Still early in the year but I have been shortening the line in to 35 for a week or so and now am looking at 38s again. I am running the passes, but I felt like there was something wrong with my gate pull out. I wasn't getting wide enough, or when I was, I wasn't staying wide. I tried to think about staying on the outside edge, but that didn't get me there either.
Aha! After pulling out to drop at the end of the course I realized that when I pull out to drop I keep my chest and head facing straight ahead. The result -- with very little lean I am up beside the driver. So I figure that might be it. Next pass I pull out for the gate but keep my chest and head facing straight down the buoy line in the glide. Result: my handle is low and at my right hip, the line is tight, and I am on the outside edge (and very wide). I took it so far as to not even turn my head toward the gate when I turned in. Instead, I just looked over out of the corner of my eye and then turned the ski in.
The results were frickin amazing! The ski turned in smoother and accelerated faster with less effort. I was wider and slower (feeling) at the one, and as usual, that rythm carried through the rest of the pass. The level of effort that I used to run the pass was probably 80% of the pass before, yet I was wider, earlier, and more in control of my speed.
Why is it that the little things make such a big difference in this sport --- and how do I manage to forget so much every damn offseason!!!