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35 off gate and 1 ball - what is wrong?


MISkier
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Here is a quick video of a 34 mph 35 off gate and 1 ball (well, almost). I'm looking to see what went wrong here. The two main things that I saw were:

 

1. Should have been on the front of the ski more in the glide. Front leg a little too straight.

2. The overturn at one ball looks like the ski bit a little and stopped slightly. I'm thinking that maybe shoulders were a little forward into that turn and caused a slight bend at the waist to make the ski bite. Both of those position errors were magnified as soon as the ski stopped a little.

 

What do others see here and/or what could I have done leading up to the problem to prevent it? Thanks in advance.

 

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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More front foot on glide, let your arms out all the way, look into the boat, not where you are going, which will keep your right shoulder from turning into the boat, which will give you more outbound direction so you wont have the slack
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@Rich, let my arms out all the way where? In the glide? Or, as I pull through the wake? I do have a very bad habit of pulling in as I go from the white water to centerline.

 

I like the tip on looking at the boat. I don’t really think about my line of sight through the gate - or what that could be doing to my shoulders. I’m probably too focused on getting to the ball, which is apparently where I am directly aiming.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Where I see the advantage of reaching with straight arms is setting the upper body ahead of the lower keeping weight on the front of the ski and actually getting ahead of it. Way more surface area up there accelerating the ski more efficiently. So much so that the ski catches up to you..may feel like it won't but it does. Side affect is the ski will get faster sooner meaning getting over to the other side quicker allowing you more space before the ball. You can see the pictured comparison diff and how yours will always have more drag forcing a longer pull to generate the speed needed causing slack as there was not enough time to slow the ski down.
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@MISkier it looks like your sitting on the tail in the turn in for the gates. Freeze the frames and you will see how little ski is in the water when you start your turn. Also note you are leaning ahead of the ski and end up in a bent forward position in the white water and not in a chest up eyes level strong position.

 

I’d try to push your left hip forward and counter above the waist to keep your width and wait until the ski comes around more before you lean way (not back). Keep chest up and eyes level until you hit the second wake. Should give you more space to setup a turn.

 

Google Seth Stisher at Belalogo. Great video of a LFF skier.

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Wish and AB are on the right track. The biggest thing I see is that as you start your turn in, you pull the handle up which causes your hips to drop back. Very inefficient leaning position and the weakest link is your biceps.

 

To fix it, get wider on your gates (probably start your pullout earlier), as you start your turn in, consciously think about turning in with your knees and force the handle down to your your hips (in the video, you are pulling the handle up to your shoulders).

 

Those 2 things should make a major improvement. The simple things make the most difference. Its way too easy to over-analyze it.

 

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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Lots of great information here. Thanks @Wish for the images, too. A picture always helps.

 

I’ll be skiing today and will try these things. We are running out of time here, so I’m hoping to make an immediate positive impact. Not sure if I’ll get to -35 today, but will work on it at all lengths/passes.

 

@AB, I have disliked how much tail turn I have had for my gate all year. Just didn’t know what to do about it. Will think of how I initiate it more.

 

Arm position is a big weakness for me. Another skier noted it just on Thursday. A change might be good for me physically. My right bicep has been painful recently and has some weakness that I will have to rehab over the winter.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@MISkier ,

 

Lots of good pointers here....but are they 'root cause?'

 

What your doing with your arms is completely normal for someone who has lost connection with the ''pull'' from the boat. Why in the world would you 'reach' when the line is already loose???

 

Keep in mind "'the reach'' like @AdamCord is doing, is merely a way to allow the boat to move further away from him before being ''pulled''. This allows him to begin his centripetal acceleration (around the pylon) at a wider point in the course. Keep in mind, you cant move back toward center faster then the boat is pulling the handle to center. Otherwise, you are delaying your ability to accelerate.

