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Intermediate trick questions


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  • Baller

I've been tricking since I was about 12 yrs old (now 38). I've been on the same ski for the last ~20yrs (a rubber edged obrien), and unfortunately my run hasn't changed in 20 years either!!

I'd like to start and invest some time on improving this next summer.


A few questions:

1) is it time to buy a new ski, or would I not notice a difference?

2) I've put on a few lbs and now weigh in at 185. (5'10") Is the 42" still the right size?

My runs are:




3) what would the next logical tricks be to work on? I've tried rev tb a LOT with no success, but that is probably the next building block for my toe pass I guess? How about for hands?


Any advice would be more than welcome.


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  • Baller
You are a good tricker. I will let someone who is much better than I am comment on tricks to learn. I know I bought a new trick a couple of years ago and it was an improvement on my 25 year old EP Wingtip. @eleeski‌ is a big advocate of newer skis and particularly the hard edged skis.
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  • Baller_

Absolutely a new and bigger ski and a reflex hardshell. I would go to a 44" hard edge and flip a coin between Quantum, D3, and graviton. You will notice a huge difference between any of them and your current ski.


On hands the next tricks would be:




WL5F (in a year or so)

SLB as a fun trick to learn that may or may not go into your run

BFLF (starting in back wrap, landing front)


On toes:

TO wrap in

TWO (you should learn this easily and it's a fun trick)

RTB is critical for advanced toes, but can be hard for adults to learn

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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  • Baller

First, get a new ski! The rubber edges on your Obrien have worn and a new ski will perform better. The rumors are that the Goode is a splash of your Obrien. A new Goode will give you the best of your old ski and stay that way over time. Or a Quantum or D3 hardedge. I'd go with a 43".


You have an excellent run. Congratulations.


Yes, you need RTB. And RTO. Or a bunch of good hand tricks. W5B, W5F, SLB, BFLB and a few more fun tricks can offset the points in a toe pass. Still, RTB leads to a lot of points (I picked up T5B, TBB, R and TWBB as soon as I really learned RTB.


To learn RTB, you need flexibility. Dry land practice helps a lot. Get in that position in your living room and experiment with how far around you can wrap your toe leg. Make sure your toes are pointing straight down at the water (carpet) and your legs are tight together. Having your toe foot high helps, too. You will be surprised how stiff you probably are - this specific dry land practice should really help. Physical therapy or directed yoga can address flexibility issues as well.


Once you are comfortable with the position, get a good release person and try it on the water. You need to advance on the boat so a smooth pull to level out the ski starts the trick. The toe foot drives the trick so turn the foot over so your toes are pointing straight down. Your toe leg will need to be pretty bent at the end of the turn. You will feel that the ski is all the way around because it will sink in a bit. This feels a lot like catching an edge but you can't panic - ski through the instability. The rope will try to trip you, stay strong and let the rope pull you. Do not lean on the rope! This will catch the edge or send you out the back. You don't need to stick the trick, just feel the ski find that back position.


Sticking RTB is another challenge. Don't try to just ride straight behind the boat. You need to be cutting to hold the position. You should be a couple degrees short of 180 and rolling the ski with your ankle to set the edge. The edge locks you in position and takes you to the wake. Don't lean on the rope, it feels more like you need to lean into the wake. Just be patient and don't turn until your foot has reached the crest of the wake and TWBB is easy.


Some exercises on the water help. Pumping the toe rope to get slack is really useful - it teaches you to ride level regardless of what the rope is doing. Another helpful trick is the one footed reverse backwrap. I learned by using two ropes, one in the hand doing reverse backwrap and one on the toe foot. Slowly letting out the handle to switch the load onto the toe gave me the trick. But I'm not sure I could do a one footed reverse backwrap today (so don't get discouraged - just play with it).


RTB is a difficult trick. But it does take your skiing up a notch. Make sure you have a good release person. Note all the things that feel a bit like edge catching but are needed. But you really can catch edges quickly doing this. Your release person really needs good judgement (and a Robbins release?).


Have patience and keep working at it. RTB will come!




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@eleeski is right on with the advice! The "how-to" for the RTB is also excellent. I would only add that if you get the feeling (or think about) "sitting in a chair" when you get into the back position it will initially help your body position and possibly make the trick achievable fairly quick.
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I just bought a new ski. My experience says you will notice a difference. I had been skiing on a 42 inch Jobe for 20 years which I liked. I changed because I'm getting older and felt a larger ski might rectify problems I experience from arthritic knees. I purchased a Radar Graviton 44.5" ski (an inch wider and 2.5 inches longer than my old ski and definitely bigger than recommended). The ski hasn't solved my problems, but I really like it. Surprisingly, my boat speed stayed the same; the ski feels quicker, lighter and gets more air than my old one. I suspect all the new skis are better- particularly for those doing flips (that wouldn't be me).
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