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Tips to stop pulling after the wakes


Cam
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My 65yo wife has been running the course at 22mph for a few years now but hasn't got any further and everyone comments that she pulls after the wakes.

Looking for tips or keys for her to work on to stop this any help appreciated.

Video from last May, we hoped she would improve through the season but she never managed to run 24mph.

 

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@Cam at that speed the fact that she pulls after the second wake is normal. The only way to fix it is to make more speed before the first wake.

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@Cam first off that is awesome that your wife is learning to ski the course at 65 and looking to improve. @Horton hit on the key that you need to make more speed before (and I would say through) the wakes to not pull after. I think that part of the issue may be where her focus is when she comes out of the turn. It looks like to an extent she is pulling to the next buoy. I frequently tell beginners to pretend that the next buoy is 20 feet earlier and 10 feet wider than it is. To get there you are going to have to have more angle out of the previous buoy and more speed. If she can combine thinking about that with trying to work hard through the wakes I think it will get her where she needs to be. It looks like she has the fundamentals to run 24 mph if she resets her focus and works on pulling into and through the wakes. That should set her up with enough speed to start the edge change after the white water off the second wake.
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She is letting up after the turn, so she has to pull again after the wakes to get out to the ball. she is essentially pulling twice. If she learns to finish the turn completely and then make a more progressive pull through the wakes she will have more success. Your wife will have to get used to developing more speed. She might want to work on building up her skills and the speed outside of the course.
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First and foremost, it's awesome that she is out there giving it a rip. She really seems to have good control crossing the wakes, so I'll echo what other have said. If she will cut through the wakes (the ski will not want to hop as bad) then she wouldn't have to pull after the wakes as much. Still may have to a little at that speed though. I'd run with only a 1/4 tank of fuel to help with the wakes too.
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Also, try and get her to imagine a ball about 6 feet behind (up course) from the ball she's headed to. It almost looks like she's giving up some of her angle because she's aiming for the next ball (instead of in front of it).

 

I love the enthusiasm. Tell her great job!

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Your wife is skiing incredibly. Well done to her and well done to you. She clearly loves it and I hope my wife still lives skiing that much at 65

 

The wakes are the biggest thing holding her back from increasing speed. Try shortening the rope to -22 to narrow the wakes and see if it helps. Try it for a few sets. The wakes will be even better at -28 but it does change how you ski a bit. Still worth a try.

 

Otherwise buy an awesome outboard ski boat just for her use that has great slalom wakes at her speed. tiny wakes make slalom so much fun and it helps people quickly improve to the point they can ski fast enough to enjoy smaller wakes behind an onboard and keep improving behind it. I’m not sure about a new prostar maybe they might have better 24mph slow speed slalom wakes @Horton

 

The outboard small boat suggestion is not a joke. It could transform the sport for your wife making it much safer and much, much more fun. It is possible to have a tiny 34mph sized wake at 22mph with the right boat

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An additional general comment: coaching that says what NOT to do is useless at best -- and more likely sets you back by making you think about the thing you're not supposed to.

Use the ideas above to focus on what TO do, and the long pulling will go away in time.

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I could never do the 'imagine a ball that is 6,10,300 feet in front of the real ball' deal. So instead I opted to look at the pylon. I personally think that works better. It ensures you're not looking at the ball or whatever else is over there so you don't ski directly at it. It also helps you keep your body square to the boat. Further more it think it helps distract you from the speed. You can cut hard and focus on the pylon.

 

I also disagree on the wakes comments. With a proper cut those wakes will not be an issue. To fix that I'd get out of the course. Personally I think some open water training will yield the best results here. Just a few sets of cutting drills will drastically improve course performance. Time out of the course will always benefit a person just learning the course. We often get to fixated on balls to consider open water training.

 

Pull out wide, coast, drive your hip in towards the wake and let your ski fall under you until your hands and hips connect. Look at the pylon and ride the cut across and coast. Repeat side to side until you can cut through the wake on an edge. Right now she is basically on a flat ski.

