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What is the correct path of the ski?


Taelan28
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They are DVD's ... very good DVDs worth owning: waterskivideos.com

Each DVD has bonus material that includes pass after pass after pass by many of the greats. These passes are filmed from every conceivable angle, so they make good reference material. They were put together by Todd Ristorcelli and Dasher so they are the real deal.

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ToddL I learned the basics of what he was saying at the beginning of the summer and just started applying the release earlier as a means to relieve slack.

 

As a teacher I know for a fact that what he's saying is skimming over their heads. Their nodding their heads like they think understand and they're speaking the same language, but they're silent like it wont stick.

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@ToddL, very cool vid! I think I need to get really clear on the timing though. It seems he means BEGIN the move at the center line. if the actual edge change is in progress at the center line, your ski will not be on edge, and you will get popped off the wake. You want to have that nice, but not overloaded in the shoulder, leveraged position at the wake and centerline, so the ski is nicely on edge and cutting the wake, then begin the move to bring the ski from toward the boat, to away from the boat. Do I have it correct?
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@sunvalleylaw You have to first learn to drive the ski all the way through the wakes to learn how to release the ski at centerline. Honestly, the flat ski and pop thing isn't an issue because although the ski begins it's transition around centerline, it never goes flat. Instead it transitions in one motion from outside edge to inside edge. To do this requires angle and intensity into the first wake which allows the hydrodynamic pressure against the ski bottom to initiate the transition. I've said it before and I'll say it again....... the ski will release at max pressure against it. If you take the right angle and intensity to the first wake, it will release at centerline and explode off the 2nd wake outbound. If you don't build max pressure til after the 2nd wake, the transition will get lazier and lazier because the rope tension is becoming less and less as you travel outward away from center.

 

Again, this is a walk before you run scenario. You first have to learn to drive the ski through the wake with your knees and core.

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@ShaneH I think I understand what you are saying... In other words, consider a perfectly cross-course ski path. Since the boat is moving down course, the handle is, too. At some point the handle will be pulled over the ski's path down course. As this happens, the ski moves from leaning edge to inside or turning edge because the ski's path wants to continue cross course and outbound. Thus, by setting an aggressive ski angle at the first wake, these forces will generate the edge change for you.
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The key take-away from Seth's video is: When the ski is behind the handle (on inside edge) earlier, the ski is able to reach the buoy-line width sooner. This allows the handle to not need to swing up on the boat as far as well. All of this is a more efficient approach into the buoy.
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@Taelan28 - I've done that head nod move before, too. It says, "I am grateful that you are taking time to explain this, and I really know that it is important that I appear to be getting it, but..."

 

Note: I wasn't there. I just found out about the video via a skier friend.

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Seth continued in the video above about initiating the edge change at the center line. This is different from completing the edge change at the center line...

 

Given his instruction in the above video, take another look at this one 36 mph, -15off:

 

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I'm sorry for so many posts, but I'm really digging this topic...

 

I was thinking about beginner skiers and how to apply this. Picture that beginner skier who digs in so hard at the end of the turn/start of the lean... The boat initiates an edge change (or just a lost of leaning edge) due to the concept that the handle has moved over the ski. The beginner skier who cranks the end of the turn is establishing a ski path where the boat will eventually pull the handle over their ski causing them to get pulled up out of their lean, usually at about the first wake. In both of these cased, the boat initiated the "edge" change/loss due to overloading too soon.

 

The skier who over turns, results in the ski's path being so aggressive around the buoy that the ski literally tracks past the handle to the point where the skier cannot obtain a viable lean. In this case, the ski has moved behind the handle and the lean is no longer feasible.

 

If we look at Seth's instruction, he is describing the problem of loading too late or too long which results in down-course speed by the ski. However, the concept can be applied to loading too hard, too soon which results in loss of a controllable path into the centerline.

 

It seems the optimal load zone is white water (boat spray) to centerline. Ideally, the skier is stacked and sufficiently aggressive in this optimal load zone to achieve the intended width to make each approach to the buoy feel wide, early, slow, predictable, etc.

 

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Terry Winter on initiating the edge change at the center line...

Keys to make this all work:

"...you have to have good acceleration out of the turn... or if you have a weak position..."

"maintain good body position through the edge change... elbows to my vest..."

 

It is almost better to just listen to his comments without watching the video. They are not exactly in sync. The imagery can distract you from consuming some key points.

 

Once you do watch the video you will notice that at the centerline, his lean starts to "relax" or he allows the ski to simply begin to move in a direction which will take it under the handle and out behind. The actual edge change appears to happen right off/on top of the 2nd wake, but the initiation of that movement started at the centerline.

