I often get asked about how I start the season. Pre-season skiing is tough, especially if you're skiing in a colder climate. Muscles are cold and stiff, and not as strong as they were in the summer. Cold hands and feet make it tough to get a good feel for the handle, and what the ski is doing underneath you. Also, the ski rides differently in the colder water, riding higher and giving a sense of less stability and more speed.
What I like to do when I start is make it as easy as possible to get back in a good rhythm, and give my body a chance to get used the strains and hard pulls again. I typically start off at a slower speed. I'll drop it down to 34mph for a while, and go through the line lengths. This gives me more of a sense of how it usually feels when I ski, whipping up wider on the boat and making some harder turns. If I go back to my top speed too soon I usually can't run too many line lengths, and it takes longer to get a good sense of skiing well.
When I do feel comfortable again at the slower speed I'll go back up to my top speed, and stay at the easier line lengths for a while until I feel that I can run each one very well. I'll run a lot of 32 off's until I feel that I'm really dialed, and have some of my strength back. Then I'll go shorter, and try to dial in the next pass. The point is if you're first pass is sketchy or tough the next one is going to be worse. Give yourself some time to feel like you're really used to your ski again, and your body position is back on point.
Give yourself plenty of time to work back into skiing. I might ski slower for a couple of weeks, and then go faster and stay at the longer line lengths for another couple of weeks. The more time you can spend getting your ski and body position dialed at the easier passes the faster you're going to progress through the tougher passes.
Spring is a great time for a water ski vacation in California, by April the air and water are warming up here. Skiers from colder climates get a start in more favorable early season conditions then semi frozen lakes, here water ski lessons taken in the spring give you techniques to work on all season.
Written by Terry Winter