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billb

Slalom Course Training Advice

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billb

I didn't want to ruin Martho's poll by dragging it off into training techniques, so I figured I'd start this thread.

I'm somewhere in Doug's neighborhood, but my approach has been a little different and I'm looking for advice. I'm a 30+ year recreational skier and just started fooling with a course a few years ago and LOVE it. Just yesterday, I competed in my first "competition", an INT League tournament. It was a blast, but I really wasn't out there to try compete with anyone, which really helped me relax. Anyway, I asked the guys in the boat for advice and they suggested that I slow down. Just looking for more input. First, I'm 6'5, 230lbs - not a slob, but not 18 anymore either. When I shadow the real buoys (get with 2-3 feet), I can run a full pass, but if I run the course correctly, I fall/miss at 2 or 3. I'm skiing at 32mph and 15off. The guys in boat yesterday suggested that I drop to 30mph, but the ski sinks so far in the water at that speed that just two or three passes wears me out. I have to be careful about skiing when I'm tired like that because that's when I have a propensity for hurting my back (I've got two herniated discs, so I have to carefully select when I get really aggressive).

Give me some ideas, guys. Should I slow down, build stamina, and then work on technique or just stay where I am and work on technique?

BTW, a Response LXi pulled the tourney yesterday and it was BAD @$$. If the SLXi wasn't the PERFECT boat for me, I'd be chomping at the bit to get an RLXi. It's wake was awesome. I don't even remember ever hitting the wake at any time during any of my passes.

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martho

What is happening when you fall at 2? Explain the fall...

Are you RFF or LFF?

Speed really changes things. The ski is on top of the water and it requires less effort on the skiers part, however you have much less time. At 34mph, you are traveling 49.86 feet per second. Divide that over 6 bouys and you would have 8 less feet of boat distance at each ball by going from 34 to 32mph. Im not going to do the geometry, however that 8' equates to more time to get outside the ball.

36mph = 16.08 seconds

34.2mph = 16.95 seconds

32.3mph = 17.93 seconds

30.4mph = 19.03 seconds

28.6mph = 20.27 seconds

26.7mph = 21.68 seconds

My problem is that I am breaking at the waist turning 1/3/5 and losing all my angle going on my off side. Talk about losing boat distance Mad.gif

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billb

I am RFF and I'm going out the front. I think I'm breaking at the waist and reaching forward, causing the ski to STOP and throw me out the front. I suspect that my real problem is that my body position is bad - I'm try to stand on top of the ski and turn it, rather than just leaning in and letting the ski turn itself. I'm still flailing from side to side and pulling like hell to make up for lost ground.

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Rod S

Bill, I'm curious, what ski you are on and how long is it?

It's much easier to give correct advice when you see someone ski. Initially, I thought of a bunch of stuff but none of it may really apply to what you are doing.

The big thing about 15 off is it is a longer even pull from buoy to buoy so you really should be focused on good balanced body position out of the ball and be in a solid pulling position going into the whitewater of the first wake ALL THE WAY THRU the whitewater of the second wake. Many times 15 off skiers will give up the pull b4 the second wake and/or get pulled out of their good pulling position by the second wake. This just makes you narrow with no speed to carry you thru the turn. You can turn like crap at 15 off and still run it if you can 1) get in a strong balanced pulling position 2) maintain that position thru the whitewater of the second wake carrying speed out to the ball 3) don't ski at the buoys but aim for being 15 feet ahead of the buoys at the bouy line.

Edited by Rod S

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What type of ski and how long is it? What's happening at the slower speed, 30, is that you are able to achieve more accleration than you can edge change out. Said a different way, you aren't skiing balenced from side to side. Think of a pednulum, whatever speed you create on the acceleration side you need to decelerate on the edge change side. At 30mph you can speed up but can't slow down and therefore have to turn hard and the ski stalls, gets verydeep and you either go OTF or get pulled out of position. At 30mph, try not to get so much speed through the wakes. Also after the second wakes spray concentrate on getting your elbows into your body/vest. This will allow the ski to swing underneath you, maintaining you angle and slowing down before the turn. This technique maintain your high and low speeds closer to your average speed and will keep you from getting so deep out at the ball and going OTF.

