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View Full Version : At what speed to you slalom? (and other ramblings about my technique...)



ian ashton
06-18-2009, 05:51 PM
I decided late in the season (like in the last 2 weeks) last year to give it a try after wakeboarding all summer, so I hopped on my dad's 65" EP from like 1980 and quite enjoyed it. So once the water warmed up this spring I decided that I want to actually hone the slalom skills. I've been out a hand full of times, and this is where I'm at - just looking for a little advice or direction I guess.

The ski feels perfect for me, as I said its an older EP, single boot, although I think I'm going to go shopping for a double boot setup this weekend. I get up with my back foot stuffed into the strap as tight as possible, and I hate the loose feeling of no binding on the back foot.

I have no trouble at getting up out of the water.

I am starting to get pretty decent control over the ski; I can "steer" (if thats what its called?) in any direction I want to go, and cross over the wakes on both sides, but not really at any sort of speed.

I am just starting to figure out how to cut when I go outside of the wakes - Is there anything I should be focusing on doing when I'm doing this? I feel like its mostly mind over matter?

My biggest fear is coming back across the wakes quickly, I can't seem to really fly across without loosing all control.


I must also say that as of right now my "comfort" speed is about 27, which I am hearing is the slowest slalom speed on the face of the earth. I'm 5'7" and weigh 125 pounds. I can stay up at 30+, but I just don't feel stable; is there something in my technique, or do I just need to get comfortable at the lower speeds and work myself up?

The root of this question stems from (what I feel is) a setback I gave myself in wakeboarding, and that is that I am absolutely terrible at toeside w2w jumps, because when I was learning I only really drilled myself on heelside, so to this day I still struggle with them. I don't want to give myself a bad habbit on the ski that will always bother me.

maxpower220
06-18-2009, 08:51 PM
I found that reading a slalom instructional book (2 of them) really helped me understand what I should be doing. Try the local library; I found mine at a garage sale for $.25. My brain works based on applied principals instead of innate feeling. You should also have your boat driver/observer read the book so that they can point out what you are or are not doing according to the book. I am sure that there are DVDs that will help if you learn that way better.
Before reading, I was much like you with no way of knowing what to do. I read the book and understood what I should be doing and attempted to do it (that was last year that I read the books). This year I took a class at a ski school. They gave me several small pointers that have really helped me "advance" this year so far. Definately only ski at a speed that you are comfortable with.
Before knee surgery, I was an advid wakeboarder. I feel that none of my bad habits really transitioned over to skiing. I feel lost without 2 bindings, but many prefer RTP.

ian ashton
06-18-2009, 09:20 PM
I'm pretty fortunate in that my ski partner is my dad, who has skiied for a long time. Another friend that frequent goes out with us (although not yet this year) is a really good slalom skier as well, so I've got 2 good 'coaches' in the boat. Just looking for more :) I'm defiantely going to look for some books; one thing I know about myself - when I do something I dive in head first and full on.

kaneboats
06-19-2009, 09:56 AM
If you have your observer shoot some video so you can watch yourself and then go over it immediately after your runs you will remember the feeling during the runs and be able to pinpoint the issues a lot earlier. If you are skiing at real low speeds, ignore the temptation to slow up at the wake-- keep pulling and keep your weight back and try to slice through the first one. That's advice I got a long time ago that helped me. Of course with two bad knees I'm a horrible skier these days.

ian ashton
06-19-2009, 10:24 AM
What kind of stamina do you guys have? I can usually do a couple sets of 3 to 5 minutes before I'm ready to drop, completely different from wakeboarding/skating, where I feel like I can ride all day long.

Waynes345
06-19-2009, 12:55 PM
What kind of stamina do you guys have? I can usually do a couple sets of 3 to 5 minutes before I'm ready to drop, completely different from wakeboarding/skating, where I feel like I can ride all day long.

Back in the '70's and 80's, I could make many passes before taking a break. It's all about conditioning. Skiing is very anerobic for me. These days I start sucking wind after about 12-15 turns and I'm only good for a couple sets of those. Working to get into shape to extend that, but that endurance is a very individual thing. My high school son who is in conditioning camps for football and playing lacrosse and stuff, can ski for a long time with many turns and he is starting to ski hard at 34 mph. It really takes some getting used to. It is good to hear you are working on it and have fun.

BensonWdby
06-19-2009, 01:35 PM
For sure skiing is way more exertion than wakeboarding.

Speed is really a function of style and comfort. The range for Novice slalom is typically 28-34 mph. I skied at 30 mph for decades. 28 just feels too slow. But in reality - you control your own speed.

