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When to turn into gate at -32?


Buoyhead69
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As I’ve been shortening the line this year one of my biggest conundrums is when to turn into the gate. I remember skiing right to 1 ball (couldn’t get wide) when I was struggling with my -28. Now Im running it regularly & I get a good gate & wide to 1 at -28 but the same thing is happening with -32 and my training loop which gives me a -30. Haven’t run -32, finally got all 6 at my training loop (-30) this week but I don’t get consistently wide at 1. Today I skied with a guy who’s a lot better than me and he told me to start my turn in when about half the boat is through the gate. To this point I’ve started my turn in by feel but generally waiting to see front of the boat enter the gate before turning in. He said pretty much at these line lengths I should be waiting for more of the boat to pass the gate ball and look for the gate ball to be at a specific place on the boat. How many of you short line guys start your turn into the gate when a specific part of the boat passes the gate ball?
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I do look for the boat to be in a certain position relative to the gates before turning in. For 22 off, the bow of the boat is right at the gates. For 28 off, it is about 3-4 feet before the gates. For 32 off, it is about 4-5 feet before the gates. For 35 off, it is 5-6 feet before the gates.

 

Not saying this is right, it’s just what I do.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Interesting @MISkier because he was saying the opposite. He said try letting more of the boat go through the gate before starting my turn in. My last pass today at my -30 training loop, I let almost half the boat go through the gate before turning in and I had a good wide 1 (still didn’t run the pass but it was my best shot). He skis nationals (you probably know him he a lot of tournament here in MI) and I believe he said he looks for a point about half way up the boat to start turning in for a -35. I know you said this is what works for you so obviously many ways to approach this. But still interesting that it is the opposite approach. BTW I’m LFF.
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I am also LFF. There were several skiers on this forum here that advised me to turn in earlier when I could not run -32 and frequently missed -28. That made a difference for me.

 

For full disclosure, at that time I was turning in at the exact same point for all my line lengths - when the back of the boat went through the gates. Way too late on all of those. Some said, at the time, since the rope is shorter and you are closer to the boat, keeping the same turn in point would make the the turn in for the gates late. So, it seems to me that turning in later as you get shorter would make it worse.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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One main thing to keep in mind: your timing for the turn in will not yield results without the proper width and your ability to advance up on the boat for the pullout and glide.

 

At -32, you should be nearly even with the engine box at the time you turn in for the gate.

 

If you want to get wide at 1 ball, you better be wide before the gate.

 

Also, if you are skiing right at one ball, it could be that you are pulling too long and/or not changing edges with connection to the boat. Change edge, then reach into the turn. If you reach before changing, you give away all your outbound direction and are narrow and straight at the buoy.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Here is a screen grab from that video when Andy turns in. I'm not sure the speed he is skiing (I would assume 36) nor any impact of that on changing the turn in point. I don't change my turn in point from 34 to 36 and I'm not sure if I am supposed to.

 

@lpskier, what did you dislike about my previous post on width and edge change in this thread? What am I missing?

 

cnw0uph1mw7l.jpg

 

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@Stevie Boy that Mapple video is phenomenal thank you. Definitely spells it out for me. Noodles in the water to mimic gate placement? Wow such technical attention to detail what a phenomenal training tool. And @lpskier I’m also a little curious why the dislike for the @MISkier post... seems like he’s given me pretty solid feedback. Thanks everyone.
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Whats been noted re:using the boats position relative to the guides on turning in is challenging because A. How high on the boat you are will change your path into 1 and B. Rope length will change when you have to turn in. @miskier can use this method because he knows where he needs to turn in for each line length and he can establish the same width. I have typically used this method as well but I'm trying now at turning in when 1 ball and the left hand gate buoy line up. Find it's typically 1/2 a boat length before the gates @ 32

 

This will establish the same turn in point at each line length. The only time I find it challenging is when the glare is bad...

