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Stack and Speed into Centerline


skispray
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One of the things I've learned a lot about in the last year or so from reading this forum is about the physics of the edge change and handle connection. I tried to improve my edge change this year based on what I'd gleaned from this forum, and I think it helped some, but the single biggest lesson I learned this year is that you can't do a "proper" edge change, which I would characterize as an edge change that occurs at the center line and allows you to maintain strong connection to the boat, unless you have excellent speed into center line. And you can't have good speed into centerline without excellent stack. In fact, as a 28-off skier I've started to believe that handle control at and after the edge change is overrated. In fact, I would go as far as to say the following:

 

An early edge change and handle control are not important until you get to 35 or maybe 38 off, because the fundamental skill that you need to master to run 28/32/35 is good speed into centerline and, if you have that, you can run these passes with poor handle control

Good stack and speed into centerline are a prerequisite to achieving an early edge change with handle control

An early edge change and good handle control will be made easier, or maybe even automatic, if you have excellent stack and speed into centerline

 

The above statements were meant to be potentially controversial in order to generate discussion, but the main reason I started this thread is because I want to know what a skier has got to do to go from the top picture to the bottom picture here.

 

nw2f1lbuk2bl.png

 

 

And yes, I know @Horton is going to say straighten your back leg. If that's the honest answer then that's great but I would like to get into the details. Specifically, are you thinking about straightening your back leg and standing tall as you are in your cut on the way to the wake, as opposed to doing that in the pre-turn before the buoy? If so, how do you avoid auguring into the wake and eating sh*#t?

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@skispray This is for sure interesting winter conversation. Before I comment on your theoretical premise and question let me say that as a 28 off skier you are getting WAY ahead of yourself. If you just perfected your stance you would likely pick up 6 balls, find yourself with good connection at least to center line and the timing of your edge change would work itself out.

 

Your numbered points

  1. When edge change happens is mostly something that (usually) just happens. There are a number of things that can go wrong that will result in a longer pull. I do not follow why you lumped handle control into this bullet but as you pull longer off the second wake your ability to control the handle on the way to the ball diminishes.

     

    So is handle control important for you at 32 off - 36 MPH? Hell yes. If you make a ton of speed to the first wake and then just let the handle out at the second wake your life is going to be hard.

     

  2. Mostly yes.

  3. Nope. You can be PERFECT into the first wake and then lose all at the second wake.

 

To answer you final question.... You need to be a very talented athlete and train with one of the best skiers who ever lived for about 5 years. @AdamCord may want to give a more technical answer.

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I believe the main reason you want the perfect forward stack into center-line, along with keeping the handle tight to the body, throughout the edge change is to develop "SWING SPEED."

 

Swing speed is what will propel you up high on the boat and is the KEY essential to short line skiing. Nate is the absolute best at this that I have ever seen, and one of the reasons I always hear people say, "His 39 looks just like his 32."

 

 

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So in those 2 examples the first skier is more likely to eat s@#$ than the second skier. The first example ahould have both more load AND the distance between the COM and COM target is essentially potential energy waiting to unload on you the minute something goes wrong in the most powerful of ways.

 

Ive been trying this on 28 all summer and it doesnt seem to fail in an OTF direction.

 

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@Ed_Johnson yes that’s my understanding as well. So let me rephrase my argument as follows: Good swing speed is a necessary and sufficient condition for running extreme shoreline. But good swing speed can only be generated via good cross course speed from buoy to centerline. Thus, cross course speed is the first and most fundamental skill a slalom skier needs to develop. It’s necessary to run short rope. It isn’t sufficient because, as Horton mentioned, it’s still possible for everything to go haywire after the wakes, but I still believe it will be easier, and more automatic, for things to go right after the wake if you are in a truly fast, truly efficient position into the wakes, like @AdamCord is in the “good” image above. It seems like if the water is breaking well above your front toe while you’re pulling and the ski is generating cross-course speed that’s going to get you most of the way there as far as your short line potential.
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@BraceMaker

http://media.tumblr.com/fe497dd337d9af8479bb6398b9565d16/tumblr_inline_mg6n5ltl6X1rxe4lt.gif

What?!?!?