 

I like the early stages of the pullout on the way into the gate glide. It looks like you have good direction, position at the onset of the outbound move. Where it falls apart is that a moment prior to rising onto a flat ski, your left hand goes all the way across your body. This shows me that your position is compromised. Meaning your chest is facing a different direction then your hips and you get ''twisted' onto the back foot; immediately creating a subtle turn back toward CL not allowing the boat a chance to pull the line tight.

 

Next time out, as your passing the platform of the boat in the pull/lean, don't allow the boat to twist your core and open you up. Keep the left hand as close to the left hip as you can and keep your sternum pointing out to 2 ball (where your hips are pointing) the whole time. You should look to have the sensation the boat is pulling you through your left shoulder/arm and over a flat ski as you come into the glide. This should help you sustain continuity with a tight line the entire gate sequence and avoid the dreaded twist that will roll you onto the backfoot and turning edge way too soon.

 

If for some reason you feel rushed to turn in, simply start the pullout earlier until your almost too slow at the turn in on the back of zero-ball.

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What @adamhcaldwell didn’t say, after crossing the wakes your right shoulder comes forward giving up your outbound direction. I took still shot of your approach into one ball and another of mine at 35 coming into one. Not saying mine is perfect but you can see the difference with our right shoulders
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Tried to work on some things today. Not an ideal day - in a drysuit, chatter on the water, and a brisk head/tail on the body. I also didn't think I executed well.

 

Here are passes at 22 off, 28 off, and 32 off. Poor results all around.

 

@adamhcaldwell, in the 32 off pass, you will see what I did most of the day, which was correct my left hand/arm position after I was in the glide. That was odd and actually changed my direction a little when I did it. In all cases, I still didn't feel connected to the boat at turn in and didn't get my arms as straight as I wanted. Perhaps I was still not timing things right and rushing the turn before the boat pulled me over.

 

I'm not sure how much more ski time we have left, but I'll try to work on it a bit before the season is over.

 

 

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@MISkier

 

Still need more real estate in your glide!

 

The line is slack when you turn in because you do not have the time/space/distance to decelerate naturally before you hit the point of no return.

 

Try to start your pull out an entire boat length earlier then it is now. The body position in the pullout looks much better, you just need more “time” to settle in prior to zero ball. The only way you will find that “time/space/distance is by starting the pullout significantly earlier OR back off the intensity....but that’s usually not what I would recommend.

 

Also, if your correcting arm position in the glide that’s a bit late to make the effort. It should be a focus during the outbound lean in the pullout for the gate. Then as you stand up flat in the glide, the left hand and handle is right where you want it. Make sense?

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Thanks @adamhcaldwell. I was thinking that I was rushed. I will move the pullout much earlier.

 

Edited: I knew the late correction of the left hand and handle was wrong. That's why I included the very obvious occurrence at -32. I felt the other two passes were much closer to what I should be doing. Will concentrate on the correct hand/handle position during the pullout.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Some good stuff in that thread.I've been hitting the wall at 35 off for 13 years.Now,my 32 off are at 90% and still can't go pass 3 ball this morning and a lot of 2s...

@MISkier How is your gate shot and 1 ball 2 years later? Any success @ 35 ?

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@MillerTime38 so how do you achieve that position with your upper body while your ski has changed edges? Just looking for feedback on what movements or feelings you’re trying to execute in this section of the course. Keeping my back shoulder down through the edge change is a primary goal of mine right now and I can’t say I’ve figured it out yet.
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@Andre, I’ve gone a bit backwards this year. I struggled most of the season just to get a couple at -32 and broke my ski (likely a factor in some of that struggling). After a new ski, I’ve encountered some back problems that haven’t fully resolved yet. Those were caused by not keeping up with my exercises and no gym access for 5 months.

 

So, at the moment, I’m trying to get healthy again and reset everything. It’s been a super weird year.

 

I’ll work to get back on track and put some of the discussion here into motion.