If you are free-skiing I would suggest startig at 15 off at 30mph. I never pull anyone at long line. When I get a new rope the first thing I do is take of that first 15 foot section. That 15 off length is a little snappier, even at 30 mph, so you get a better feeling for speed, even at 30.

If you want to try faster speeds just take the first couple turns a little less agressive to see how you like it.

Never ski over 36 mph. The pros don't do it , and I think it is downright dangerous.

For me - skiing is all about the speed. I love the feeling of the acceleration coming out of the turn. After decades at 30 mph, I finally ventured to higher speeds, and am now skiing 34 almost exclusively. I wish I had done that a long time ago.

The one thing about speed - if you are not ready for it - it can screw with your form pretty bad. Like stand you right up after the turn. So if you go up in speed and it feels like you are getting tossed around all over the place, drop it back down.

My 2 cts.
Dave

Mikey
06-19-2009, 11:42 PM
34mph is usually all the speed you need /want unless running a course and you are trying to ski at a pro level.Sometimes the ski you are on will dictate how fast/slow you need or want to ski in the way they are designed.
As for how far and how long thats a lot to do with conditioning and the level you are or are trying to ski at. A couple of passes of 15 to 20 turns skiing hard and i'm done ,untill a a little rest then do it again unlike wakeboarding where a 10 min run is not that hard to do ,barrring lots of falls mind you.
Competition skiing speeds are usually dependant on the gender,males 36 max and female 34mph then its more about getting around the balls at given speeds with the rope shortening with each completed pass. Open skiing which most of us do is usually about having fun ,and pushing your limits as far and safely as possible and PRETENDING to be a PRO.

Sled491
06-20-2009, 09:41 AM
I typically ski at 36, just feels better for my weight. I start the season at 34 to try to get my timing back and then step it up asap. Your very lite so 30 - 32 would be a good speed. Also being lite you don't sink into the turns as much which should make for longer runs. I ski a mile up and back 2 to 3 times and I'm puffing pretty hard. Unlike other water sports you require sooo much upper body strength to position yourself correclty it can really suck your juice fast.

While you may like the EP, you'll find the stability and control of the new skiis night and day. Also as I've said before water skiis like snow skiis can break down and loose intergrity which gives the ski it's charactaristics. In other words it becomes a noodle and looses it's pop as it were.

Matt Glenn
06-20-2009, 12:01 PM
I 2nd the 34mph at 15 off. Toss the rest of the rope. Start there and as you get better increase speed and rope length, which will make the wakes better. I ski at 32 off at 35mph and I feel no wake bump with my Outback.

deerfield
06-21-2009, 12:11 AM
ian - I look across to the other side of the wake, like I'm setting up for the next (imaginary) turn ball. This broke me of the habit of looking down and reacting to the bump. In addition, I always start at 15 off. It's easier than full length tow rope. My comfort zone runs 32 - 34 mph. I have no interest in 36 mph. (I gladly leave that to Sled and some of the other more accomplished skiers on this BB.) I don't wakeboard so I can't compare the two, but I gotta think that the demands presented by water skiing would tire a guy more quickly. I have found that when I am tired and technique is out the window, I end up getting hurt. Give yourself plenty of rest between sets. and HAVE FUN! - Deerfield

graybmg
06-21-2009, 10:25 PM
I've just learned to slalom. I weigh 140 and ski at 28 mph. Don't rush the speed. You need to learn proper form first. If you are flying down the lake you will spend more time trying to get through it all than learning how to cut hard and lean through the wakes. Proper form makes it all feel so much better and rewarding. It takes more work than wakeboarding but the results are more satisfying. Baby steps. Get the proper form down then increase the speed. You'll feel better and look more impressive to everyone else in the end. (which makes for great photos!)

skigirl1212
06-22-2009, 04:29 AM
There are some local events in my area which I went to last year and were so so fun. I bet you could learn alot from a varity of people there. Go to http://www.silverspraysports.com/ and check out the events. The Big Dawg is so cool.

Sled491
06-23-2009, 12:37 AM
Wow, very cool, where did all these skiers come from. I dig it :)

ian ashton
06-25-2009, 05:58 PM
There are some local events in my area which I went to last year and were so so fun. I bet you could learn alot from a varity of people there. Go to http://www.silverspraysports.com/ and check out the events. The Big Dawg is so cool.

I've been to Silver Spray a bunch of times, but never to any of their events. It looks like they've got a wakeboard even this Sunday; I'll have to shoot out there and check it out!

Thanks for heads up!

ian ashton
06-25-2009, 06:00 PM
Regarding the skiing. I think I'm pregressing fairly quickly. I rode a few times this week and I'm starting to feel alot more in control, and I'm really starting to feel the cuts.

