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Please help me with my onside turn


jimbrake
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Hey all. Would appreciate any advice on how to remedy a bad problem with my onside turn. I have a very tough time staying "balanced" and just riding my ski through an onside turn to a smooth finish. I can go down at any time on that side, regardless of how good the pass is going. I believe a lot of the issue is that I do small, subtle, but critically bad things like pulling on the handle too soon. So I'd like to hear from those that have a rocking onside turn. The link is to a video of me last Sunday with a couple of passes by my 15yo son at 36 mph, too. The first one of me is at 28 (starting pass) after a pretty big back boot adjustment that caused my 135 to be a bit slow. Pass is OK, though. The next one of me is at 32 and the fall at 3 is maddeningly typical of what I'm struggling with. Pass is going along fine and I auger in. If you freeze frame me on either side's pre-turn, you'll see that I get a lot of ski in the water - even on my onside. I've tried everything to fix this turn and I have had great success, but unfortunately I can get none of it to "stick" for good. I can do tight line. I can do level shoulders. I can do vision downcourse. I can ski back to the handle. I can do it all. But....what you see in the video is what I do all too often. I think I'm just a mental case and not an unskilled skier. Thanks for any help and I do expect some harsh ridicule, so do your worst, mate.

 

 

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Hey great skiing! Both of you ;)

Imho your technique is high above average, and the only thing I can think of is that you seem to rush your turns. it feels like you always slam your turn and get an untight line when you could easily take a liiiittle more time and simply ski back to your handle.

But this is just me, I'm not a big fan of messing with bindings and fin and everything, i'm convinced 90% of our problems come from us. But again, that's just my point of view :)

And again, great skiing! Both of you! Your son is very light on the handle, very smooth, nice to watch ;)

 

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At 1,3,5 side you're coming straight at the ball. Your finish is way down course on that side along with the tip rise at finish. DFT and overall depth affects how quickly your ski comes around on the onside (more so than the toeside) turn. Is the fin close to stock? What did you do to your boots?
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@OB - I think I developed the drift-in from trying to start in easy and get the load later. I did a one-hander for years and just went back to a traditional 2-hander last year. I understand the need to carry more speed on the turn in so I'll give that a try. Thanks.

 

@liquid d - fin is pretty darn close to stock. Front binding is a bit back from stock and the change was that I moved back binding further back than normal.

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Post above then fits, but that move with rear might be causing the tip rise and you riding the rear of ski at finish (being faster will help too though). Your feet are further apart now which makes you more likely to "pick one" to be centered over. For the most part, closer together is better. Good luck
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First, you are a very good skier. That technique can handle adding a lot more buoys. I have a lot to say about onside turn trouble and when I have a chance I'll add it to this thread. For now, one of the smartest replies I have ever gotten about my onside woes was from Trent Finlayson. His view on this is stated below The largest point is that the tail does not drift wider than the tip. Onside turn is anything but. A LOT of skiers struggle onside. Have you ever had a ski that rocked your onside and felt automatic? :

 

-This Z turn problem is the result of a lack of speed at the completion of your turn. This "all-or-nothing" sensation you describe is unavoidable with diminishing speed. As your water speed decreases, so to does your base's (ski's) ability to support your edge angle and lean. (I try not to use many allusions, but liken this to applying your brakes while you are leaning into a turn on your bike.) On your ski, your only option is to shift your weight back if your speed is insufficient. You will continue to shift back until the pressure of the rope picks you up, and, at this point your turn has completed. You will either have not enough angle to ski your desired path, or you will have not enough speed to maintain the angle your ski has tipped into. Either way, you have not skied through the turn in an efficient manner.

You mentioned running a long parallel line into the buoy. This is the problem. You have not travelled outbound through your release, and therefore the tail of your ski has not drifted wider than your tip during the set-up for your turn. As you can relate to, this is a terrible feeling. You are now rapidly losing speed, and have very little chance of carving your turn. The culprit is going to be the manner in which you initiate your edge change. Your trailing side alignment is being disrupted as you begin your release. (Trailing side is left side as your cut to one-bail.) Your trailing hip and trailing elbow need to remain connected and aligned as you release off the second wake. This trailing side alignment must remain intact as you change edges and move up to the point of your reach. The most typical problem is allowing your trailing elbow to disconnect from your trailing hip as you begin your edge change (in an attempt to ready yourself for the turn too early.) This disrupts your alignment. Your upper body gets pulled to the inside, your tip prematurely engages and you begin to run parallel with the boat too soon.

This disconnect, or misalignment through the edge change is the result of too much line

pressure into the wakes. This can be caused by a few different factors.

-Inadequate speed through gate turn-in. This results in less angle and causes you to

over-lean, (most common)

-Overloading line. Leaning too hard, or dropping lead shoulder into wake.

