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pullmyfingers
04-18-2005, 10:16 PM
Okay my friends, I am a total slalom novice and need some help. This weekend the wife and I were able to get in the water to ski here in Alabama- cold but not too bad. I am pretty good on the water with 2 skis. I enjoy crossing back and forth across the wake and especially seeing how fast I can go without having a total yard sale. I tried to slalom for the first time in a while and had no luck. I started out dropping a ski, I was able to stay up on one for about 100 yards while dragging my foot in the water- as soon as I tried to put my foot in- face plant. Strategy #2- start off with one ski- that didn't work either. I told my wife to punch it and I thought I tore the calluses right off my hands even with gloves on. Questions:
1) How fast do I need to be moving if I drop a ski- I was going 30mph.
2) How much weight should I have on my front foot vs. Back foot? I ski rff
3) How much throttle should be applied when coming out of the water on 1 ski?
FYI- I am 6'0 and weigh 195. I think that might make a difference.

hydro
04-19-2005, 12:04 AM
Thanks Inliner

I have been teaching kids to ski for a few years and you did a great job telling how it is done. I have printed it out to help me remeber how you put it all.

Dave A
04-19-2005, 03:02 PM
I would also begin by dropping a ski. I have never had much luck getting up on a slalom ski. I have drug one foot and put both feet in. I am 6'4" 220lbs. I recently bought a slalom ski training rope from Overtons. About 2 feet below the handle is a bar and you put your ski in between this bar and the v where the rope becomes a single rope. I put both feet on the ski, squat and bent slightly forward. I put this crossbar on the ski itself just above the front binding. When the boat starts you steady yourself with the handle, but the a good portion of the pressure is on the ski itself. As the boat pulls you up and you straighten up, the ski slides out of the rope and you are off and skiing. I was amazed at how easy it was to start on one ski with this rope. I also invested in a pair of gloves.

Where in Alabama are you skiing? We were out on Lay Lake this weekend.

mobiusLSV05
04-19-2005, 07:56 PM
I wonder what would happen if the ski didn't come out of the "V" shape, Ive tried this but didn't have the rope that far down around the ski, it just sat on top of the water until I pulled and the tip came out a little but that was all. Ive never got up on 1 ski, Ive been close, but you can only drag through the water so long before giving up--obviuosly not doing something right. Try the dropping 1 techniique, that is the only way I know how.

pullmyfingers
04-19-2005, 08:54 PM
Thanks for the tips everyone- especially Inliner. I hope to get to try again this weekend on Smith Lake. I will definitely practice dragging one foot until I get my balance, but I will also learn to get up on one ski- no matter what it takes. It's all a challenge and that is what makes water skiing fun. I saw a T-shirt in either Overton's or Barts that said, " If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding." Gotta have one of those.

BLKOUTLS
04-19-2005, 10:52 PM
PMF,
some great advice from all about deep water starts. dont give up my buddies broke me of the drop ski habit by running over my drop ski. It was learn and keep at it or they wouldnt take me skiing at the time.
I found two things that really help'd #1 a good ski and #2 just as inliner said arms and back straight ,I start with both feet in bindings, that dragging the foot kills me but one trick I found is pulling my knees up to my chest and keeping the ski locked on the rope I'm RFF and all my ski,board buddies are LFF. I would look into a new ski it truly is amazing the difference even a basic sl. ski can make. I ski an HO ASX which is I think a 1/2 " or 1" wider than a pure comp ski and a touch friendlier. I ve skied the phantom's,f1's , and demo'd plenty. I'd go to a local shop and have them set up a ski for you.
chris

BensonWdby
04-20-2005, 11:51 PM
My 2 cts.
I agree mostly with what has been said here, with maybe a few alterations. More tips available from my adorable (her words) daughter...

1. Dropping a ski -

Do not look down, you will fall.

Practice (a lot) on dry land first. Start with practice balancing on your front foot. Move your back leg around behind you, in frront of you, side to side. Get used to the feeling of you weight shifting as you do this.