 

 

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For context i'm skiing into 32@34 this past season so maybe not qualified to sound in...... load is a topic that maybe is missed here. Loading too early off the ball is just a lot of work and compounding problems as you approach CL way overloaded. You can build a lot of speed into the wakes like this but you won't be in a good position to do anything with it and likely there will be too much line tension making handle control difficult to manage. But you can run 22 and 28 off like this without too much trouble, shorten to 32 and it's obvious your doing it wrong.

 

I've found it important to let the ski finish the turn, and be In a good stacked position on hook up, and "let" the load build as you approach CL. When I'm able to do this I hit CL with a lot of speed and edge change seems to happen automatically and it's much easier to keep the handle in tight. Setting you up for nice approach to the next ball.

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@skispray the main concept that you need to start to wrap your head around to get from pic 1 to pic 2, is how progressive the swing is into CL. Your goal is to reach max speed at CL, which means that’s where you’ll get max rope load and max angle. You need to build into that, meaning you are moving dynamically all the way into CL, and are never just “holding” a static position. If I tried to hold that way forward position statically I’d just go OTF, but because I’m building angle and speed, it feels like coming out of sprinter blocks. The ski catches up to you by CL and keeps you from going OTF, and you build insane swing speed.

 

That speed will make the edge change happen more on its own, as the load through the ski drops inversely with speed. The load through the rope is still really high though so staying connected involves keeping your body positioned to handle that load.

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@Horton I win I win! - the elusive retracted panda.

 

So what would your response be to: "if so how do you avoid augering into the wakes"

Do you feel the skier is at additional risk of OTF crash skiing in a more efficient stance or a reduced risk of OTF crash due to reduced force on arms....

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@BraceMaker you said

in those 2 examples the first skier is more likely to eat s@#$ than the second skier. The first example ahould have both more load AND the distance between the COM and COM target is essentially potential energy waiting to unload on you the minute something goes wrong in the most powerful of ways.

 

There is nothing out of control or dangerous about that first skier. Nothing in that image looks like OTF. Is it cutting-edgeblazing awesome world-class 41 off awesome? No. That is pretty close to what most people that run 35 and 38 look like. The skier in that image is a little bit back but in no way out of control.

 

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Risky business but I am going to chime in a little bit, so why do we not focus on control, example is coming off the bouy with far too much angle or load, which results in things happening that you have no control over, which makes the pass difficul to manage.

Do you need to be that wide or early ? what about taking slightly less angle and load and ski to a distance in front of the bouy that is going to enable you to keep control and make the next turn, would this make for more consistency, allowing you to perfect timing and rhythm.

 

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@Stevie Boy would you really say that what's holding you (or anyone) back on your hardest pass is being too wide and early?

 

That being said there's a reason why most shortline skiers are running setups that cause the ski to turn more slowly than stock/longer line skiers. The speed, forces, and bank angles are higher as the rope gets shorter, so you don't want a ski that goes 90 on the back of the buoy on your opening pass, or you'll quickly be out of control as you shorten the rope.

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@AdamCord I probably didn't put across what was I my mind that well, what I was trying to put across was that if you go too hard and bite off more than you can chew, it becomes dangerous and out of control, the point you make in your second paragraph.

Thankyou for putting me right.

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@Stevie Boy I think the goal is to apply your efforts at the appropriate time. (not "do less so it's more manageable) By doing so we can be more efficient and much stronger behind the boat where we need it most. Load here builds more and more and peaks at CL. I'm guessing here but the edge change may help manage all that load by giving you a move to direct all that energy and shoot the ski out onto a turning edge.

 

Loading off the ball creates a situation in which you likely will not be strong enough to maintain that position all the way across CL. Meaning you'll be giving up position and direction. In this scenario you need to load immediately off the ball and then your actually loading less as you approach CL. If your loading less as you approach CL your losing position, and direction is slowly becoming more down course. I ski just like this most of the time. it's my biggest hold back and very difficult habit to change.