I'm definately going to demo some new skis this summer to find one thats perfect for me.

yearround
06-25-2009, 07:13 PM
... to find one thats perfect for me.

ya, right, i have said things like that before. would liketo really see or even hear of it happening.,

oh wait, i have a Moomba!

ian ashton
08-14-2009, 03:20 PM
I'm starting to get the hang of things. I'm picking up the pace, riding around 30-32MPH.

Here is a picture of me riding this week:
http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=3329&stc=1&d=1250273948

A little slack in the rope, but its the only picture that came out good.

deerfield
08-14-2009, 06:05 PM
Ian - Lookin' good! Keep that line taught. You're catchin' up to the boat. Maybe push more weight onto the ski front to decelerate or don't pull as far across the wake? Keep it up. - Deerfield

BensonWdby
08-14-2009, 10:25 PM
Ian - you are still skiing two handed - right?

Reese350
08-14-2009, 10:51 PM
My 8 year old is riding his first slalom tournament tomorrow morning. In the practice run tonight, he was able to get all of the bouys at 15 off and 27 mph. Let's see how tomorrow goes. If nothing else, he's having a lot of fun watching and learning from some of the really good riders. They are quite impressive.

ian ashton
08-15-2009, 10:53 AM
Ian - you are still skiing two handed - right?

50/50 at this point. Some cuts 1 handed, some 2...

ian ashton
08-15-2009, 10:54 AM
My 8 year old is riding his first slalom tournament tomorrow morning. In the practice run tonight, he was able to get all of the bouys at 15 off and 27 mph. Let's see how tomorrow goes. If nothing else, he's having a lot of fun watching and learning from some of the really good riders. They are quite impressive.

Nice, good luck!

BensonWdby
08-15-2009, 12:59 PM
Ian
My recommendations. You should be at 15 off if not already there. Then get into one handed full time. It rally is more about confidence than anything, but it will definitely change the way you ski. It can be very useful in controlling slack. Two handed skiing encourages riding on your tail because it is hard to reach in to take up the slack. Then you end up pulling the hands in high - up by the chest, per your photo. With your back arm connected to the handle at the apex of the turn it forces your upper body to turn down course too soon.

Get some good slalom videos - and look into coaching. A little coaching at the beginning can save you decades of bad habits. Take it from someon trying to break 30 years of bad habits....

Sled491
08-18-2009, 10:05 PM
to add to Dave, by pulling the rope high on the chest you require loads more upper body and arm strength to make a good pull. Hands low at the hips and lock the elbow and your power doubles.

Also, and I'm only quessing here but it is one of the single biggest mistakes most people make, stop riding over the wakes and then start pulling again. Make sure your on edge and pull to the second wake. After you clear the second wake you should be beginning to stand tall, reach out over your ski with your inside hand and as Deerfield said start pressing down on the balls of your front foot to push the front of your ski down to slow it down.

Reason, simple. If the boat is going 30mph and you make a good hard pull across the back of the boat you'll be going almost 50mph. In other words your going faster than the boat, hence the slack line. You need that time after the second wake to slow down, control the rope and set up for your next cut.

BensonWdby
08-19-2009, 02:09 AM
I recommend the new Andy Mapple video, "Andy Mapple at Ski Paradise". You can get it at www.Barts.com. I have his first one and this one. They are both valuable tools of the trade.

ian ashton
09-15-2009, 03:12 PM
I discovered a slalom course on our lake the other day, so I decided to give it a whirl just for fun last night. The water was crap, but I still wanted to see just how fast those bouys go by...

WOW! What a humbling experiance! I have to figure out the timing, as I was hitting each bouy after the first like a second too late. Definately fun, and completely more demanding than just free skiing making cuts back and fourth. I can't wait to continue learning, hopefully with some better water.

ian ashton
09-15-2009, 03:13 PM
And just for fun I tried to ride the course with my wakeboard. I was able to get a few bouys, but it was tricky to try to cut through the wakes, rather than jumping them, lol.

BensonWdby
09-16-2009, 12:25 AM
Runnig the course is significantly different than open water skiing. About the time you think you got it dialed in on open water - you take a shot at the course and wham. Prior to my trip to Ski Paradise I was open water skiing at 38 off at 34 mph. At SP in the course I had to back off to 15 off at 30 just to be even close to making the course, and the was intermittent at best.

