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Thread: Help please

  1. #1

    Default Help please

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    7

    Default Replying to Topic 'Help please'

    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama
    Posts
    143

    Default Replying to Topic 'Help please'

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    109

    Default Replying to Topic 'Help please'

    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.

  5. #5

    Default Replying to Topic 'Help please'

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    ISLAND LAKE IL
    Posts
    142

    Default Replying to Topic 'Help please'

    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
    CS

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Minnesota and Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,133

    Default Replying to Topic 'Help please'

    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
    If you believe something to be true, it will be - in it's consequences.
    http://bensonwdby.home.comcast.net/

    1999 Mobius - DD - 5.7L Carb - Perfect Pass

  8. #8
    Guest

    Default Replying to Topic 'Help please'

    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.

  9. #9
    Guest

    Default Replying to Topic 'Help please'

    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Minnesota and Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,133

    Default Replying to Topic 'Help please'

    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
    If you believe something to be true, it will be - in it's consequences.
    http://bensonwdby.home.comcast.net/

    1999 Mobius - DD - 5.7L Carb - Perfect Pass

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