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Sullivan

Hand Placement on the Handle

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Sullivan

Today I skied with a new guy from our lake. He's good and I think I can learn a lot from skiing with him. Nice guy too. Anyway, one of the pointers he gave me today was my hand placement. I am right foot forward and I hold the handle with my right hand on top, like as if I am swinging a baseball bat. His suggestion was to put my left hand at the top of the handle (like a lefty swinging a bat). I tried this during one of my passes and I felt it was way too awkward and switched back. I'll probably keep trying this as time goes on.

Have any of you tried this and what did you think?

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TrickyNicky

Yes, i've been told this too. I'm left forward but used to ski with my left hand on top (similar to you). I was told to switch my hands so my top hand is the same as my back foot. I found it awkward at first but I got used to it and I personally think it made a significant difference. I was told by good skiers at our ski club and for me the advice worked. This is my experience, yours may be different but give it a shot.

Ps: I only ski the course at 30mph and 15 off

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Wakes

take a look at some video's of the pros you'll find they all hold the handle like the new guy. So even though I don't know why(my best guess would be to distribute load more evenly) there must be something to it :). Just like changing your grip on a golf club it will take getting used to(try holding the handle while you watch tv for a few hours and see if that helps.

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davemac

Hey Sullivan,

Like you, I have a "reverse grip". I'm RFF and ski w/ right palm up (habit from holding golf club, hockey stick, baseball bat that way). I have found it really, really difficult to change it. Most will recommend making the change at the beginning of the season and possibly doing "dry land" simulation exercises or pull ups w/ correct ski grip....to build muscle memory.

No big deal if you can't change...there are many skiers out there w/ reverse grips...even a few pros (Kristi Overton broke many records w/ reverse grip). The theory is that the recommended grip gives you better balance or something. Symmetry is not much of a problem w/ me, so thus far, I don't worry about it too much.

(I'm a big fan of your boat by the way)

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davemac

Sullivan,

Here is a link for some spare time reading you may be interested in.... slalom grip discussion

Read it slowly, there is some great opinions in there...particularly from Rossi, and Seth S.

This is one of those things that has no one correct answer. Don't let it bother you too much. At the end of the day, neither of us skis for money, and are just out there to enjoy the ride and challenge ourselves.

(did I mention that I'm a big fan of your boat?)

Edited by davemac

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Sullivan

take a look at some video's of the pros you'll find they all hold the handle like the new guy. So even though I don't know why(my best guess would be to distribute load more evenly) there must be something to it :). Just like changing your grip on a golf club it will take getting used to(try holding the handle while you watch tv for a few hours and see if that helps.

Last night after I posted this I went and grabbed a few old Waterski mags and started flipping through them. Just about every picture had the skier holding the rope the way Paul (the new guy) suggested. I was thinking I would find a old handle and tie it to something and practice getting used to it before hitting the shore.

Hey Sullivan,

Like you, I have a "reverse grip". I'm RFF and ski w/ right palm up (habit from holding golf club, hockey stick, baseball bat that way). I have found it really, really difficult to change it. Most will recommend making the change at the beginning of the season and possibly doing "dry land" simulation exercises or pull ups w/ correct ski grip....to build muscle memory.

No big deal if you can't change...there are many skiers out there w/ reverse grips...even a few pros (Kristi Overton broke many records w/ reverse grip). The theory is that the recommended grip gives you better balance or something. Symmetry is not much of a problem w/ me, so thus far, I don't worry about it too much.

(I'm a big fan of your boat by the way)

This felt so weird to me as I sat in the water that I didn't think I could get up if I tried. I like the idea of doing some pull ups this way. That should help build that muscle memory in a hurry I would think. Thanks for the link, I'll read this today and make sure I have it my head good before I hit the water again.

Thanks for the compliments on the boat. I spent a ton of time looking for the right boat for me. Funny story, I had been on waterskimag.com looking around and I saw this picture of Will Asher skiing behind a response with the color combo I liked. So I set it up as my desktop background. A customer of mine who skis, saw it and asked if it was my boat. I laughed and said I wish. That was over a year ago. I didn't realize this until recently, but that is my boat now! Anyway, I hope that someday I can do the boat justice and get into some shorter line lengths with it.

Thanks for the feedback guys!

Edited by Sullivan

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Woodski

I'm RFF, left hand up. As noted, that is more or less the standard, but as always there are numerous exceptions. There are several forums that debate the topic, Ball of Spray & Thewaterskiforum among them. I can imagine that switching will be difficult, I think handle grip is a subtle thing so changing grip may or may or may not offer an advantage.

