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jk13

Time to master two-foot-in slalom starts.

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jk13

Always wanted to try double boots, I guess now it's time. Need to find a way to deepwater start that is easier on my body as I get older.

Sorry for the novel, no short way to put all this in my current state of mind--drunk and on pain meds.

Had a three day weekend with perfect weather so Friday afternoon before everybody showed up for our family reunion I was going to get in a quick slalom set on my new-to-me HO Turbo. I've always started one-foot-in and did shallow water hop starts when I could because they are less taxing and you don't have to get wet if the water's chilly. Boat pulled, I hopped up on top of the water like always and the ski ran too far forward on me. Extended my knee too far and before I could let go or reposition against the pull of the boat it was all over. Haven't had pain like that in a long, long time. Lied still on my back afraid to even push the ski off for fear my lower leg would go with it. Finally decided to do it and backstroked myself back to shore thinking reconstructive surgery would be in my near future. Also had the $1000 ER deductible and the cost of surgery on my mind.

Slowly and methodically got myself back into the house with the help of my Mom and my cousin. Knee didn't hurt to put weight on in one exact position ONLY, but every other position was excruciating and it felt 'loose' and definitely not right. As the day went on and then into today the pain moved out of my knee and crept up the back of my leg and into my butt. Pulled hamstring. Really bad. But a way better outcome than a destroyed knee, thank God.

Happens just as I was losing weight and gaining strength by getting out more on the mountain bike, playing some soccer with a new adult group we found, and had even gotten back out on the ice with the old timers last Sunday. Hopefully it's only a couple week setback, but we'll see. Worst part was wasting this 80* weekend with almost no wind and warm water. :cry:

Made the best of it, planted myself in the driver's seat for a while for lake tours, skiing teens, and tubing youngsters. Also had a great reunion with 93 family members when I was on shore and my brother drove the boat. :cheers:

Luckily the Turbo has a convertible RTP and the heel cup off my old Kidder looks like it will bolt right on. Freebie. I'll probably even use the boom and then shortline to learn like we teach the kids. Been reading up on the crouched position and knees inside elbows, makes a lot of sense so hopefully it won't be too bad. Now that I have a tow boat instead of a 125hp outboard I shouldn't drag and tip over like I struggled with in the past.

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Slayer

Sounds like your state of mind was stellar for such a post. :cheers: I'm still reeling from the evening prior! Also sounds like a good weekend with family despite the injury. I love weekends like that with my family and honestly don't get enough of them.

On the issue of deep water starts, the knees between the elbows is a helpful thing. I was never able to get up dragging a leg, even when I was running a toe plate. The progression to double boots was easy for me. I really like an aggressive pull up, so what I do, right or wrong I'm not sure, is position my ski such that the water elevation is just below my front toes and simply stand up as soon as the boat gets moving. Super easy and not awfully taxing on the body.

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chrisnorem

I think "ball" on the start. I am right foot forward (double boots) so I pull knees up to chest as far as I can then put inside of left elbow on outside of left knee and outside of right elbow on inside of right knee as guides and it automatically keeps my ski straight which is the main issue on the starts. Baseball grip right hand on top.

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ahopkinsVTX

Great info above, I'll add that keeping the handle at your front foot toes in the "ball" will help keep you in the "ball" position.

Hopefully you get better soon!

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UWSkier

I was always an RTP leg-dragger guy until about 2000 or so when I decided for the hell of it to try getting up double booted. Somehow figured it out on my first try and haven't dragged a leg since. For me the biggest thing is keeping my back leg tucked in behind my front and my back heel as close to my arse as I can. Some guys will arch their backs to get more ski out of the water but that's never felt comfortable for me. I only resort to that in really shallow water. I'm also 250lbs bone dry so I end up with a face full of water no matter what I try. I envy the lighter folks I ski with who can keep their heads up and eyes open on their deeps.

My keys:

Front leg up to chest

Feel your back knee touching the back of your front leg

Back heel as close to your butt as possible.

Deep breath when I hear the boat throttle up, dip head, exhale through nose as boat does the work.

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jk13

Thanks for the concern and advice guys!

Second day after the injury now and I was worried it would be the worst day yet with soreness setting in and all the walking and trying to help with the event. Actually strapping an ice pack on for sleeping and getting in the hot tub as often as I could really helped. I'd say it's about 20% better already. I managed to change my own pants this morning!