 

One of the biggest issues plaguing me at all line lengths is keeping my shoulders back. I was working on that, but my back issues have gotten in the way. Nothing will shut my gate and one ball down faster than crossing the wake shoulders forward and having a closed off body position into the reach. That is the other area of focus, reaching without being tentative or closed off. That is not allowing the turn to finish. Skiing confidently with space before the ball helps me do that. Keeping my shoulders back through the wake (don’t get on your heels, though) helps build the space and the confidence. Getting pitched forward at the wake is shutting all of that down.

 

I hope you are finding some insight to help with your -35. A 90% -32 is likely a very good foundation for that.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Sorry to hear about your injury.

 

You've posted video and are looking for solutions and 1 year later borderline still in the same situation after the previous feedback.

 

Another perspective, your bent arms from the moment you move out and then for the next 16.95 seconds is what is holding you back. You stated, "issues plaguing me at all line lengths is keeping my shoulders back" no offense, but with your body type, lean style, weight vs height, you will NEVER get your shoulders back.

 

What's happening is your pinned elbows-bent arms/elbows are acting as a master hinge. I've seen this too many times I can't count. You'd be better served having your arms away from you, straight parallel to the water so you can get into a leverage position. It might be counter intuitive and opposite of what advice you've been given but if what you were doing was working, this thread wouldn't be here. Especially with a 1 year followup.

 

Sure there are videos of guys who run 41 with bent elbows. Nothing wrong with that but more guys are not running 32/35 with bent elbows/tilted shoulders/ass dragging then the other case.

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@MISkier sorry to hear about being laid up. I haven’t skied for a month and likely done for the year. I know your pain.

 

When you are back in the water remember back to when we skied and what you focused on.

 

Namely, chest up shoulders level with your left hip up to the handle. You were breakIng at the waist a lot and that loads your back up. Could this have been the culprit?

 

Tip pressure on the gate turn in is imperative for a lefty just like the offside turn. Stand tall with hips pressed forward and fall into stack with tip pressure while rotating left hip around.

 

God speed! Maybe one of us will enjoy this amazing weather.

 

My left wrist is messed up, again.

 

 

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@scoke, thanks for the additional info. Interesting thought on the arms away and straight, as I have noticed some passes have gone better when it feels like I am almost pushing them away. I didn’t equate that specifically as causal to the better passes, but as an outcome of something else I accidentally did correctly (maybe both). Obviously, I’ve really struggled to find the right cue and biofeedback to initiate the right actions.

 

Quick question on my body type, though, as that is the first mention I’ve seen of it. What is the issue there? I’m just south of 5’8 and 145-150 pounds. I didn’t think either of those were specific concerns. I’m not sure I can change much. I can probably get down to 140 pounds. When I’m below that, I tend to lose some strength.

 

P.S. I didn’t restart this thread. @Andre did. I’m well aware that I still suck and haven’t fixed anything requiring any new advice to progress through the next problem. As further evidence, here is a 28 off pass from a month ago - two days into the new ski and a week before back trouble.

 

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@A_B, bummer about your wrist. I am still trying to ski. After taking a week off, I skied in pain while resuming some of my exercises at home. I’ve had to resort to a back brace, but it’s obviously not as flexible as I would like to be. Since there isn’t much season left, I’ll take what I can get.

 

Heal quickly and I hope you have a speedy return to the water.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@MISkier it looks like another surgery for me. 6 weeks immobilization and then PT. TFCC joint has something getting hung up. Sharp nerve pain. That will be #3 on that hand/wrist. It’s been a weak link for me for a long time.
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@A_B, good luck. I should not need anything other than my regular back exercises (actually core/abdominal exercises, but prescribed for back problems).

 

Is there any kind of glove design that could transfer load from your fingers/palm further up the forearm and reduce the strain after you recover?

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@MISkier body type, not thinking BMI but more type of build like ectomorph, endomorph etc. Meaning are you a "wiry guy" or are you solid trunk guy or you a tall skinny goofy guy(me)?

