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Free Skiing


thager
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Just went over my ski log as far back as 07. In 08 I PB with PP and in 11 with ZO with the same score. The one thing both years have in common is free skiing. I averaged 2X a week or more both years. All other years show almost none. I plan on increasing my free skiing from here on out. Anyone else mixing in free skiing?
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I do. Free skiing and doing drills is a great way to work on certain aspects of slalom. 2 years ago we towed a boat to okeeheelee in april for a week of skiing after six months off. The first 2 days we skied 3 sets each. Each set was 4 passes,drills only. I was amazed at the end of day 2 i was only slightly sore and chomping at the bit to ski more. Day 3-5 still 3 sets a day, still doing drills but pass 3 was a free ski and pass 4 was bouys. Last 2 days first pass was drills, then bouys galore. I got to spend a week in the waterski paradise, skied three sets a day, and didn't beat myself up until the tail end of the trip.
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I free ski at least a couple times a week because of wind on the course. I think it is very helpful for endurance, but also for technique. I can free ski and work on any one of a hundred different problems I'm having in the course but do so without the balls and with 16-20 turns per pass. Repetition matters. If you are focused, you can fix just about any issue you are having in the course with good free skiing.
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I free ski during summer, when I go to my father's place. I am not sure if it is useful for buoy count. Probably if you do lots of drills it is, but this is not what I do. Just plenty of linked turns trying to be in good position. I notice, though, that after 20 turns or so, I start losing my (already scarce) skiing shape.
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Free skiing is good for the soul...............it allows me to get my head out of the course and change up my focus. AND you know what............it's fun, pure and simple fun. I love chasing buoys as much as the next guy but I find myself getting bored and frustrated more and more. Change it up a bit and you will find freesking can put a huge smile on your face, and that gentlemen.....is the name of the game.
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A lot of times when working on something new I will start my set by making the first pass free skiing the course. I pull out to the right and run the gate from right to left. It helps my concentration to not have to worry about the buoys. Being in the course, opposite the buoys, allows me to still be able to judge width and timing, and gives me the mental ability to concentrate on the new movement.
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I used to think so, but my log and tournaments told me otherwise. I was stuck for a few years with skiing badly . ZO certainly didn't help. Also my course is on a public lake and I just didn't ski if anyone was out there or conditions were questionable. I made it a point to go ski with a boat load of my Wally friends on Tuesday nights. We all pack into a 196 run up and down the lake, slalom, barefoot, trick, whatever you want. Has made the sport less serious and a lot more fun again.. Took the OCD out of it. Besides, MS was getting sick of me!
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I always free ski for 2-3 weeks before hitting the course again. After six months off I am definitely in no condition to do the course. I free ski at 36 MPH and I ski the full length of the lake like it is one giant slalom course. I go down the lake and back. Take a break, let the next skier take a run, and then I get back in. Each day I am out I keep going until my legs and arms are shaking from fatique. Once my strength and endurance are back, then I hit the slalom course. For two weeks after that I just run the course at 15 off and I keep doing that until I am running the pass perfectly smooth again. Usually in April and early May when the water is between 45-55 degrees so I am in cold water gloves and a drysuit. It takes me about a month to get completely back in skiing shape.

By memorial day weekend I am starting to get back into 32off which is deep shortline for me.. I am hoping to get out in early April this year we have had a pretty mild winter..

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I bust out the trick ski to warm up.. sometimes even for a month before hitting the course from the winter. If you just go out and ski like regular slalom after winter, your setting yourself up for failure. During the summer when your in shape I think free skiing is a waste.

 

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