 

 

 

 

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the flaw in the theory of "maximum pressure" is the factor of a skiers strength, the inconsistency of strength from skier to skier makes this unrealistic...

 

what would be great is a numerical value relating to optimal "pressure" coinciding with the optimal point between buoy A to B before transition to determine the peak result of width, carryout and speed...

 

our sport is soooo behind using technology to map and chart data for peak performance and results

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@jayski. Agreed. Need empirical data...

 

I think skier strength determines the lean angle and body position. Strong skiers can maintain good body position and lean on this to extreme levels. Thus, they are able to maximize the results from the optimal load zone. Weaker skiers and those with compromised body position may not get the same level of outbound momentum. Thus, they will not fully benefit from the centerline initiation concept.

 

Fundamentally, leaning with load past the centerline will increase the likelihood of slack at the turn. Slack at the turn typically compromises the next wake crossing's body position, and so on... Therefore, all skiers should be moving toward the goal of initiating the release at the centerline, but recognize that their current wake crossing abilities may currently require a delayed release. Improving the release without improving the wake crossing can cause lack of width. Thus, they should move together toward the ideal...

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There's an AWESOME computer program out there called DartFish. Its used in multiple sports....everything from golf to racing. My understanding is that its basically video tracking technology. I'm surprised we haven't seen this technology used in waterskiing. Maybe the current technology will not work in the water?
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This is where it's a chicken before the egg thing. Plus, as was mentioned by @jayski , every skier is different. Every skier will have to search for that path, angle, lean to get that release where they need it to be. It may not be centerline. The problem being, you can't search for that path until so many other things fall into place. One of the best things I've done is start to ski with Charles Mueller 2 1/2 years ago. He told me then "I'm going to tell you to do X now. And I want you to get really good at it. In a year, I'll tell you to do Y and it's going to directly contradict X. And you'll fight me on it. Just do it because you can't learn to do Y until you learn to do X. But then you'll be set up to learn Z" He was spot on. I'm having ah hah moments at 38 off about stuff he told me 2 1/2 years ago when I was trying to run 28 off.
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@ToddL lots of excellent points above- especially relevant for me is "digging in" at the end of a turn. I had some awesome things happen on the course my last 2 outings with my offside that put me earlier for 5 than I could ever imagine, and each time it started with carrying enough speed around the 4 that I didn't feel any load from the boat until about half way between the wake and buoy line. Then I was early and wide enough I could just talk some smack to #5 as I rounded it on my way to a new PB. Absolutely if I hook a turn too much I get pulled out of position and the pass is over. I need to take video again to figure out why this magic happens sometimes and sometimes it doesn't but damn it's the most awesome feeling in the world when it works.

 

a common theme is that "it's not about the turn" at my level but for me there were some bad enough things happening during the turn that it prevented me from achieving a good enough body position to get a good wake crossing.

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@crashman - "but for me there were some bad enough things happening during the turn that it prevented me... "

 

The bad thing happening at the turn is the symptom of a problem that started two steps back - edge change or lean. Or the root cause may be even further back...

 

4-ball turn sucked, why?

because the edge change was late, why?

because my lean was poor and locked, why?

because I wasn't patient out of 3-ball, why?

I don't trust my lean from 3 to 4, why?

because I typically have a sucky 4-ball turn...

 

And so it goes... if the above is relevant, then focus on trusting the patience out of 3-ball...

 

Never stop at the symptom. Always look furthe up-course.

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The above statement by @ToddL is why the gate is SOOOOO critical. Everything flows downhill. Build the foundation of your pass on rocks not sand. A good gate is the foundation of a good pass. A bad gate will lead to an uphill battle almost every time!
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I think a lot of us have a tendency to want to "plant" the turn by finishing it hard and hanging on. In the old days of PP, it may have even been a good way to ski. With ZO it just doesn't work. To stop myself from planting the ski at the finish of the turn I've focused on keeping my head up (vertical) and my shoulders level throughout the pre-turn, turn, finish and lean (ALL THE TIME). The result is that the ski runs through the turn and I hook up without all the load, placing me earlier, wider, and in better control at the next ball. Planting the turn is perhaps my worst tendency, especially if I get myself in trouble.
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@Razorskier1, that "plant" the turn thing you allude to in PP days is what I believed I observed every televised competition I used to watch back in the 90s when I was first really trying to learn how to ski. I got to where I did not like to watch the shorter line lengths of Mapple, Kjellander, Roberge, even Deena Mapple. I preferred to watch their earlier line lengths. Even setting aside Kjellander's slam dunk, there seemed to be a cranked turn, a stall, and a recommitment to a mega lean pulling position. I probably did not understand what I was seeing well enough, but I knew I was better off trying to emulated the smoother, earlier line length runs.

