Coaching Kids - Edge Change

bojansbojans Posts: 320 Solid Baller
edited July 2018 in Technique & Theory
I am looking for a little help in coaching my son. He is 10 years old (last year in B1) getting into 30 mph in the course. He has a tendency to revert back to pulling hard well beyond the second wake (even when he doesn't need to) and making a big turn. He is able to handle this in calm water but with a wind it really throws him off. I have tried explaining the concept of edge change and he gets the idea, but in practice saying change edges earlier is not actionable for him. How do you coach this for kids?

Thanks for any help


  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    edited July 2018
    I worked on my son on having the work zone be from white water to white water. I find sometimes the kids pull after the second wake when they let up behind the boat. Getting a consistent work effort behind the boat helped with that.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 2,061 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    @bojans, several things to think about, while keeping in mind there are no absolute rules on coaching kids:

    Is he at -15 or long line? -15 can create the perception of "being late" and having to pull long. Its much easier to create space and feel early at long line. And yes, the -15 vs long line is a huge gray area at that stage and speed.

    What size ski is he on? A smaller, high drag ski may make him feel like he "has" to pull long to get around the buoy. Again, he's in the transition stage from a 64/65" ski to a 62" "real kid" slalom ski. If he's on a 60" ski, that could be the majority of the problem.

    Is he getting WIDE on his gates? Basically all skiers can get away with narrow gates, but frequently leads to double pulling or pulling long. Being really wide at the start solves a host of problems. The goal at all speeds and line lengths should be to get even with the boat on the gate pullout.

    I really dislike teaching any skier about "edge change". IMO its much better to teach holding the handle in close. The edge change will happen automatically.

    One really old school concept that I still find helpful is to try to ski around an imaginary buoy 20' in front of and 20' wider than each real buoy. If a skier can wrap their head around that concept, it enables wide and early at any pass.

    It still comes down to generating as much speed and angle before the wakes as you can. After the wakes, you are forced to do bad things to make up for not enough angle or speed.

    Good luck!
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • bojansbojans Posts: 320 Solid Baller
    Thanks @Bruce_Butterfield
    He made the move from LL to 15 off this year as well as moving from a 63” Radar TRA to a 63.5” Vapor. The ski seems to work very well for him, great turns and solid angle through the wakes. We have also worked on getting wide on the gates, he could still get wider, but is not what I would consider narrow.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    I had forgotten but we used the concept of the buoy being 20’ before the actual buoy also which always seemed to help n
    Mark Shaffer
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