 

Something to consider

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It sounds to me like most of you guys are turning in to late. I use the distance between the nose of the boat to the entrance gates on every pass. At 32 I’m about 1/2 a boat length before the nose gets to the gates. At 35 3/4 at 38 1 boat length 39 1.5 boat lengths. And 41 2 boat lengths. And you need to be as wide as possible matching the boat speed at glide.
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Until a few weeks ago I was on a KD. I was turning about a boat length before the gate. Now on a 18 Vapor and that is putting early on the gates. I had some coachimg by top pros last year to turn in earlier and more gradual instead of the turn and burn like was doing before.
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With all due respect, I don't think you should be asking "when to turn in for the gates." Obviously, you should turn in for the gates when it results in you being just inside of the right hand gate ball with optimal angle, speed and body position. Where exactly that turn starts (bow of boat distance to gates) will be different depending on how wide you are and how quickly you complete the turn. Some folks are successful being super wide and slowly turning in; others are equally successful with a narrower gate and a sharp turn in.

 

I suggest to only worry about getting the optimal pull out / turn in that results in the best angle / speed / line load / body position. Get that motion figured out first. If you do it perfectly but miss the gates early, go later next time. If you are late, go earlier. In short, picking "when" to go is the last thing to figure out AFTER figuring "how" to go. To pick an arbitrary pullout location then force your pullout and turn in to fit that location seems backwards to me. Learn to ski the line length first, then fit that motion to the gates. It might be best to practice free skiing -32, including the starts. That way you can focus on the proper width and timing of your new, shorter pendulum without having to worry about being early or late.

 

That said, everything Dave Miller said is correct...for him. And if you are going to try to copy a successful skier's gates, that is a great person to copy. However, I would be more focused on copying his proper width and glide, followed by copying how he moves in and carries the proper stack in perfect timing with the natural pendulum rather than focusing on the turn in point itself. That will come with experience.

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Another thing that is worth talking about is the intensity and duration of your pullout for the gates. Less intense equals narrow and more intense equals wide/higher up on the boat (as it relates to the pullout). I was experimenting with this last night and the results were distinct (for me). At 22’ off with a narrow gate I struggled getting width and angle in the course - and this is a pass I make about 99% of the time. Went to 28’ off with a wider gate and what a difference it made, early into the buoy and an overall smoother pass. Next went to 32’ off and tried a narrowing gate vs the wide gate (both with the same turn in approach) and by far the wider/higher up on the boat I was the easier my one ball felt. When I was higher up on the engine box my turn in point was approximately half a boat length before the gate, a nice angle producing progressive pull.

 

So tell me, what intensity and duration do you use to get the right width?

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Thanks everyone so much. The @brettmainer post made a lot of sense. We’ve had decent weather in MI lately, I’m looking at the pullout/gate in a new light thanks to this thread. I’ve had some good passes (still haven’t run -32) and I’ve had some garbage passes. My bottom line; I believe I need to get comfortable being wider/higher on the boat at my -30 loop, and -32, than I’m used to. At -28 I can get away with being a bit narrow, then pull like a maniac and still get wide/early to 1 but even that is inconsistent and forces a late/hurried edge change. I pull too long & too hard through the wakes in general, I believe. So being wide, starting my turn in gradually/progressively, and shooting for an earlier edge change (coming off the second wake) are my goals for the rest of fall and whatever skiing I do in FL this winter. I don’t think I can progress to shorter line lengths without this.
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I read on here a while back about going early, Like 20 feet in front of the gates. I've been using this to help me learn 32off. You can use the turn buoys to tell how wide your are. Then try to stay in front of them. What has surprised me with this is how patient I can be in the turns and still stay in front of the buoys. The other thing that has helped me over the last few years is learning that the gate sets the timing for the entire course. I try not to load too early on the gate turn in so that I don't get pulled up early. You can see the pros that make 32 and 35 look so easy because their timing is so good.
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@Buoyhead69

 

The timing your turn-in with the boat is as critical - if not more critical - than the physical point/position relative to the course from which you commit turn-in from. Add to that your "rate of turn" and intensity of the turn.

