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Who coaches this technique?


The_MS
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The thing I notice is that all the lines are reasonably tight and ALL of the lines are perfectly parallel to the waters surface. I bet the line rarely goes below that or above it and this goes back to the flatter ski discussion. Nates just appears more pronounced with his palm facing down.
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@Wish I think you are headed in the right direction. And I agree Nate's is just more pronounced.

Once you raise you arm and give it in to the boat you have moved your weight to the inside of the ski and your pivot point as moved higher causing you to initiate the turn. This posting move is allowing the skier to maintain their move down course still holding a tight line before starting the turn.

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@MattP I agree and it this works well for Nate. If you look at a sequence of photos going into and coming out of the ball, you will see that his handle pretty much stays where it is and his body arcs out until his handle and both shoulders are level with his eyesight right down the rope.
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One thing I noticed while watching Nate at Katy 2 weeks ago was that he releases down low, but he doesn't start feeding the handle out when he releases. He keeps his arm bent and handle down and freezes his body as he's gliding out. He doesn't reach until he's much closer to the buoy. Matt Brown said this about him...........

 

Watch Nate at 1,3,5...he does come in earlier and flatter but as the ski gets to the buoy line, he purposely pushes it out away from him(this is when he actually reaches from my perspective, although he's had only one hand on the handle for a while at this point), he kind of points the ski out toward the direction of the shoreline...this enables his body to move ahead and creates a ton of speed.

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But there is also a reach up for all of us. At least there should be to keep that line parallel with the waters surface. You are slam dunking if the reach does not end up higher as the body becomes closer to being parallel with the water at full extention. Like @MS pointed out, Nates reach is now up to his eye level not waist level. To me it's type of handle control. Both in elimination of slack and maintaining level lines which I think allows them to move up on top of the ski. But its a split second and part of a full continuous move. Not isolated. Also these could all be shots of easy passes that are gimmys for these guys. Have no idea how they do it. But not convinced it is the silver bullet either (yet).
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Mike McCormick told me to reach lower, especially on my off side (which is HARD), really helped me feed the line out better and maintain a tighter line into and out of the buoy. He had a lot of good tips for me, but that one I think I saw the most bang for the buck from. great coach.
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I think it's 1/2 technique and 1/2 illusion. I had a coach tell me to focus on feeding the handle directly out to the pylon and directly back in through my turn as a way to focus on handle control and when I watched video of myself doing so it looked like this 'posting' technique. It turned out that thinking about feeding the handle out horizontally resulted in a low release (for me anyway). So I think it's 'technique' in that it's good handle control. It's also illusion because a lot of the lanky guys (Nate, Mapple, Asher) all do this quite visibly. I think their long wingspan makes it look more special than it is.
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an interesting thing i heard chet raley say was as you release to put the handle where your going to want it to be. if you reach up the boats force will pull it back down when you get to the apex and if you push it too low the boats going to pull it back up so maybe these guys are just doing it the way chet explains it.
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@MS I think you'll notice Whit's arm is higher only through 1-3-5 (LFF) when she is committed with 1 hand off the handle, NOT coming into the turn.

 

I have skied with Jmac a bit and he has a similar style, he also keeps his handle in low and tight off the 2nd wake although not quite as low as Nate in those pics. I have a photo sequence from the shore of Jason showing this perfectly. Over the years I've noticed he has slowed down his reach a bit, or rather is smoother, he used to snatch and grab a lot more.

 

different things work for different skiers, we all have our idiosyncrasies and do some things better than others. People telling you to raise your hand to me means they think you should have more level shoulders, but you'd have to ask them

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In looking over the various photos offered on this thread, I think Nate's handle position looks more pronounced because he is standing tall on the ski and looking downcourse. He is not yet leaning into his turn and seems to do that much later than others. The handle is at the same approximate location (rope parallel to the water) as the other skiers here. But, his body position is dramatically different. Therefore, he appears to be holding the handle differently - because he is.

 

Just my opinion.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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I think his COM is about 1.5 ft closer to the pylon than the other guys in the pictures. Assuming he's at 41 off, since angular momentum is proportional to square of radius, he is conserving about 10% more velocity by keeping his COM close to the pylon. Not surprisingly, since the rope is still tight, and therefore exerting a resultant force vector on his body, he is keeping the handle pretty much exactly at his COM. If it were higher it would be creating a rotational moment on his body and tip him in, putting the ski on edge and slowing it down.

 

Watch a jumper in the air while the rope is still tight. Handle down even below COM to keep from getting tipped over.

 

Once the rope goes slack, there is no more angular velocity to conserve. Now its all about trying to create effective rope length. By lining the pylon, hand, elbow, shoulder, neck and shoulder up, he moves his COM as far from the pylon as possible.

 

Or, his spider arm just got too tired to hold the rope up in the air.

 

 

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I thought i read somewhere that Nate does not like a super tight line at short line. It does not look all that tight. In the vid he comes off the second wake arms almost chest high. The push down starts just before the release of the hand. To do that, there cannot be that much if any load there. It is low that's for sure. But it is one continuous motion not a pause like the stills show. I think that's an important distinction. To answer @MS question, I have never been coached to do that nor have I heard of anyone coaching this way. I bet even Nate doesn't coach to do this.

