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post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Apologies if this post is not appropriate - it is my first one....

As an avid waterskier (slalom) I was wondering which aspects of snow skiing technique cld be adapted.
"New style" waterskiing teaches u to extend/stand up to roll the ski on edge, to keep the shoulders level and facing down course during the turn and to lead with the center of mass (taking a step fwd/diagonally + angulate withe the hips) with the ski catching up
Are there any threads u cld point me to, are there any waterskiers in the forum? I read somewhere (level III instructor) that there were similarities between a waterski slalom turn and a gs turn. Obviously the big difference is that on the water u use a monoski with on foot behind the other...

Thanks for your help

Regards, Jan
post #2 of 9
Ask Jamie Beauchasne, he supposedly snow skis a lot. I ski on both water and snow a lot, but I am a lousy instructor.
post #3 of 9
I ski both on the frozen and non frozen water, the similarities the I have found are when cutting across the wake is a very similar upper body position. The torso faces the boat and ideally on the snow it should be facing the the hill. I think I have a better understanding of my weight distibution on the snow from waterskiing. I think looking ahead in anticipaion of the upcoming terrain is also a good skill to have, I am usually looking ahead of the boat to see what coming so I can adjust/ prepare for it (this happens a lot as my legs start to wear out, so I'll straighten them if I can, which is a not good but ohh well), its the same in my skiing(except in the course which I havent figured out yet)

Some differences though that you should be consious of are in waterskiing particularly slalom you are leaning back a little, where as on the snow if you lean beck you will be on the snow. You no longer have the boat pull to aid in your balance and the rope to pull against to get the slingshot effect. The actual weight distribution in a turn is a little different, when I waterski I find the distribution is close to 50/50 unless I'm trying to spray water then it may be 80/20 where as on the snow its 75/25 or so.

I haven't been on the water in a year so it's slightly going from memory(damn old boats, I need a new shinny Mastercraft)
post #4 of 9
The biggest similarity I feel is inclincation. That is, progressively leaning away from the boat as you finish your turn Other than that I don't feel much similarity.

One suggestion on your comment about looking ahead.
Try looking where you are going not forward where the boat is going. As I begin my preturn I start to look towards the wakes and across them. If you are looking where the boat is going you will not be prepared for what you will encounter since you are not going where the boat is, you are cutting across behind it. In fact as I start my turn I turn my head to my inside shoulder and look to the wakes and beyond progrssively increasing my inclination with my arms low to my body as I lean away with the hardest pull throught the wakes.

Also upper lower body separation is similar & as you mention level shoulders.

Make any sense?
post #5 of 9
Paging the Arcmeister....

Arc is not only one of the top ski instructors in the world--and one of our own EpicSki Academy coaches--but he is an outstanding water skier as well. He'll certainly have some valid input here, if he's around. If he says anything that contradicts what I'm about to say, he's probably right. Arc?

Personally, I've water skied a LITTLE, and not at all for at least 5 years. But I've always found water skiing easy, at least at the "hack" level that I've played with it, and I'm sure it is because of the similarities to snow skiing.

I would suggest, though, that the similarities are less in the specific, individual movements, and more in the overall sense of gliding and balancing while linking turns at high speed, and the underlying abilities and experience that develop these skills. The two sports probably generate more g-forces than anything else we do while balancing on our feet. There is a lot of useful "transfer" from that fact alone.

But water skiing is not snow skiing. Some of the movements are similar, but not the same, as many water skiers have discovered their first time on real (pardon my bias!) skis. One well-known tendency of water skiers is to lean back on snow skis and fall over. Water skiers may well balance farther back on their equipment than snow skiers, but at least part of the difference in positions results from the water skier's need to balance against the rope pulling on their arms and shoulders.

One of the classic differences between snow and water skiing has actually diminished somewhat in recent years. Getting high performance from snow skis used to require very high edge angles, which necessitated often extreme hip and knee angulation. Today's skis carve clean with less edge angle, and easily generate high g-forces that require the skier to lean strongly into the turn ("incline") for balance. Today's skiing generally involves more inclination and less angulation than in the past--much like water skiing.

