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Trick Skiing Questions


lcgordon
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There is not alot of info online about tricking. So I wanted to post some of the questions about different tricks I have.

 

1. I do a wrapped Wake O. I am LFF so I hold the handle with my left hand and hold the rope with my right. I cant get my right hand back on the handle it just seems to flair out. I can land the trick most of the time but only with one hand. Its do able this way but I want to learn wake 540s and it is so hard to land. I have the rotation down easy but holding on is not happening. Is there any tips for how to get your right hand on or anything to think about?

 

 

2. I have been trying to learn the back roll. If I dont go out far I have better timing on when to throw it but I just dont get the speed and the line tension and the pop. If I go out farther I have trouble timing it and throw it way too early giving my no height. If I ever do it right I am really close to landing. Any tips for how to know when to throw it?

 

3. Any tips on the reverse wrap. I feel like I need to learn that before I can learn reverse wake back wake front.

 

Thanks again

Im guessing @eleeski might chime in.

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@eleeski will chime in but 1 & 3 you can do a lot with dry land practice (although with #1 it's best if you have tension on the rope from a human, bungie or pulley).

 

For #1—really for all handle-passing tricks as well—you want to think about bending your elbow during rotation (of the hand with the handle). If you can learn to rotate with a bent elbow while keeping your chest tall, you'll land your tricks with the handle close.

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1) OK, not a bad try at the W5B. There are a couple easy things to fix.

 

First, wrap properly! That's so dorky to hand over hand the rope, pinch it in your underarm and fumble for the handle. No. Give a giant tug on the rope so the rope goes slack enough to dip in the water, stick your arm behind your back, pass the handle to it, grab the webbing on the rope and beat the slack running out. Once you get comfortable doing this it will be very fast to wrap up. Fast enough that you will be able to wrap in the middle of the run so you don't have to start with the trick.

 

Looking at your wrap on the video, you have your elbow too far across your back. Let the rope out so your left hand is all the way on the right side of your back (LFF). Basically your knuckles should see the pylon directly. This means that you can keep pressure on the rope the whole time during the rotation as you drag your hand across your back to unwrap. Don't break at the waist and the rotation will continue all the way to back.

 

A very important prep trick is the WBB from full back to backwrap. This teaches patience in the final turn to back and the landing feels very similar.

 

You have a very good basis. Your timing is great off the wake. Strong rotation and your landing looks good. Control that rope and you will own the trick.

 

2) BFL is critical on the wake timing. Staying in close helps and when it gets in your run, you will be faster. If you are not getting enough lift in close, you are not hitting the wake hard enough. It is a progressive turn with the angle maxing out at the bottom of the wake. By maxing, I mean the ski is at such an acute angle that it isn't stable - well it's not because you have to flip out of it. I think about keeping the turn going in the air where the ski is actually going away from the boat (I know it doesn't but it feels that way). Don't pop, just keep the leverage going up all the way. When you get all the way up in the air, then its OK to tuck the legs in to bring it over the top to land. It is a balanced leverage position. You will kill it if you spring with your knees or try to flip too early. Don't lean back or away like a slalom - it will make you back or away on landing. Square up and keep the hands low as you attack the wake. The progressive leverage attack will make it consistent.

 

3) Reverse backwrap is a flexibility trick. Spend lots of reps doing the reverse backwraps and not sticking it to feel the edge. When you are comfortable with this try going out on the passenger side of the boat (LFF). Way out. Turn to backwrap. You won't have to turn far to keep cutting out. Pull as wide as you can in the backwrap and you will be comfortably looking at the boat. This gives you a good feel for the edge. And it's fun. Now go behind the boat and turn to the edge. Don't be static, find the edge and cut to the wake. Some people do weird elbow pops or really low handle position to help hold the back - it works but eventually you want to be comfortable in the reverse backwrap. It will come.

 

Good luck and have fun,

Eric

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Thanks so much for the write up. That had to take some time. I really appreciate that.

While wrapping I have seen a video on how to wrap the proper way. When I try to do that my ski slips out. I think im not doing it quick enough before the load hits. So I have to do it the dorky way. I will keep practicing though.

