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What do you look at as you pull out for the gate?


Razorskier1
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What do you look at when you pull out for the gates? I have tried almost everything. I used to look at the 2/4/6 line and pull out until I was comfortably wide of them at longer passes, about at width at 35, 38 and shorter. I had consistent width, but wasn't always at width at the right time or place, thus an inconsistent gate.

 

For a while I looked back at the wake as I pulled out. Seemed to be very efficient, as the ski would jsut run out almost effortlessly. However, I'd get out fast and then have too much glide time for my two-handed gate. By the time I turned in I was slow and loaded.

 

When I changed my gate four weeks ago I changed what I look at. I now look at the gate and one ball (sort of a wide view) the entire time I am pulling out. By doing this I feel like I can see my turn in point well before it arrives, allowing me to stay on the outside edge the right amount of time, then roll in nice and gradual. Using this approach has been a step-change in my consistency and efficiency. The trade off is that I have no idea how wide I am when I turn in. It feels like I'm not as wide as I used to be, but I am wider and earlier at one.

 

What do you look at when you pull out?

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I look at the boat/pylon to see where I am at. I move my focus to the nose of the boat in relation to the gate balls and move through.

For many skiers, their swing through the gates is their most aggressive cut, but really, the gate shot should be the easiest cut of the entire pass. At this point in the pass you are skiing with the least amount of speed needed. Cutting hard will only result in increased line tension and an unnecessary loss of cross-course direction during your edge change. Instead, focus on making a smooth turn-in from a point as wide as the 2, 4, 6 buoy line and maintain the path you set.

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@razorskier1 I sat in the boat with Lucky while he was coaching my buddy on gates. Lucky recommends looking at the pylon. That way you never look away from the boat as it goes though the gates and you'll never lose site of whatever it is you use as your reference point for starting to turn in. As far as getting wide enough, he said to use the angle rope against the engine box to know how wide to pullout. So as a practice pull out to your desired width and then look at the rope angle with the box and go from there. i was the camera man here.....he starts to refer to this at about the 3 minute mark.

http://fifteenoff.com/content/joels-lucky-lowe-lesson

 

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When I get to the green balls I keep looking back at the wakes and go left. I do not think I recommend this method but it works for me.

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Here are a few pullout points that will add more consistency to you skiing,...that I learned from Schnitz!

 

 

Pullout points........

 

1) stand just outside the whitewash/foam

 

2) pullout when the nose of the boat is touching the right hand gate buoy (slightly before or later)

 

(Optional)

quit pulling out when the 3 ball crosses over the right hand gate (or slightly later)

 

4) check the 2,4,6 buoy line for width (slightly wider, inline, or narrower)

 

5) intiate your turn in when the 1 ball is just before crossing over the left gate buoy (slightly earlier or later)

 

 

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Thanks for posting the pics @razorskier1.

 

In these pics, most of these skiers already have their skis turning in slightly for their gates,...so there turn in intitiation points were well before when these photos were taken.

 

If you notice were the water is first being diplaced outward away from the boat is a clue to where they started their initiation for their turn in for their gates.

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My practice course does not have the green gate balls, so I never rely on them. I watch where the boat is and I keep my eyes on the entrance gates, and I pull out to the 2,4,6 buoy line as late as possible to get my best angle of attack. I use the entrance gate balls of visualize my angle of attack.
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I'm not a high level skier so take this as you want. I never look at the 2 4 6 bouy line. I look at the boat / rope angle. Before I had corrective eye surgery I could n't see the bouys very well so just use the boat to judge my width. I've tried look at 246 line now but find looking at boat rope relationship more reliable.
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@gregy Honestly,...I have never have looked at the 2,4,6, buoy line either. I have pullout point for my 2 hand gate which is always consistant (right 55 at the nose of the boat) and my pullout point for the 1 hand gate (left 55 is near the engine cover). I then have my turn in point (1 ball is just past the left gate buoy approx.).
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Boats relations to the pregates pullout determined by conditions. Then in glide the looking at 2,4,6 line for my width depending on the line length. It is the most reliable place to look, they are always in the exact same spot. I turn in off feel rather than looking at 1. When I look towards 1 I start to drift in.
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I have always turned in on feel, but now want to dial in consistency at 38 and shorter. The progression this year was first a light gate, then a soft turn in with a light gate and keep the handle lighter for longer. Now I want to add a consistent turn in point with a soft turn in, light gate, keep the handle lighter for longer. Never had as many good 1 balls at 38 as this year, and thus never ran as many 38's as this year.

