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Help me...I'm sinking


Brady
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Being new to course skiing, I am struggling in a few areas. I have yet to make a full pass. My personal best happened this week with 4 balls at 15 off @ 34. Here is my problem. I have always free skied at 36mph and have always been at 15 off. When I attempt the course at the full length, I get so much slack, I go down and likewise, when I slow down to 32 or 30, I literally feel like I am sinking in the water. Maybe this is due to the fact that I am so big, or maybe my technique sucks!! (well, I know that is the case). Chipman has given me great tips and has been so helpful--I know I am turning old school--pushing hard on the back foot and leaning back-- and I know my timing is off. By the 4th ball, I am so out of control I am surprised I haven't ended up in the ER-I just am stressed that I am having to get my first pass at full speed and at 15 off instead of going slower at full line.

 

I do know I NEVER want to free ski again. I never ever again need to hear how big and massive my spray is....I just want to run the balls and I have to make my fist pass before the end of the year!

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I had a lot of trouble running the course at 15 off and at 30 mph. After a lot of free skiimg at 22 off at 34 i said eff it i wanna give it a shot... I ran it... Twice and i almost always free ski. Maybe you do need to run it at full speed. I found rope length to be the determining factor.

 

Pull harder and stop pulling at the centerline behind the boat. The centerline out to the buoy is all deceleration. Continuing to pull past the buoy is going to cause slack. Maybe you need to run it at full speed as your muscle memory and comfort is more acclimated to full speed.

 

I had a lot of trouble running the course until i realized i needed to just pull like hell and decel out to the buoy. Dont pull out to the buoy.

 

edit: judging by your comment you were like me thinking it was all about the turn (for a big spray). I suggest you spend half your time free skiing and try to focus on pulling harder and harder to the center line the just relax and set yourself up for a turn. Dont worry about rhythm just turn and pull like hell to the center of the wake. Get used to the pressure on the body amd the angle because right now your brain is locked into pulling at a certain speed and angle to stay balanced and when you exceed those thing youre doing a little panicking. After a couple rounds of pulling harder have more rythm and turn quicker. Head to the couse after that. It will still be hard as your vision is in different places and the timing is different from free skiing but it should ultimately easier as ypyr mind and body are more acclimated to the sensation of running the course and that sensation is pulling with the force and angle you need to so you can decel to the buoy.

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Douglas, my beginner 2 cents worth. Get a modern beginner course capable ski, like a triumph, or similar. Slow speed down to about 26mph. Pull out really wide, coast, handle in direction of travel, handle low, chest up, and ribs through the arms, pull the m.o.f. Pillion out of the boat to the center, think 3 o'clock and don't worry about making it through the entrance buoys. This should put you wide and early for 1. Fall into your turn, kiss the back of 1, trust and keep your fall, don't screw around, and go! Think 9 o'clock, pull the m.o.f. Pilot out of the boat, and repeat.
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Without the benefit of many details or video I'd suggest 32mph @15off. You may feel like your sinking but it's probably more the result of things happening slower than it is "sinking" too much.

 

Another suggestion is to run the course 'backwards'. First time through (at 32-15) run ONLY buoy 4,5 and 6. Get wide and early for #4 and work hard to get to 5 and 6 and exit the gate. If that works the start at #3....then #2, etc. I believe many time beginning skiers get all wrapped around the axel about the entrance gate and compromise technique just to be sure they "make the gate". Starting at the back and working up allows you to turn some buoys without a 'big mistake' shutting you down for the whole course.

 

Since your getting 2,3 or 4 most times through the course (assumption) I'd bet there's something your doing wrong at the gate which set you up badly to run the whole course. Maybe it's timing or body position or angle or something else but a bad start usually doesn't get better the further you go.

 

Just my $0.02.

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Thank you all for your comments. I will try to do what each of you suggested. I know I need more time skiing the course and not free skiing. It is literally a night and day difference between the two. @MattP, I will post some video next week.(Please be kind! lol) @Chef23, I am on a 69 inch senate C. I am 6 foot 7 and 250lbs.
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@douglaslbrady you are a big dude. I am pretty sure HO makes a 71" Triumph. That said I ran 32 mph at 15 off when I weighed 240 (at a much shorter height) on a 68.75" A1 so I would think the Senate C would support you at 32 mph. It will feel slow but you won't sink.
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  • Baller
I feel like I'm having a similar experience. When I first discovered the course 5 years ago, I was a better skier than I am today, as I just haven't skied enough in the past 5 years. I'm back in, and I can do a 28 at full line length, but not a 30. However, at 28, my ski suddenly feels like a totally different ski, like it's just dragging everywhere. I'm 185 on a 67". 5 years ago, I was 160 on the same 67, that makes a difference as well. Anyway, I'm going to pay attention to this post too as I'm having the same generic problem that the only passes I can make, seem too slow for my ski.
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Stressed that you have to run it at full speed instead of slower? Why? When I ran the course at 22off much better than I did at 15off and a slower speed I was ecstatic. It was the single best moment i had on the water in the last two years. I was feeling full of win, much better than when I ran it at 30 or 32 sloppily at 15 off a few weeks prior. Good luck out there.
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@Chef23, I am a big dude!! I was the football version of Horton in college. I walked around strutting my stuff, wearing my short shorts, painting my face..u know, the usual stuff. I will say that with being big, i am extremely strong and I have no problem now double booting my 6 deep water starts. By spring I will be to 225 and then I will be pretty happy. This addiction is terrible!!! Big or small, once it strikes, u are done for!!!! I will get my video of my big arse up next week, and then please have at it!!! U guys are awesome! I love how helpful u all are even to those who are not pulling 35 off. I also like how u are all a bunch of sarcastic buggers as well!!
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  • Baller
If you feel as if you are sinking, then you are most assuredly letting the handle come away from the core early, which leads to the ski trailing the handle(relative to the direction the handle is going) and losing water speed. Slowing down is great for teaching how to move the core out with the handle so it stays on the opposite side of the handle from the pylon at all times.
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