 

That wake 5 was like my second try. I have been to two tourneys this year so 4 runs. I have scored 810 3 times and fell the fourth time. Im trying to learn a new trick quick to get more points however I can bull dog through something to get more points because 810 is all my tricks I know how to do.

 

On the backroll I would rather learn how to do it fairly close it. Plus with the huge wakes the boats are throwing now days you dont need to go far out and if you do you over rotate.

 

I will work on dryland for the reverse wrap first. I need a swivel ski to practice.

 

Thanks again I have alot to work on now and am excited.

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Back in the late 1970's, there was a product called the Safe-T-Pop or something like that.

Was a bullet-like piece of metal that went into a spring-loaded housing. There was a

pin to insert for deepwater starts, and then remove. So, you didn't have to depend on a

release person. Which was appropriate, since I'd practice with just a driver, and everyone

in my club hated tricks. I doubt that this product exists now, as the metal insert could

easily ding the boat when it was released.

Maybe there is something similar, however, that exists today, where you can release

without a release person. If not, someone needs to work on it. Dave Robbins project?

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Haha that would be neat. Am not that serious about tricking and not looking to get hurt. Takes one person to be just a bit late one time to do you in.

 

Last night I got a bit of time to trick. Worked on keeping the hand close. Was doing better but never landed one except for a one hand one.

 

Tried a reverse wake back. Those are kind of tough.

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@Edbrazil - I thought about this not long ago and a quick search came up with this this . Note the 125# breaking point on the connector at the bottom of the page. You would probably need some different pins for different skiers and certainly something lower than 125#. Not perfect, but its in the neighborhood and that was literally the first place I looked - so there is probably something much more suitable out there. I won't plan on using anything like this anytime soon but it is an interesting thought.
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@lcgordon the Robbins release is pretty foolproof. My wife who doesn't ski at all has held it for my son and he has always released when he should. She isn't strong enough to hold him in if he goes down. I know I shouldn't do this but I sometimes pin for him by holding the rope under my foot. The rope just gets ripped out from under my foot when he falls.

 

Of course when I was a kid my Dad pinned for me by tying the release rope to the mirror and slapping it with his hand off the steering wheel when I fell.

 

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Because high end trickers ski private lakes and probably ski every day. I ski public lakes and get lucky to ski 3 times a week. When im on the water I want to be having fun not learning to ride around with my foot connected to the rope. I would only want to do toes when the water is good and if the water is good Im going to be slaloming or barefooting. Only time I trick is when the surf boats are out and the water is crappy which in the summer happens to be alot.
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To learn the RWB don't just fire into it off the other one. Start in the middle of the wake and edge out towards the wake. Keep your head up and the handle close in to your body as you rotate. If you edge out to the edge of the wake there should be enough wake to lift you in the air you don't need to jump. Edge in to the air keep the handle close and your eyes on your horizon and land with soft knees.

 

Learn the RWB and RWF on their own before trying to integrate them in to a trick run.

 

My son's hand pass when he was starting out was SS, R, B, F, RB, RF, WB, WF, R, R, O, R. As his reverse back wrap got better he swapped out the O with handle bass with BB and RBB because they are faster which gave him time to try and add a WBB at the end.

 

I know you aren't planning on toes but you have the fundamentals to do TB, TF pretty quickly but if you don't care about tournaments and scores I get your rational for not wanting to waste calm water.

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Yeah I tried the reverse wrap outside of the wake on the passengers side. it was still hard. I technically did it I think but then I had to let go with one hand to keep my balance and turn back around. Yeah I will focus more on the reverse wake back itself next time. I was just seeing what it was like to do it right after. I will probably try this weekend in the tournament.

 

I care about the tournaments and scores but I want to make it fun. If im not having fun practicing then its not worth it. I just want to do the tricks that I think are fun to do. Im sure toes is fun once you learn but idk about the process to get to that point.

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@lcgordon as an old tricker there is a whole lot of us that learned tricks on public lakes. In fact we'd get up with the sun to slalom and jump before the weekenders showed up but we'd trick in the afternoon because we could always find some place fairly decent to ski straight for a few hundred yards. Besides, learning new tricks you spend a lot of time swimming anyway. With the boat spinning to go back and pick you up those little private lakes look like public water quickly. I'd take a bigger public lake anytime to trick ski.