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I would try speeding the boat up a little. Maybe 25mph tbe wake should flatten a little and she should be creating more speed with less effort, since she'll be more on "top" of the water. I've tried skiiing at slower speeds and it felt like I was working hard and going nowhere.
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Lovely to see your wife skiing. In addition to the above comments, I would get her a bigger ski to start off with, that would make the slow speeds easier as the ski would be on the water and not in the water (as your vid shows she's sinking round the buoys and a lot of energy is needed to get the ski on the plane again). Alternatively you can move her bindings as far forward as possible so that more of the ski's area is in contact with the water. Obviously as the speed goes up, and she's more stacked, you would get to the point where you would have to move the bindings back.

 

J.J.

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You could try speeding up one MPH at a time and see if that helps her. I wouldn’t jump to 25 or 26 mph though. Regarding boat wakes if you are thinking of buying a new boat get her behind a newer boat. If you don’t want to buy a new boat don’t get her used to it as she won’t want to go back.
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Thanks for the input guys, to be honest we have tried most of the advice above and she is slowly improving managing 5@24 last year, we take her up in 1k incriments.

The boat is a 3yo stripped out TXI, maybe the wakes just look big as she is only 5ft 0, I like them at 22off 32mph compared to other tournament boats I have tried.

@ScottScott trying to get a laugh from a Brit with a link to a US sitcom is like you guys trying to watch a German one, if there is such a thing o:) .

In the meantime I am going to get her to watch TWhisper showing us how it is done.

 

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In the video the front of your wife’s ski flaps up and down a lot when she crosses the wake. My wife does the same thing and that is what is holding up her confidence to go quickly across the wakes and is preventing improvement in the course. I’ve tried explaining ways but I can’t communicate a solution. The problem is, my wife can go faster but she risks a massive tip bury which has caused her ongoing neck problems since the last time it happened.

Clearly @twhisper has no such problem at slow speed. Any tips to help my wife?

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@Chef23 no. at that speed and line length the wakes seem huge and she needs to make speed asap. If she was much younger (no offence) you might be right but no.

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@Horton I don’t disagree with he generating speed earlier but if she really wants to progress she needs to learn to work through the wakes. I agree the wakes are big at that speed and acknowledge her age but I have yet to see someone who can learn to run passes at higher speeds without learning that fundamental.
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not saying she should not strive to stay down through the wakes but telling a 26 mph skier to wait for the wakes to make speed is ridiculous.

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Does SHE actually want to get much better or are you vicariously pushing her ? Looks like she’s having a great time skiing within her ability and not getting hurt :) she’s riding flat between the wakes because it feels safer and is easier for her to stay in control. Pulling on the other side is the only way to make it out there, so not really a problem at all, just the compromise to get it done and keep having fun with her obsessive husband :)

I’d focus on making sure she’s still smiling at the end of each pass and work on your connection from wake to ball.

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@Horton I agree with not waiting for the wakes as soon as she finishes the turn and gets the ski pointed in the right direction she wants to start working. I guess my point was she needs to work through the white water after the second wake. I wasn't precise enough in my explanation.

 

@Deep11 makes a great point about is it her objective or not. If it is truly hers she is likely going to have to make some commitments behind the boat she is nervous about right now.

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@Deep11 believe it or not I would be quite happy if she was pottering up and down the lake and then relaxing with a glass prosecco and chatting with other skiers as long as we still get to spend weekends at the lake.

But she is a very determined little little lady and the quest for progress is all her (she was first on the water yesterday), she has been around the game long enough and knows how it works and unfortunately she has got the bug just like the rest of us.

Gone are the days where she would go for a walk between sets, now I know that I will find her in the boat watching other skiers.

Finally as you know if she hadn't wanted to ski last year I would probably have called it a day and got the pipe and slippers out, all I can say is she seems to be enjoying it just as much as the rest of us o:) <3

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So here,s my take on it, Right or Wrong, it appears that she has loose line off the turn and then tries to go, if you wait and are patient the ski will give angle but also she will have the line and feel the boat, in my experience and my first 4 sets after winter lay off, I can be guilty of this, if you are not patient and do not let the boat pick you up and give you speed across course, you end up pulling with your arms in an attempt to get across course, not good because you have no postion against the boat, you pull with your arms, and can end up OTF.

When you hear skiers talking about a tight line that is because they can feel the boat pick them up and generate speed and angle across course, you are also able to get a much stronger/safer position against the boat, obviously there are other aspects to a tight line during the turn etc which are positive.

Watch a Pro at the end of a turn take his/her time and move the hips up for a strong pull, as the boat hooks up.

 

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