Sled491
09-16-2009, 04:43 PM
Runnig the course is significantly different than open water skiing. About the time you think you got it dialed in on open water - you take a shot at the course and wham. Prior to my trip to Ski Paradise I was open water skiing at 38 off at 34 mph. At SP in the course I had to back off to 15 off at 30 just to be even close to making the course, and the was intermittent at best.

true true true. I think of the course as the measuring stick. You think your doing well, ski the course, it will show you. On the other side skiing the course will make you a better free skier, and make you think about where you are and what you should be doing. The other thing I tell everyone when 1st getting into the course is that even though you only made the 1st ball keep skiing like you are makeing the balls. This will help you get into the rythem, and help you understand and establish the timing you need to make a solid 6.

zegm
09-16-2009, 11:23 PM
Sled,

The last couple of weeks MrsZ and I have been going through the course. I haven't done much on the course in a long time, injuries and laziness. I would pull her sometimes but during the summer we have to qualify as having the most ignorant (can I say DA here??) boaters and jetskiers when it concerns a ski course. But we have caught the bug again and no one is on the lake now (????). And while I am to ashamed to tell you how I am doing one thing that we are doing is EXACTLY what you said, make the first one and even if we miss the second keep going after them little buggers! And that has helped us a good bit! Now if only HO would release her 2010 Couture (long story)!!!

PS ( I got 2 so far!!! :p)

Sled491
09-17-2009, 12:18 AM
Z two balls or 2 skiis :)

zegm
09-17-2009, 08:09 AM
No not 2 skis!
Maybe I meant 2 full bindings?
Maybe I meant I fell on both cheeks?
Maybe I saw 2 alligators?

Ok I meant to bouys, balls, or buggers as I like to call them now because it seems I am always chasing them but never catching them!

We (MrsZ, Z and I ) all are skiing the course at a higher speed than what we used to just to try to improve our skills and boy this makes this difficult but fun as it is a much greater challenge now! OK still not at your hyper warp speed! :)

ian ashton
09-17-2009, 01:41 PM
I usually free ski at 15 off, ~32mph. I've added that last 15' back onto the rope and dropped to 30mph in the course. I've managed to pull like 1 3/4 balls so far. I haven't had a single pass with smooth water (hoping for it tonight!) so I think that I'll be able to get at least 2, maybe 3 on decent water. The only reason I miss the second ball is because I'm bouncing off of waves, I literally miss it by about a foot every time.

In other news, I got some new pics of me free skiing;

http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=3570&stc=1&d=1253205490

http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=3571&stc=1&d=1253205490

http://moomba.com/msgboard/attachment.php?attachmentid=3572&stc=1&d=1253205490

I know, I know: I hold my hands/handle too high! I've been working on pulling it down. My biggest bad habbit so far has been bending at the waste when I cut. I think I've got that under control, so I'm working on keeping the hands low now.

Still rocking the single boot EP from before I was born. New ski/bindings will be something for next season.

zegm
09-17-2009, 04:43 PM
EP skis ruled the day!!! It's a shame they are gone! I love the new boots on my Radar Senate but I am not sure it skis any better than my old EP! I guess this weekend I will pull it out and see how it does. Compare them back to back.

Canuckle Head
09-17-2009, 05:25 PM
EP skis ruled the day!!! It's a shame they are gone! I love the new boots on my Radar Senate but I am not sure it skis any better than my old EP! I guess this weekend I will pull it out and see how it does. Compare them back to back.

Dude, I was thinking the same thing! I wish I could put Radar boots on my old HP Graphite. Even though it 23 years old I still love that ski!

BensonWdby
09-17-2009, 09:39 PM
Ian -
I am no pro - by any stretch - but I would like to guess that you are at a normal stage of development for slalom.

What I write below is based on my experience, either past or present, and should be taken with a multi-grains of salt. I don't think I can emphasize enough the value of true coaching from a pro (i.e., someone other than me)

Everthing starts with the eyes (IMHO).

Based on the first two photos I would say you are either leaning back (over the back of the ski) in the preturn to start your turn (you may even be starting your turn with your head, kind of a nod-over-the-shoulder thing), OR your bindings are placed such that you are putting a lot of weight on the back of the ski, OR the ski may be just too big? In the top photo look how much ski is out of the water, your entire front foot - when in fact your entire front foot should be in the water.

Two footed turn - The easiest way to get the front foot in the water is to be in good position off the second wake.

Angle - The easiest way to get in good position off the second wake is to have good angle across the wakes. This allows you to cut through the wake with good leverage and minimal bounce.

Long Arms - The easiest way to have good angle is to have low hands going into the first wake. That means that you have 'long arms', elbows pretty much extended, elbows in close - touching your body, hands down by lower stomach, hips, or thighs (if you are a God). This requires some knee bend, varying by who you are. If you are not careful and forget to do this, you hold the pull across the wake with bent elbows. This takes much more strength and makes holding angle almost impossible because it reduces your leverage against the boat.

Balanced weight - To get the 'long arms' you need good balance over the ski coming out of the turn, i.e., not too far back. This is one place, where when you watch the pros, you may see a large variance. Some of these guys at really short rope will sort of 'wheelie' with front foot coming out of the water. But - if you watch them you will see even though the tip is up, they are not back over the ski, in fact they are probably over their front foot, and they get the ski back in the water into the 'long arm' position very quickly.

