outside hand. This concept is probably new to a lot of you as most skiers pull too long and thus release the outside hand before ever smearing. While it is possible to be early for the buoy using this approach, the ski will not be smearing and will require excessive rotation at the finish of the turn, delaying or shortening the next acceleration zone.
I look forward to continuing the discussion in the forum. Thanks again for the opportunity to contribute and thanks to my sponsors for making all this possible:
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