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Waterskiing technique

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Correct me if Im wrong....
- Waterskiing is "pulling" and "turning".
- Pull from buoy to wake.
- Turn from wake to buoy.
- Never run your ski flat, allways go from one edge to the other.
- Start braking from wake to buoy to prevent slack.
- Stand upright with hipps forwards.
- Never use a longer rope than 18,25m (60feet).
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
Correct me if Im wrong....
- Waterskiing is "pulling" and "turning".
- Pull from buoy to wake.
- Turn from wake to buoy.
- Never run your ski flat, allways go from one edge to the other.
- Start braking from wake to buoy to prevent slack.
- Stand upright with hipps forwards.
- Never use a longer rope than 18,25m (60feet).
Progressively increasing lean away form the boat to wake.
Your hardest pull should be through the wake.

Braking is what causes slack, so you must keep tension on line by leaning away from the boat but there is a moment when you want to be "free of the boat" released from the boats pull in other words without getting slack in the line. This is where you accelerate faster than the boats pull and then change edges and start your inclination to the inside.
post #3 of 18
People still waterski?
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Progressively increasing lean away form the boat to wake.
Your hardest pull should be through the wake.

Braking is what causes slack, so you must keep tension on line by leaning away from the boat but there is a moment when you want to be "free of the boat" released from the boats pull in other words without getting slack in the line. This is where you accelerate faster than the boats pull and then change edges and start your inclination to the inside.
Glad you picked up on this thread Atomicman
So you pull through the wake and the second set of waves but as you swap edges the rope starts to slack. This is when you let the boat catch up with you as you lose speed and you lean slowly into into the turn. Just as you round the buoy or slightly before it you feel the pull in the rope and you make your last twist and off you go..... or? Maybe my term of braking is wrong. IMO your speed causes slack. Its ok when you pull through the wake but as you start turning into the same direction as the boat the rope slacks offcourse because you are going much faster than the boat. Thats why you need to brake. By gradually stearing into the next turn and extending and reaching out towards the boat. Or???
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
Glad you picked up on this thread Atomicman
So you pull through the wake and the second set of waves but as you swap edges the rope starts to slack. This is when you let the boat catch up with you as you lose speed and you lean slowly into into the turn. Just as you round the buoy or slightly before it you feel the pull in the rope and you make your last twist and off you go..... or? Maybe my term of braking is wrong. IMO your speed causes slack. Its ok when you pull through the wake but as you start turning into the same direction as the boat the rope slacks offcourse because you are going much faster than the boat. Thats why you need to brake. By gradually stearing into the next turn and extending and reaching out towards the boat. Or???
Yep, reachin out towards the boat. I drop my outside hand and inclinate and allow the ski to travel farr out from underneath me.
And yeah believe it or not people do still waterski.

I wakeboard like a damn waterskier. No pop off the wake, low and fast thru the wakes. Sports that you stand sideways & are all twisted up are just plain weird
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
... Maybe my term of braking is wrong...
I don't think it was. Depends on what you're doing. Stand up and flatten the ski, and you'll slam the brakes on. That sorta implies a "break" between turns though. You can do the same thing without a pause between turns and incorporate the braking into your flow without interruption as you end your pull and progress into the next turn.

IMO
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB
People still waterski?
Yep.
post #8 of 18
How do you turn a slalom waterski? Every time I try to edge it using alpine technique, I faceplant (granted, I'm awful at waterskiing). Any tips, from an alpine perspective?
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
How do you turn a slalom waterski? Every time I try to edge it using alpine technique, I faceplant (granted, I'm awful at waterskiing). Any tips, from an alpine perspective?
Hips forward, shoulders back, arms straight, knees bent, very "ginger" when rocking to front of ski or you'll fly over the handlebars quickly. Roll on edge but stay off front of ski, try to centered.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223
How do you turn a slalom waterski? Every time I try to edge it using alpine technique, I faceplant (granted, I'm awful at waterskiing). Any tips, from an alpine perspective?
One of the most common misstakes are that you keep on pulling after the wake. If you do that the rope is going to slack once you start turning. Also if you buy a rope in a shop it is too long. Shorten it up to about 60feet.

Atomicman, I too let go of my outside arm as I reach into the turn. My buddy only does that to a minimal extent while I do it very accentuated. My ski is an old high/high end o'brien from the early 90's. I wonder if equipment has changed radically over the years?
post #11 of 18
I have an old Black & gold O'Brien G3 Revenge with o'brien advantage double boots.

It has the adjustable flex bar on the tip and the 2nd little fin in the tail with the 2 stiffener bars on the tail. And yes I think technology & shape has changed quite a bit. my O'brien also has the hourglass shaped tip which they have not had in years.
post #12 of 18
If you fall, breathing is much easier if you let go of the tow rope.
post #13 of 18
waterskiing is drowning while being pulled by a boat... stay out of liquid water. KEEP it frozen mon!
post #14 of 18
survey - how many of you hold the tow handle vertically vs. horizontally? (me, vertically)

here's something, when I'm (snow) skiing and a snowmobile goes by, the scent of the engine makes me think that I'm on water skis for a fleeting moment
post #15 of 18
In response to the first post: some of those things do not apply to your average recreational waterskier. Unless you are a very good skier, you shouldn't even think of running a course at competition speeds and probably won't be able to ski a short rope either. I would say 60-75 for most people.