 

Get a Robbins release and give toes a try. You might be surprised.

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I like to keep the handle level during backwrap and reverse, for me it helps stay consistent and on axis and provides better control with edging. Also during most tricks keeping it level for the initial stage of a rotation or flip helps with handle pass consistency and it really carries the load thats been generated through the wake and up into the invert. Tie a line to a tree or post, something solid and do dry land practice.
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From your video, it looks like you are overturning the RWB. Forget the reverse backwrap for that, just do a regular back off the wake there. Land a bit short on rotation so you can find a nice solid edge cutting back in to the wake for the WF. A good prep trick for this is to go outside the wake on that side and do a bunch of quick backs and fronts to the two handed back (even if you don't grab the handle with the second hand).

 

Reverse backwrap really helps WBB, R. Keep working on it for that. The video showed you trying a sideslide outside the wake. Turn that all the way around to back and cut out wider. See how easy the backwrap feels?! Now go out to the other side and go the reverse backwrap direction and do the same thing. It's pretty easy too! This builds the edge control you will need.

 

Reverse WO is just as easy as the first one. Get the quick wrap and it fits easily. Eventually you will need to learn handoff WOs and wrap in WOs - but that happens once you have filled up a toe pass and are critically short of time.

 

TB, TF is 200 points and will be ridiculously easy (and safe) to learn for someone with your skills. Gets you to 1000. Don't completely rule out toes.

 

Eric

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Thanks @eleeski for that info. I really appreciate it. I was trying the reverse back wrap outside the wake last week. I got back but It was really uncomfortable and I think I fell.

 

I need to learn WO both ways with out wrapping.

 

Are rope releases safe? Is there a video on how to make one? Im guessing its not something I want to screw up.

 

My buddy has a trick release kinda like this one. It makes me a bit nervous because the person actually has to pull it.

 

The robbins is cool but new its 230 bucks or whatever and its not even in stock. Im not paying that.

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To me $230 isn't too much to protect my leg. Being in stock is a separate issue. They seem to build them in runs at Masterline so they don't always have them sitting around. If you want one and can't find one at Performance I would call Masterline and ask them when they expect to have them.
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None of the releases are 100%, it's more if you personally want to do toes or not. A flip is worth 500 points, that will really up your score quick.

 

back to backs and wake back to backs would be some easier, fun, and valuable tricks to learn/add in.

 

Practice reverse back outside the wake, ride it in and pop off the wake to a front. Once you can float those nice and up, add a 180 and a back to back is pretty simple.

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Yeah I really dont want to do toes. I was working on a flip alot last year. I was really close a bunch of times. Getting onto the ski multiple times. But I have not practiced much this year and It has gotten way worse. Need to ride the wake all the way up. Flipping way too early and barely getting off the water.
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Rope releases are fine. I prefer a rope release for little kids because I can hold it easily without any wraps on the pylon. Safety is good with a good operator. Make the operator work and don't wrap it around the pylon for safety. If you have a couple wraps on the pylon, it won't come off easily enough.

 

The Robbins is best if you pull hard. Big guys or advanced tricks are a lot easier with a Robbins. Mostly it is so much easier on the operator to hold for hours.

 

The release you pictured is good. It is easy to use and reliable. I use something like that when I'm driving and pinning at the same time with a foot trigger. I don't recommend this but a lot of people do this with reasonable safety. This release will tear you up if the operator blows it - Robbins or rope releases will pull out of the hand of the spaced out operator. But you can get injured with any release. Most likely, get saved by any well operated release.

 

I learned toes with no release (before heel straps). With a nice loose harness it comes off pretty reliably. You don't need to be locked in for TB, TF, TWB, TWF, TS (easy quick 630 points) and a loose harness (along with the safety benefit) will be easy to remove and go into the rest of your run. I don't recommend using no release person but always toe trick as if you don't have one. Stay tight to keep from doing the splits, shake off the harness, point your toe to let it pop off and yell when you are in trouble to wake up the release operator.