 

The whole point is skiing is not about muscle but about how you move on the ski relative to your center of mass (com). If you've got tree trunk legs/skinny arms vs skinny legs/more mass up top, it's going to affect 1) the height of your com and 2) the ability to move on the ski to work with the boat.

 

Your video posted above does take courage to post it on an open forum. Main thing I see is your skiing with muscle and not your frame. You're trying to accelerate using your arms/back/check. Like you're pulling. That's great for perfect pass but does not work with ZO.

 

Look at the better skiers, they have a leaning position not a pulling position. With the stronger engines and zero off, until you rewrite your basic fundamentals, you'll never own any real shortline passes and will be fighting being banged up.

 

Check out this video of a skier that runs legit 41's. his arms are straight, his shoulders are level and his ass isn't dragging across the boat. He's using his frame and he's leaning on the boat. His elbows are ON his vest not pinned to the outside. Sure he's in great physical shape but he's not muscling across the boat. hat tip to @Joelh

https://www.instagram.com/p/CEKlhNKBeV0/

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@scoke, my body type is mesomorph, but on the lighter side of that. It's going to be really hard to undo 40+ years of muscle memory and essentially start over. The biggest hurdle will be overcoming the feeling that the boat is not supporting me, which is what I am likely compensating for by pulling in. It will be a new sensation to just lean away and trust that I won't fall over or backward. As I've tried to fix things, the first bad thing that happens to me is that I get on my heels and feel like nothing is there to provide acceleration.

 

It could be time to just rethink participation entirely.

 

Thank you for your honest insight.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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As 3,000 people can do it and you are saying you can't? It's physically impossible for you to do this but everyone else can? Well that's kinda defeatist. These 3,000 people aren't that special, including me, trust me.

 

 

"falling back on heels" absolutely if you have the technique of "lean back" NO. Lean against the boat off your ski. Not lean back over your fin block, absolutely you will feel like you're falling down.

 

This is an information game of trial and error. "bad habits" is a fixed mindset perspective. "retool" or "rewrite" is a growth mindset. (Carol Dweck)

 

I am pressing you for a light bulb moment.

 

This skier runs 39. She's leaning against the boat and not pulling. Is she leaning off her ski or leaning over the fin block falling back?

 

jauz0ne3nprj.png

 

 

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@scoke, she's leaning away, not back. There may be one difference that many of the 3000 skiers have - years of early coaching that prevented the bad habits in the first place. Their form looks great because it was built from ground up. I watched a couple G3/G4 skiers in our tournament this past weekend and they had the exact excellent form you are mentioning. The G4 skier was into mid -35 at 34 mph and every pass before that looked really easy for her.

 

I'm essentially self-taught (and, apparently, not a very good teacher) up until my mid 40s and less than a handful of interactive coaching sessions total. I'm just wondering if going out for a couple sets after work a few times a week is going to get the job done. I can use video, but reviewing that later probably will just confirm that what I tried didn't work - or I didn't execute it like I wanted or thought I did.

 

I've compiled excerpts from this thread and printed them to formulate a plan for my next set. I will modify everything from the pull out through the gate and through one ball. We will either see a really bad crash or some change. I really don't know what to expect.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Although Mr. Coke has never won any awards for sugar-coating, he does have tremendous insight. If your #1 goal is to run -35 then you need to focus on NOTHING but fundamentally changing your leverage.

 

But if your #1 goal is to have fun skiing after work, you should seriously consider just accepting that -35 likely cannot be run in that position and just enjoy what you CAN do.

 

Understand what your real goals are, and then take the steps to achieve them!

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@Than_Bogan, my goal is to run -35 and go as far as I can. I mentioned the skiing after work as my likely limiting factor to achieve that, based on my enlightened understanding of what is now required to get there. The back of a driver's head may not be enough for me to rebuild everything from scratch and progress. We know I haven't done it by looking at my own video after the fact or reading about it. So, as I am understanding it now and unless I am not identifying the next step correctly, the step to take to achieve a complete rebuild seems to require a lot more resources than I currently have at my disposal. Well, that and a leap of faith in a new body position.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@MISkier I wouldn't see it as a leap of faith, but rather as a commitment. You'd have to get into a mindset where running -28 with arms bent was a score of 0. You'd have to spend a lot of time on open water doing nothing but straightening your arms. You'd have to video regularly to see what you're really doing and then refocus on only the biggest factor preventing you from achieving leverage.

