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"Carrying speed into ball" != "wide/early"


Than_Bogan
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To my great surprise, I may have just learned something from the math I've been trying to do.

 

Ignoring for a moment the question of which path is "better," I have two paths that I've been computing some stats on. One of these paths achieves a higher maximum speed, and gets wider sooner. The *other* path achieves its maximum speed closer to the buoy.

 

This seems to demonstrate that "wide/early" is not the same thing as "carrying speed into the ball" -- in fact one can sometimes be traded for the other.

 

And that just barely "narrower" path with its maximum speed closer to the buoy does appear to have at least some advantages, notably that it's acceleration profile is less, which *could* be correlated with reduced effort from the skier.

 

I also relate this back to Razor's "too wide too soon" thread, which was very interesting. When you get wide early, but the rope is very short, you have almost no choice but to start decelerating (what could you pull against to accelerate?) So this actually *costs* you speed into the buoy, and it starts you onto a longer deceleration, resulting in achieving your *minimum* speed later. That means you have less time to accelerate to the next buoy, and so you have to accelerate *more*, which probably translates to requiring more force through the skier's body.

 

Now, please don't take this to suggest that you should be purposely running narrow. Going too narrow also results in a cascade of Bad Things, which we've all experienced.

 

But I think this means that thinking about very short lines in the manner that both Trent and Razor have described recently may be better than an all-out focus on getting wider and earlier.

 

Well, maybe. Worth considering anyhow.

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You lost me after "I may have just learned something from the math I've been trying to do." However I understand later in it about the speed and deceleration and accelerating later into the buoy etc. and I couldnt agree more. I have had many arguments saying that you dont want to be extremely wide extremly early at lengths like 35 and 38. You just cant hold that outbound direction for the amount of time needed and you get pulled back into the boat.

 

 

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It was interesting to watch and listen to Mapple on the video under another thread. He talks about achieving maximum angle at the second wake/right hand gate ball, getting to buoy width early and creating the start of the turn so that he can turn in at the ball. I have played with that technique quite a bit and like some of the implications. It is, however, much easier for me to execute consistently at 28 and 32 off than at shorter lines.

 

One of the things I noticed about his style is that he builds up tremendous energy in the line and in the ski during the lean, then when he changes edges he releases all that speed and energy out and up the side of the boat. The result is that even though he is at buoy width earlier than just about anybody I've ever seen, he is carrying a ton of speed all the way to the ball. This energy transfer, from building energy in the lean and then releasing it to generate that "kick" out to buoy width is intriguing. Unfortunately for me and the rest of the mortals, it seems that the only guy proven to be able to ski Mapple's style is Mapple!

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for me it is more important to be loose and fluid than worrying about speed. maybe, the feel of the load or non-load behind the boat, but replicating speed is not easy for me. the width, is a visual that is different to all of us. .ie..i think i have plenty of width at 35 and 38 but wife says i look narrow. conversely, I think her 32's and 35's look great, yet she believes she is late and scrappy.
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