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    BallOfSpray Posts
    One of the hardest things to do while slaloming is to not overdo the pulls. You always feel like you're running just a bit behind, and pulling harder is going to get you earlier to the next turn. Problem is, it's easy to get the angle at first, but much tougher to maintain that angle long enough to be beneficial.
    Remember that with the new Zero Off boats the harder you pull against them the more gas they give you in return. What happens is you get to a point that you can no longer increase or even maintain that kind of load, and then you lose everything you had just built up including your outward direction into the next turn. It's more important to have good direction from the second wake out to the buoy than it is to have lots of speed and angle from the buoy to the first wake.
    One thing you need to experiment with is how light you can cut, and still get to the next turn in good position. Instead of coming out of the turns and immediately pulling as hard as you can, try this... think about completing the turn, and getting your best possible body position right away. Once the ski has turned and is pointing towards the wake, and you have your handle close to your hips just see if you can maintain that all the way from the finish of the turn right through the second wake. Don't try to pull any harder than what you have from the finish of the turn, and don't let your body change positions.
    What you'll find is that by skiing lighter you'll be able to maintain better body position, and you'll be skiing earlier in the course. Proper body position is much more effective than a hard pull.

    Written by Terry Winter

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    I often get asked about how I start the season. Pre-season skiing is tough, especially if you're skiing in a colder climate. Muscles are cold and stiff, and not as strong as they were in the summer. Cold hands and feet make it tough to get a good feel for the handle, and what the ski is doing underneath you. Also, the ski rides differently in the colder water, riding higher and giving a sense of less stability and more speed.


     
    What I like to do when I start is make it as easy as possible to get back in a good rhythm, and give my body a chance to get used the strains and hard pulls again. I typically start off at a slower speed. I'll drop it down to 34mph for a while, and go through the line lengths. This gives me more of a sense of how it usually feels when I ski, whipping up wider on the boat and making some harder turns. If I go back to my top speed too soon I usually can't run too many line lengths, and it takes longer to get a good sense of skiing well.
    When I do feel comfortable again at the slower speed I'll go back up to my top speed, and stay at the easier line lengths for a while until I feel that I can run each one very well. I'll run a lot of 32 off's until I feel that I'm really dialed, and have some of my strength back. Then I'll go shorter, and try to dial in the next pass. The point is if you're first pass is sketchy or tough the next one is going to be worse. Give yourself some time to feel like you're really used to your ski again, and your body position is back on point.
    Give yourself plenty of time to work back into skiing. I might ski slower for a couple of weeks, and then go faster and stay at the longer line lengths for another couple of weeks. The more time you can spend getting your ski and body position dialed at the easier passes the faster you're going to progress through the tougher passes.
    Come to California and ski with Terry this spring!
    Spring is a great time for a water ski vacation in California, by April the air and water are warming up here. Skiers from colder climates get a start in more favorable early season conditions then semi frozen lakes, here water ski lessons taken in the spring give you techniques to work on all season.

    Written by Terry Winter

    One of the more common struggles I witness while coaching slalom skiing is how to manage control of the handle and body position throughout the edge-change process.
    Many skiers make the mistake of combining the release of the handle with the edge-change. What achieves greater results is separating the two... the edge change should occur somewhere close to the center of the wakes, while the release of the handle should be done about half way out to the width of the buoy from the center of the wakes.
    What you're looking to accomplish is maintaining a hip-to-elbows/handle relationship that stays the same all the way from the completion of the turn, through the wake crossing, and up to the release (again, about half way out to the buoy from the center of the wakes). As you complete the turn feel your hips and your handle come together. You should be able to feel your elbows pinned against the sides of your vest. If you have any gap at all between your vest and your elbows, then your position is not as strong as it could be. As you approach the wakes soften your legs, and allow the load you have built up through the cut to release the ski from its cutting edge on to its inside, turning edge. The key here is to keep your body's core tight. Maintain your position of the hips, the handle, and the elbows. The only body position change here is in the lower body. With your ski on the inside edge, ride it out halfway to the buoy's width. This is where you can start your handle release. Allow your self to ski out, and away from the handle.
    By maintaining this strong body position through the edge change, and waiting longer to release the handle you will set yourself up for much earlier, wider turns.

    Written by Terry Winter

    Horton: What are your goals for 2010?
    Stisher: To finally balance my family, business, and skiing appropriately. Although I would like to be in the finals for every event, I can't sell my soul or abandon my family or my business to do so.

    Horton: Does your pre-event ritual include a bathroom brake?
    Stisher: Doesn't everyone's?

    Horton: Does your ski have a name?
    Stisher: When I ski well I call it "The Best damn ski I have ever ridden", and when I ski poorly I call it, "The Poor under-utilized tool that is stuck with my dumb a-- on top of it!"

    Horton: Do you think Todd Ristorcelli is a good looking man? http://ballofspray.com/images/stories/swerve-with-me-225x168[1].jpg
    Stisher: My wife thinks so, but sometimes personality goes further...wait he has that too...no wonder my wife likes him better. I think he is an ugly jerk for the most part...