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davemac

another tidbit...many people deep water start w/ both palms down (makes ski less likely to chafe on the line). I was watching a video of Chris Parrish recently and it appeared that he maintained this dual overhand grip through his pull out, and changed to split grip almost as a trigger to initiate his turn in for the gates.

Sullivan, if you commit to the change, now (beginning) of the season is the time to do it. Tie a spare handle to a lally column or something similar and practice simulated cuts.

I tried changing on the water last year, and couldn't do it. It was awkward to the point where I would sometimes even release the handle w/ the wrong arm?!?

Ironically, two of the guys I ski w/ the most often are LFF (I'm RFF) and they both have backassward grips (one of whom is a very strong skier). We joke about it often, but unfortunately can't trade grips w/ one another. The teaching an old dog new tricks cliche has some merit I guess.

Edited by davemac

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Killer

switching is not difficult. I took some years off of skiing, maybe getting out there 2 or 3 times. Well, when I decided I needed to get back into the sport I love I had forgotten how to hold the handle when in the course, and mixed up my grip.

short story long, I did make the switch and it was easy. maybe 2 sets focusing on my grip, now its ingrained.

hold it like you would hold a baseball bat. LFF = RH on top

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Green_Giant

I switched maybe 8 years ago and was glad I did within half a season, go got it!

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2003w23lsv

I switched maybe 8 years ago and was glad I did within half a season, go got it!

I skied at a clinic with Wade Cox a couple of years ago and the first thing he told me was to change my grip. Yes it felt weird at first but I have never looked back. It makes sense to be able to hook my right hand up under the handle on my off side instead of up over the top. What a difference and besides, I think Wade knows what he is talking about!

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uski2it

I'm left foot forward and ski with my right hand on top. Learning was awkward at first but has made me a better skier. That and the "one handed pre gate" -- from the pull out, carving a one handed turn as you cut toward the one ball -- it gets you in your groove before you really have to start working for it in the course.

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Sullivan

another tidbit...many people deep water start w/ both palms down (makes ski less likely to chafe on the line). I was watching a video of Chris Parrish recently and it appeared that he maintained this dual overhand grip through his pull out, and changed to split grip almost as a trigger to initiate his turn in for the gates.

Sullivan, if you commit to the change, now (beginning) of the season is the time to do it. Tie a spare handle to a lally column or something similar and practice simulated cuts.

I tried changing on the water last year, and couldn't do it. It was awkward to the point where I would sometimes even release the handle w/ the wrong arm?!?

Ironically, two of the guys I ski w/ the most often are LFF (I'm RFF) and they both have backassward grips (one of whom is a very strong skier). We joke about it often, but unfortunately can't trade grips w/ one another. The teaching an old dog new tricks cliche has some merit I guess.

Hey Dave,

I ended switching my hand position so I have both palms down while deep starting. I started getting a bad soreness in my right forearm and one of the guys at the lake told me he had the same problem a few years back until he switched to both palms down. Sure enough the forearm feels good after switching a week and a half ago. Still have not changed my grip through the course. Still too weird.

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davemac

Thats good to hear Sully. (Along w/ adjusting to a new ski and bindings) I actuallly think I have corrected my grip the last few times out. Still need a few more times to ingrain it, but I do now feel (in the long run) it will be worthwhile. Aside from the importance of making this change at the beginning of the season, the trick that finally worked for me was "muscle memory"drills . I have a handle attached to a lally column in my garage, and occassionally simulate skiing w/ it....especially before going skiing.

Funny thing is I am not yet comfortable deep water starting w/ this new (correct) grip.

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Malibudude

I'm RFF, left hand up. As noted, that is more or less the standard, but as always there are numerous exceptions. There are several forums that debate the topic, Ball of Spray & Thewaterskiforum among them. I can imagine that switching will be difficult, I think handle grip is a subtle thing so changing grip may or may or may not offer an advantage.

Same here after skiing both w/ Marcus and Winters hand position wasn't my issue....Whistling.gif I start w/ both hands down and switch just before my glide out.

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Sullivan

Made the switch finally. I must say this has made my offside turns feel so much stronger and more stable. A couple times over the past week I went around one ball and some how ended up with both palms down. Oops, thats not going to work. Other than that it has made a difference and I am skiing much better now because of this.

Thanks everyone for your input.

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