Let the ski turn - To get good balance over the ski coming out of the turn you need to let the ski do the turning. That is what it is designed to do. This is handled by 1. letting go in the preturn, 2. reaching-in low and skiing away from the handle (this is where the 'low-to-the-water' looks comes from naturally), 3. keep the free hand quiet and low, by your hip, high free arm has different effects on different people and you will see some pros do it, but from what I can tell keeping it low is prefered, 4. pulling - yes you pull as the ski comes around, but at the same time you sort of ski your hips up to your hands. The hard part of this is that if you turn your head early, you turn you shoulders which turns your hips, knees, ski..

Pre-turn - There are lots of different theories on this, the biggest difference is the West Coast vs. conventional turn. I am not that familiar with the WC style, but the goal in both case is pretty much the same. Set up the ski to do the work. You need to slow the ski down before the turn - that is what the wing is for and that is why you need balanced weight on the front foot, more ski in the water = more drag = slower ski = easier turn. This typically starts with the edge roll coming off the second wake or very soon after. And it is made much more difficult if you are bouncing off the wake because you have poor angle/body position. Where you direct your vision going into the turn is critical.

All in the eyes - Where you look effects your pre-turn. Your eyes control your head, your head controls your shoulders, your shoulders your hips, you hips your knees, your knees the ski. If you look down you will bend at the waist, if you do it enough you will face plant. If you look up-and over your inside shoulder you will probably go straight back over your ski. As soon as you start looking across course you will start turning in that direction or at least start getting narrow (losing outward momentum, getting closer to the wake). In worst case you will start to sink and then get popped as the slack tightens and make it impossible to get long arms. My experience is to look straight ahead, paralell to the boat in the pre-turn and keep looing in that general direction as the ski comes around in the turn. In other words your lower body is turning under your upper body (a lot like a downhill ski turn when you are going straight down the fall line). This sort of gives you a modified WC body position by default, but not as painful. It keeps your shoulders square to the boat (facing down course) even as the ski comes across under the rope. This makes getting a good reach, good pull, and long arms all possible because it gives you good leverage against the boat.

So it all starts with the eyes....

Well that certainly got longer than I had hoped. And it is just about everything I know about sthe slalom turn. So it either exposes me as completely clueless or confirms what I think I know.

Hope this helps.
Dave

Sled491
09-18-2009, 10:05 AM
Wow, Dave said a mouthful there. BUt he is right, in your first pic the one thing that jumps out at you is how high you are riding, especially considering where you are in the turn. It may seem easier to let the ski kind of fall over on its tail to make the turn, but as Dave said that's not how it was built to turn.

Shoulders square to the back of the boat, and pull to your hips. Trying to make balls in the course should not be on your agenda just right now. You should stay at the 15 off and work on rounding out your turns and making them fluid. Then start to pull harder as your muscle memory takes over other basic elements of a good turn

Biggest mistake I see guys make is making a second pull after the second wake on there off side. This just sets you up for failure. Angle accross the wake is key to speed and set up. You would be surprised how much time you will really have to make the balls at 30 or 32 at 15 off if you are really making good turns

ian ashton
09-18-2009, 11:26 AM
I definately have an issue cutting through the wake. Last night for the first time I actually cut through, and it felt awesome, but I normally have a hard time staying on edge - I typically end up jumping the ski across the wakes, which sucks for my control.

I ended up with glass on the course last night and I took the afore mentioned advice of just cutting back and fourth to get a rythem down, it seemed to help quite a bit. Another thing that I think the course has helped me with is to get my arms stretched out, instead of bent like in the pictures above.

I'm starting to think the ski is a bit big for me, as I feel like I'm riding high and I can't seem to push the front half down any further.

I appreciate any/all advice, as I definately am willing to learn! Last year I went to a wakeboard school for my birthday, I'm definately thinking that this year I'll be getting some ski lessons!

Canuckle Head
09-18-2009, 12:59 PM
From looking at those pictures I would also suggest that you are going too slow. The ski looks like it's sinking out and the extra speed might help you stay a little more balanced over the ski.

How long is that EP anyway?

zegm
09-18-2009, 11:12 PM
Ian don't answer that question about the length of that EP!!!!

He justs wants to see if it might fit him!
Then the next thing you know he will try to buy it from you!!!


PS I sent you an email sort of wanting to know if you want to sell that...... :D

Just kidding!!! I am going to pull out my 10 year old EP tomorrow. Trouble is I have done the reverse of Sled and put on 15lbs since I bought that ski and have since moved up from a 67 to a 69. I guess that is why MrsZ and I are going to run 4 miles tomorrow morning before we hit the lake!