    Horton: Do you want to win Moomba or the Masters?
    Stisher: Yes, but I am not in the Masters and I have to cancel Moomba because I am having minor knee surgery that week (I hope it's minor)...so I guess it will be kind of tough to win either one...this year.

    Horton: What school did you go to?
    Stisher: Great Day Kindergarten in Arab, Alabama followed by Arab Primary, Arab Elementary, and Arab High School, oh and then I graduated from the home of this years NCAA National Football CVhampion, The University of Alabama!

    Horton: If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be?
    Stisher: Oak I guess...I hope!

    Horton: How often are you asked about the gay love between you and Tadd?
    Stisher: Frankly I think it is obvious that he is not my type!

    Horton: Do you have a favorite show ski team?
    Stisher: I have lots of friends and students in Wisconsin, so they may get mad if they read this, but the only name that stands out to me from 
    Horton: Have you ever ridden a swivel ski?
    Stisher: No, but I have a friend Ann Tiemann that rocks on it, and I thought about getting a little tutelage from her while I am there this summer.

    Horton: When was the last time you missed a deep water start?
    Stisher: At least yearly, but can't remember when the exact las time was. Skinny legs and big boardshorts can be a death sentence for a deepwater start

    Horton: Do you like peas? http://ballofspray.com/images/stories/imagesCABY3P9Z.jpg
    Stisher: Yes, and interestingly enough do you know that peas was originally the singular form of the word, but it confused everyone with the "s" so it evolved...seriously...a Cliff Clavin factoid.

    Horton: Can you break dance?
    Stisher: Of course...I grew up in that era and could do all that stuff when I was a kid, however it might not look as fluid now!

    Horton: Are you a fan of Lily Allen? 
    Stisher: Just googled her because I didn't know who she was and I think I do like her...her accent comes through in her songs...kinda hot.

    Horton: Have you ever deboned a chicken?
    Stisher: No! I don't even get too close to the bone when I eat a chicken leg.

    Horton: Do you put your front foot in first?
    Stisher: I am of the opinion that people are killing themselves by doing this...it would be like putting your shoes on with your leg kicked up behind you...makes no sense. Rear foot first always for me!

    Horton: Do you pee in the lake?
    Stisher: Every single one I have ever skied in...sorry if anyone who has signs posted about this reads this and realizes I did it. Sometimes you just gotta go...besides the fish are doing it, why can't I?

    Horton: Do you drink lake water?
    Stisher: I spit...wow, maybe I shouldn't say it that way!

    Horton: If you were a single woman, would you date Tiger Woods?
    Stisher: Probably not, because I would most likely be a lesbian

    Horton: Do you know any knock-knock jokes?
    Stisher: I can't remember jokes very well...but I think knock jokes are a goofy format for jokes...unless told by George Carlin...that made anything funny. RIP

    Horton: Do you ever watch Robot Chicken?
    Stisher: NO...NO...don't even know what it is...maybe I've heard of it, but...

    Horton: How do you run 39 off?
    Stisher: Go really slow. Actually, I haven't run it in a tournament since 2007, but I am feeling good about it again. I think a major key is not overskiing it from an energy standpoint and a path standpoint.

    Horton: Why don’t you run 41?
    Stisher: I don't think the courses I have tried it on have been regulation...the buoys seem a bit too wide. Seriously, I think you have to ski more than I do to be able to do it and then it is still an amazingly tough task. I truly appreciate the guys who are getting past three ball regularly, but at the same time I have to call BS on all the guys who talk like they run it all the time in practice. IF they did, more people would run it in tournaments. My practice PB and tournament PB are roughly the same...averages also.

    Growing up waterskiing all I ever heard from Water Ski Schools and in Water Ski Lessons about fine-tuning your waterski was fin movements. Fin adjustments, fin adjustments, fin adjustments. It's my personal belief that the binding movement is the most underrated waterski adjustment that you can master.
    Within the past 5-10 years waterski bindings have really seen advancements. These advancements include the way the bindings can be adjusted. Bindings for the most part have only been able to adjust in ¼ inch increments. Bindings now come straight from the factory with the ability to move down to the 1/16 or even the 1/32 of an inch. With the ability to make adjustments this small you can accomplish the same results as fin adjustments if not more and with more control and less time.
    Skiing at several different lakes throughout the summer it's necessary for me to make ski adjustments in order to have my ski ready for competition. Depending on how the water feels my ski usually requires a forward or backward movement of my bindings of a 1/8 - 1/16 inch. When skiing at home and dialing in a ski my binding movements often get down to a 1/32-inch. All these movements usually occur with little or no fin adjustments. I typically start with a standard fin setting and go with my binding movement routine. If I had to give advice to a fellow waterskier looking for that extra 1-2% edge to get him a few more buoys, I'd say master your binding adjustments and spend less time with your fin.
    Written by Nick Parsons
     

    Below is a follow up to Nick’s earlier post. A reader asks the following question.
    Hi Nick,