I wanna know who checked the [email protected]?

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UWSkier

Bill, are you still using my old Mach? If so, you may want to try the bindings back a hole if you're coming out the front a lot. I had that problem when I really started to push myself on that ski. Moving the rear pocket back one hole position helped quite a bit. You can also get an adjustable fin box for that ski if I remember correctly.

What length do you free ski at? I usually free ski at 22 off. I can't ski a 15 off pass with any consistency at all, but I can cruise through 22 off at 32 relatively comfortably. Like you, I found myself sinking too much at 15 off to make a consistent turn and get into a good leveraged position. Speed through the course can be your enemy in that you have to ski harder to make enough angle to get through, but it can also be your ally in that you need some speed to really turn the ski properly and finish the turn in a position to accept the pull. Kindof a catch 22.

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Rod S

WOW! Now I am confused...anybody wanna discuss coordinates and throw that at it too? Crazy.gif

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billb

Matt,

yep, I'm out there on your Mach One. I had to put a new front boot on it though. Your foot took up much more room than mine. I put a Venom boot on there and I love it.

The ski is a '98 HO Mach One that is 70". It's much easier to ski on than the 67" Jobe Honeycomb that I bought when I was 15! I was a couple inches shorter and 50 lbs lighter then. :blush:

I love this advice, guys, and I understand the predicament that you good skiers are in trying to give me advice without seeing me. I'm hoping that more time with the better skiers in our club (new this year) will get them to feel free to tell me how to fix some stuff. I hope it's not a matter that I'm so broken that they think it's a lost cause. (I've only been out with the good guys once or twice, but I try to let them know that I'm looking for advice.)

Any thoughts you guys have are welcome to me. BTW, I am hoping to make it to a ski school for a few hours late this year. Do you think it would be a mistake to go to a school and not take my ski with me?

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mlange

After Martho's Schnitz-like analysis I was thinking coordinates wasn't too far off. :)

Bill,

In all seriousness... like others have said it is really difficult to say what's wrong without watching - not that I could help you at that point either. It could be something as simple as a binding or fin tweak or as drastic as a serious body position issue. I will say that I learned a hell of a lot when I had a chance to ski with Wade Cox a couple of years ago and I'd suggest the same. Check with all your local dealers and see if they have any pros coming into town this summer. Our MC dealer seems to alternate years between a skier and wakeboarder. Last year it was a wakeboarder, so I'm crossing my fingers this year.

Mike

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Henken
After Martho's Schnitz-like analysis I was thinking coordinates wasn't too far off. :)

Bill,

In all seriousness... like others have said it is really difficult to say what's wrong without watching - not that I could help you at that point either.  It could be something as simple as a binding or fin tweak or as drastic as a serious body position issue.  I will say that I learned a hell of a lot when I had a chance to ski with Wade Cox a couple of years ago and I'd suggest the same.  Check with all your local dealers and see if they have any pros coming into town this summer.  Our MC dealer seems to alternate years between a skier and wakeboarder.  Last year it was a wakeboarder, so I'm crossing my fingers this year.

Mike

Mike

Not sure where Waukesha is but Wade Cox has scheduled daily clinics for the 6,7,8 of July through midwest Mastercraft on Auburn lake here in the twin cities. I just got off the phone with them and the 7th is full with only a few left on the 6th and 8th.

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martho

I cant be schnitz....

I don't ski with a ball cap on ROFL.gifROFL.gifROFL.gif

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mlange

Thanks for the info on Cox.

Waukesha is just west of Milwaukee, so it would be a 6 or so hour drive.

I'm holding out hope for something around here or in Madison.

Martho,

You're not as self-centered either. :)

Mike

Edited by mlange

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Rod S

Hey, you apparently have talked to the guy. I have too. Interesting discussions.