I also want to translate this to practice at all lengths...I really only concentrated on this at my 38 gate this year. I want to change how I ski the longer lines, too, so that I'm practicing short-line at all lines.

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I'm like @MattP . I have no idea where we are in relation to 1 or 3 until I'm turning in. I gauge everything on where I am in relation to 2/4/6 and where the boat is in relation to the 55s and gates. I start letting the ski tip relax and start its turn back to the boat when the boat is 1/2 to 3/4 a length away from the gates. Depends on line length and wind. Chad S had me get way up on my front foot with my shoulders square to the course, let the ski start to turn a big progressive turn in, and then get on it once the skis between me and the boat.
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Funny thing for me is the idea of "getting on it" is totally out the window for me. I don't need that much load or speed at -38. I literally have to tell myself not to pick up anymore speed as I am nearing the first wake, whereas previously I would have been giving it something right at that same spot. Given my physical characteristics, I'm not sure that when we all talk about "getting on it" that it means the same thing. If I do that, it is seriously game on. Think about a game of tug of war. When someone says to get on it, I'm going to pull them into the mud pit. That doesn't help my skiing.
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@Chef23- I judge my pullout based on the boat relative to the 55's also, but keep in mind that at different lengths, if you pull out when the boat is at the same place, you are in a different place as you shorten. For me, at my opener (28), I'll pull out when the boat is at the 55's. At 38, I'll pull out when the boat is 1/2 boat length before the 35's. That keeps me in the same place in the course.
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There are some major problems with the skier turning in for the gates when the nose of the boat is entering the gates and the skier is pulling out to the same width at every line length!

 

Sure at every turn in,...the boat is in the EXACT SAME PLACE,...the skier is not!!!!

 

If a skier is starting at 22off that means he is skiing with a 53 foot rope!

 

Then the line is cut to 28off, that means he is skiing with a 47 foot rope! (and he is 6 ft closer to the boat than at 22off and further upcourse at turn in )

 

Then the line is cut to 32off, that means he is skiing with a 43 foot rope! (and he is 10feet closer to the boat than at 22off and further upcourse at turn in)

 

Then the line is cut to 35off, that means he is skiing with a 40 foot rope! (and he is 13 feet closer to the boat than at 22off and further upcourse at turn in)

 

Then the line is cut to 38off, that means he is skiing with a 37 foot rope! (and he is 16 feet closer to the boat than at 22off, and further upcourse at turn in)

 

So even though the boat is in the EXACT SAME PLACE the skier IS NOT! At every line shortening the skier is turning in later and later and later,.....into more and more and more angle!!!!

 

This is main problem with using the boat at the 55's as your turn in point!!! This is what @razorskier1 was doing!!!! INSANE!!!!

 

Hope this helps!

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I need to ski with someone or post video (I guess) after reading @skiing2heaven (why didn't that turn blue?) latest post. This year I skied very few sets (maybe 30 with probably less in the past 2 seasons) and I've skied at a very high level for me. In the past 5 years I started running -35's and my PB (in practice) is 4.5 @ 38. The last time I skied I ran b2b 35's (1.5 months ago, didn't try 38) The reason I mention this is that my gate is what skiing2heaven is saying is insane! (maybe not exactly)

I pull out as the 55's pass by the tail end of the boat, I use the same intensity, I square up and look at the pylon as I make my pull out and then turn in when the rope/boat dictates. I do a 1 hand gate. The only thing I do different is I back off my intensity at 35. I've, for a while, messed around with intensity at all line lengths but this year I tried to reduce intensity at all lengths.

Am I missing ONE key ingredient? Am i starting wrong? My view window seems real similar no matter the line length. Is this right, wrong? I hear Than saying that he's pointing the tip of his ski toward the buoy. Am i trying to take too much angle? My problem right now is that I probably won't get to ski again until Christmas due to work obligations so won't be able to post video or try any of your suggestions until then. I DO believe that visualization is probably one of the most important aspect of my skiing strategies! So please....fire away!