    It was great to read your article as I've recently purchased a new ski and feel i haven't quite got it set up right yet. Whilst I'm uncomfortable making fin adjustments as i don't have the knowledge or tools to do it I have tried moving my bindings. As a basic rule how does binding adjustments impact the performance of the ski. i.e. By moving them forward does this put more tip in the water and cause a sharper turn? Are binding adjustments similar to fin adjustments in terms of impact on ski's performance?
    Simon,
    The basic rules for binding adjustments are as follows. A forward movement with the bindings (from stock position) will add more nose pressure and make a smoother slower or longer arcing turn. Backwards is the exact opposite. A backward movement with the binding (also from stock position) relieves nose pressure and makes the ski carve a tighter arc with a more abrupt finish.
    There are fin adjustments that can simulate binding movements. It's almost opposite of binding movements. Moving the fin backwards is a similar movement to moving your bindings forward and forward with the fin is the opposite. If you are unsure in your fin adjustment abilities I'd recommend leaving the fin in the standard setting. Try experimenting with forward and backward movements of the binding and see what works best for you. If you are interested in increasing your fin and binding adjustment abilities I'd recommend a one on one water ski lesson here at the ranch with either Doug, Terry or myself.
    Cheers,
    Nick
     

    As I give a waterski lesson, one of my primary focuses is on a skier's body position. There's lots of different styles of slalom pulling positions, but whatever it looks like you have to have a strong, leveraged pulling position to get across the course effectively.

    One way to increase your leverage, and therefore increase your ability to get across the course on an earlier line, is by counter-rotating. Counter-rotating means opening up your body so that your hips and shoulders are facing more down the length of the course as your ski is pointed across the course. For example, say you're turning and cutting to the right. As your ski is arcing around to the right you're trying to make your shoulders and hips twist a bit to the left. With a good, countered body position the observer in the boat should be able to see the fronts of both of the skier's shoulders.

    What countering allows you to do is soften your legs better, and get your hips or center of gravity leaning away more from the boat. This will shift your body's weight so that you have more pressure over the ski's cutting edge, and make it possible for you to hold a better line cutting more directly across the course. This will set you up for wider, earlier turns. If you close off your hips and shoulders, making them face across rather than down the course, your legs will tend to be straighter and stiffer and your hips or body's weight will be placed more over the center of the ski. This will lessen your ability to hold your ski on a solid edge, which leads to shallower, faster approaches to your turns.

    Written by Terry Winter

    http://www.iwsf.com/dbheadlines/headlinephotos/sm_Poster A1-WC09_1_resized1.jpgPutrajaya World Cup site is ready for the final Stop of 2009
    The world’s top Waterski athletes from 15 countries are now converging on Kuala Lumpur’s International Airport for the short ride to Putrajaya. This will be the 29th World Cup Stop in the series. The Timetable and Webcast details for this last Waterski & Wakeboard World Cup Stop of the season have been released today. Both the Putrajaya Stop and overall World Cup season winners will be crowned at this beautiful tropical venue next Sunday evening immediately following the November 7/8 competition.
    Putrajaya Corporation and the Malaysian Waterski Federation have provided some of the most attractive site facilities in the world at the Watersports Complex. Towering above the Waterski arena is the distinctive four storey all-glass Media and Judging tower. This will house the RTM TV cameras for national broadcasts, the World Cup Webcast Studio for global transmissions, the World Cup TV team plus the Judges and Officials. The World Cup TV Team will distribute a short TV News edit feature to 300 million viewers by Satellite on Sunday evening. This will be followed by a full edited TV show which will be distributed to 200 million viewers the following week.
    WEBCAST


    WORLD CUP PUTRAJAYA TIMETABLE
    (Local Time)
    PRELIMINARIES
    Saturday, 7th November
    11.00am Women Slalom
    12.00 Noon Men Slalom
    1.30pm Women Shortboard
    2.45pm Men Shortboard
    4.00pm Women Jump
    5.00pm Men Jump
    WORLD CUP FINALS
    Sunday, 8th November
    11.45am – 12.00 noon Performance by artistes
    12.00 Noon – Women Slalom Final
    12.40pm – Men Slalom Final
    2.00pm – 2.15pm Performance by artistes
    2.30pm – Women Shortboard Final
    3.00 pm – Men Shortboard Final
    3.45pm – Women Jump Final
    4.15pm – Men Jump Final
    5.15 pm – 5.45pm Performance by artistes
    5.45 pm – Putrajaya Waterski World Cup Prize Presentation

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    Jaret Llewellyns Jump Crash from the IWSF World Cup 2009 in Dubna Russia. During a jump off against fellow Canadian Ryan Dodd, to decide first place in the opening world cup round.

    What is ramp angle and why should it concern you?... Ramp angle is the angle between your heel and forefoot which is determined by your ski boots and your bindings. It has a direct relationship to your fore / aft plane of balance. Increasing or decreasing this angle moves your center of mass forward or aft over the skis. Contrary to common belief changing the forward lean angle on your boot will not have the same effect, What is the correct degree? How does your equipment affect this angle? What are the symptoms of too little or too much ramp angle? If you are not aware of all the factors that affect fore and aft balance over your skis and how to change them, you are probably not at the optimum angle and not skiing to your potential. The following will help clarify all factors that affect ramp angle related to skiing and how to find the optimum angle for your own skiing.

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