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-15 Gates


Bill22
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Let's talk about something other than boat prices and rules for a bit. This year I need to get my entry gate down, 34mph @ -15. I know it's not short line but can you help a DIV 3 baller out?

 

I worked on my gates all last season but never got consistent. I will try to summarize progress last year (or lack of) and keep it short as possible.

 

1. skiing at 32mph/-15; no problem with entry gate, run the pass good.

2. upped to 34mph; pull out, turn in, try to get into the best stack position I can (lean back with a everything I have) fly through the gate at +65mph, too much speed at 1 ball, don't know what to do with this much speed, the pass is over.

3. coach, "ramp up your intensity from the turn to the wake, reaching full intensity at the first wake".

4. pull out, turn in, turn in has poor angle, trying not to over-do-it, ZERO intensity/ momentum/ speed through the gate.

5. too fast, too slow, too fast, too slow, too fast.

6. coach, "pull out wider so you have more time to make your turn in and you are not rushed".

7. pull out with all I have, get wide, it is time to turn in, NO rope but lots of slack.

8. pass 1: tight line & too fast, pass 2: tight line & too slow, pass 3: slack line....repeat, repeat, repeat...

 

Maybe gates are something you have to do over & over until you get the feel.

 

I feel like the timing on the turn in has to be perfect, a small window of time to make things happen.

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Just guessing since there is no video...

 

If you change how hard or how far you are pulling out, you should consider adjusting the timing of when you pull out so as to balance. Maybe you are changing one element, but not adjusting the others to balance it out.

 

The goal of the gate pull out is to put you at a sufficiently wide point up on the boat with no slack but "free" of the boat's pull at the exact time when you need to initiate the turn so as to exactly make the gates as early as possible within the rules of the definition of a valid gate while generating sufficient but not excessive speed in a stacked position so as to allow you to cast outbound on an inside edge with connection of your COM on an early line with space before the buoy.

 

Got that?!?

 

All seriousness, here's my advice while trying to find your gate. Start your pullout much earlier and easier. Initially make it a longer event headed out, thus you have to start it much earlier. You don't want slack nor do you want to drift back narrow. So, by making the pullout sooner with less intensity, you are able to control your width and your speed, and control your rope tension or being "free" of the boat without slack. This is not the optimal pull out, but rather a means by which to hone in on where your gate works best. As you do this longer, lower intensity pull out, assess each attempt's results/merit. Was that one too narrow when it was time to turn in? Adjust for more width. Was that one too free (slack)? adjust for less. etc.

 

I changed my gate this year. In general terms, I am much wider, a little more "free" of the boat's pull. To achieve this change, I ended up starting earlier, easier, and I look at the pylon as I move outbound. By looking at the boat, I get a very real sense of how far up on the boat I am. I can easily see the gates coming up, and I can time when to rise up into my glide to hit that sweet spot for the turn in.

 

One more comment... At 32/-15, you don't have to be too up on the boat or free of it. Thus, you are kind of swinging back and forth behind the boat, under its pull the whole time. As you move up each pass in speed or line, you will feel more "whip" or acceleration during the approach to the center-line. As you move up the line, you will have to move up on the boat more and be a little more "free" of its pull. Thus, for each new pass, your sense of where you are for the gate turn in and the sense of the speed as you whip behind the boat will change.

 

The advice I got was to practice the next pass' gate while running the pass you can run well today. When, you eventually start to work on the next pass, you will have a better start at it.

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@Bill22 I say there are two extremes along a continuum of pullout styles:

1) Ultra-long, gentle hanging on the boat until time to turn, to

2) Extreme Burst of Excessive effort and glide forever

 

The extremes are both wrong. There are many variations along the continuum between these. Many of them can be optimized for that skier. Regardless of method, the goal (noted above) is still the same.

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@bill22 get wider on your pull out. Then when you think you are getting out wide get even wider.

Having more width on your pullout for the gates will give you more time on your roll in and allow you to build angle through the gates without adding load to the rope. I imagin what your experiencing is you start the turn in for the gates and the boat has already got ahold of you and you have to fight like heck to get angle and then you end up with too much load and miss the gates by a couple feet.

 

When you first do this it will feel weird, it will feel like you have slack line when you turn in. Don't worry it will take some time to get a feel for it. Make sure you are using your front foot to initiate the turn in. I see guys do all the work to get wide on the boat then "wiper blade" the turn in and waste all that width.

