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Light on the line


Horton
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I saw an article about being light on the line in the last month but now can not find it. Anyone know what I am talking about? While you are at it does anyone really really understand the mechanics?
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That is not what I was talking about but it is pretty interesting.

For years I have messed with but really understood this dynamic. For me the story goes that often I come off 5 ball and relax (get lazy) going to 6. What happens is I am crazy wide, early and in extra good position at 6.  For years I have tried to understand what the real cause and effect is.

 

I have tried coming off 1 ball and physically exhaling and relaxing. This sort of works and with a ski that does not cast out well it makes really makes difference.  I have just never thought I understood the pieces to this puzzle . . . .

 

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  • Baller

I am not sure I understand what you are talking about but I know that I sometimes overload. I turn to hard, lean too much and try muscle my way to the next ball. At the start of this war I usually get great angle at the end of the turn, but then the tension on the rope pulls me of the edge too early and I am going almost straight to the next ball. 

I think “light on the line†might be the opposite. If I am patient at the ball, back off a little and try to just keep the angle and let the boat do the work I have a better chance to keep my direction all the way to the edge change. Since I have kept the direction and my edge I probably have more speed and I am still advancing on the boat, almost all the way to the turn. Which leads to a wider set up for the next turn.

Tsixam

Another thing struck me. When leaning with the whole body against the line, it feels like there is a tremendous force applied on the line. But when edging more from the hips and down it feels like there is less tension on the line, light on the line...Bruce B where are you?
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There is a point when I am in my reach where I can open my palm up and leave the handle lay there. When it starts to pull out, grab it and go. I do not do this all the time, but since being coached this I have tried it many times.       

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Not sure if this helps but Rossi writes - think "load is bad, get rid of it"

This article is from his site

Handle low

In order to keep that ski rolled over longer through the wakes, I suggest "pushing the handle down" from finish of the turn through the 2nd wake. Most skiers at your level are putting too much fight into running the course. What I mean by this, is that you are trying to pull harder to get early to the next buoy. This is an impossible action as the cruise control will apply more gas as you apply more pressure, thus just sending you faster and narrower into that next buoy. Get rid of that upper body fight and you will be on your way to your next breakthrough!!

When you place your outside hand back on the handle after a turn, think "load is bad, get rid of it" To do this, as soon as you feel load or pull from the boat, push the handle down. I think the big word here is "push" the handle down. Almost everyone I watch ski instantly "pulls" on the handle after the turn. Any pulling of the handle results in you holding your body upright, thus minimizing ski angle. By pushing the handle down your leg, you are letting your body fall more off the edge of your ski, thus increasing edge angle. The great thing about this is it takes considerably less energy to do, and you gain a lot of space into the next buoy. This lesson applies to every skier at every level.

If you are having a hard time visualizing what I am teaching, try this. Hook a handle up to a post or the pylon of the boat. Now put your self in your wake crossing position. From here I want you to pull harder on the handle. The visual for this would be to try to bend the pylon or post you are connected to. When you do this, what you'll find is that your body actually comes higher than where it started. Since the post doesn't move, any pulling force, will inevitably raise your body, thus reducing ski angle. Now get back in that wake crossing position and "push" the handle down your leg. Your body naturally falls away as far as it can, thus gaining maximum ski edge.

I'd like everyone to give this some thought and on your next ski set, see what you feel.

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Light on the line.... (or old school lock and load?) I guess we are talking about the emerging techniques developed in recent years.

Twenty years ago I was being taught to hide the shoulder off the back of the buoy. Grab as much angle as you can, lock in and go!  Hustle boy! LL would shout. But recently I am being persuaded to be light on the line. It starts with keeping the speed, not trying to stall the ski with too much angle, take the minimum. Stay open longer and pick up the boat later. (That way you dont generate the load, the speed and subsequent release of energy that fires you in the wrong direction.)

When you get it right the pass seems slow and effortless. What it does allow  you to  do is continue the turn to the wakes resulting in the ski heading outbound at a controllable speed. The boat pulls you to the buoy line as opposed to being fired out of the hole!  ( I ran my pb using this technique 6/12m/55)

In summary I guess it's about maintaining the speed which makes the line feel light by not taking any big hits! It's worth trying,  I seemed to of hit a wall for 3 years and a recent trip to Spain gave me new direction.

 

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  • Baller_

I don’t know what Horton is looking for, but will offer a few related thoughts.  The ability to relax is critical in virtually every sport.  First, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, the human body is significantly stronger when the muscles are relaxed than when tense.  It also responds much quicker and more fluidly when relaxed (think about how relaxed a cat is when it pounces). 

The result is that when you feel relaxed, you actually put more load against the boat with less effort than when you feel like you’re pulling your guts out.  Also, key to skiing, is that when you are relaxed, you will load and unload smoothly.  If you think “pullâ€ÂÂ, it will usually be jerky and the result is like loading a spring – when you stop pulling, the boat/rope will take everything back (and more), which will usually pull you out of good body position. 

Also key to relaxing is controlled breathing and exhaling.  Exhaling is one of the body’s natural relaxation triggers.  Relaxing coming off a buoy and being early into the next makes perfect sense to me.  Ever watch a high-end skier and think how easy they make it look?  Next time pay attention to how relaxed they look.  Remember the occasional picture of someone with the handle rolling out on the fingertips in a shortline reach?  That’s from being relaxed.  The ‘compressed’ style skiers edging from the hips?  The arms and shoulders are relaxed. 

Of course relaxing takes focus and practice, and like every other skill, some find it natural while others have to work very hard at it.

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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Bruce,



Are you saying that less physical effort is (to a point) but more lower body lean is always good?




I agree that over working across the lake is a real issue. I wonder about efficiency of work.  



Are there diminishing returns on terms of lower body lean? Does more ski roll proportionally increase cross course angle. How is the slip angle affected by roll and the skiers work.

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  • Baller_

“Are you saying that less physical effort is (to a point) but more lower body lean is always good? “ 

No.  The point I was trying to make is that frequently when you feel like you’re pulling your guts out, you are actually putting less force against the boat than when you relax and it “feels†effortless.  Your body is simply stronger and naturally more efficient when you relax.  This by no means implies that you want wimpy pulls.  What you want are STRONG pulls that feel easy.  I guess that’s the slalom skier’s definition of efficiency. 

To put it another way, when you feel like you’re working hard, you’re usually fighting yourself.  When you relax and it feels easy, you’re usually fighting the boat.

You’re overanalyzing things AGAIN.  Keep it simple.  The benefits of relaxing are independent of the style of skier.

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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Thats why I gave him the http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:NjTRDZU5NGZHZM:http://www.dorsetforyou.com/media/images/a/l/SuperMan_icon.jpg
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