Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Where do you look?

Davis_LKDavis_LK Posts: 8 Baller
edited July 2012 in Technique & Theory
Hi all, long time lurker first time poster. I have just taken up the sport this spring and although I feel I have made great strides I am trying to keep from developing bad habits as I learn that would need to be corrected later on. My long term goal is to be chasing buoys but I realize I have a long way to go. Right now I am working on crossing the wake (28 mph) and starting to establish some rhythm. I am currently a couple feet outside the whitewash however, I find when I cross from left to right (I am right foot forward), I sometimes land on the lip of the 2nd wake and my form breaks. I also seem to generate a lot more speed in this direction and it feels a bit out of control.

There are many around me who are more than willing to give me advice (all with the greatest of intentions) but I worry that what they are saying I should do is a bit out dated.

My biggest concern at the moment is where I should be looking while I cross the wakes. The person I ski with suggested that I should be looking across the wakes at the horizon to help keep my head up. Seems like good advice but I think it may be making me close my shoulders to the boat which, based on my limited understanding, is not an ideal position and may be the reason why I feel a bit out of control crossing from left to right. Where should I be focusing while I cross wake?


  • lhooverlhoover Posts: 196 Solid Baller
    Davis, if you will email me [email protected] I'll send you a couple of articles for your consideration.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,006 Mega Baller
    I just got asked that question today and had to answer I don't know. The only problem the coach had was that my head was in a different place coming out of 2 and 4. Suggestion was to focus quickly on the boat coming out of the turn. I haven't figured out how to work with that yet.
    Mark Shaffer
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,113 Mega Baller
    edited July 2012
    I learned to look across course, in the words of my coach "follow where the tip of the ski is going. " So it's not a sharp 90* to the boat path which can get you to throw some extra weight to the side of the ski you are not prepared for or creating a more closed shoulder wake crossing. You can still have your shoulders in a good position if you follow your line of the sight of the ski which is realistic compared to a 90* head turn. Remember your head weighs between 9&14 pounds. Keep it still and that will help you stay more controlled. If your eyes are always looking in the direction the realistic direction your ski is going then you should never have to throw your head around it stays still looking across course.
    How are you going to know what to do next if you are not spotting the next ball?

    There are many schools of thought. But this is my 2c.

    I hope that makes since posting from iPhone here.
  • slmskrsslmskrs Posts: 6 New Baller
    Looking at the back of the boat is a good tip; this keeps your head/shoulders more level. You should feel equal pull from both arms, not your outside (leading) arm loaded and your inside (trailing) arm not doing much. Looking at the boat (and feeling the pull in both arms) also helps to move your hips forward toward the handle, putting you more centered over the ski, which gets you more angle and direction with less effort. If you do this, you'll be wide and early for the next buoy (turn); then you won't need to shift your gaze slightly from the back of the boat to the next ball until you are well past the second wake.
  • DustyDusty Posts: 315 Baller
    Like slmskrs says- try looking at the back of the boat. I've been trying to refine even that, in that I am trying to look at the far rear corner of the transom, as I finish the turn and load.
  • PBDPBD Posts: 190 Baller
    One of my keys while I'm in the course is to pick up the next ball in front of the boat. (as you're rounding one look at 2) It keeps your head up and sets your body up for a smooth hookup in a strong position. A year or so ago, I got lessons from Trent and he advised me to keep my head looking down course. I don't seem to have as much luck with this as I do with picking up the ball.
  • Davis_LKDavis_LK Posts: 8 Baller
    @MattP I believe you have described exactly what I am doing. I took the looking across the wake as looking 90 degrees to it, which is likely closing my shoulders. I plan to try following the tip of the ski this weekend and see where that gets me. Thanks for all the suggestions!
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,229 Mega Baller
    Depends on who is standing on the shore...

    I like to look across the wake ahead of the next buoy to see my path. Looking into the boat is too confusing for me.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,823 Mega Baller
    edited July 2012
    Across the wakes, I look generally at the boat or slightly to the far side of the course. During the edge change, I try to transition to down the course. Into the turn, I want to look at the next buoy down course; so as I am rounding 1 ball, I am looking at 3 ball. At the finish of the turn, I try to stay on te next buoy down course, but tend to start to drift towards the back of the boat again. I never want to took at the buoy that am am approaching or turning around. I can sense it in my peripheral vision. Plus, these high-dollar slalom skis know when and where to turn. I do my best when I let them do their job.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
Sign In or Register to comment.