 

 

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@skispray you should drive your hips forward to the handle through the turn, but not necessarily try to create ski angle. I think it was @drew who first told me to try and "leave the ski pointed down the lake" coming through the turn. While that's not what actually happens, that's the feeling you want to have as you start to accelerate to center, and the ski angle builds into the wakes.
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My two cents: Being concerned about having your COM a few degree forward or not; should not be in your top 5 things to work on when learning 32 and 35.

 

I would suggest that being in a position of 2A (above) will result in many OTF and injuries. Yes, handle control really matters, most skier release way to early and you should hold on to the handle until you are transitioned from the end change to the turn. Handle control is one of the few things that I feel that I do well. It may be old school but running the course with two hands on the handle is an excellent way to learn handle control and resist the temptation to release early.

 

My suggestion is that you need to keep front of the ski down in the turn and then strive to get as much angle as you can comfortable sustain. I.E don't have too much angle and get "stood up by the boat" or too little that you don't generate the speed or angle for the next turn. Then hold your position and then when you transition to the edge change do it immediately, don't pull, pull less, go flat, slightly on edge, then on edge, the rinse and repeat 5 more times. Your edge change should be aggressive almost a violent action from pulling edge to the other edge.

 

If you just maintain a reasonable pulling position, hold it, and change edge without a significant dead zone you can run 32 with any COM position. Don't over think it.

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A 28off skier does not have near enough technique to try to emulate 2B. There are far better things to worry about, such as standing balanced on the ski and keeping the hips over the bindings not just behind the boat, but from the time you pull out to the time you go out the exit gates. Guess what happens when you have the hips centered and in line past the centerline and through the turn. Handle control suddenly improves. And vice versa. When your hips are centered into and through the turn, you'll find yourself chasing the handle far less. So many people concentrate on stack into centerline, then give it up after center, which forces the hands away from the body, the ski changes it's arc downcourse and then the release has to happen because your mind thinks your behind.
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Some people have touched on this a little but I think it's pretty important - what goes on leading into the buoy is just as important aswhat you doing coming out of it. If I'm not mistaken, I think Andy Mapple indicated in his slalom video of ages ago (2003?) that he thought the space from centerline to the buoy was actually the most important part of the course.
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@rob how do you think you make more space?

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@Horton, I ski into 35 on a good day. What's listed below seemed to work to help me get there. Others may disagree with it, and I admit what I write may in fact be outright wrong. In no order:

 

1. Separate the edge change from releasing the handle. Put another way, just stay on the handle a tiny bit longer. Failing to do this led to a path straight to the buoy (for me)

2. Accept that you will be carrying more speed as you progress from 22 to 28. I think skiers moving between these lines get the speed they're used to from 22 and start their release, but at 28 that's usually too early. This is more a mental thing...

3. Actively think about keeping your outside shoulder square to the boat. That means not letting it get pulled to face the inside the course. This helps with #1 a bit too. This may be controversial, but it worked for me.

4. Let the line out as slowly as you can - let the boat take it from you. It's not always possible (you're scrambling), but when you can do it, it helps to keep the line tight - even to the point where you can pull yourself around the turn a little and immediately get underway to the next buoy.

5. Do not attempt to ski the impossible line. I think Schnitz or Rossi noted this ages ago -it was a good article wherever it was from. It has to do more with what you do from buoy to centerline but has a direct effect on centerline to next buoy. Simplified, don't bite off more than you can chew. If you load too much too early, you'll be pulled inside from centerline to buoy every time. There is a limit to how much you can hold - accept that you are not running on a 90 degree angle from buoy to buoy no matter how it feels...

 

All of this is far too much to think about all the time. It took years for me to piece this together, concentrating on one point at a time, and most of it still doesn't happen all the time. When I get 2 or 3 of them right, the buoys seem to fall into place, for me anyway.

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@rob yep I think you are pretty right on. You are off topic for this specific thread but your information is good. Maybe the one thing that you overlook in your text is if you are not stacked and going as fast as possible into the first wake there is nothing you can do after the second wake will make more space.

 

You make your space from the ball to the wakes not from the wakes the ball. After the second wake all you can do is maintain your space. All the technique you described above allows you to maintain the most possible space. Not create additional space.

 

To put it differently you build all your speed before the wakes. Everything you do after the wake is about holding on to that speed so you can catch the boat.