 

From what I have been able to observe in the last few months, equipment has changed competitive skiing a lot. While you might still see some hang on for dear life turns, etc., overall, what the top guys/women are doing is much smoother, and much less about getting as much angle as possible right when you pass that ball. Much more patient.

 

How to develop that in my own skiing will be a step by step process. starting with that leveraged position, and also patience in the turn so I don't reach for the handle too early, etc. all that stuff. Step by step. Elbows to the vest, patience, elbows to the vest, patience, etc.

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Has anybody looked into Shadowbox? It's a gps recording device you mount to your ski. I don't know if it records fast enough for slalom but it records speed, location, acceleration, G-forces, angles, rotation degrees, etc. All I could find on Google was http://www.navigadget.com/index.php/2010/06/23/shadow-box-records-gps-data-g-forces-and-more Not sure if they're in business still.
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In my opinion, you guys have an awesome points in this thread. I have read and learned many ways to look at things. I also think empirical data is a must and you are correct that our sport is truly behind where this is concerned.

 

Just to speak to the video the guys posted of what I was trying to show them:

1-This was specific to what i had discussed with a couple of these skiers on the water.

2-It was understood that they would be videoing so it could be looked at later as well.

3-There was tons of followup on this information so it wasn't as if this was the only time we discussed.

4-With this little shop coaching sessions it definitely wouldn't stick. That's a given. This is a video of a basic concept relative to the question of "Why does pulling long pose a serious slalom problem?"

5-Many of the other points you guys made (especially ToddL) are awesome and make a great deal of sense in my humble opinion. The point I was trying to get across is that you must give your ski an opportunity to move outside of the handle path in order to gain maximum width and allow you to ultimately have maximum edge pressure at the apex of the turn. And based on the physically principles of swinging behind a central point, the center of the wakes seems to be the most efficient place on the arc, to try and transition such that the ski begins to "ski" out onto a wider path. The upper body still needs to "stay down" through this movement, because we need to maintain power to swing high on the boat with the handle and maximize space. The ski needs to be moving in some outbound manner to essentially slowly roll out on a path that will apex right at the buoy.

I discussed body position behind the boat to merely point out how the way in which you stack your body has a great deal to do with how maintainable that position and power is as you move the lower body/ski through and out to a wider path.

 

I hope this at least helps with what I was trying to say. Taelan28, I am pretty stoked for you that you have it all figured out. I only hope I can have the opportunity for you to coach me one day to perfection. You seem awesome!

 

Seth

Seth Stisher

 

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@Sethski @ToddL I applied some of this discussion on the course with success last night- particularly through the entrance gates using some controlled aggression to reach my maximum load closer to the centerline. I found myself earlier and wider for 1 as a result on the way to a new PB- so thanks for sharing your thoughts on the forum.
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Seth i need to go to work now but i cannot wait to respond. I will say that i have a solid grasp of what goes on from turn to the center of the wake but i dont fully understand the physics of the rope and a decelerating skier. Ill meditate on it more.
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@Taelan28, what @ShaneH said. Take all the free advice you can get here, no matter what you "think" you have figured out. Even the pros learn something new everyday. The more ways they can explain or learn to deliver concept and theory; the more benefit it will be to the masses. Everybody absorbs information in different ways; as a teacher, you should know that.
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ToddL is right, the handle gets pulled over the ski. The ski path essentially stays smooth and the same no matter the rope length.

 

Seth Im sorry but when you said "Does that make any sense?" They lied. Understanding and knowing are two different things. Jay ski bring up the a very important word in teaching REPLICATION! They learned it when they can replicate it. "Does that make any sense?" Should instead be "ok what did I say?" or "ok explain to me what I just said" If they cant explain it there's about a 5% chance its their fault and a 95% chance your delivery is not clean.... ok maybe 10/90.

 

Im also aware in my first post that I could be wrong about them understanding as you are with them for several hours and have already gone over some things. However my teacher's sense tells me that you talking for 5 minutes about tangents, force, rope length, and the handle crossing the ski without any feedback tells me it skimmed over their heads.

