Regardless of style, theory, strengths or weaknesses, the world's top skiers share one common skill: their ability to get off the wakes without losing direction. Feeling a bit slung into the buoys? Find out how to get off the wakes with minimal loss of direction.
The edge change, or transition is the most challenging concept to decode in the slalom game. The notion of switching edges without interrupting your outward path can be confusing, but it is a move you must understand before sending it through your more difficult passes.
Set it Up
A successful transition is set up well before you approach the wakes. Maintaining a controllable amount of line tension is paramount to a seamless edge change. As you accelerate into the wakes, focus on being still and strong, without further increasing your lean. Any movement that results in your handle being further from your body will be a move made in vain.
Connection is Key
As you begin to transition from your attack edge to your turning edge, maintain the lean through your upper body by keeping your hips high to the handle. This will allow you to lean all the way to the buoy line, even after your ski has moved through its edge change.
To continue tracking outward through your entire transition, keep your hips facing in your desired direction of travel. By keeping your hips pinned between your arms as you begin to change edges you will avoid opening them to the boat, and forcing your ski to prematurely run parallel with the boat. Keep your hips oriented to tip of your ski as you approach the buoy-line.
Regardless of any previous miscalculations, your best bet is to simply maintain your position through your entire transition. If you have overloaded the line by excessively leaning away you need to slip into damage control mode. Keep you position as still as possible my ensuring your lower body does not fall any further from the handle than it already is.
The line you are able to take from the second wake, out to the buoy line is more important the angle you set at the finish of your turn. After all, a great deal of angle into the first wake will not get you to the buoy earlier unless you are able to maintain it off the second wake.
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