 

If you're not willing to do those things, then running -35 is not your #1 goal. And that would be OK :).

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@MISkier I think you are brave for posting the video and seeking help. Brave is cool and helps in slalom.

 

You can correct this fast and easy. Don't think of it as changing/overcoming a bad habit. Think of it as learning a new one. Nobody is leaning against a loose rope. Most bring their hands in some (or a lot) at the finish at various times. However, once they make contact with the boat (line comes tight), arms are down/ straight.

 

Aside from the physics of centripetal acceleration as described by the Adams, allowing the boat to move ahead a bit at the turn in also creates a tighter line, a more secure line, a line you can lean against. Hearing it expressed different ways helps because one of them will make sense to you. I like the way "patience" is described in the video below. Make the turn, set the angle and wait, wait for the boat to take you across. Don't try to get moving across because if you do this too quickly you will create a loose line. Receive the load, don't create it. Now, you are the rock on the end of the string and you will zing. The audio isn't good in the video but you can make it out.

 

Treat yourself to some pro coaching. You'll love it and feel empowered and renewed. If you can free ski some, do the lean drill out beside the boat, see how far you can ride down the lake in that position with your arms straight. Next ride out, do the same drill with your arms pulled in; it's exhausting. So, if you can run buoys with your arms pulled in, you can damn sure run em with your arms straight cause it is so much easier.

 

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@skispray it’s been a minute since I have been on the water but from what I remember it’s a combination of staying in a strong position behind the boat and then at the time of edge change advancing your left hip forward while maintains pressure with your right arm. If you don’t stay strong behind the boat into the second wake it is very difficult to accomplish because the boat has taken control. When you advance your left hip forward it will automatically cause your right shoulder to roll away from the boat. Also key is right arm pressure, don’t pull With or bend your right arm Just keep your upper body moving outbound and feel more like you are pushing your right arm down
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I worked on a few things last night. Most of my focus was on what @adamhcaldwell was saying about an earlier pullout, longer glide, and, most importantly, the handle on the left hip in the glide. I had what I would characterize as some minor success. I did still see some shoulders forward, but I seemed zip through my gates much quicker and with less load.

 

While I didn't specifically concentrate on the rest of the pass, there were some points where I remembered to get the arms out and on top of the vest (versus pinned to the side) as @scoke had mentioned.

 

If there was any light bulb moment to be noted during all of this, it was that my turn in for the gate seemed to feel like I was letting my arms out to fall into it versus pulling them in and trying to force it to happen.

 

Keep in mind that I am skiing in a back brace and am probably a bit hindered from really getting my hips up at the moment.

 

Here are some screen grabs from the videos:

 

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979k3627ikj4.jpg

 

7mtjnngi6wat.jpg

 

 

7v8muoueidef.jpg

 

9a97wxq4uxrq.jpg

 

bx8qk1ah8p6g.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@MISkier I've skied with bad fundamental stack(butt over the fin box) for almost 20 seasons. I finally decided it was time fully dedicate to correcting it. One thing that has really helped me is to get video then watch it right at the completion of the pass. I just get on the platform to take a quick look then ski another. It makes a big difference to me to have pretty much immediate confirmation as to whether or not I really making the changes I think I’m making. Hope that helps.
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@lkb, that would be the best way to do it, but it's a bit difficult for me to do that with the screen size (think iPhone 4/SE size) that I have and my role as driver for the next in the rotation in an evening session. My best opportunity for that would be a weekend day with, hopefully, enough time available from my ski partners to accommodate some review.