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I just started using @Razorsier 's gate two sets ago. The first set felt great and my 22' off pass was easier than ever. I only tried my 28' off pass once, but I was so early and wide to 2 ball that I freaked out and screwed up. The second set using this technique got me to 28' off easy and relaxed and I ran 28 easy and relaxed - only my second ever 28. My first ever attempt at 32' off landed me just shy of 3 ball. This gate has had an immediate impact on my bouy count!
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CORRECTION to my previous post........

 

I meant to say "downcourse" instead of "upcourse" in the following statements like this one......

 

Then the line is cut to 28off, that means he is skiing with a 47 foot rope! (and he is 6 ft closer to the boat than at 22off and further upcourse at turn in )

 

Sorry for any confusion!

 

 

Here's the video of Regina's 3@41off world record. Freeze frame right when she initiates her turn in. This can be identified by the outward spray from her ski!

 

 

 

Here's Rossi at Okee a few years back.

 

 

 

Here's Todd Ristocelli

 

 

 

 

Here's Chad from a few years back

 

 

Here's Dave Miller at 39off in the Big Dawg National Finals.

 

 

 

 

I've been using this gate since 2005. I brought this gate shot up on the different forums over 2 1/2 years ago, but almost everyone at that time had the feeling that "later was better" in an attempt to achieve more angle/width at the gates as the line shortens. This gate works at all line legnths and is very low load and efficient!

 

 

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The reason this gate works is simple. By turning in late (which I used to do), I would feel like I had all this angle going into the first wake and would generate fairly significant loads. In fact, if I was in the lean and felt like I wasn't going to be close enough to the right gate ball, I'd just give it the oats to get there, thinking that by being close to the right gate ball, it would make me early to one. This can work at multiple longer lines, but for me it doesn't work at shorter lines. Why? Because tons of angle early is not something you can maintain after the second wake. Instead, the boat is advancing, and the handle is following a pendulum that will pull up up quickly and toward the one ball. Now, if I ski that way I have found that I can avoid that fate with a very early and very fast edge change right at the second wake. Now I am going up and out on the inside edge with the boat, but I don't have the same level of line support.

 

So, with the earlier, lighter gate I maintain my angle and outside edge position far longer off of the second wake, allowing me to get wider and earlier with less effort and less overall speed. Applying my old gate it was pretty much turn in, hammer it to the first wake, swing early, slow down, turn, hammer it again.

 

Using my new gate, I turn in light, don't ever pull (just resist with my core and keep the handle tight), ride outbound with complete handle control, then let the ski turn when I get to the "end of the rope". I'd say overall I am using 50% of the energy that I used skiing a later gate.

 

@Steven Haines --- there would be some differences on your pull out point using a one-handed gate, but your turn in should be at a similar point. I believe this is evident in the Chris Rossi video and pictures above.

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@dave_n and @6ball- I am doing what @Skiing2Heaven is describing, although in a little different manner. I am trying to be in the same spot relative to the course when I pull out, regardless of where the boat is relative to the 55"s. At -38, I pull out when the boat is 10 feet further (earlier) from the 55's than I do at -28, so I am essentially at the same place on the lake every time.

 

I am doing a gate with a glide, if that makes a difference.

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I pull out as the left 55 hits the bow of the boat. I then look for the 3ball. When the three ball. The three ball will pass through the gates and when it touches the left gate I stop pulling out. I find this gets me in the same position every time. It also gives me good reference points to make wind adjustments. Head Wind I let the 55 travel down the boat a little farther. Crosswind to the left I will stand up as the three ball is in the middle of the gates. Crosswind to the right I stand up as the 3 passes the left gate.
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In the end I think what we all need (speaking for myself) is consistent visual references that can put us in the right place, at the right time, at the right speed. Without that consistent approach to the course, we can't expect to produce consistent performance in the course. What @skiing2heaven has done for me is to create an approach that is consistent and that works. I've always said that we all have different styles, and the key is finding someone who approaches this in the way that helps you the most. I think I've found it for me.
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For awhile we had a "zero" ball located about 15m in front of the gates. We found as the line shortened you started earlier and earlier. I may try putting it back in this weekend (at razor's suggested turn in point) and see what happens at 22 and 28. I'll see where our 38off skier goes.
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Yesterday I tried the technique for turn in outlined above (left hand gate ball lined up with #1).

It is way earlier than when I would normally turn in, and it was a real mental game to force myself to turn at that point and gradually build the lean to the gate.

For years I've been starting my run with a late turn in, then skipping through the gates at warp factor 9. More often than not I'd then be struggling to control the speed going around #1 and would usually be wide of the buoy.