-Fin too Deep. (Too much pressure)

-Fin too far forward. (Not enough drift through release)

_other set-up problems. Something is causing you to have not enough angle, and too much load. This is easily addressed by examining your particular set-up.

This is the big picture jump-off. Let me know your particular set-up, and we can narrow in on the root easily.

Talk soon,

 

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@ktm300 - so all of your post from "-This Z turn..." is a cut and past from Trent? Good stuff. That pretty well describes what I'm feeling - the sensation of needing to be "caught" by the rope at the end of the onside turn because of lack of speed and the results being very hit or miss. I totally understand the trailing arm connection through the edge change so I will work on that today.

 

As a lefty, one of my main thoughts on my gate turn-in is to "move over my feet" so that I pressure as much cutting edge as I can through the wakes and establish good angle. If I don't move over my feet to establish angle, I get stuck behind my feet, develop load without acceleration, and then get pulled downcourse into the upcoming buoy. This move over the feet works well for me, but as the ski begins to move under me into and through the edge change i need to feel that trailing arm connection, which I know to do, but have been distracted from by other "thoughts".

 

To answer your question about having ever had a ski that rocks the onside - yes and no. My A2 rocks the onside, but only when I let it.

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Total cut and paste from Trent's reply to me. I will add the rest of what I have to say through the message function. I may or may not have the answer but I have struggled with my onside for so long, I have searched for a solution as much as anyone. Even when I was skiing my best, all I expected from the onside was to be on my feet at the wakes. Hardly confidence inspiring. Then, the fact that 80% of my misses were onside got in my head.
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Hey Jim, You want the truth and nothining but the truth? Right. You COM is always slightly back. You need to move up on the ski. As you start to leave the 2nd wake going into 1 3 5 you need to counter more with both hands on the handle. You are moving slightly towards (with upper body) the boat as you move out off the 2nd wake. It is slight however it will make a BIG difference in how much more space you will get as you carve out. You apear to relax a little at that point, the biggest resistance by YOU starts at the 2nd wake as you move out. YOU counter with your upper body when your hand leaves the handle. That puts you back. When the 2nd hand comes on the handle you want your body to stay with the ski. You fall slightly back and away. It is slight but it will make a big difference if you can stay with your ski more. That all being said, you are putting effort into areas that aren't paying off ( leaning away & back after the 2nd hand comes back on the handle) and relaxing when the biggest effort needs to happen. ( off the 2nd wake) I would also say that core strength and strength to weight ratio are an issue to get to the next level and become more consistent. I hope this isn't to harsh or personal. You are a good skier, I call what you are doing as missed timing, and its what seperates guys that run 35 from guys that run 38.
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@ktm300 - thanks. Sounds like we are (or were) in a similar situation. I wish I had two offsides. I did get a set yesterday where I "refocused" on tight line, which is lame because I should've never lost focus on that. I didn't have a sensation of more speed through the turn, but much more balance. Now, maybe I was a bit faster or had a better outbound path. I'm not sure, but I definitely had better balance and a smoother, more controlled hook-up. Comments above that I'm running parallel to the course for too long, although possibly true, is not what I'm feeling. I feel wide and early, but maybe I just don't truly know "wide and early". Anyway, having a better trailing arm connection through the edge change and a tight line after the edge change, certainly helped, so I'm going to just keep my focus on that. This is food for another thread that I don't really want to start right now, but I still think that being over your feet during acceleration is key and finishing a turn with your ski out in front of you (or with your mass behind your feet) is a big mistake. So, my focus is being over my feet AND trailing arm pressure/tight line.
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on your gate out which is fine as a LFF, however you are missing one part. As you go out make sure your left (lead arm) is straight, locked and feels load as you go out. Keep the load on the left arm at the apex. Keep left arm straight and ski over the line from the boat and have your body come way up with the line, over the front foot. Stay on edge (left edge of ski longer) When you are reaching the window to carve in for the gate then you can turn your body in like you have done in the video and start to feel the load switch from the left to the right arm that will become locked and loaded at the white water. Upper body stays over the ski. This will give you a better appoach into the gate. RFF doesn't need to counter like I described because of the hip position of RFF when turning in. This is important for LFF on the gate. Keep the left arm straight and loaded threw the white water, off the 2nd wake is where you will resist the most and twist away as you keep the handle as close to your body as possible as you move out and away off the 2nd wake.
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@jimbrake I think @Rich has made a keen observation here. I didn't see it until he pointed it out, but I think I can perhaps phrase the correction in a way that could be easier for you to do. Currently, as you come off the second wake, the handle goes away from your body immediately. This sets you up to be a in "turning pose" for a long time, and this is a relatively unstable place to be. It also means losing speed the whole time, so that by the time you finish the turn, you're both too slow and slightly off balance.