 

You want to have constant feed back from students. There's a slight myth that we all learn different. I disagree, we all learn the same. If we are learning something then 90% of it must be review and the other 10% must be new material. Its the only way the brain stays focused and doesnt doze off. This isnt unique to kindergarten kids either. I see it in adults as well. I've also seen so called "good students who are serious about studying" learn the same lazy way two, they just sit there more quietly nodding waiting for answers instead of causing trouble.

 

Acceleration: A positive change in speed or direction.

Deceleration: A negative change in speed or direction.

 

T:If the boat is going 34mph and you are not pulling how fast are you going?

S:34mph.

T:are you accelerating?

S:no

T: Why not?

S: Uhh.

T: Whats acceleration

S: A positive change in speed or direction.

T: Why arent you accelerating when you're not pulling the rope?

S: My direction isnt changing so Im not accelerating.

 

T: When you pull the rope in any direction what are you doing?

S: Im accelerating.

T: Why?

S: Because my diretion is changing.

T: Which direction are you going?

S: uh this direction.

T: Up the course faster than the boat or slower than the boat?

S: Up faster.

 

T: Good, if pulling on the rope and moving up the course accelerates then when do you decelerate?

S: When I stop pulling.

T: When do you stop pulling?

S: When I turn.

T: When do you stop moving up the course as fast as the boat?

S: When I turn.

 

T: Here's the arc of a 200ft rope going width the buoys. When you pull will you accelerate much relative to up or down the course?

S: No.

T: Why?

S: Because the arc of a 200ft rope does not go very far up.

T: What about deceleration at the turn how much is there?

S: Not much.

T: Why?

S: Because the boat and skier are not getting much further apart relative to the up and down the course.

T: So that means the force of you pulling on a 200ft rope is almost constant after the turn. Why is that?

S: Because there wasnt much acceleration relative to the boat going up and down the course in the first place, so the pull will be nearly constant no matter where I am.

 

T: Here's the arc of a 11 meter rope. The path of the skier going through the course is the same as the 200ft rope. What's there a lot more of if you pull?

S: Acceleration.

T: Why?

S: Because I pull Ill go further up the course faster than the boat, so Im accerating.

T: ok so when you turn what happens?

S: I distance myself from the boat.

T: And that is?

S: Deceleration.

T: Ok great, Now the force of the boat pulling on you. Is it?

S: Not really?

T: Why?

S: The boat can only pull you in the direction of the rope and the rope is at 80 degrees, its not really pulling me up course.

T: You're moving down course slower, you are?

S: Decelerating.

T: Great, but how the hell are you going to get to the other buoy if youre decelerating? At 200 ft you're not slowing down after the turn, but at 39ft off you're slowing down because the boat isnt pulling you after the turn. Whats going to happen if you're going to get that buoy?

S: Accelerate.

 

Its not super clean, and the students answers probably are too accurate as to where the teacher wants to lead him/her. If a student gets the answer wrong immediately refer to the principle which will help them get the answer. I havent taught skiing before and I dont intend to. This was meant as a test of my knowledge as well as an example of how I would teach what I know.

 

@ShaneH The students who speak the most and interact with the teacher the most are the ones that learn the most. Students should only be quiet as to not interfere with obsorbing more knowledge. A teacher needs constant feedback from students to mold the lesson correctly. Likewise a teacher should constantly be asking the student for feedback and to...and to... and to... REPLICATE what has just been told or demonstrated.

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"Why does pulling long pose a serious slalom problem?" Hell if I know, it just does. I see it and feel it with myself and other skiers. I cant answer the question with specifics but the fix is to not pull past the center line. The force is greatest at the center line because you're pulling in the exact opposite direction the boat is going.

 

S: Why do we need to stop pulling there?

T: To avoid slack.

S: Why does pulling past the centerline cause slack?

T: I dont know, but it does, so don't do it.

S: I cant get to the ball, without pulling past the centerline, How do I fix this?

T: Pull harder.

 

No seth it doesnt really help with what you were trying to say. Maybe because the knowledge I seek is the correct path of the skie throughout the course not "Why does pulling long pose a serious slalom problem?"

Looking at the video again and thinking about the correct path of the ski from an overhead view I can see that the handle gets pulled past the ski/the ski disengages from the handle's path on a tangent as a means to stay straighter and make it to the next buoy.

 

I dont know if I can coach you so much as I can give you more consistent feedback for you to measure how well you presented something.

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@skibug

I get slack when I exert an increased pulling force on the rope on the way out to the buoy.

I get slack when I try to accelerate out to the buoy. Why I dont know, its just is.

 

You are moving up the course faster than the boat ANY TIME you are moving away from the centerline.

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