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How to slow down at 1 ball at 32 off 36 mph


Ilivetoski
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It seems that every time I try 32 I come in way hot to 1 ball. As an obvious result-- way too much slack. One of the guys who coaches me alot (really my main coach) tells me to go softer and softer through the gates. I feel like I am going as soft as I can, basically standing up through the wakes. Still coming in way too fast. Any way to think about this that im not doing? Wing is currently at 7... However at 28 after I make my turn I feel like I have no speed. I am not sure what im doing at 28 to make it feel like I make my turn, and have no speed, then i go to 32 and cant lose my speed.
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Early edge change initiation but don't find one ball, keep handle, begin counter, now find one ball. You have a shorter pulling segment at 32 off 36, so now it becomes important to keep outbound with handle control after edge change initiation.
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I hear counter @6balls , how important is countering at 32? Not gonna lie, I dont counter. Should I start taking some sets at 34 22 (opening pass) and just work on countering and handle control? Coach has also been talking about keeping the handle in.
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idk what your coach was saying, you need to be fairly agressive right behind the boat, skiing the hips to the handle, and have a nice early edge change, but keeping the hands on the handle, that gets you too the bouy, staying patient and keeping you vision down course should lead to a good one ball, i try to ski my 32 just like my 28, its easy to over ski 32 iv found, by working too hard, pulling too long or not enough
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I,m thinking your problem starts before the edge change, ask yourself these questions.

 

#1 How high up on the boat, am I high enough ?

#2 Am I moving at the same speed as the boat when I slowly rotate for the gate ?

#3 Am I turning too late and too hard for the gate ?

#4 Am I maintaining intensity through the back of the boat or am I backing off ?

 

Like a deep water start is a milestone for some beginners, being able to cast the ski OUT is another big milestone, not as easy as it seems, but would help your situation, if you can answer and correct the 4 questions, casting your ski out or keeping your ski in a outbound direction, would be of great benefit.

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well if you are standing up and pulling with the same intensity through the whole gates all the way to 1 your going to have to pull longer and then you will have to much speed = slack in the turn...instead of being aggressive right behind the boat, get a nice early edge change, and ride the rope all the way out to the ball
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Added speed and whip comes from not matching the boat speed in your setup, if you slow down too much and turn in, you get accelerated through the back of the boat, and the load triggers ZO or Perfect Pass, raising the revs on the boat even more, resulting in speed that is difficult to deal with.
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lot of great tips here. I'm also working on 32off, and consistenly get 2, maybe 3 if I crank 2...

 

I am skiing it the same as I did when I started learning 28off - skiing straight to the buoy.

 

as @6balls mentioned, the difference in the shorter line, is the pull zone narrows. you must load later, that's it. I keep trying to tell myself its teh same as 28 - load later.

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@livetoski - though I have only made a couple passes at 32 off, I have had the same issue. One instructor I have told me to make sure I get up higher on the boat before turning in to the gate. The important thing is to make sure your free from the boat, otherwise your pull will trigger the reaction that @Stevie Boy mentioned above. One thing I learned this past week with another coach is the angle of your ski with respect to the surface of the water. If you are LOCKED (knees and lower body) through the wake then you won't be able to shoot the ski out in front of you and initiate that edge change as quickly as you should. Even a tenth of a second is a long time in the course. There are probably others that can comment on this more and better than me. @Than Bogan is one of them.
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Great stuff here. Get wide, match boat speed, turn in slow and soft, get behind the boat, elbows in, edge change, stay on handle, release slow and back in slow. I try and think about all this stuff as I am approaching the course.

 

I also have to constantly remind myself not to lock or push with my legs around the ball, I really seem to run my 32 when I am not thinking so much about it.

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It's easy to misinterpret a second-hand quote, but honestly my first thought is that your coach is dead wrong. A standing up gate is going to point you right at the 1 ball and give you no chance at a good turn.

 

The right answers are above, especially from cwillygood and Stevie Boy.

 

Saying exactly the same thing with perhaps different words: Your problem is almost definitely outside the course. You must get high on the boat, not load until the ski has finished the turn, and then load HARD. You must build speed and angle at this point to create enough width and space to make a turn at the 1 ball. BUT, by the 2nd wake (and maybe even before), you can't be adding load anymore. At that point, you have to keep the handle with you and ride out with what you've got.

 

Then at every new line length you (and I!!) have to relearn how to do all of these gate tasks sufficiently!

 

Good luck!

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Outbound speed = good. Downcourse speed = slack. Like many stated above, the answer for keeping your outbound speed from turning into downcourse speed is staying on the handle. Almost everyone I ski with, me included, instinctively turn down to the ball at the hardest line length. The brain is saying hurry up and turn, when in reality you need to be patient and wait.

 

This is the only sport I know of where the longer you wait, the earlier you are.

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@Marco -- love the comment! I find it to be absolutely true for me. Shorter lines we all start to hurry up and we spot the ball and try to get there faster so we can turn. In reality we just need to be more patient, stay outbound away from the ball, and let the handle take us there when it's ready.
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@llivetoski, I'll be in Alabama this weekend, so I won't be around. Let's just say that it's next to impossible to learn a new skill at your tougher passes. Having said that, when you think you've got carrying the handle well down pat, that seems to be the first thing you lose when you move up to your tougher passes. Slalom is a fickle friend sometimes. @Razorskier1 & @Marco hit it on the head.
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I watched a little Big Dawg finals video sent to me by Volker at Razor Skis. Those guys don't hurry the edge change at all, and they do a remarkable job of keeping head and shoulders up and level. I learned a lot just watching how they keep the handle tight and keep going outbound rather than getting pulled up and at the ball, or worse yet (my bad habit), throwing the handle out at the pylon before you need to. Slow down, slow down, slow down, slow down (if I say it enough times, will it work?)
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I would recommend slowing down. It will certainly help to teach you to control your core in relation to the handle(ie what you call handle control), otherwise you can't keep speed up as you do at 36. The timing is no different at the slower speed. What is different is the intensity and effort you apply. Slower takes more effort. It takes me about 3-4 sets to get back up to my max speed and feel comfortable when it's time to do it.
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As critically important as it is to keep the handle in (staying connected) after the wake, it's only going to work if you get your edge change done early enough. Most of the skiers I watch struggling with slack at 32 and 35 are still showing the bottom of their ski to the boat beyond the second wake. If you are still cutting at this point, you are being pulled narrow and fast, good connection or not.

