What speed and line length are you skiing at? Course or Open Water?
Body positioning is the key to a good side to side counter rotation and being able to hold that position through the wakes. Listen to the information above - if you want GOOD slalom advice get on and become a member of Ball Of Spray!
It can be very intimidationg at first but there is a TON of help out there as well as a whole bunch of guys willing to help you!
Back to positioning - Benson is right good positioning is key even on the pullout for your gate entry or even your first cut in open water. That positioning helps you enter your first cut. Your body NEEDS to be stacked! Sholders level, over your hips, and square to the boat. knees bent. If you're properly stacked teh weight issue on your feet relly becomes a non issue as proper positioning and alignment creates balance.
Hold that stacked position through thesecond wake as you prepare to stand up, change edges, and start your next cut. Keep the same positioning, concentrate on keeing shoulders quiet. inside hip forward (which doesn't allow you to bend forward), and allow the ski to do the turning for you.
Once ski has completed turn grab handle, keep your elbows in, and get stacked for pull from boat and repeat!!!!!!
Upper body positioning and practicing stacked position can be down right on dry land with a water ski rope and a fence post or tree. Don't underestimate what you can see on dry land in your positioning!
Also vidoe of yourself will be a HUGE TEACHING aid too. If you can see it - you can fix it!
Good luck man! Work hard and if you cna seek out a good ski coach - DO IT!!!! :)
Wish I coudl take my own advice.
Good weekend in the course - but still squatting at 22 off. Drives me crazy. Boy am I tired.
I'm enthusiastic and overwhelmed by the great info shared here. Thanks to all that are contributing and helping me make positive changes each time I go to practice.
A few things, as some are asking great questions about my skiing and preferences. I'll try to answer to the best of my ability.
Mostly I'm free skiing. We don't have a course set up on a public lake yet, but I'm working on this. I'm trying to locate the sunken course that should be on the bottom of Jordan Lake, but after two attempts at finding it, I may have to rebuild it from scratch entirely.
Once each year I visit Coble Ski School for tuning tips and to mainly correct bad habits formed from years of lake skiing. The course will revolutionize the way you ski. That is for sure. PB is 22 off @ 28 mph on a '12 Triumph 69" But I bought the ski blank so I'm not sure I'm at the stock settings. After I moved them forward ( last post ) I felt a little better with the edge change. But I'm calling HO to see what their factory setting is as a base start.
So here is the plan for the summer
* as someone advised above, I'm focusing on elbows tucked in and straight and work on body position and rhythm rather than how much I'm leaning. I can work on the lean and speed later
* as I pass the 2nd wake I'm making an eariler edge change than before which seems to help greatly. Its stable, predictable and doesn't force me to overturn at the apex. But it needs to be consistent and incorporated into every pass
* keeping the handle down and in the hip zone has been key although it just needs to be built into my muscle memory. Across the wake is fine, but during the edge change and turn the handle seems to rise above the hip. I"m working on it
And the other 99 things!
Great tips everyone, I'm actually writing down all of them and logging them to see what helps. I'm making plans to head North to Clarksville VA. I joined a ski club there and hope to hone and fine tune some things so I can measure progress better than lake skiing. Really enjoy the great input, keep it coming and I'll load pics for feedback as things progress.
All, just wanted to let everyone know that I have responded, but since I'm new I believe my posts go to the Moderator first for approval. Stay tuned. Really liking all of the feedback. You guys rock!
Okay, the Moderator must be slammed. So I'll just reply w/o pics and video this time and load the rest of the stuff later.
First off, thanks to everyone for the great tips. I've actually put them into my notebook to make sure I have some structure when tackling them one at a time.
Here is my hit list for the next month
* pull out drills with a focus on proper position and balance. Need to keep forward and stop 'resting' my weight on the back foot so much. Do three drills and pull-outs before attempting to carve it up. Elbows tucked in and arms straight.
* pre turn - apex - end of turn body position focus on body / ski placement and moving through the turn with the ski by hip ( center of mass ) and core. my turning sucks as I was taught to carve with your back foot. Stop letting go of the handle too soon for my one handed turns, do this later in the transition closer to the ball and with a purpose. Stop flailing arms around like you're a duck that just got shot.
* transition focus on early transition after the 2nd wake by softening the knees ( not bending ) and helping the ski move to the outside while the hips transition to begin your line up to the ball. keep elbows tucked and eyes not on the ball but where you want to turn. Go back to 2nd bullet. Keep a steady rythm and lean. Don't over think it or over load anything.
Then I will move to the other '99' things. Stopping old / bad habits are just killing my progression. I'm skiing with a purpose now and its worlds different than the old 80's skiing I did, for spray, show, and how far you could pull out.
Hope everyone else is making good progress with their goals and seeing improvement. THanks again for the interest in such a great sport and willingness to help out free / course skiers in their journey.
Judging by the offside turn photo. Looks like you have the right grip. Look at where the water is breaking under the ski and the position of your front knee. I would say you have too much weight on the back foot, possibly pushing the ski around with the back foot instead of letting the ski do the turning. I have found this especially hard to overcome.
Also look at where you are looking. I would say that you are looking across too soon. It this point you might benefit from looking more into the back of the boat. Having said that, it does not appear that it has caused too much shoulder rotation.
Speaking of being lite on the line. Doug has actually had me try to open my hand momentarily at the apex of the turn. Strange feeling but it emphasizes the light load concept.
As far as keeping hands low - I think it depends on where you are speaking. I have found that in the pre-turn reaching up-and-in (not low) helps transfer weight to the front of the ski and gets shoulders a good position. If you do this right you will feel the front of the ski engage and finish the turn for you.
It all starts at the beginning of your pass.
Here is a snippet of advice from Wade Cox during a session at The Liquid Edge. BTW - Wad will be at The Liquid Edge in Illinois twice this year. http://theliquidedge.com/