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FYI, at -15, 34MPH, I try to get wide/up on the boat to the point where the rope is about 45 degrees from the center line. Thus, as I pull out, I am NOT looking down 2-4-6 ball line. I am looking at the boat, judging width based upon where it crosses the side/gun wall of the boat.
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@Bill22 - have someone in the boat determine where the rope stops up along the sidewall when a -22 skier is rounding 2 ball. Have this person move up an inch higher and note that spot. Then, when you are skiing and pulling out, have that passenger place their hand at that spot where you can see it. Move out until the rope comes into contact with the passenger's hand. This is a very objective and clear way to see what "wider" really means.

 

If you are curious, do the same using a skier at -28 -32 -35, etc. Then, try to emulate those pass's rope locations. In my opinion is really isn't about "width" as much as it is "up" along side the boat.

 

I was judging some top juniors who happen to start off at -15. They got way up on the boat for their -15 gate shot. They made a very controlled and slower turn and were in perfect stack when the boat's pull started to come into play as they moved from beside the boat to behind it. They were so early with extreme space before 1 ball that one skier nearly turned too early (not narrow, early). As the rope shortened, their gate width was a little less simply because the rope wasn't as long, but their position up on the boat was pretty consistent. Just food for thought.

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@Bill22‌ I feel your pain!! I worked on my gates at 32mph got to a science, moved to 34 and things fell apart, I reviewed my videos relentlessly and I felt like I was pulling out too long, then I had no time to slow down and was rushed on the turn In, big hit of slack and the wheels would fall off. Towards the end of last season I worked on a quicker pull out which allowed me to make the smooth transition for the turn in. I have no idea if this is right or wrong but it works for me. I was thinking back to when I re took up the course and was struggling with pulling too long to the buoy.
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@ToddL‌ I have always jugged how wide I was by 2-4-6. It will be somewhat of a change to convert my measurement to "up" on the boat.

 

At 32mph if I was even or just outside of 2-4-6 I would do fine. At 34mph I was trying to get at least 5' or more, outside of 2-4-6.

 

@DmaxJC_ski‌ my friend does his gate the way you do. He waits to pull out late, then as soon as he gets to the apex of his pullout he turns in. It works for him but I think it would make the timing even more difficult.

 

@MillerTime38‌ I could get away with doing the wiper blade at 32mph. Until I got to 34mph no one told me to "turn in" for the gate. I thought everyone stood on their back foot and leaned back to make a cut for the gate.

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Bill22 great post! I'm with you. Im not going to offer any advice because I need it myself. I will say this though, I got my first coaching session last fall and was told gates at our level shouldn't be a focus. The tips about width is what I'm working on. I'm guessing you may need the same. At -28/34 without width it won't happen. I'm using some advice about where the rope crosses the the side rail to help me determine if I'm getting wider. I have a step pad on my LXI to help me see where I'm at. There are awesome skiers on this forum!
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To expand on @MillerTime38‌ Couple of years ago I had some Profesional coaching. I was doing a wiper turn.

 

Coach had me do a gradual pull out getting wider. He told me in my glide to put 90% of my weight on the front foot until I could almost feel my back foot lifting. Keep my handle low and more in front of me with shoulders facing down coarse. Then initiate the turn by move my inside forward and in. The first time I did this I was 20 ft in front of 1 ball and ready to turn. Result is a smooth carving turn with more angle and less speed. I'm left foot forward which coach said it was more important to get my shoulders pointed down coarse. It's magical when happens correctly.

 

I look at the boat for width also. I remember reading here that someone put tape on the sides of the boat to judge width.

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My two cents for what it’s worth…For me, gates at our level (15-28 off) are all about consistency. I break up the gate movement into the following steps when I ski:

 

1 – Point at which I pull out

2 – Distance boat travels for me to achieve desired width

3 – Distance boat travels for me to match boat speed

4 – Point at which I start my turn in

5 – Distance boat travels for me to ski through gates

 

I use the distance the boat travels as a yardstick so if I change the intensity of a pull out, what I’ve done is change the distance boat travels for me to achieve desired width. This needs to be compensated for in one of the other 5 steps. My aim is to be as consistent as possible with steps 2-5 and simply adjust step 1 for different speeds. For different line lengths each point changes slightly, but being consistent allows you to learn what’s changed and how to compensate.

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