 

Although it will take a little more time on the water before I perfect this new turn in point, I'm pretty sure it is the fix I need for one ball. Thanks guys!

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Didn't read every comment here, but when I skied with Dave Miller this summer, he helped me transition to "his" gate style (what is mostly being described here). He said it like this....., "If I ski a pass @22' OFF and turned in at "point A" and then ski a pass at 41' OFF and turned in at the same "point A", I would miss the gate by about 20 feet........... In his view, as the line gets shorter, he initaites his turn in earlier.

 

For me, I initiate my turn at 22' OFF when the gate hits the windshield of the boat. I keep moving earlier and earlier up through 38' OFF where the point of initiation is atleast a boat length before the windshield. I had always thought of it the other way,and always had way too much speed at ball one. This lighter on the line feel is the way to get shorter, in my mind.

 

Dave Miller is a GREAT skier and a GREAT all around guy, willing to help any level of skier. I picked up 2 PB's that day and a couple more though the end of the season. I am excited to hit the water skiing even better in the Spring!

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Dave said he turns out at about a boat length before the 55 meters no matter what his rope length. Think that has to do with the added speed of shorter lines. I have been trying to lead out at the same time every rope length and just edging a little earlier (lead with the hips) as the line gets shorter.
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@Razorskier1 & @skiing2heaven I skied with a friend who was trying to get me to pull out later and harder for my gates so I could get free of the boat before my turn in. I have been pulling out a boat length before the 55's and making my turn in as the 1 ball aligns with the left gate ball for all my line lengths (15, 22, 28, 32). My pal seemed to think this gate wasn't appropriate for my line lengths. What says you fellas?

 

What I like most about this gate is I have concrete visual cues. Before I would have six different gates in a set.

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@jipster43 -- pretty much everybody I ski with would say that my new approach to the pull out and pull in won't work and aren't right because they fly in the face of the conventional wisdom of getting up really high on the boat with an aggressive pull out, then turning in as you glide. I have spent about 5 years working on getting higher and higher on the boat, with a focus on looking out at 2/4/6 and continuing to pull until I was out there at or beyond the buoy line. Problem is this -- that line has nothing to do with where I want to go. I'm trying to go through the gates and out to one, and focusing too much on 2/4/6 didn't put me in a consistent position to approach the gate. Using my current visual cues works. I look at the right side 55 until it disappears, then lean out in a nice, relaxed lean with the handle close to my hip. As I start the lean, I watch the entry gate and the one ball the entire time. By doing this I can "see" where to quit pulling out and start turning in because I'm watching my coordinates the whole time. This entire process is consistent every single pass and, for me, the results have been meaningful as I get to the line length where gate consistency matters (-38). Honestly, up until -38 I could pretty much do whatever I want at the gate and run the pass. That haphazard approach won't work when things get short. That being said, there are probably lots of different ways to create a consistent gate and one. This one works for me.
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@razorskier1 - the only thing I'll add to what you said is - wherever you ski a course, there will be a gate and one ball. No matter what site you go to you'll be able to have the same visual cues. Spot on. Can't wait till next year so I can start using this method. My best passes have come when I had a nice and smooth gate to one ball!
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@Razorskier1 Thanks Jim! As soon as I started using this gate, I went from running 28 off once to running it about 50% of the time. I had been off the water for three weeks and then skied an unfamiliar course in 80* water/air combination and ran right up the line and through my 28 off pass.

 

In the past I've been guilty of reading something on this site and believing it to be relevant to my level of skiing. But my core fundamentals were what I really needed to work on. I truly believe this gate helps everything else in my skiing and removes a tremendous amount of anxiety regarding my gate pull out/turn in timing.

 

My pal has a ton of experience and has been competing for over 30 years, so I felt a little feeble contradicting him. I don't want to appear to be uncoachable and in the back of my mind I thought, "Maybe I am an idiot. Maybe this gate is only good for those running 38 off and shorter." Thanks for easing my mind and allowing me to visualize this gate throughout this very mild and short winter!

 

Now, just to be clear, are you adjusting anything as you shorten rope? Or in a head wind/tail wind?

 

I'm way more stoked about my skiing going into this winter than I was last year. Thanks to everyone on this forum! It's really a great place to hang out.

