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lpskier
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I remember this coming up on a thread before. Someone mentioned that Andy Mapple skied a site that at least had balls on both sides so you could run it with odd on left. He ran it backwards and commented that it was easier. I used to think that being left foot forward, the odd balls on the right helped me as I really just have 2 offside turns. But as I focus more and more on gates I wonder if my gate would be better if it was an on-side cross.
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Think about the percentage of LFF vs RFF skiers. It’s probably on the neighborhood of 30%

 

Then remember there was about a 10 year stretch that 3 out of the 4 men who had run 41 in a record tournament were LFF and I think you have your answer on which FF has the advantage.

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my theory is that most RFF skiers have a better On Side until they run (approximately) 32 off @ 36 or 35 @ 34. At that point most (RFF skiers) have a better Off Side. Maybe it is because of all the time spent working on gates and one at a skiers hardest pass.

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As a RFF skier, I cannot at all imagine how anyone can take their off-side pull through the gate. If there is some theoretical advantage for me to having 1-ball on the left, it would take me years to see it.

 

I've never seen any compelling evidence that there was any advantage either way. @Bruce_Butterfield You know better than to claim that minuscule sample size means anything! Replace just one of those guys with a RFF and suddenly it's 50/50.

 

EDIT: Actually I'm the one not paying full attention. You're referring to the ratio of the pool vs. the ratio of the record holders. Ok, that's not completely silly. But I think 4 skiers in one selected time window is still way too few to draw any conclusion.

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@Than_Bogan I think LFF gate is likely harder but if you nailed it I think it might be better.

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@Than_Bogan yes it’s a small sample, that taken by itself is hard to draw any conclusions. However when considering that a LFF skier essentially has 3 strong side turns vs. 2 for a RFF skier that is further supporting evidence.

 

Another observation, after watching hundreds of skiers across the ability spectrum from the boat, lefties consistently turn 1 ball tighter and in better body position than righties - even with the weak side gate.

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@Bruce_Butterfield it's my opinion that a really good on side turn at Shortline requires even more skill than an offside turn so I sort of disagree until skiers are really Pro level

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@Than_Bogan 0 ball turn is more important for RFF than lefties. If you get a good 1 ball, it doesn't matter 1 iota if you got a crappy 0 ball. One reason I kinda agree with you is that RFF skiers tend to overdo the gates. One of my bad habits it to ramp it up to 11 at the gates as the rope gets shorter. A good 0 ball "should" help get a smooth gate without going to 11. Lefties are incapable of going to 11 on the gates the same way righties are incapable of 11 from 1 to 2.

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I don't agree that Asher or Fred Winter or Nate for example have weaker onside turns but there may be other examples out there that illustrate a toe side turn becoming "better" but you would need to define better. Under real pressure I still think most skiers would opt for heel side if their life depended on it, actual data on where high end skiers make their first big tournament mistake would be interesting. There is a reason why heel side is called the onside and I don't think that has changed. As a lefty the thought of an offside at 5 ball would keep me awake at night :smile:
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@ozski if you're talking about the top 10 skiers in the world their skills are at a different level. What I'm saying is a large percentage of skiers that are in the upper 20% of the sport but not super elite have more consistent off-site turns.

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@DaveLemons, have you tried to put an offset in your fin depth to revive that onside turn? Just a small washer under the fin block on the opposite side (right side of ski for LFF, left side of ski for RFF) and the onside works better.

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@ozski there is no data. only speculation.

 

I do agree that part of what makes the onside turn hard is the exit from offside and the wake crossing heading towards onside. Sort of the inverse of the way you stated it above. Speaking personally as a right foot forward skier my two four six suffers because of errors I make right after the second wake. These errors are the result of my stance leaving offside.

 

As far as ski design goes, there are definitely skis which make on side way better but predominantly skis on the market today are either more balanced or slightly more offside oriented (in my opinion).

 

The argument could also be made that you can greatly bias a ski from onside offside with fin settings.

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