 

I couldn't find the video of Patrice Martin falling on toes, not getting released, dragging on his back, stepping his ski over the rope and standing back up to go into his next tricks. I had a TWLF called as a fall at Nationals once when I dragged out of it and got back up and finished the run. Early releases are overrated.

 

Eric

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Thanks for that. I saw a rope release from a far once. It looked like a fat rope with a loop in the end. Not sure how that works though. Can you make one out of a section of a slalom rope? I Barefoot so I have a toe handle for that. Its not the bearclaw cinch kind just a normal loose strap. Can I use that? Would maybe be pretty heavy and hard to keep on your foot. I always come right out of those and sometimes hard to keep on your foot if you hit a bit or chop or something.
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@unksskis TW5B is 500 points. Cool looking trick. Not impossibly technical. TWL5B (impossibly technical) is 600 points and one of the coolest looking tricks I've seen. TWBB is as easy as falling off a log for 330 points (once you have a solid RTB hold). Toes rock!

 

Don't give up on the flips and spins, they're fun too. But the toes are cool. "Oh yeah, I hold onto the rope with my foot and turn around." "Really?" Swoon...

 

Eric

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@lcgordon Take a slalom rope with a loop, cut it off a couple feet from the loop and don't worry if the end frays. Hook the loop on the pylon, thread the rope through the end of your trick rope, wrap the cut end of the slalom section around the pylon to get up and unwrap once you are ready to toe. Half a wrap around the pylon for a big guy who is likely to fall, straight out for a kid. Hold onto the frayed end until the fall, then let go. The trick rope will slide off the slalom section. (Test it a couple times).

 

The open barefoot toe is perfect for starting. Keep steady pressure on the toe and it won't fall off. As long as you aren't leaning on the rope, that pressure will make the trick easy. Just turn your foot over and that will drive the trick to TB. I arch a little into the boat as I turn the foot back up to drive TF - everybody falls back on the first try. Have fun

 

Eric

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Haha ok sounds good. I have a few handle options between buddies. Actually somebody just gave me a trick toe handle. It does not have a heel strap and the toes strap is pretty small. May work though. Other buddy has a nice ML handle and I can borrow that. Ill try both and see what I like.
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Interesting question. I don't know if a lack of release has ever hurt me. Some pre releases have. I've also walked (swam) away from some nasty falls that were yard sales. And I've ripped the bindings off the skis and broken the bindings. Reflex has been the worst about pre releasing.

 

Some toe falls are really fast edge catchers. Coming clear might help.

 

I ski essentially without a binding release for hands and toes. But it's a personal preference issue. So I'm no help.

 

Eric

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Ill just keep it the same then. I dont like to release. Also if i pre released then it may not look like a fall and could get a late pull.

Thanks again. Ill be sure to video attempts. Thats payment for all this info right. You get to see me fall.

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Got to try some toes last night. I think in another set I could get the back. Gotta put alot of trust in the pinner. Its hard to fully commit and stay straight up and not let the foot slide out of the strap. One I thought I maybe was going to have but he pulled the rope on me.

 

I do know I am going to either have to fill a whole runs worth of tricks or get an actual release because Im not sure if somebody could hold the rope with me doing hands tricks.

 

Is there a better type of rope to use that allows you to get a better grip?

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@lcgordon - the amount of grip it takes to hold the rope varies by how much it is "bent" around the pylon.

 

When the skier is in the water and getting up you put the rope around the pylon further which takes the force of the pull and converts it to friction on the pylon instead of friction on your palm.

 

So if you wanted to "hold" someone doing hands you just angle the rope further around or add a loop - what you don't want is a longer rope which tends to bend around the tow line.

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The only issue is that you want to make sure the rope releases quickly. For getting up if you wrap your hand around the rope around the pylon it can help.

 

I am not a fan of the rope release for this reason among others. I have used it with my son when he was little but use a Robbins now.

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You don't want a different rope - thicker rope doesn't bend as easily - meaning it won't flow through the tow rope loop and instead it will catch/hang. Heavier rope will also tend to whip around in the boat.

 

My personal suggestion is your old slalom glove. Makes it alot more comfy.

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