 

When I move to my harder passes, I subconsciously think, "must go harder," and because of early experience with skiing slow at long lines, "must go harder" becomes "accelerate longer." Unfortunately "accelerate longer" = late edge change = already narrow.

 

I'm struggling to change my automatic "go harder" response to: accelerate harder-shorter (through 1st whitewash) early-edge-change (behind the boat) stay-connected (outbound). It's a frustrating but essential work in progress.

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I did not mean slow the boat down -- I meant slow your mind down and don't give up the handle or go to the buoy before the boat takes you there. However, I have found with my son who just started running 32 off at 36mph two weeks ago and has since run it 5 times that some training at 34mph was definitely useful.
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@SkiJay -- totally agree! It might just be me because I used to pull way too hard and way too long 20 years ago, but I find that I have to tell myself to go easier at my shorter lines and that translates in my twisted mind into earlier edge changes and less load on the line.
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You make a great point @Razorskier1. As the rope shortens, I've had better luck with "go easier" than with "go harder." For some reason I've fallen back into feeling the need to go harder at shorter lines which has me pulling too long. It should be much easier to make a connection between "go easier" and "pull shorter." So that's my new mantra, "Go Easier." Thanks for that reminder @Razorskier1!

 

It wouldn't surprise me at all if this is what @Ilivetoski's coach is getting at when he's asking for "softer" through the gates. Everyone has a different way of describing things. Maybe what he wants to see isn't so much a slower gate, but a gate where @Ilivetoski isn't still on a hard cutting edge through the gate enroute to a fast late edge change.

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In a recent conversation with Will Asher, I said I was having a problem, because people wanted me to go softer in the gates, his response was "WHY" he then went on to say he actually increases his intensity through the back of the boat, then added this does not mean

"GO HARDER" you have to increase intensity to maintain the direction, which will get you up in front of the bouy.

Termonology and how people translate it, can create misconceptions and send people down the wrong path.

It,s a bit like "WIDE" and "WIDTH" they are not the same, but people interprete them differently.

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I have mixed thoughts about the earlier edge change concept. I agree that the top skiers change early at 32 and 35 off. This is due to the huge angle they create off the ball and can maintain and hold. When you watch theses skiers run 39 for example it seems to me that they are holding their pull through the second wake. I am not implying they are holding it longer than that but it seems to me they hold their pull longer at the shorte line lengths.

 

I still hold my pull too long at 35 sometimes but I think that is due to not getting enough angle off the previous turn.

 

I will try and find some video later to validate my thoughts.

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@Chef23 you are completly correct. Best example I can see is the 2009 worlds of TGAS. Lately I have been doing alot of analyzing video of top pros to really notice their gate intensity at all line lengths. That said, at 39 they defenetly are holding their edge past the 2nd wake almost to the white wash.
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@livetoski, still on their pulling edge, but no longer down in the lean. I try to think about the edge change as "edge change initiation" (where the lean becomes less and the body begins to come up) not the point where the ski is actually on the inside edge. The top skiers begin this initiation early even at shortline.
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It's absolutely true what you are saying about most of the elite skiers holding their edge longer at -39 and -41, @Chef23, probably as a necessity since there is hardly any pull from the boat until they are nearly in the first whitewash. Even Nate Smith, the current best -41 skier in the sport, changes edges a bit later at deep shortline, but not as late as most of the other guys. When you pause his -41 video during his edge change, his ski is flat on the water by the time it lands in the whitewash on top of the second wake, except for ball six, where he clearly pulls longer then gets and armful of slack. (I appreciate that the turn towards the exit gate is prone to slack anyway, so I'll try to find a better example).

 

In any case, It's not just Nate. I've noticed this in other videos too. What I'm seeing in these clips is that even though deep shortline skiers have to pull a bit later at -39 and-41, they are still trying to contain it because of the inescapable relationship between pulling long and slack?

 

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@ilivetoski I've been working on the same problem but at 34mph. I've now managed to run 32 a couple of times and often get to 4. Running the #1 ball well makes a huge difference. All I focus on is getting wider and earlier.

 

I think the key to avoiding slack is the direction you are heading when you start the turn. If it's straight at the buoy, then there will be slack. If you are heading outbound and start the turn, then there won't be slack.

 

To me, staying connected is one way to ensure that you keep the outbound direction. Casting the ski out is another way to achieve the same thing.

 

If I'm skiing well, I can go fast through the gate, get wide of the 1-3-5 line and finish my turn at the 1 ball. Doing the same thing at the 2 ball is harder (LFF).

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Ok, so I skied today for the first time since I posted this (sad, I know) the thing I focused most on was starting to let off my edge between the wakes right behind the boat, and riding the handle to the buoy (not accomplished 100% but some) and noticed considerable diffrences at the entire pass. Got my 1 ball down pretty good, and ran 5 as the best of the night. Got 4 a few times, 3 alot and 2 alot. Now the biggest thing is I have to really do better at turning my 2,4 (LFF) and getting in a good position out of 2 ball. Now I think those are my problems.

Thanks for all the help!!!

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