Again, if you look at the individual little movements, you will see distinct differences. If you look at the bigger picture of balancing while linking direction changes at high speed, and using your body to tip, manage pressure fore and aft, and control the direction of the tool attached to your feet--that statement describes both sports equally well.

One thing that does differentiate snow skiing from water skiing is that water is pretty much always water, and it's always level, if not necessarily flat and smooth. But snow conditions vary with every turn, as does the pitch and contour of the terrain. Even though water may well have waves, water skiers (at least those I know) rarely seek them out for fun. But varied conditions and terrain are the essence of great skiing, part of the challenge and joy of a day in the mountains.

Because on snow, no two turns ever take place under truly identical conditons, snow skiing involves an added challenge over water skiing. Knowledgeable water skiers may argue otherwise, but I submit that water skiing relies mostly on "habitual skills"--the practiced ability to do the same thing the same way over and over. Snow skiing also involves habitual skills, but adds the need for refined "perceptual skills"--the skill of reading the terrain, picking good lines, and reacting to unexpected forces, with a larger quiver of technical and tactical options. This aspect, to me, is the greatest difference between the two sports. Well, that, and bikinis, of course.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #6 of 9
I think you might have a better chance of finding similarities between water skiing and powder snow skiing. After all, you basically ski IN water and IN powder, whereas you ski ON groomed snow.

Some people habe mentioned more banking and rotation in water skiing. This correlates better to skiing in powder. As does the fact that you don't use the sidecut of the ski to make a turn, as much as you use the entire width of the base decambering and deflecting off the surface.

One implression that I get about water skiing, is that the force generated by being pulled by the boat, and trying to cut across as fast as possible, sort of requires much more total body inclination, rather than angulation. If you had a fair amount of angulation while water skiing, two things would happen. One, you would get very tired core muscles, because you are constantly fighting the pull of the boat, and two, you wouldn't have enough mass far enough inside the turn, and would either get pulled over (splash!), or would have to let the ski slide sideways (skid as opposed to carve) to reduce the force, and you wouldn't make the next bouy.

Just the opinion of someone who hasn't water skied in over 15 years.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 


Thks - Even in water skiing, it is a bad - and common habit - to rock back on the ski. This tends to happen at the end of the turn (just after the buoy). The ski then does a wheelie, u lose angle and get yanked by the rope. Ideally, we wld like to keep as much ski as possible in the water during the turn.

So i'm looking for ways to stay stacked on top of the ski when turning

However when we exit the second wake, it is normal to be in a chair position, with weight on the heels. The question is how to transition from this slightly back position to stacked position and stay stacked til completion of the turn

One technique is to stand up while reaching, counter rotate, and take a step forward while keeping upper body straight (angulate) / CM leads

Others say that instead of trying to move the body (stand up and lead with CM), it is more efficient to just pull back the ski beneath u

Finally do u think it is better to look for analogies/ideas with snowboarding (only one instrument) or snow skiing?

BTW totally agree with differences re adapting to the terrain etc. To use driving analogy it's maybe a bit like racing on a track ( F1, Indy) vs rally style (WRC: Monte Carlo etc...)

Best regards, Jan
post #8 of 9
The smooth progressive edging required in waterskiing (and wakeboarding) translates well to snowskiing. But water beer is better than snow beer.
post #9 of 9
I think the similiarities are closer that now than ever (slalom of course). New school techniques with the large angulation are very similar to snow skiing, but the part that always got me was that we always strived for that 90d to the boat to create adequate time and distance to slow down before the buoy.

However, and I may be way off base here, I think things are about to change with regards to waterski technique that will bring it even closer to snow skiing. Lately, there has been a movement towards skiing to a point 15' before the buoy to turn, and keeping the hips up and over the ski at all times. I find this very similar to GS technique where too much across the hill direction slows you down and takes more effort. My prediction is that in the next year you'll see more progressive waterskiers taking the efficient, later line and combining it with more angulation similar to a modern GS skier.

Sorry for the long discussion of this - We ski buoys all summer and run gates all winter, and spend a lot of time thinking about getting better at both of them.
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