I will do some dry land training and build strength up before getting back out. My biggest concern is that it always seems that my rear heel lifts when I crouch. Hopefully I can keep it in the binding and I'll work on that at home too.

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ahopkinsVTX

Just keep the rear toe plate and start with your foot in. That is what I do.

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justgary

And if the ball position isn't enough, think about getting your weight low and forward to tip the ski on plane. As you crush into the ball, attempt to touch your nose to the tip of the ski. That will pretty much force the correct position.

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jk13

Just keep the rear toe plate and start with your foot in. That is what I do.

That's how I've tried in the past and the water pressure pushes my foot right out the back. Once I try this new position with more horsepower to decrease the drag time that may work but I don't want to test this leg by itself again anytime soon.

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justgary

If you know anyone with a training/barefoot boom, use that a few times, then add a 5' handle and practice with that. A few times on the boom will cure your issues.

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jk13

If you know anyone with a training/barefoot boom, use that a few times, then add a 5' handle and practice with that. A few times on the boom will cure your issues.

I have one. I will start there as mentioned it in the first post. Good idea though for those that missed it in the novel.

While it's on I'll get my son to practice dropping a ski for slalom as well, then get him on deep waters too. He got showed up by his female cousin of his same age who slaloms and even gave us a toe-hold past the dock. :)

BTW this is what I missed out on. Three days of this and 80 degrees. This is NOON today--no boats and half the lake perfectly skiable:

post-12034-0-10976900-1436759219_thumb.j

Looking down the shoreline:

post-12034-0-31837300-1436759488_thumb.j

Edited by jk13

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justgary

With a boom, I wouldn't waste time having your son actually drop a ski. Have him practice lifting a foot until he can hold the ski up for a while, and then put him directly on the boom with one ski and let him start up that way. He should progress quickly, so he can move to the 5' handle after just a few starts. After a few more starts, try him longline.

I'm of the opinion that once you go longline, the starts should be fairly brisk. If you have your body compressed close to the ski with your weight forward, it is easy to maintain stability. When you fall sideways on startup, it is always because you are pushing out with your legs, making the whole balancing act much harder to perform. The more you let your body compress into a ball, the closer to the ski you are, and the easier it is to stay stable, plus you pull out of the water faster.

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jfw432

One thing to remember when doing two feet in the bindings.... you'll inevitably use your back foot because it's there. When you push on your back foot, you're twisting the ski in the wrong direction making getting up difficult or near impossible. If you're right foot forward follow these tips (left foot forward, reverse everything). Make sure you start with the ski pointed at about the 1:00 position and don't let it cross the 12:00 position. You can ride the ski out of the water on the right edge if necessary but once you point the ski to the left, it's difficult to recover. I struggle with getting water in my nose so I just put my face in the water and look down, close my eyes, and blow air out of my nose.

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Sixball

Yeper! Its hard to stay in a tight tuck at start for many so you may try. Staying relaxed without being tucked, as soon as the boat starts to move this is the time to pull your knees to your chest and butt to the back of the ski. Arms out strait don't pull with your arms, let the boat pull. Driver give one second for the skier to get tucked as you start rolling into throttle. So easy for the one second. Don't give more time then about one second before getting in to the throttle to achieve pulling speed. If your skier is coming over the front, does he or she have the ski sticking about 6" out of the water? Are they coming out of the tuck early? As said if you push your legs out you are likely going over the front of the ski.

If you stay tucked longer then you need the ski will be stable and its easy to stand late.

I think for me after double boots it would be harder to start with just one foot in. Once you get it down you will love double boot skiing. No more trying to get the foot tight in the toe plate!

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jk13

Also sounds like a good weekend with family despite the injury. I love weekends like that with my family and honestly don't get enough of them.

Meant to reply to this earlier as it hit the nail on the head.

It's what boating is all about for us. We don't have to always be 'on it' as far as doing water sports. Stopping and swimming or just exploring and talking to guests and others on the lake are just as much fun for us. I wish we could do it more often.

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DIE2SURF

Sure hope your leg is ok.

When I switched from dragging a foot to double boots, the two things that were noticeably different were the time/patience required and the way I came out of the water.

Drop foot: Entire body came out of the water very quickly and smoothly in progression.