One great tip that you pointed out is not running the ski flat. The temptation for many people is to cut away from the boat hard and cut back in hard, causing them to go far faster than they are comfortable with. they then flatten out the ski through the wake. If you are a beginning slalom skier try not to cut out too far and work on a SLOW, PROGRESSIVE turn back towards the wake.

EDIT: I hold it vertically as well, left hand on top of right.

POLL: Do you ski right foot forward or left foot forward? (I ski left foot forward)
post #16 of 18
Just like snow skiing, technique will get you further with less effort than muscle alone. I ski far better and more easilly into much shorter line lengths (32+ off@ 34mph) than I ever did 35 years ago when my technique was based entirely on "Just turn harder and hang on till it bucks you off!"

For those just starting to ski a slalom course, I'd suggest a speed 2-4 mph slower than you normally free ski. The full 75' length can actually be harder than 60' (15-off) except at really slow speeds. (24-28mph). To start with ignore the end gates and ski 6 rhythmical turns, inside the bouys if you have to, rather that thrashing to get around the next bouy with poor technique until you: crash. Learn the course's rhythm and develope a solid body position so you can slice thru (vs. bucking over the wakes) and soon the speed and angles you create directly behind the bost will cast you wide enough to round the bouys.

A useful perspective is to see the boat path as the centerline that seperates connecting arcs of the ski on it's same edge from wake-to-bouy-to-wake. Most people stay on their accelerating edge way too long after the wakes, generating too much speed too late and over-shoot the bouy pull with no time/space for a pre-turn before the bouy. Put your panic: in your cut behind the boat, not in your turn! Try to progressivley increase your edge angle and lean away from the rope/boat so that you exert max energy directly behind the boat (if you don't win here the boat does). Keep turning (re-directing) your ski from bouy thru wakes to create max angle coming off the second wake (aim for the shore). This is what will cast you wide for the next bouy. Change edges quickly (without changing ski direction away from wakes) after clearing the foam off second wake while flexing ankles and moving inside hip and handle forward toward next bouy. This should engage more ski length and slow it down thru the long round pre-trun as you arc back around the bouy.

If you keep your free hand resting on your outside hip, you can patiently bring the hip/hand back up to the handle for a smooth transition into the next pull (opposed to reaching for the handle early and breaking at the waist). Until you get into shorter line lengths (32-0ff+) do not attempt to create a big turn angle right at the bouy, you will only get pulled out of it and wind up on a flat ski and getting a narrower angle behind the boat. A round turn that progressivly keeps turning into the first wake will be easier and far more effective.
post #17 of 18
What Arcmeister said :-). A couple of other things can speed your progress through the course. After clearing the second wake really think about keeping the ski moving toward the shoreline, not down lake. A good way to think about it is "angle in = angle out". Next, reach only when you need to. Generally, when you let go with one hand you will start to turn. Of course, to relate it to snow skiing - Think about leading with your center of mass in the direction you want to go. For example, I really think about bringing my inside hip forward and over the buoy to keep a tight line coming off this ball. This is a very similar feel to bringing your hips inside a breakaway slalom gate for a clean turn. And, like on snow, keep the knees and ankles soft. Just like on snow it keeps the edge engaged and allows you to control the angles. Last, for more info than you may have ever wanted, check out schnitzskis.com - and you thought skiers were into technique ;-).

The widespread use of Carbon Fiber in skis has made a huge difference. If your ski is more that 3 or 4 seasons old you can probably pick up a pass or two by switching.

Ok, probably the last day on the water this weekend, ski areas are opening up. Oh, for the Poll, I'm LFF, and hold the handle horizontal behind the boat and vertical in the preturn,.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Nice to see my waterskiing thread is still floting

Good posts here by all of you. I too hold the handle vertical with left hand on top. Im a goofy foot so I keep my left foot behind.

Archmeister seems to have it all under controll Great post and very educational. Im not a pro and my waterskiing has mainly been out of the tracks for the last 20y but dead calm glassy waters still make my blood pump.

One thing I still want to bring forward is the slacking of the rope. All beginners have this happening and this is the first problem area to start to work on after you have mastered standing on one ski. The slacking is a consequense of you crossing behind the boat with greater speed than the boat. If you suddenly try to turn you will pass in the same direction as the boat and because you are trawelling faster than the boat the rope will slack. To cure this problem you have to stop pulling after you have crossed the wake and the second set of waves and lay the ski on the other edge. Then gradually increasing the edge angle as the rope starts to feel tight again and just before you have full pull in the rope you slam into full turn. After you have done this you will accelerate and this is the most important phase of your skiing. Now you have to lean away from the boat, keep your hipps forward and try not to brake at the waist.

Good point by Archmeister to keep your outside arm rested at your hip. Never thaught about that. My arm is flying high in the air.

Also skiing with a long rope is harder than with a shorter one. Especially if you dont have a good boat it will help you keep the rope and your act tighter.

And BTW, if you are freeskiing tell the boat driver to keep a stedy course straight forwards and not arching like most sundy boaters do.
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