Then practice dry land on the ski. Get the ski and your feet good and wet. Practice the stance in your ski. Practice finding the back boot (slowly).

Finding the back boot - Once your back leg is free, put your back knee behind your front one with your back leg bent 90 degrees at the knee. Then SLOWLY lower your back leg until your toe hits the ski. Don't worry about finding the back boot and don't transfer weight yet. Then use your toes to creep your back foot up until you find the boot and then on intoe the toe strap. As you do this you will probably find yourself naturally transfering a more and more weight to the back foot.

A little slower boat speed might give a greater feeling of stability when you finally drop the ski.

Don't rush getting your foot out

Don't worry about the drop ski, it will not hit you.

Don't rush getting your foot in the boot. You can ski entire day with back foot out of boot, just hanging there (in the air, not in the water).

Make sure you have a good straight stretch of water when you drop the ski so you are not turning right away.

2. Deep water starts.
Assuming you have an inboard ski boat, I think it is definitely possible to give too much power no matter how good your body position is. Comming from an underpowered outbaord the tendency is to throttle down. On these boats I think it needs to be more gradual. But it is also possible to be too slow or too gradual.

As a driver, I watch the ski in the mirror. As it starts to track straight the increase in power can be steeper. If it starts going sideways you're pretty much done.

As far as backa straight and all that. I learned behind under powered boats. I have always done one-footed starts. I do what I call a bullet start.

I sit in the water like I have two skis on with the rope between my feet. This really helps with stability as the driver is tightening up the rope.

As the boat starts to pull away I let the drag of the water sweep my back leg back.
I get my front foot well out in front of me and my chest on my knee and my elbows on either side of my front knee and my forehead by my front knee.

Head position can be an issue because with your face down liek that it may make you want to go forward. But with your head up, the tendency is to wag your head to avoid water in the face.

When I feel significant force against the ski I pull the rope in (or pull my hips up, same thing) and stand up. When done at the right time this will put you directly over the ski before you get too far out of the water.

I do not drag my foot for stability. I can't even imagine how that would work. My leg drags during the initial up, simply because it is not in the back boot yet. But once I am upright the back leg is above the water. With experience the back leg goes back much quicker, so maybe I have forgotten that part of it.

HTH
Dave

04-21-2005, 08:19 AM
Dave,

You would be surprised how stable the ski is with the leg in the proper position. I have actually skied two laps back and forth on our show lake and skied out the dogbones on both laps with the toes dragging the water. Now mind you, I do show skiing and that drag is vital to skiing away in a hop dock. Obviously that is not something that the typical slalom skier would do and I doubt very seriously I would do it on a competition ski (it was done on a Classic Boat-O ski).

On a competition ski I much prefer both feet in as I am able to steer as I am drug with my back foot. Believe it or not, my ski coach always harrasses me about my two foot in start. He feels that is the hard way and I can say I tend to agree with him. But if your slalom ski uses two boots or a RTP as tight as mine is, it is easier to get up both feet in than try to wedge the foot in at over 30 mph. How one gets up in deep water will hinge on so many different things it is amazing. I am actually going to be teaching a beginning slalom skier this weekend. It will be interesting to see how that goes. I use a Super Sidecut for teaching deepwaters though, so the learning curve is smaller. Since he is learning on a public lake in Orlando, a dropped ski is a no-go.

BTW, I love your daughter's advice, don't look down or you will fall. Very astute. You would be amazed how many beginning slalom skiers can't get up because they haven't mastered the "don't look down" part yet! Few people equate the fact that they looked down as the reason the tip of the ski went under water. Once one looks down, the odds of breaking at the waist go up dramatically.

04-21-2005, 08:20 AM
Dave,

You would be surprised how stable the ski is with the leg in the proper position. I have actually skied two laps back and forth on our show lake and skied out the dogbones on both laps with the toes dragging the water. Now mind you, I do show skiing and that drag is vital to skiing away in a hop dock. Obviously that is not something that the typical slalom skier would do and I doubt very seriously I would do it on a competition ski (it was done on a Classic Boat-O ski).