 

If I could quickly transfer the video to an iPad or something with a larger screen, that would help. It's difficult to really see what is going on with the small phone.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@miskier yeah it’s a little tougher logistically but it really doesn’t take a tremendous amount longer. I think my phone is an iPhone 8 so it is bigger but if whoever is videoing can help you zoom some maybe it’ll be a benefit. A lot of times just a quick glance tells the tale.
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By no means am I a great skier, nor do I claim to be. But I can recognize a glaring flaw in your skiing, mostly because it's something I struggle with as well. And the best way I can think of helping you see it is with photos. So here's some photos of people who ARE great skiers, at or near the apex of their turns, followed by a few stills of you.

 

8tgk7ponupck.jpg

aen5zdm1e66b.jpg

0zcxs4urqzb8.jpg

yye5cup1rjz4.jpg

 

Now you:

 

dytx42h3f6qt.jpg

28 off

 

bs5j1t0g20vg.jpg

35 off

 

Granted, the other skiers are skiing on a shorter rope than you, but they are at lengths that are probably as short for them as 35 is for you. The fundamental difference between them and you is that they've learned to let their skis "cast out" so they reach full extension at the apex of their turns. Meanwhile, there's no point in your turn where your "reaching" hand is more than a foot or two away from your free hand - in fact, you could probably have left both hands on the handle and still gotten the same results. Which, at 35 off, are:

 

4cbvhc5bhffz.jpg

 

There aren't too many skiers around that can suck up THAT kind of slack. In my opinion you have to learn how to let your ski cast out, trusting that the speed and power you gained through the wake will let you reach full arm extension, and then make the ski "snap" back under the line. No question the other changes advised here are very important too, but if you can't learn to release and reach "properly" I'd say you may have found your ceiling.

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@RGilmore, I agree with you. But, as with any specific moment that ends a ski pass, the cause may be even the previous buoy earlier, etc. I believe I can probably get that extension at -35. In fact, it should be showing up at -32 and -28 as well. But first, I need to be there with more space and a better body position. My lack of space now is a direct result of things I am doing wrong at the gate and with my body position (shoulders, especially) through the wake. I think I can improve that reach once I have some more time and angle to work with. I'm losing both at the moment.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@RGilmore, one other thing. Every one of those photos was not taken from the back of the boat, as my video was. Perspective can make things look different.

 

Here is a shot from shore that might look a little better, albeit on a longer line.

 

9lg1nq9zial7.jpg

 

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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@RGilmore @MISkier In my opinion, that's a secondary consideration at this moment. Casting out happens largely as a result of generating speed and in particular rapid rotation of the rope to the ball. If you are already stalling out as you get near the ball, casting out can't happen.
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Hats off to @MISkier to accept all the valuable input (and criticism) on here, and great initial results making some improvements. There are a ton of skiers who are stuck in about the same place, for much the same reasons - me included.

I agree that @MISkier has to improve with maintaining line tension as he allows his ski to carve/smear into and through the apex of the turn.

Can the more advanced skiers offer comments on a few "keys" for helping skiers at this level to maintain some line tension into and out of the turns?

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@Zman

Way to hijack someones skiing improvement and self discovery while distracting folks making it about you!

 

You can start your own thread and post up your own video. It's easy, click "Post"

Here's a thread title "My onside turns suck and i have slack - what is wrong? Help me, with video!"

 

 

 

 

 

:D

 

 

disclaimer: zman and I both have run some buoys out of "the snake pit" in Louisiana and have known each other for a while. my post is in semi-jest!

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Hello @scoke Good to hear from you. Hope all is well. Certainly was not my intent to hijack the thread or make it about me. I was only trying to build on what @MISkier was learning, as it seems to apply to many of us stuck at about the same place. I think @MISkier sees it that way?

Good suggestion though. If I post some video of my onside turns, I will use the title you suggested. Thanks. B)

I will also remove the comment above about my onside turns as not to make this about me.

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