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Do you have a question for Chris Rossi? Post it here.

 

In a week or so Chris will pick the best questions and answer them. Take your time and formulate the best question you can think of. The most insightful question will get a prize.

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I'd like to know if he is aiming for the same position in both weak side and strong side pull, and they just look different due to the fact theyARE weak side/strong, or is he trying for different positions to maximize the available (and different) mechanics of weak/strong stance. In other words hips rotated cross course on weak side, and more open to boat strong side. On purpose, or of necessity? Or optical illusion I shouldn't be seeing?
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What is the best drill, exercise, and/or visualization to keep elbows/arms in through the wake and after the whitewater? In other words, how do I improve my ability to keep the handle for myself (in close) through the edge change and into the release? Handle control one of my two areas of focus this year. Gate timing is the other.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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What is the one or two things that you had to learn/master to get over one of your biggests plateaus in running up the ski rope? These might be things that you have so incorporated into your style that now they are automatic, so think back... Also, how did you obtain that skill or ability?
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Following up on @Jordan's question,

 

What is the best way to practice: What are your techniques to identify, correct, and incorporate improvements in your practice skiing? I only get 4-6 sets per week, so I want to make the most of each of those sets. Do you use previous sets/video to identify individual areas to work on, then focus your next set on a single issue, possibly using a longer line/slower speed; or do you try to always work on integrating minor changes into a complete pass/set and work down the rope?

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You have a unique perspective being immersed deeply in both the water ski and snow ski industries and culture. What similarities and differences do you see. What are some of the things the snow ski folks are doing to promote the sport that could carry over to water ski?
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What up Rossi. I may be in Salt Lake in a month and if so I will see if you are around, I want to ski Alta

 

My question, what do you think makes Nate so good?

 

Another, after you are snow ski fit and you return to waterskiing in the spring, do your legs feel stronger then than they do in August? Mine do, by a lot. I will be in gym more this summer and am thinking about focusing on leg strength. Sound like a good idea?

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I'd like to hear Chris's current feeling with regard to front and back foot position and ankle spacing. I'm 5'-8", 165 pounds and have small feet (8.5) my ski bud is 6'+ and wears size 13's. Both have the same front heel placement which makes a big difference in rear heel location.
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I've been told by a number of different coaches about casting the handle out past centerline at my tougher passes at shorter lines. I'm able to get through -28off pretty consistently but not 32 or 35off at 34mph. I have a strong lean and pull too much too soon or too long I've been told at times .

 

I've had a tough time visualizing this pushing the handle out concept and making it happen consistently.

 

Thanks Chris!

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Chris, what are your thoughts on being "too early" to a buoy vs less aggression behind the boat and being more efficient? What do you think about doing to achieve or not achieve this path?

 

What is the difference when finishing an onside vs offside turn? I feel like I can "sit" on the buoy on my onside, but rarely do I feel this on my offside finish. What do you try to "feel" when you finish your turns?

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Chris, thank you for your time. I have been skiing about 4 or 5 buoys under my potential this fall, and especially winter. My current 28, -15's feel like my 30, -15's felt last summer. I have only run a hand full of 30, -15's all winter. My hope is that as the weather warms up, I will get back on track, and improve, and exceed my performance of last summer. (Pb, 4 @ 32, -15). I ski on a regular basis through the winter, I think. About 2 times a week up at the course lake, and about 2 times a week at my larger home lake, free skiing. I am 57 y.o, 6'3", 190, good shape, no physical problems or limitations. 69" 2013 triumph (with steps). I plan to keep skiing, for a long time. I have skied since I was a kid, but I only ran my first full pass about 18 months ago. I do participate in lesson clinics at the course lake. I guess my question to you is what would you suggest for me, and also other skiers like me? Thank you.
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How do you organize your practice sets? Do you chop rope tournament style most sets, chop when it feels good and practice along the way, practice your hardest pass multiple times, practice your shortest full pass multiple times, opt up and start at a shorter length than normal to get used to varying opening pass lengths????? Wondering what your routine looks like and your theory on that?
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Normally I ski on a Public lake that we have a course on, this past year I was able to ski at a couple of private sites. What a difference in water conditions and no traffic. How would you train when your water conditions are changing constantly.

Larry -----<|

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@tjm - I will leave the answers to your technical questions to Chris as is the purpose of this thread. However, the term "counter rotation" has been used to describe upper and lower body separation by ski instructors and race coaches since at least the 1960s and probably much further back than that as extreme counter rotation was taught by early Austrian ski schools. Don't know if they called it "counter rotation" back then, but the term certainly wasn't invented by a water ski instructor. The concept and term are old.
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Chris, looking for the latest ski tips on the "ultimate edge out" for the gates, where the desired width, outbound ski energy and snug line is achieved when it is time to turn in, LFF 35'off - 34mph skier, most of the time at the harder passes, after the edge out, end up on a flat ski with downcourse speed and a loose line. When the line tightens up, I am not in the desired position, the handle is somewhere to the right of my body and the ski is not out in front of me, so alot is going on in the white water, scrambling to reposition and not let the boat just pull me on down course late into one ball.
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Chris,

 

What considerations do you give to maintaining your health throughout the season (and beyond)? People seem to be constantly injuring themselves (sometimes rather badly) in this sport even when skiing at lower levels such as myself. At the highest levels of competition staying in good health to be able to train and remain competitive seems like it would have to be a priority.

 

I imagine the bad falls become more rare as the skill level goes up, but I would also assume that when one does finally occur it's likely going to be even nastier. That's not to say that I'm just considering monumental wipeouts, everyday things like repetitive strain injuries, pulled muscles, and tendonitis are also a concern. Anyone of those can put someone out of commission for good portions of the season or at least make it difficult to ski to their full potential. How do you address these concerns? Is there anything you do to mitigate some of the risk?

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Rossi i know this might be a little overlap to some other questions but, on the pull out for the gates how strong or not strong should the pull out be? and should it change at different line lengths? and should the pull through the gates change intensity depending on line length? i ski -22 up to stabs at -35. and always seem to have too much speed into no. 1. thanks
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With the nature of slalom skiing, we all get to plateaus and get stuck unable to break past that one buoy or line length, whether its 30mph long line or 41 off. Sometimes it takes weeks or years to breakthrough, and sometimes that breakthrough never happens. Many times skiers will chase their tails trying new adjustments or new skis, but that is rarely the correct fix.

 

I know most of the time, the fix will be unique to that skier, but have you found any consistent way or method to help break through the slalom plateaus?

 

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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Is the objective of the finish of the turn to have less lean? When dryland skiing it seems to make sense to finish the turn more upright pivoting the finish on a horizontal axis with ski under head and as far from the boat as possible. It seems to influence an on point edge change avoiding lean lock by allowing the skier to gradually increase lean feeding the ski closer to the boat as he approaches the wakes and then an undo process leads to a preturn with lots of space. This approach seams to work with an idea that we swing back as we travel across course from Bouy to wake and it could reduce distance traveled.
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I just got off the phone with Rossi. We have more than enough questions for Chapter #1. Chris is working on answers.

 

If you did not get to ask your question, don’t freak out. We plan do to a ”Ask Rossi” Chapter #2 and with luck a Chapter 3, 4, and so on

 

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