On a competition ski I much prefer both feet in as I am able to steer as I am drug with my back foot. Believe it or not, my ski coach always harrasses me about my two foot in start. He feels that is the hard way and I can say I tend to agree with him. But if your slalom ski uses two boots or a RTP as tight as mine is, it is easier to get up both feet in than try to wedge the foot in at over 30 mph. How one gets up in deep water will hinge on so many different things it is amazing. I am actually going to be teaching a beginning slalom skier this weekend. It will be interesting to see how that goes. I use a Super Sidecut for teaching deepwaters though, so the learning curve is smaller. Since he is learning on a public lake in Orlando, a dropped ski is a no-go.

BTW, I love your daughter's advice, don't look down or you will fall. Very astute. You would be amazed how many beginning slalom skiers can't get up because they haven't mastered the "don't look down" part yet! Few people equate the fact that they looked down as the reason the tip of the ski went under water. Once one looks down, the odds of breaking at the waist go up dramatically.

BensonWdby
04-22-2005, 12:39 AM
Well it has been 35 years since I learned to get out of the water on one. I had been dropping a ski for a while, but not successful in deep water. Then one day we broke one ski of the combo set and it was either get up or go home. Got up the first time that day.

I think the dry land training is maybe more important than anything. Training your muscles to balance and understanding how to find the boot so you don't panic and so that you do not have to look down to find it are critical. Do some deep knee bends with feet in the ski. Shift weight from front to back, whatever it takes to get comfortable so there are less surprises when in the water. The back of that ski is not that big. All you need to do is gently find the surface and you know that the toe strap has to be there.

I have never mastered the standing dock start, but we did shallow water hop starts for decades. Minnesota lakes can get pretty cold so hop starts were always a good idea. Standing dock start takes a good driver as much as a good skier.

We do mostly deep water starts now so that we don't throw cross wakes into the primary ski lane.

One thing I do know: If you are giong to try to teach someone to ski, it helps to try to remember how hard it was to learn. I found the one thing that reminds me of that the most is to get in and try to get up on my opposite foot. I have tried a couple times, but I don't think I ever got it.

Gordon - good luck this weekend. The wide body ski should make it easier....
Dave

mobiusLSV05
04-22-2005, 04:30 PM
Inliner, give us some of these "unbreakable rules" I could use a tip or two. The problem I am having is when I pull, I seem to plow so much water, drink up half of the lake, and never have sucess. This was all done behind my old boat (5.0 L V8 I/O) but other people can do it ? The best attempt Ive had was when my ski crested out of the water but my kneecap was still resting on the ski, I moreless went over the ski. Pointers appreciated by anyone!!! Thanks

mtvfiremedic
04-22-2005, 09:24 PM
ok.... its reaallllyyy not that hard.. I learned with both feet in and i am 6;4 220. I now ski behind a comp ski boat or a wakeboard boat but learned behind a old fashioned closed bow with 115hp MERC OB.. Here is the trick,, try this on dry land on beach with somewhat of a hill..face up hill with both feet in boots.. sit back on ski/back heel.. rope in hand..other end about 10 feet awaynow have them pull the rope as you PUSH with legs. imagine pushing ski away from youand your HIPS comming up to meet the handle... do not lean forward!!! lean back... now you kinda got a feel.. now go into the water..same position.. use a "easy up rope'(deep v handle) or double rope.. put ski between rope.. now driver needs to drag you a little at idle.. push ski agains push of water and try to keep ot straight... keep knees bent all the way and keep tip up!!!buy leaning back a little.. get the feel....now driver must watch and listen if skier goes crooked then stop and back up just a little for slack... now when rop is tight again.. driver must hit throttle smoothly but powerfully(i use about 3/4 throttle to get up) do not JERK from stop to full... as you get up... hold breath tuck head down and WAIT about 3 - 4 seconds.. as boat planes, your ski starts to plane.. key here is to PUSH ski away from you and PUSH hips toward boat DONT TRY TO STAND... by pushing ski away from you and resisting forward pull of rope this allows you to stand.. now key is to keep leaning back and hips towrd boat... if you break at waist you are toast.. hope this makes sense and helps..