 

And thanks to Horton for ruling this place with a velvet glove. It's nice not having to wade through a bunch of egos sniping at one another.

 

JP :)

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@jipster43 -- my adjustment process changed. It used to be I'd pull out earlier in a tailwind, later in a headwind, etc, as I was attempting to get out to buoy width at that magic, right time. What I have found is that if I keep my vision focused on the gate and one relationship as I am leaning out, then I will know when to come up because I'll see the turn in point as it approaches and can then roll the edge in and go. So . . . I don't adjust for the head-tail the way I used to. I pull out when that right 55 goes out of sight behind the nose of the boat, and I keep going out until I see the turn in point, where I roll in and go. Same for rope length. I've run this gate everywhere between -28 and -38 this fall (after I started trying it).

 

I agree with you that it improves everything about my skiing. By being totally comfortable and confident in the start, the whole pass gets easier. And if you can make your hard passes easier, then you're going to start running them more often, and then you're going to the next loop!

 

As for coaching, that's a tough one. I've been at this a lot of years and have had coaching from Wade Cox, Chris Parrish, Jody Fisher, Lucky Lowe, and Austin Abel. What I've found is that you have to find a coach who makes the most sense to you, then ignore a lot of other stuff. There are a lot of great skiers on this forum who all get there a little differently. Find what works for you. Read it all, and even try it all. You will know what fits and what doesn't for your skiing style.

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@Razorskier1, I plan to try your visuals next time out. I changed my gate in August and got about a line length out of the change. It was basically the opposite of everything my local buddies had been working on. That change made me more controlled and slower into ball one. I am able to run my 35' OFF consistantly and just started trying to get through a 38' OFF pass.........

 

I like the idea of watching the 55 meter ball disappear. I like the visual of keeping my eyes focussed on the gate and ball one. Now combine all this, and I have my 1 thing to work on in the spring!

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I've had a pretty early start to my turn back towards the gate for the last season or so. Never knew where. Just had a visual in my mind of when I wanted to start letting the ski tip feed back in to the boat based on where the boat was in relation to the gates. So last weekend I paid attention to where that was and it turns out it's when 1 ball lines up with the left gate.
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in another thread I think @OB commented about the position of the handle when he turns in. He said (I think) that he keeps the handle tight and just turns in with it there rather than "lifting it up" and turning in. I do that too. When I skied with Austin Abel this year he wanted me to literally have the handle in front of my belly button when I turned the ski in. I haven't quite gotten there, but I do put the handle right in front of my right hip and close to my body, then lean in from there without giving the handle out first. Seems to ge me more width, more easily. Austin said it is because you are carrying the handle out to full width with you, and since you can only go as wide as the handle will let you, you are creating more space this way. I have found that it works for me.
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My gate is as @GOODEskier describes. Miller taught me that a few years back. I pull out when the nose is a boat length from the greens. I start a nice easy progressive pull out from the hips and lower body. Always try to peak at turn in point. I use the distance from the nose of the boat to the gate balls as a turn in point. The problem I have is angle at -38. @skidawg says that I am skiing at the ball with no gusto. Jay Bennett cannot believe that I can run -38 with the gate I have. So for the last few months I was trying to put a bit more into my edge change turn in so that I could get a little more speed and transition into 1 ball earlier. Like @Horton put in his N1 review, the ski feels better with some zaz at the gate.
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@OB -- glad to hear you are getting time to work on it. I'll be off the water now until ice out, probably in April. I like what you are talking about. Here is what worked for me at -38. Turn, set angle, keep handle. When I was skiing with Jeff H at SkiWatch we were working on it and he described his lean through the gates as about 80% effort. For me I would say the best starts are zero effort. I try to literally not pull at all, but then to keep that handle tight all the way out to the one. That way I avoid the excess speed at one because I never build it in the first place, but I carry out wide and early to one because I keep pressure on the handle longer. It requires patience because instead of trying to "get out to one and turn" you are almost waiting for the boat to get you to one while maintaining handle pressure with two hands. Food for thought. Try it out if you get a chance.

 

@Scoke saw me take my last -38 gate of the tournament down there and he said it was easily the best I had taken. It was that gate. I felt like I never accelerated too much, and didn't have to slow down much. He said that was exactly what I should target. Think of your "speed wave" around the 34mph boat speed as being a smaller window, where you are slightly faster, slightly slower, slightly faster, slightly slower.

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