Canuckle Head
09-19-2009, 12:19 AM
zegm,

I was drinking a brewski while reading that and I just blew it through my nose I laughed soo hard!

From the pics it looks to be a Comp 1 but I could be mistaken. I'm seriously pulling that one from the vault. I remember my Uncle having that ski and him teaching me to jump the wake on it when I was about 13 years old.

Not functional from a comp standpoint but he claimed it would score me chicks. I think it may have even worked a few times!:D Ahhhh the 80's!

ian ashton
09-19-2009, 05:59 PM
I belive the ski is a 65. I am 5' 7" and 130 pounds.


LOL @it jumping the wake to score chicks! I think my dad said he got this ski in 1978, lol.

Sled491
09-19-2009, 08:05 PM
I guess it all depends how od these so called chicks are :) My question to all these die hard EP guys is, if it was such a great ski what happened to them. Oh by the way I did used to own an EP and yes it was a good ski, but I have skied better since.

moombabound
09-19-2009, 09:26 PM
So, what’s the big benefit of shortening the rope, for rec skiing? I’m running fairly proficiently at 15’ off, 32 MPH. As two folks have mentioned earlier in this thread, running a course for the 1st time can be humbling. Took a lesson and the instructor said just stay at 15 off and enjoy. Tried 22’ and 28’ off behind a different boat (Response LXi) yesterday and still , despite that being a “ski” boat (vs my OBV), that hump is very unsettling. Skied way better at 15 off. I’ve heard the “stay on edge and slice through it”. Gimme a break. There’s a clip of Marcus Brown doing 15 off @ 30 MPH and he was air born off the wake. Other than the competitive side of course skiing, what would be the benefit of short rope for rec skiing. I hear guys saying 38 off at 34 MPH. So? Why? On my old outboard, 22’ or 28’ off was fine, but with these bigger boats, that hump tosses you.

Sled491
09-19-2009, 10:04 PM
So, what’s the big benefit of shortening the rope, for rec skiing? I’m running fairly proficiently at 15’ off, 32 MPH. As two folks have mentioned earlier in this thread, running a course for the 1st time can be humbling. Took a lesson and the instructor said just stay at 15 off and enjoy. Tried 22’ and 28’ off behind a different boat (Response LXi) yesterday and still , despite that being a “ski” boat (vs my OBV), that hump is very unsettling. Skied way better at 15 off. I’ve heard the “stay on edge and slice through it”. Gimme a break. There’s a clip of Marcus Brown doing 15 off @ 30 MPH and he was air born off the wake. Other than the competitive side of course skiing, what would be the benefit of short rope for rec skiing. I hear guys saying 38 off at 34 MPH. So? Why? On my old outboard, 22’ or 28’ off was fine, but with these bigger boats, that hump tosses you.

There is no benifit. If you're diggin 15 off at 30 mph then enjoy. People go shorter and faster to test themselves that's all. 2 of the guys I ski with found that going back to 15 off and 30 - 32 mph made greater advances in there skiing thatn sticking with shorter ropes and faster speeds would have ever. In fact many people go to shorter lengths and faster speeds trying to make up for very large flaws in there technique. So as your instructor said stick with you like and enjoy :)

BensonWdby
09-20-2009, 12:00 AM
I skied at 15 off at 30 for decades, because someone gave me that exact same advice. In my personal opinion it was the single biggest mistake of my skiing career. I ski shorter and faster because it is just more fun. I love the speed and I love the challenge. I am not fooling myself that I can ski that in the course, I just really enjoy it. I recommended the same to a close skiing friend who had been doingi the same 15 at 30 for almost as long, and he agreed - the faster and shorte mas just a lot more fun.

But it is something you need to work into. Get comfortable at the longer and slower and when you feel like it just try shorter and faster once in a while. When you can ski the shorter faster, similar to how you run 15 off - you will probably stay there.

As far as the bump - on a V drive I can't say. On my DD Mobius I never ski 22 off just because of that.
But on the DD at 28 off - no problem... But I think the speed makes a diff as well. I have not skied anything less than 34 in the lst couple years so don't recall.

Most important is to have fun.

Canuckle Head
09-20-2009, 12:56 AM
I like to ski 15 off @ 36 mph when free skiing. I'm 6'2" and weigh 190lbs. Haven't been through a course in years but still try to ski like I am. I start out on the left hand side, visualize the back end of the boat going through the entry gates and set up for 6 solid turns. Sometimes I like to see how many turns I can lay down consecutively without falling.