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@BraceMaker Andy had a DVR out on Slalom technique where he talked about speed and creating space before the buoy. There is a ton of good stuff in there. One thing I remember was him saying there is no thing as too much speed. I kind have interpreted that to mean that there is no such thing as too much speed into the first wake. You definitely don't want to be adding speed after the centerline.

 

 

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@Chef23 I think the reality is you can not add the right kind of speed after the centerline. It is easy to make a lot of speed directly at the ball but that is not the speed you need.

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So, independent of this discussion, on my last several sets, I’ve been working on moving from the “2A position” to the “2B position.” I’ve been doing this by a) incorporating @horton’s Suggestion of consciously straightening my back leg in particular in the edge change and then holding that position and then b) feeling the load of the ski from merge to the second wake on my front foot rather than my back. Although the 2A position with the ski in front feels safer and 2b feels like an OTF in the making, it is becoming more comfortable and I can feel the efficiency. I’ve been stuck with an average of between 2 and 3 @38 for like forever, so I’m taking the bull by the horns this winter and trying a big change that’s not just a new ski, new fin or new board shorts that look like they have a big score in them.

Lpskier

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Good News and the Bad News !!!

 

Good News...For as long as I can remember I have been working on the 2b position. While my onside has been close for some time, my offside is the one that suffered. Last week finally had a break through and started getting 2b on an average of one pass per set. Did learn you had to get it from the gate to keep it going. No way to just jump in to it in the middle of a pass. So confidence was getting high.

 

Bad News...Friday came out with great confidence that I had finally figured out the secret. Third pass I nailed it, then Holy Sh*t. Something I never thought of was that increased forward lean would put a lot more pressure on my front Reflex and "BAMMM", it released right at the centerline with Max Speed, right at the edge change. Flipped, bounced and ended up from centerline to well out past the buoy line with no ski in sight. Felt like I had been hit by a Bus and a Semi.

 

I pass this on so others may think about increasing spring pressure that may be needed in pursuing this really forward position. Been using these same settings for years and never had a pre-release like that before. Thank God for Grey Goose so I can type this.

 

 

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@Ed_Johnson I am thinking about the fall as you describe it and I'm going to say it doesn't make sense to me.

 

Is the cuff of your boot locked out? Is it a stock boot? Was your spring setting super light? Is the boot super old?

 

Even the top pros in the world don't bring their center of mass far enough forward to lift their front heel.

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Nothing rocked my confidence more than a pre-realease I had. Concussion, the works.... That was several years ago, and after concluding that it must have been user error in that I didn't fully engage the silvretta (I think), to this day I triple check that thing. I skied scared for quite awhile after that one. Felt like something I didn't deserve...
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@Horton...Didn't make sense to me either. I've had that same setting of 7.5 on my Supershell for years now. Same setting I also used on my Trick Ski. Never had a pre-release before. I also have never had my COM that far forward when I hit the centerline before either. I moved it up to 8.5 so when I recover from this, I hope to never experience that again. I also have had the boot cuff locked in a 15 degree forward position for years now with no problems what so ever.

 

I am not giving up on the 2b position since the performance it yields is sensational. Explosive edge change with massive swing speed going into the preturn, allowing you to be way up on the boat at apex. Done right it is magical.

 

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@Ed_Johnson I am with @Horton here, my thinking is if you feel you have got it on your onside and haven't pre released I would expect you should now just be putting on the same pressure on your offside and should have no problem.

The only reason I comment is I have had a 750 Reflex spring break on me and two 404s break at the weld and all happened right behind the boat like your crash so maybe worth checking your spring.

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@Ed_Johnson I would only expect a prerelease when working on this if you got your chest forward but you were "broken" at the hips. That could force your front heel to lift, especially if you have a lot of load when you hit the wake. Keep in mind that if you are feeling the wakes a lot, it's because your feet are still heavily loaded at the wakes. If your feet are heavily loaded at the wakes, it's because you were slow to accelerate.