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I think you guys are not seeing all that is happening. Nate is tall meaning that his COM is not leaned in as much => his ski is flatter so it is not arcing back toward that boat and is moving faster on the water. He is getting to his widest point earlier and he is a freak of nature.
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As for handle forward. No I do not really understand it but when I am testing skis and I can not get a ski to arc "posting" is one of the things I do. I was trying a off spec brand X ski last weekend for fun. The on side was SICK but the off side sucked. When I worked on moving the handle forward and down from the edge change to the ball BOOM off side was money.
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Nate goes so much faster from the 2nd wake to the side of the boat (up there where the buoy is )If he left his hand 2-3 feet out in front(-ish) of his body like the rest of us (see pics, some are better than others) the rope would be in the water. The handle is basically the same height off the water all the time. I noticed Mapple did this long ago. That's the result of something, not the Something .
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I think it isn't as much a matter of where the handle is as that the handle is being controlled. The line is being kept tight and as the ski continues outward at the apex of the turn more handle will be let out but by keeping it low the rope remains tight and when the rope is tight the skier maintains a level of control that is lost upon giving slack rope to the boat. The options to accomplish this would seem to be;

1. Handle low

2. Elbows bent holding the handle in

3. Handle above head

I think we can all agree that option 3 is bad and I've had plenty of people tell me not to pull/hold the handle in (option 2) which leaves keeping it low and controlled (option 1).

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@RazorRoss3 there is "something" to handle forward and down.

 

A few skiers who seem to do it are Nate, Karina, Asher, Nicole Arthur, JMac (i think), Taylor Wosley and Terry Winter (maybe - sort of)

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Andy does it noticably on his off side. I feel it occur most when I stay down through both wakes and move the ski out from this position (handle stays low through the change). Another way to discribe it in the negative: I don't feel this happening when I stand up before my edge change.
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Don't forget Mapple used to pump his handle down and up. I have not studied video of his style at 34, so can't say he does this anymore. But he for sure used to come out of his pull and while riding out to the ball would put the handle down then up at apex.
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Hate to introduce @Horton's favorite subject, but the forward and low handle on the offside turn sort of mimics . . . wait for it . . . counter-rotation! I don't think, however, that is what it really is. On our onside turn, we are by the position of our feet facing downcourse. If we counter on that side, we are facing shore. I can't ski like that. However, on our offside, if we don't reach forward, our shoulders get pulled into the inside of the turn rather than allowing separation. Let me try to put this in English major language. Counter-rotation on the offside isn't really counter-rotation, but a mechanism to keep head and shoulder position comparable to what it naturally would be on the onside. Having the handle low (waist height) and forward is a good position to have the handle on the offside turn because it allows the ski to move out with the skier in the correct body position.
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If you watch Nate a full speed its one fluid dynamic motion to me. I don't see him getting in that low handle position and holding in a static position. As someone else pointed out his release is almost chest high and then he pushes the handle down and forward, it keeps going forward until his full reach. To me it almost looks like something he does to establish a rhythm. I'm sure there is some significance to the handle going low.
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I think @RazorRoss3 has it. Shouldn't we think of it as creating separation from the handle as the ski continues outbound and the handle is pretty much already at the apex of its arc? Handle high or low? Its low when you are tall coming into the turn, it is high as you achieve separation and are now laid out in the turn.
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The reason I like to put the handle down, then up, similar to Nate's offside, is that it allows the inside hip to move forward approaching the apex...It is the best way I know to get my hips countered going into the apex...This really helps to be more open at the finish of the turn and in a far better leveraged position.
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@zman I think you said it best. The handle can only go so far at shortline. The level of the handle with respect to the water doesn't change much...but it changes relative to Nate's body.

 

It's low while he's tall and outbound...had he kept two hands at that point he would be forced up-course but he wants more width outbound away from handle arc and must separate. As his body transitions lower and ski wider for the turn, the handle becomes higher relative to his body and he skis underneath the line.

 

This mere mortal is not good at continuing outbound after release with my handle low and my body high...though I think about it. If I release and think handle low I ride narrow and fast up-course...that's not the same thing....cuz I'm not that good. It's not just about replicating the position in the still photo's of Nate...it's all inter-related and what makes the best skiers the best.

 

Just my .02, but lots of skiers ski well from ball to wake. What Nate (and other super studs and ladies) do from wake to ball is so critical. As the line gets short, we need to figure out how to edge change at the right spot, keep the handle long enough outbound but not too long, then release and maintain outbound(so difficult especially if over-loaded on inside edge) gaining additional width post-release...how else to consistently round balls the handle won't reach?

 

Amazing to see this stuff from all of the best both amateur top-shelf skiers and pro's. Clearly Nate has it.

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@Ed_Johnson When your handle is high the ski is rolled up on edge farther. I can see where yo would want that to happen at the apex but on the way out to the ball line the flatter the ski is on roll and pitch the wider and earlier you will be.

 

I think that what we are seeing with Nate is a combination of factors. One of those factors is how tall he is off the water.

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