BensonWdby
09-20-2009, 02:24 AM
So here is how it went for me. Started skiing the course at long line at 30 for a couple years. Tried to work up to the 75 @ 36 - but always stuck at 34. That long line pass at 36 is really hard. Then they changed the rule that you could run the course at 15 off at slower speeds and your 36 pass counted double. Well I shortened the rope and liked the easier slack control and the quicker feel. I have never skied on long line since. That was probably 1979. I also never made that 36 pass.

Then I got stuck behind outboards for the next 20 years. During those 20 years I had this natural progression of slalom in my head that needed to be met before you moved on. Since I had never made the 15 @ 36 pass, I had no business going shorter. I believed that for most of those 20 years. But after that I started trying the shorter lines - partially out of curiosity, sometimes to try to impress someone or to give them an idea of what the Pros were having to deal with. I got the Mobius DD in 2000 and got my first rope with a loop at 43. I thought it would be a good joke to run 41 so I did. Nothing to brag about - a couple of really bad turns and no control. But it was not as hard as I thought it would be.

Two weeks ago, in ideal water, I ran a pass at 28 off and one at 41 off. The on-lookers could not tell the difference, which tells me my 28 was really bad or the 41 was not so bad. I prefer to believe the latter.

I have never had so much fun skiing. My biggest regret is that I waited so long and now my joints really let me know it when I get into 38 off and shorter.

On the flip side - In Edged in Water 2 a bunch of pros shot some footage on Lake Powell where they were in open water on a 140 foot rope. That was interesting to watch.

Do what is fun - and push yourself every once in a while to keep things inetersting..

deerfield
09-20-2009, 01:11 PM
Do what is fun - and push yourself every once in a while to keep things inetersting..

BensonWdby - I did that yesterday, skiing 22 off @ 36 mph. Kept my shoulders square to the boat and pulled the rope to my hip. Bump is virtually gone. (I have an '07 Outback.) The extra and sudden acceleration is real noticeable compared to 15 off @ 32 or 34. It's tiring, but what a rush! - Deerfield

BensonWdby
09-20-2009, 03:28 PM
That acceleration is hard to describe - but it is da bomb.... And seriously - did you not feel you were in better position for the pre-turn (if you could handle the slack from the extra speed)? Do you remember where your eyes were looking at the start of the turn?

One of the things that we sometimes forget is that the hulls that are designed as three event ski boats (slalom, jump, and trick) are designed to have a large wake at slow speeds 17-20? for trick and a low wake at 36mph for slalom. So at 30 mph the 22 off bump can be unpredicatable from boat-to-boat, but it seems to be there for all of them. The new Nautique 206 looks like it may have conquered that however.

One of the things about a V drive is that the pylon is noticeably further back in the boat - probably as much as 6-8 feet? That will put the skier at a significantly different location in the wake and may make the bump noticeable even at 28 off... Probably why there is only one V drive sanctioned as a 3 event boat (and it is not a Skiers Choice boat)

moombabound
09-20-2009, 03:32 PM
Do what is fun - and push yourself every once in a while to keep things inetersting..
That is one for the ages.

Sled, Benson, really valuable replies. Thank you.

I'm going to take the advice of you both. That is, I will remain @ 15 off when focusing on technique. I'll also be shortening up the rope substantially on occassion, as a novelty to see what it's like, and to to try get in front of that blasted hump. Just occurred to me that in my mind, I thought one needed to progressively become proficient at each shorter length prior to advancing (shortening) further. The hell with that.

Anyhow, all that is forward looking to next year. Got lucky with some record temperatures this week in Alberta and skied two evenings; might get out one more time, but it's pretty much a wrap. The water will chill down quickly and us Canucks switch mindset into hockey, etc.

Two recent learnings to share:
1. Had a driver last week who had competed early in life until his knees went wonky. He observed that my weight dist/technique seemed good, but that I seemed a bit sunk in the water, so increased my speed by 2 MPH to 34. Of course, I only knew this afterward, but I did have a good ski. I'm 5'11" 170 on a 67" HO Vengeance.
2. Had no idea about fin and wing adjustment. When I took the lesson, the guy said at my calibre, the wing drag will just amount to more work. So I took it off. I noticed the lack of deceleration, so put it back on but took out much of the angle. The factory placement was at max angle.

Cheers!

BensonWdby
09-20-2009, 05:39 PM
My experience is that short rope amplifies your style defects - thus maknig them easier to spot. And the tendency is to not go wide enough.

Just for reference, I spent an entire season at shorter rope and when I went to Ski Paradise at the end of that season they eventually had me back to 15 off at 28 in the course to try to undo bad habits. It was a good eye opener, but not enough to make me go back to 15 off forever.