 

One way to correct this is to focus on where the handle is after the center line. Don't pull harder (or longer), but simply keep the handle as low and as close to your body as you can as you ride out. You should feel tension throughout this phase, and it's possible additional core strength may be needed to hold this pose. When the ball is looming and you start to think "I gotta get the ski out there or I'm not gonna go outside it," that's about the time to let the handle come up -- basically as your first move toward ultimately releasing, all in one continuous motion.

 

If this works, you'll end up doing a much better job of resisting off the second wake, and spend far less time in a vulnerable position. Most importantly, you'll exit the turn with the proper speed, so that you can't "crater in."

 

And then at -38, this move can be kind of a miracle, changing it from "clearly impossible" to "slow and under control." (Too bad I so often screw up this move or find other interesting mistakes to make!! Do what I say, not what I DO ... obviously.)

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Thanks guys. @Rich - I do hear what you are saying about lead arm pressure and don't disagree with that, but let me ask you this - after the edge change and right as you are releasing, don't you feel pressure on your trailing arm (the one still holding the handle)? That is what I was talking about. I agree that I need to feel that lead arm pressure through the start of the edge change and while twisting away during the edge change.

 

@than - yeah, I see the handle coming up and away after the second wake. Working on that and keeping that connection through the edge change and beyond is a must do. Thanks!

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@Jim No I don't feel that pressure on my trailing arm off the 2nd wake. That would not be good as it would twist me towards the boat. I want to feel it in my lead arm and rotate away from the boat as I go out. As you go out the lead arm will stay straight, the trailing arm will bend as you ski over the line from the skier to the pylon. the closer you get to the apex the more you ski over the line, the more the inside arm will bend provided you keep rotating away from the boat and keep the line tight on your body.
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@than, good job of understanding what I said. As you let go of the line at the apex it will feel like you are grabbing a pole. If you don't feel that you have let the tension get away to soon.

You hold that tension all the way out. It does look easy when done correctly and is more something you feel rather than obseve. When you watch it it doesn't look hard, but believe me it is difficult and timing and strength are big factors in doing it and making it all work. As I have gotten better at this my 38's are automatic and I'm starting to run 39. At 39 the rope pull off the 2nd wake is very hard and very fast. I'm currently experiencing moving up my "game speed" to run 39 as it happens so fast and is so intense. Yesterday in practice I ran 6 38's the 1 39 I attempted and realize that the moment off the 2nd wake is critical to short line slalom. Untill you "get" that part of slalom getting to the next level is next to imposible. At 5'7" I have to be almost perfect in this technique.

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Fwiw, I think the trailer or leading arm pressure stuff is relative to your instinct. In my case, my natural instinct was to overload the leading arm after the second wake, and try to force the ski onto an impossible path. Jamie wanted me to give up that arm a little and feel more on the trailing arm, so that I'd follow the handle path. Works great, although I can't say I really focus on that exact aspect of it most of the time.

 

But obviously this can be done way too much, such that you twist all the way toward the boat.

 

I also have a suspicion that height plays a role, although no pro or otherwise talented coach has ever suggested it to me. As a tallish (6'2") lanky (165lb) guy, I don't have a ton of strength relative to the lever arms, but I do have the ability to run a pass where the handle aims narrower than Rich can at 5'7". This might mean that allowing myself to turn relatively more toward the boat (indirectly the result of trailing arm pressure) is the right tradeoff to make -- allowing me to face the force that I need to resist (thus requiring less pure strength), but giving up a little bit of potential width (acceptable). A shorter, stronger guy might want to make the opposite tradeoff??

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@Rich - well maybe you are picking up the tension I'm referring to later and by then you don't think of it as your "trailing" arm - don't you feel tension in your left arm after you release the handle going into 1? That's what I'm talking about. I can see the need to feel more lead arm pressure off the second wake and through the edge change and I will focus on that. Wish we had some good photo sequence montages of hook up on one side to apex on the other so you could say "here is where I feel this, and here is where I feel this, etc." Thanks for your help!
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Watch Nate Smith, I'm sure you have, and its easier to see on him because he is so thin. Watch what he does with his arm going into his good side. I really try to feel the tension in the lead arm. By countering with both hands on the handle the inside arm will bend as you move towards the apex if you keep the lead arm straight. That is what I feel and do. At 38 and 39 the line tension is so great at the white water off the 2nd wake I do feel more tension in both arms, and I do pull myself up over the ski a bit more on thoses passes. At 35 and longer the rope pull is pretty light and I can keep the handle close to my body by countering away from the boat as I move out. At 38 I do pull in a bit to stay over the ski on the white water out. It seems to work really good. As I said 38 has become an automatic easy pass, and 39 is doable with that technique.
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