 

Make sure you are stacked with your hips in line with your feet and shoulders, and focus on building progressive angle to increase your speed at the wakes. Do that and you should have positive downward load through your front foot:

 

6aki549vdxio.png

 

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@Ed_Johnson I just want to go on record that I makes me nervous that you are changing your release setting that much. I do not know what happened but I do not want you to get hurt worse. If you tweak your setting PLEASE do a dry land test to make sure it will release if needed.

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@AdamCord I sort of fixed your image. I can not deal with you skiing down hill

 

upxmthp81kpf.gif

 

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@Ed_Johnson - Check your reflex for slop in "roll" within the release. If the boot can roll, it will preload the release and can cause it to break free when it shouldn't. Almost every reflex I see come through TL 'looks' okay, but has excessive lateral movement. I used to have issues all the time until I added a big metal plate to the base of the shell to eliminate lateral roll. The plate carries the lateral loads rather then the spring tension in the release.

 

On another note, getting over the ski more is going to wet out more of the ski into first wake. If this is causing you to 'hit the wakes' harder, then take a look at your setup. Typically, as @AdamCord stated, its from a lack of acceleration.

 

For example, a ski can be slow to accelerate into the first wake if;

 

(1). the tip is too low AND/OR the lever is too big, causing excessive whetted surface area AND excessive resistance to rotation (fin too far back); Pitch is low (IE tip down), but whetted ski surface area becomes too high and the ski cannot continue to rotate under load to continue to build angle into CL.

 

(2) the tip is too high AND/OR fin area/drag is too big. The more pressure applied the steeper the pitch angle, the more 'it 'plows'. Need to somehow allow the tail to 'slip' more such that the tip can lower and help correct the pitch issue. Too much depth AND/OR length with the boots too far back can cause this situation.

 

Think of it like this.....the faster you want to accelerate & decelerate, the faster the ski needs to build angle and rotate so it can stay in rhythm with you. If your ski is over-stable in any one dimension of pitch/roll/yaw, then it will suffer in either acceleration AND/OR deceleration - especially as the rope gets shorter.

 

Something worth mentioning here.... that picture was from a month ago when Cord came to test the new Denali. He hadnt been on the water in two months. Somehow his first set on the second prototype (softer flex) he ran 4@41 @ 34. Fin was 0.95, 2.510, 6.700 ballpark with the boot in the 27.75 neighborhood...I think.

 

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@lpskier - don't EVER discount the positive effect that a new pair of trunks can have on your buoy count. Properly timed though - you bring those shorts out at the start of the season, because we all know the devastating effect that changing to a new set of trunks mid-season can have.
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Thanks everyone for all the good advice.

 

The problem I had occurred right at the edge change. When I released the ski pressure at centerline, holding the handle in close, and holding onto the handle pressure, and brought my knees up, the boot came up but not the ski. It was like I literally pulled the boot off the ski doing the edge change.

 

Many years a go I had a similar experience when I use to ski with Powershells, using Dual Lock. Pulled the boot right off the ski. Felt like the same exact thing, and my ski partner confirmed that. His words were, "Man you looked great, what the hell happened."

 

The position I had was my onside, and similar to Cords picture above, just add 1 second later. I hope this was a one time event.

 

 

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I think what we've all learned from this is that you should always use video when you ski. Not necessarily to help us to better but so we can show our friends our terrible crashes

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@Ed_Johnson - was the prerelease with a new boot from reflex?

I had some bad experience with a new boot that kept releasing because the screw holding the back strap wasnt countersinked => if the boot bent backwards (after a not perfect turn) it hit the release.....

BUT if you have fixed the angle on your boots its most likely not the problem.

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@sfriis...The Reflex Supershell I used is now 3 years old and is fixed in the forward position. I was using the same setting, 7.5, 6'4"@ 220lbs. Never had a pre-release before. Used the same setting on my trick ski. The only difference was that I have been increasing my forward load position for some time now, and when I hit the centerline, beginning my edge change, the front boot pre-released. I have since tightened the spring to 8.2 and have had no problems ever since.

I only mentioned this to bring attention to the fact, that increasing the forward loaded position, IMHO, puts more pressure on the front boot and may require more spring pressure than you normally used with a neutral or rearward loaded position, and I did not want anyone else going through a pre-release, which was brutal !!

 

 

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