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Help me help my girlfriend!!!


tbrenchley
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So my girlfriend is really getting into skiing and wants to get better which is awesome. She never skied before we started dating and just got her own slalom ski about 6 weeks ago. She runs our version of the mini course (1,3,5 and boat guides for 2,4,6) up to 30mph and is now trying the full course at 23mph. The only problem is that I'm a much better teacher for someone at 35 off than I am for someone who is just starting the full course plus I'm driving most of the time so I don't get to watch her each time. I just want to see what some of the ballers on here do for brand new skiers either dry land training and skiing drills that might help her progress at a faster rate. I might post a video a little later when I get some footage but any advice is appreciated.
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At her speed, she has to pull all the way to the turn - she will not glide at all. Also, she has to "aim" for a point about 20-feet upcourse of the ball, or else she will be late every time. She should also exaggerate the handle position low on her rear hip on her "pulls" through the wake. That will keep her body position intact without having to think about it too much. Most of the time the novice skier literally stands up at the turn, she has to stay low - bending the ankles forward without bending at the waist. If near Grand Rapids, MI, look me up.
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The biggest challenge is to get them to ski with their hips up and fall back against the boat. Dryland practice or hook up the bridle to the pylon on the far side of the loop (lets them lean over more) and practice the hips up arms straight, handle on hip feel.
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I could never figure out how to "get my hips up" so I asked on here and got some things that helped a lot. Guys were telling me to lean tall away from the boat, push my chest out, shoulders back, squeeze my butt cheeks together, elbows on your vest, and few other things. You can't focus on all of those but maybe one or two of them will make sense to her. I think I have that concept down at least better than before and then was told by the guy I ski with that I need to keep pulling past the second wake. I could generate enough speed by the first wake to cast me out wide enough but I kept drifting down the course and was running late by 4 ball. I was also screaming into the buoy which was scaring me. Pulling just a little longer after the second wake slowed me down at the ball and got me there early.

 

If she has the guts to go through the wake at any kind of speed, she's doing better than one of the girls I know who has been skiing for over 15 years. She wants to learn to ski better but I don't have a clue how to teach someone to quit wussing out.

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You can have her to the spray-wash drill. You challenge her to go from just outside of the spray wash (clean water) across the wakes to just outside of the spray wash on the other side as many times as she can in under a minute (or however long your lake is) while keeping in good stacked, pulling position. That usually teaches an aggressive charge across the wakes fairly soon. This is just a confidence building drill I use for kids, but it works well with any adult willing to play along. The goal is to get about twice as many cuts as the first attempt over the course of about 5-10 outings.
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we like to tell our newbies to "spray the red buoys" which gets them to understand the rythm, time and space of the course, then we wait, they usually come up and say "I think I can get around them!" We tell them to go for it, then we take it from there, usually just have to work on timing and going thru the wakes properly. we like to work on "change of direction" rather than turns, and "proper position thru the wakes" rather than pulling, pretty good success rate as of late.
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@alex38 that's a great idea/concept. Like that a lot. I would think that would work well for the kids working to increase speed. Also to add to the dry land stacked drill would be to do it when skiing. Just hang out to the side of the boat and find that stacked position and hold for at least the length of a course. Repeat for the other side. If there is a course, the challenge would be to stay on the outside of the turn buoy line all the way down. The better stacked the skier, the further out/away from they boat and up on the boat they will get. Lose that position and the skier falls back and gets narrow.
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