Moombadaze - Some observations. 1. you have a 'real' ski boat, 2. You are on a forum discussing style and form, 3. You have been to at least one instructor and sought advice from others, 4. You are skiing at 15 off instead of long line ... Like it or not - you are probably more than just a recreational skier. It would not surprise me if you have a ski video and/or a subscription to Waterski magazine, and at least once in your life you asked someone if you put up a big spray when you turned.

Enjoy the winter - the water in Western Wisconsin is still warm enought to not need a wet suit but that will change quickly.

moombabound
09-20-2009, 06:34 PM
Astute!

Re: your points:
1. I believed that my V, being the lightest V on the market @ 3000 lbs, would thus have a relatively good ski wake, in V-terms. Glad I bought the V, for overall family reasons. However, my lesson was behind a Nautique 196, and OMG!...what a tremendous difference in wake!
2. Yes, I'm keenly interested in improvement. Late life starter; 4 years in (& 50 is not far off). On a quiet lake...no others to ski with / learn from, so this forum is a valuable resource.
3. Yes, one lesson. Much chatter with the two guys I know who ski (on other lakes).
4. Yep, 4 vids: Rathbun's Beggining Slalom; Slash; Edged; and the new Edged 2, acquired from the World Water Ski Champs last month, which I went to great trouble to attend. Read Water Ski mag cover to cover. But...honestly, I've never asked someone to comment on my spray, but just 4 days ago with a buddy who I ski with a couple of times each fall, caught him (and he confirmed) looking over his shoulder admiring his own spray!

OK. I'll concede; might be beyond Rec in the above aspects. For sure, I leave nothing in the tank when I ski. Flat out; almost have to get beached onto the swim platform when I'm done. No particular objective, course-wise or other, just want to be the best I can at it. What a sport!

PS (It's ...bound, not ...daze).

Sled491
09-21-2009, 05:05 PM
Man winter is going to be long this year :( I'm gonna miss this. Skied this morning, 22 off 34 mph. Worked on some "off side" stuff, and still nursing the injuries from last weeks crash. Still wearing my shortie and don't expect to have to get into my dry suit for at least 3 more weeks.

moombabound
09-26-2009, 08:42 PM
True to my word (my first post earlier in this thread) skied 3 sets at 15 off yesterday, then dropped it to 32 off (never tried that short before). What a blast! Finally felt the ski "bite". Great acceleration, and turns are so much more crisp. Seemed like I was suddenly a much better skier. And best of all, I was in front of the hump. Might be a converted short-liner (if 32 off is considered short line territory).

Sled491
09-26-2009, 09:27 PM
Oh yeah 32 is short. Basically they consider down to 28 off one group, 28 off to 35 off the next the 35 to 41 the last group.

BensonWdby
09-26-2009, 10:40 PM
I spent most of this year at 32 off - my ski buddies rope did not go shorter and I was too lazy to bring my own rope. But for sure 32 off is short line. All that is left is 35, and 38 and then you get into serious Pro territory.

I knew you would dig it. I recommend some video once in a while to make sure you are not picking up too many bad habits. The bigges thing is that if you did not get good angle at 15 off, you probably will not get good angle at 32 off. But what I found is that the acceleration at short line actually seems to give you more time to set up the turn, but only if you get good angle. This is probably more true for open water than course skiing.

Our boat came out today - no skiing - just get to the cabin, get the boat on the trailer and get to the dealer before they close.

I have run out of people to ski with so may as well pull the boat.

Glad you are having fun at shorter rope.

Dave

MrsZ
09-27-2009, 07:38 PM
The last two summers, since I had my neck fused, have been pretty lacking on the slalom course for me. Today I tried again and kept being slightly late, late, later, really late, doah! Then on the third pass the timing was there and it was so easy. Yay! Zachary even told me I looked good and made it look easy. By the way I was NOT at Hyper light speeds like yall are doing!

The really funny thing is that we bought the Ski Paradise DVD that BesonWdby recommended. Before we watched it and I would ask for any coaching advice and Zachary said Mom, you are the best skier I have ever seen. After we watched it Zachary was FULL of recommendations for me! :)

Sled491
09-27-2009, 07:58 PM
Ah the apple of your eye :)

BensonWdby
09-28-2009, 02:02 AM
The thing I liked about that DVD was that it was not just a pro telling you how to ski like a pro, but it took a look at some good amatures and pointed out cause-and-effect and suggests corrections. Congrats on making the course at all.. It is way harder than it looks at any speed.

MrsZ
09-28-2009, 09:23 PM
Congrats on making the course at all.. It is way harder than it looks at any speed.

Thanks...and I'll agree with that. It is also harder that it used to be. At any speed! We really liked the dvd too. Zachary was able to give me meaningfull suggestions after watching it. Thanks for the recommendation.