 

Imagine what scenario you would like to have play out on the back side of 1 ball.......A nice long early pre-turn with your speed under control into the buoy that sets up a tight line with the boat pulling away as you begin to roll the ski back in and peel some rubber of the back of 1-ball.

 

Now, go figure out where the zero ball would in your glide before the gate turn-in and try to create the same exact scenario described above at the "Zero ball".

 

The trick isnt to ski 5-10-20 feet downcourse of zero ball just to get "more angle" into the gate - typically going that direction produces early separation, poor trajectory into apex, excessive speed into buoy, and slack rope.

 

The trick is to turn in as early as possible on zero (maybe even before it) and still sneak the ski inside the right hand gate ball.

 

 

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@DanE - GO FOR IT.

 

I never set one up myself, however I have skied on a few sites with a zero ball.

 

As a lefty on an 8-buoy course (like at KLPs in Orlando) where there is a zero ball on the gate glide I am turning in well before and inside it.

 

RFF skiers may be able to push just a touch deeper as they can rotate the ski into position to accept the pull/acceleration toward CL a little quicker the LFFs.

 

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@adamhcaldwell

What you describe is a revolutionary way for me to look at my gate. Picturing a zero ball, beginning a long “slow” gate, initiating my turn in BEFORE “zero ball”- revolutionary. I ran my -28 pass in a cross wind, lake temp 61, air 46 so I was really happy about this & chopped it down to my -30 training loop and really focused on a long slow turn in & a tight line at “zero ball.” I realize, prior to today, I absolutely was that guy skiing 20 feet down course of zero ball trying to rip some insane angle into 1 going way too fast with a late edge change... no wonder I struggled with slack. So today at -30... no slack coming out of 1, early to 2. I was actually a little shocked. Just a whole new perspective for me, very outside-the-box insight, thanks bro. I wish I could report that I ran the pass, didn’t even get to 5 ball. But hey baby steps, I was just pumped to have a tight line coming out of 1.

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Like what @brettmainer said, I dont think we all turn in at the same place.

 

What do we mean by turn in? The instant we roll the ski from the glide onto the right side like in the pic of Andy? Or a few frames later when he has rolled his ski under the rope and is building angle?

 

Interesting what @adamhcaldwell said "The trick is to turn in as early as possible on zero (maybe even before it) and still sneak the ski inside the right hand gate ball. " Looking forward to trying that different mindset.

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My opinion is that a lot of skiers hear "get wide, or get up on the boat", and they do, but the turn is a go for broke turn and burn and end up letting up behind the boat and flat skiing to the buoy. The result is too fast, too narrow, and too much slack.

 

It is much more important in my opinion to build angle and acceleration to the second wake and then ride that out on a turn edge into the buoy. Unless you have some uncanny athletic ability to maintain tip pressure with a turn and burn approach, I think it is a crap shoot. The earlier turn in allows for tip pressure to be maintained and getting the hips aligned and stacked to take the load.

 

One of my keys for success being a RFF skier was to think "slow gate". This was not to create angle and speed, but to not go for broke too early. I have missed far more passes at shortline because I generated too much speed too early and then have a monumental task at the buoy to change direction. I would choose to be slower and in control the ball anyday.

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@A/B

 

My perspective is that the issue is not someone getting wide or high on the boat.

 

The issue is that the course starts well before the 55m buoys.

 

When someone pulls out too late (relative to 55s) the effort to attain high/wide status translates into being way too far downcourse of zero ball and creating the “go for broke” scenario.

 

Pulling out late fails to leave the required distance and time to settle into appropriate timing with the boat prior to zeroball.

 

The first thing I look for is where people start “moving” from before the 55s, and where that sets them up for timing/speed at zero-ball. 9 times out of 10, people just need to pull out for the gate earlier.