Double boots: Entire body is in the water longer during the pull, and it's more of a sudden pop-up out of the water, rather than a nice/easy/smooth plane. Required greater patience and faith that in fact I would actually get out of the water. Once I got used to double boots, the being dragged through the water just before a sudden pop became second nature.

Edited by DIE2SURF

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justgary

And if you really want to fine tune your startup performance, grab a 2X4 and ski on that for a while. You will quickly learn the delicate balance of pressure against your feet while keeping your posture correct on the pullout.

And if you don't learn quickly, at least the video will be fun to watch.

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jk13

Haha. We used to play "will it ski" all the time when we were growing up. Canoe paddles, pieces of plywood, picnic tables, garbage cans, etc. Makes you a better skier all around. Think of it as cross training.

Was going to post a pic of my leg but it's not as impressive on film. Purple area the size of a softball and some minor swelling in the same area. Completely messing up my perfect pasty whiteness. Purposely scheduled a light work day but sitting in my desk chair so much really stiffened it up. I was going to call it 50% better overall this morning, but I think we're back down to 40%.

Thanks for all the tips and advice fellas, I'm still listening. I will do my best to keep it all in mind.

Edited by jk13

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jk13

Week 1 update:

Leg is pretty colorful. Hip and outside of calf hurt like crazy, likely from limping. Some days are fine, some days are really bad. Stairs suck. A lot. Especially up. Hamstring is actually not that bad most of the time, just partially unresponsive (hence the limp) and intensely painful if moved wrong. Have to swing the leg out wide or it drags on the ground. Worst part might be that the showing 'bruise' actually feels like a bruise, so I can't sit comfortably nor stand comfortably in most positions. Forget about the bending motion between those two positions. :cry:

Hopefully it continues to show progress as we go. Even better would be steady progress unlike the good day/bad day situation going on now. Would like to take a trip back up to that lake and try a two foot in start while we have this 90* weather. But not at the risk of re-injuring. Just have to take it slow and start my squats at home with no weight when I can.

Oh yeah, pics. Just some bruising, not too gruesome I hope. Certainly not as gruesome as my pasty whiteness. :)

There is more color up into the inside of my leg but this is a family forum after all.

post-12034-0-87050700-1437270798_thumb.j

Edited by jk13

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Sixball

Ouch! Did a Doc. have a look at it? Wish you were closer we could get you up! If you get two foot in starts you will never look back. The skiing just feels so much more controlled.

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jk13

Ouch! Did a Doc. have a look at it? Wish you were closer we could get you up! If you get two foot in starts you will never look back. The skiing just feels so much more controlled.

Nah, no Doc yet. If it's still bad next week I'll call and get in. On a bad day I almost call, then the next day is really good so I don't. We'll see.

Thanks for the offer, but it will be a while yet before I try. We do drive near your lake when we go over the top to my wife's family in Vassar, but they are coming here to Wis Dells this year.

Sucks that the way I've slalomed for almost 30 years and has always been so easy bit me this time. Heck of a reason to have to learn a new skill.

Edited by jk13

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Sixball

Next time you pass through give us a call. If it open water we could go for a ride. If it ice we could do a dinner.

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williemon

This has got me to streaching the hams out again. It does help to stay flexable.

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DIE2SURF

Dang...that bruise sure reminds me of my partially torn hamstring years ago. I would go see a doc with that one to make sure I was doing the correct rehab to not make it worse. Keep us posted.

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jk13

This has got me to streaching the hams out again. It does help to stay flexable.

I tried to warm up a bit but certainly rushed it. Only had a limited window to get out there and definitely had some trepidation about running cold. Never have been very flexible by nature. Will hopefully not make that mistake again.

Dang...that bruise sure reminds me of my partially torn hamstring years ago. I would go see a doc with that one to make sure I was doing the correct rehab to not make it worse. Keep us posted.

Thanks for the input. Making me nervous. Rested it up over the weekend as much as I could. Didn't even go to the WI ski show tournament and try to find footndale so I wouldn't be walking around as much. It's quite a bit better. Can walk straight ahead without swinging my leg so my hip doesn't hurt anymore either.

Keeping the Dr. in mind for sure. Do you remember your rehab? For me so far it's been rotating cold and heat when I can and resting as much as possible. Only thing I might be doing wrong if it's torn is daily light stretching. If it hurts at all I stop immediately and do something else.

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