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Should I continue learning on longline or 15' off?


JTW
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I believe in making all my sets a workout. That being said if I was you I'd make my sets progressive through a couple different boat speeds and a couple different rope lengths just so you're not hammering away at the same thing all the time.

 

Every speed and every length has a lesson to learn and it'll keep your mind active and you plugged in to your ski.

 

Make it logical like a couple passes at 28mph, a couple at 30mph, shorten to -15 for a couple gate-1-2 drills, even shorten to -22 for a shot at the gate-1-2 and then call it a set.

 

Have fun and try new things every day.

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Not sure if you have tried 15off but once your comfortable with 15off I'd say stay with it. I started out with 15off when I first starting running the course 30 years ago. When I went to ski school they made me go back to longline told me to stay at longline until I could run 36mph. I think there may have have been some point advantage back then to run LL.

 

Anyway with the skis today and all the info on technique I think if you feel good about your technique just go to 15off. If you go to 15off and it's causing problems and you're loosing your position, etc then you may want to go back to LL. I have passes that are challenge passes then passes that I use just to work on technique you'll need to find those for yourself.

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@JTW, it's fall now. If you think you'll get some good practice time this fall with a coach/helpful partner in the boat, then I'd make the transition now. I'd start by freeskiing, getting used to the rhythm of it, shorter, harder leans, wider pull-outs.

DISCLAIMER: I'm Canadian, so as @richarddoane points out, I'm biased. LL just doesn't have the 'rhythm' of slalom skiing in my mind.

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@JTW I had a kid at my lake with the same problem... Well his dad would not let him go to -15 until he ran 34 LL... Myself and a friend of mine in B3 talked to him and his dad and said that LL is just to spongey after 28 or 30mph. You need to go to -15 it will help, you will have a tighter line, it will be more fun and you will progess faster.
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Sounds like you are about where a guy is at who I am working with right now. I recommend 15 off. I also recommend going 28 off for fun, as it starts to highlight your errors better. Even if it is free skiing. You will like the speed and quickness, and the wakes! Start close to the wakes and hold your edge through both wakes and let the turn happen, just make sure to ski your outside hip up to the handle and lock it in. He loved going 28 off, and when he went back down to 15 off at 28 mph, he crushed it and almost ran 30 mph.
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Shorten to 15 off and drop back to 28mph for now. It won't take very long and you'll never notice the rope is 15 ft shorter. I got dared to go out at LL 30mph a month or so ago. It was so hard I laughed the whole way down the course. When I was done, I told the kids I didn't know how they ran long line cause that's WAYYYYYYY hard! LOL
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Yep, -15.

 

Ya know what LL is good for, though? Slaloming on two skis. With the extra challenge of slowing down 2 skis, that little extra "whip" of -15 vs. LL makes it quite a lot harder. Personally, I feel there is quite a bit of value for a true beginner to do the slalom course on two skis, and if you want to try that I definitely suggest LL.

 

The main reason I think it's worthwhile is that you can get there sooner and start doing something that is actually fun. As a beginner, even getting up on one is a challenge, and doing anything remotely interesting will take some people a while. Mixing that long-by-modern-standards learning curve in with something addictive like going around buoys may help maintain interest. At the same time, it teaches the basic skills and timing of running a slalom course, giving a leg up when you get there on one ski.

 

If somebody advances quickly and is already loving it, then screw two skis. But it's another trick in the arsenal for certain skier personalities.

 

P.S. My mom never liked the feel of one ski and ran a slalom course on 2 skis for about 40 years!

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When I was at cobles and phenom (Joel Howley) was there me chris and joel were talking about putting joel at LL like 14mph struggling to run the course then put "after 3 weeks of cobles and connelly prohecy" and showing the vid of him running 39.. Not really on topic but had to do with LL
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@ilivetoski Yes, exactly what my coach told me. Said once you can do that, you have the required ski control to handle the skis and your body. It was actually a lot of fun. I haven't done it in a year and a half, since my knee got worse, and went out a few weeks ago and felt like a drunken stork on them at 24mph. LOL
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I've heard a couple of instances of elite skiers/coaches that started their own kids at slow speeds and 28 off right from the start.

 

I'm not promoting this idea here, but it is an interesting concept. If the goal is to groom a shortline skier, then why waste time learning how to pull really long, just to have to break the habit latter? If the swing dynamics start to change dramatically at -28, then why not get used to them right from the start? If you can make -28, then going back to learn -22 for a tournament opener is an easy digression.

 

I wonder if learning primarily at -28 would help a new skier make their first successful long line pass happen sooner than if they'd simply started and stayed at long line. Does anyone out there have first hand experience with this coaching philosophy?

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I would say you could do either. My son ran long line up until he could run full passes at 30 mph. We moved him to 15 off because he wanted to compete better at an INT event that was when he was in his first year in Boys 2. He definitely took a step back speed wise.

 

I would say try it and if you can find a full pass you can run and have a couple of passes before it say run 24, 26 and 28 then you are good to go at 15 off. If you are struggling stay at long line.

 

There is no tournament benefit to running 15 off until you reach max speed. When you run max speed for your division in Boys 2 it is 34 mph then you pick up an extra 6 buoys on that pass. It happened for my son last weekend he ran 34 for the first time in a tournament and his tournament PB went up by 9.5 buoys from 5.5@34 to 3@22 off.

 

Learning to run 22 off from 15 off is easier than the jump from LL to 15 off so I definitely think when you are close to max speed it makes sense to make the switch.

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