mobiusLSV05
04-22-2005, 09:43 PM
Now that you say it, I am breaking at the waist, I plow water and then go over the ski. I'll have to give these pointers a try. Thanks to all!!

mobiusLSV05
04-23-2005, 11:28 AM
I'll have to keep trying, thanks

Catdog1
04-24-2005, 01:16 AM
When using a ski with a toe loop, I do what Dave (BensonWdby) describes on the previous page. And pretty close to the rules, just above.

I'm thinking like this--- Start sitting, rope between legs. Drag leg ends-up way back, toes pointing back. Plant leg starts bent at knee, body ends up in almost a tuck position, with one leg dragging of course. Deep breath, head sometimes completely underwater. Last step is straightening leg as ski starts to rise.


One trick we've used is a crooked start.

Depending on foot forward, have the driver set-up the boat with the skier more to the left or right, instead of directly behind the boat.

Then, when starting, ski has a tendency to stay against the tensioned rope, kind of like a guide. Ski tracks in towards the tension, not out into wobble land.

With some students this buys them a little more time to get up.

BensonWdby
04-25-2005, 12:12 AM
I forgot about the angled start. Don't use it often, but I have found myslef doing it naturally if someone is having a lot of trouble with the ski goint ot the outside all the time.

I think the biggest mistakes most people make are:
1. Trying to stand up to early.
You really have more time than you think.

2. Getting forward over the ski.
I know in my previous description I talk about my forehead by my knee, but that only works because I have my front foot well in front of my head. In other words my front leg is maybe 30-45 degrees bent. With my arms fully extendeed I start coming out of the water in kind of a wedge shape (what I used to call a bullet start). I have found that this causes the least resistance agains the bottom of the ski. It is a habit I developed getting up behind underpowered boats.

This bullet start does not work with a two footed start.

3. Trying to hold their start position while waiting for the rope to tighten.
I find that new skiers try so hard to do everything we tell them that one of these days I expect someone to jump in the water and land in starting position. The one footed start in the seated position with the back foot in front of you allows you to sit comfortably in the water while the rope is taken up. Then as the boat develops horsepower it pulls your upper body forward and your back leg back. Just before the point where you get pulled forward straighten up and stand up .

I think that is how I do it.

I kind of like the dry land concept on a hill. Never thought of that one.

4. Trying to learn on a high end ski.
Learn on the biggest fattest ski you can get your hands on. Don't try to learn on a 6AM or a Monza. Competitioin skis don't like to go straight and flat. Get a cheap pair of combos and use the slalom ski from it, or one of the newer wide body slaloms. Once eyou get the feel you will never have trouble again.

Gordon had a lot of great ideas so try em all. If one way doesn't work try a different way.

Good luck
Dave

Catdog1
04-26-2005, 08:51 PM
Great idea!

danielson2fat
07-20-2005, 01:21 AM
Inliner,
I noticed your great tips. I was wondering if you had any advice for crossing the wake as smooth as possible after a turn. (To "cut through" the wake so to speak). I know there have been times when I have cut back across and when I hit the wake it damn near pitches me over the front of the ski. Or it may just jolt me or knock me off balance in any number of ways. Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to offer.

Buttafewcoe
07-20-2005, 07:38 AM
And any input for switchfoot riding. I can get up switchfoot, and can do a 180 in the flats, but cannot carve to sav e me arse...:p
.
Butta

Yellowmobius
07-20-2005, 03:22 PM
When turning around cutting back through the wake slow the boat way down. It makes going throught the wakes much easier for the beginners