 

 

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So I tried the turn earlier and much more gradual approach and it really worked well for me at 35. Early and slow into 1 ball with no slack and great angle. I have been fighting one ball at 35 all summer. This is amazing. So simple.

So my question is, is this a function of not spiking ZO too early? How much does this figure into the equation?

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@Dano There are a lot of factors at play here.....ZO setting, line lenghts, level of technique, and the most important - ski setup & glide speed.

 

Most people are more familiar with pulling out late and rushing to make a turn back in on the gate. I like to push people to the other extreme for a few passes. Pulling out excessively early to the point they are literally getting pulled in by the time they reach zero ball. Then, shift the start point a little further down course until we find the synergy of 'timing' and 'speed' at the ideal turn in point. Essentially this start point is going to be a little different for everyone.

 

The lesson to be gained by that experiment is to observe the relationship between themselves and the boat. Pulling out super early allows time for the skier to see the boat begin to pull away from them.

 

If we can learn to create a situation/dynamic in which the boat is starting to pull away from us in the glide and before we commit to 'turn in' for the gate then we can guarantee the boat is always acting on us and keeping the line tight on our path to CL. This allows us to experience centripetal acceleration around the pylon from the widest possible point.

 

By turning in on a loose line we are essentially skiing toward center without a source of power. This is bad because we are burning up our own energy as we begin to move toward CL rather then gaining energy during the entire phase of the downswing to CL.

 

The objective is to increase the linear distance the boat is doing work on us before crossing CL, thus creating the maximum amount of centripetal force before the right hand gate ball.

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@Drago I understand that if I am beside the boat, it isn't pulling on me but, if I understand correctly, Caldwell is advocating for allowing the boat to move ahead a bit before the skier moves inbound...start with the line tight. Not going the same speed as the boat but, slightly less. So, when the skier creates some drag, the ZO responds. So that there is some energy earlier. This v. going slightly faster than the boat at turn in..."free of the boat".

 

One smart theory that someone shared with me was to ski "A" settings so that ZO comes on later and is still building rpms as the skier connects to the handle out of the turn...swing. Same person did not like "C" because "C" releases the skier off the second wake and the boat is not gaining rpm at hookup but rather "waiting" for the skier.

 

I really do not know and am seeking learned opinions. I skied C1 from the first year ZO came out till now and liked it. This is the first year ever where it just did not feel right to me anymore so, I am trying to better understand it.

 

 

 

Hmm...

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My opinion is that the ski setup and matchup will influence what a skier likes in terms of ZO settings.

 

For me at 36mph, Deep short setting will always tend to favor directions of C settings or maybe a deep B. Longer/shallow I trend towards A and B.

 

I could get into a book about why, but it’s not necessary. The important thing is to ski what “feels” the best when your both on time and early OR late and in trouble. There isn’t a right or wrong / better or worse.

 

In summary, If your sinking at the back of the turn, go towards B or A settings and/or higher in numbers. Conversely, If your flying past the buoys, go down a letter B or C and/or lower in number.

 

Turning in from “La-la land” (where a skier turns in for that gate from with slack line and completely disconnected from the boat) it will always be difficult to really descipher what ZO setting is best. A slack line gate shot is just far too inconsistent with too many variables out of synch and timing issues that will always result in some kind of issue before hitting CL of the gate.

 

To create consistency on the gate, you’ll need to find a way to get the rope moving in a “downswing” before you turn in from the glide.

 

@Bracemaker - I would advise anyone professing to turn in when free from the pull go watch video of the best skiers in the world take a gate shot.

 

Yes, it can be done at longer lines where it’s not necessary for the rope angle to exceed 45degs on the boat to reach the buoy line, but, it will never function “well” when the rope starts getting beyond 35off.

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@ktm300 My guess is your technique or your setup is now different enough that you don't like C1 anymore (or it's not the C1 you used to know and love :) I've skied A3, A2, B2, B3 with weak boats, and A2 all with good results. I now like C1, B1, and C2. No idea why, but pick them for your Whole skiing, not just gates.
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