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Helpful advice, open, closed, or in between.


bogboy
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We had a great ski at bow lake last night. Mark lord was a guest coach, and after looking at one of my sets he told me to "think 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock, and you can have a cocktail before your buoys". This really helped me get earlier and wider. Some of my ski partners over the years have been harping on me to "ski open to the boat", and I never really did completely. I guess I am more of a closed style skier. Has anyone else thought about this?
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@bogboy - my coach has told me that I was "too perfect" the first time I had a lesson this year. This comment was in regards to my position behind the boat - also meaning that b/c I was focussing on position sooo much I was compromising being aggressive to create angle/speed. He told me to use my body as leverage for my leading shoulder - in otherwords if I am moving from left to right dip my right should "down" to lock my arm against my vest. This helps maintain that leverage against the boat. One thing you'll need to be careful of though is breaking forward at the waist when doing this. Obviously there are different styles out there, and suited to people differently. I guess the trick is figuring out what works for you, while still completing the "fundamentals" so the job gets done. I hope this helps. It helped me become a MUCH more consistent skier this year!
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A very experienced open skier/coach once told me to throw out the open this, closed that talk and to quit trying to emulate someone else. That every human body on a ski has an envelope it will work in. A stick skier trying to ski compressed or a closed skier trying to ski open won't work long term. That you might can force the body to conform for a little while, but it will always go back to its normal state at some point. The trick is finding what your body is comfortable with. That doesn't mean a closed skier can down a shoulder behind the boat. But that you have to find what works for you and what allows the ski and load to move through as it travels behind the boat.
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@ShaneH - Perfect explanation! Everyone is different and some methods work better for different body types than others. So when getting coaching, a GREAT coach is one that "see's" your natural style and tailor's the coaching to your style. Obviously there are things that will help your overall goals and you might need to tweak/change some of your form, but we have seen great skier's with very different style's all get the job done (Nate Smith and Jeff Rodgers and Chris Parrish) Never have seen anyone as smooth skiing as Nate Smith, but someone that can just battle it out like Jeff Rodgers - wish I could do either one of those!
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I'm starting to come to this conclusion at long last as I realize there is only so much I can change about my natural position. Even if I do change it, one bobble and I'm back to game on and prior instincts for the rest of the pass.

I always have felt I need to work on me, which to some extent is true. Now considering becoming more of a ski tinkerer to see if I can make it help accentuate strengths and attenuate liabilities.

Trouble is I'm pretty amateur at fin/wing/binding tinkering. Typically my issue at shortline is too much angle out of the ball. It doesn't really catch up to me til 38. When I back it off successfully even 38 runs baby soft and easy, it's just hard for me to do consistently.

Any guru's advice appreciated on adjustments that would help reduce an over-finish out of the shortline ball for a guy who has to fight dropping his inside shoulder in and closing off at the finish. I realize I need to work on those things, too, but believe me I'm trying!!

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While your body has a natural position, almost everyone is not balanced side to side just because of the way you stand on the ski with one foot behind the other. Typically someone is more open on their onside pull and more closed(with the shoulder and head down) on the offside pull. This is where it would really help to work on bringing those two body positions closer to each other. It may be that a skier wants to work on closing a bit to the boat one way and opening a bit the other way. THAT is completely within the bodies ability to do. When you find this position which is essentially the same from side to side, then you have the ability to move the load through the body.

 

I listened to a really interesting conversation between @matthewbrown and someone else the other day about moving the load through with the ski. It completely shot down what people think of West Coast Slalom being about all trailing arm pressure. And it's exactly what I perceive Nate to be doing.

 

@skoot1123 Be careful about downing the shoulder to lock in the arm. This is where you can overpressure the rope and ski and either get pulled up, or the ski is sluggish to transition out from under you and. I think this goes hand in hand with what Matt Brown was talking about in that you have to be able to move that load through. Downing the shoulder stops the movement of force as you exit the wake to go outbound. @Than_Bogan has also noted of Jamie Beauchesne talking of this.

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I've been experimenting with fin settings on my Razor. Last night I felt like a total beginner. Ski was so screwed up I couldn't keep hips up or elbows on vest no matter what I tried. Ski would not turn no matter what contortion was tried. Ms loved the rodeo I think. Don't think I ran a single -22 @ 34. Figured the water temp was the problem as I had no trouble getting 4 or 5 @ -32 last run in the course. On my drive home I remembered that I had moved my bindings forward a hole the last time I free skied. Felt good then, but not in the course last night. My point is ......if the ski is set up wrong you will have very little success with what you are trying to achieve form wise.
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Didn't ski tinker at all until about three weeks ago, when Mark Brandt suggested I deepen the fin to keep it from overturning on 2 and 4. Went from depth of 2.476 to 2.52. In full disclosure, I just turned the set screw and skied it, then measured after the fact. It seemed to completely or almost completely resolve the issue. Might still be able to go a little deeper. Thing is that overturning on the onside for me is a result of pushing hard on the tail of the ski. I need the ski to push back, which means a deeper fin. I also moved the bindings back one hole (haven't measured it, but was 29.3 inches DFT before) to get a little more of the front of the ski out of the water so it wasn't biting in at the finish quite so much. That also seemed to help. @ShaneH (I think) mentioned that one of his ski partners who pushes on the ski pretty hard made the fin deeper, longer, and then put the bindings all the way back to 28 and 5/8s from the tail and that was perfect (66 inch ski vs. my 68). In any event, this was the first time I made an adjustment for my specific problem area that seemed to really make a difference.
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