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mlange

No, I'm not really speaking with any real knowledge - just what I've heard and read both from others and from him. Sounds like the guy has made a very large and positive impact on slalom skiing over the years and that he likes to make sure everyone knows that.

If I have the wrong impressions on any of this, I apologize.

Mike

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M3Fan

I'm sure several people here will disagree with me, but slow it down. 30mph is a really easy speed to run the course at, or even slower. Everything is in slow motion and you have time to think about what you are doing, and most importantly, you will have more time to get in a good wake crossing position.

Another thing to focus on is the gates. As you pull through the gate look at the right hand bouy and try to run it right over (but don't). Also, CRANK it through the gates, even going a little late to get more angle. As you look cross course to 2 ball, look at the water BEFORE the ball and not the ball. You tend to ski where you look. Those two points have been really helpful to me. Being behind through the whole course is often due to a poor gate angle.

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brazosvet

There may be many reasons why you break at the waist. My experience with that same problem was solved by balancing my weight evenly on both feet through the turn. A common bad habit is to try and stop the ski as you pass the ball to hurry the turn to get to the other side. This is done by pressing down too hard with your rear foot, leaning back, and letting your ski fall to the other edge. When that happens, you have too much ski in the water too slow and the boat pulls you out the front. Try leading with your front foot, and push your knees forward through the turn. After the ski completes the turn, then lean hard, and make up the distance then. I hope that helps.

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skislut

I think if you drop the boat speed to 30mph you will be in for a miserable experience. And I will go out on a limb and actually say increase your speed to 34 mph.

I am 6' 4" - 230# and on a 70" CDX, so I know how your ski is reacting. If the boat speed drops much below 32, even 31, I'm plowing water on a carve, the ski stalls, sinks, you start to stand up in anticipation of a hard hit, etc, etc.

The thing I noticed most at 34 vs 32, was that the ski was able to finish better in the turn, which created more angle and set-up for going cross course. It actually felt more comfortable.

Six had a more technical answer to your question, I'm just trying to put out there what I experienced.

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reggie

I would slow your speed and rely on your cross course speed to keep you from sinking, if you believe that is your problem. With proper body position you may rely on your speed vs the boats to make smooth turns and extra balls. As people have mentioned start your turn before the ball....Best of luck and have fun!

Reggie

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billb

Thanks, guys, this is great.

I guess I should tell you guys that what's sending me out the front is the ski stopping, not the boat pull. I think I have several fundamental issues with my technique : handle not close enough to hips, not keeping upper body back, aiming at the buoy. I did a good job of aiming in front of the buoys on my first few passes, but seem to have forgotten to do that these days. I used to ride the tail of the ski and have gotten better at not doing that.

Skislut, it's nice to get advice from someone my size. I'm not trying to be a hero running the faster speed. I'm just trying to keep from plowing the water and killing myself while learning proper technique.

I do feel like I don't finish turns properly. I feel like I drive my ski, not that I'm riding it.

Edited by billb

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edwin
I think if you drop the boat speed to 30mph you will be in for a miserable experience.  And I will go out on a limb and actually say increase your speed to 34 mph.

I am 6' 4" - 230# and on a 70" CDX, so I know how your ski is reacting.  If the boat speed drops much below 32, even 31, I'm plowing water on a carve, the ski stalls, sinks, you start to stand up in anticipation of a hard hit, etc, etc. 

The thing I noticed most at 34 vs 32, was that the ski was able to finish better in the turn,  which created more angle and set-up for going cross course.  It actually felt more comfortable.

Six had a more technical answer to your question, I'm just trying to put out there what I experienced.

Couldn't agree with you more 'slut. As I was doing some prop testing earlier this season, my PP baselines were messed up due to the diff't rpms at speed vs my normal prop. I ended up skiing one pass at what GPS'd at 32.3mph (I normally ski 34.2) and I could barely keep from falling over in the turns. The ski plowed like I couldn't believe.

Keep the speed up, it let's the ski perform as it was designed.

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