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Carrying the Handle ?


Stevie Boy
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I was recently in Florida and was working on carrying the handle out to the bouy line, back home the lake I ski on, makes the ski ride higher and feels a lot faster than other lakes, I end up early but narrow because I find it really difficult to carry the handle out to the bouy line, having said that when Will Asher and Freddie Winter skied the lake they liked it a lot, one of my ski buddies who is a very good skier says he struggles with doing stuff that he is working on when skiing at this lake, he finds other lakes feel slower and you have more time.

Any thoughts and suggestions, apart from the obvious like go ski on other lakes ?

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Totally makes sense. See below quote from the Vapor review (Not yet published)

 

Typically slower skis are more stable and faster skis are looser at edge change. Skiers on faster skis generally find it more difficult to stay connected.

 

I think we all flinch when a ski is looser at edge change. Fast water/ Fast ski same feeling to some extent.

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Totally makes sense. See below quote from the Vapor review (Not yet published)

 

Typically slower skis are more stable and faster skis are looser at edge change. Skiers on faster skis generally find it more difficult to stay connected.

 

I think we all flinch when a ski is looser at edge change. Fast water/ Fast ski same feeling to some extent.

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@Horton -- I agree. On super fast skis I hit the second wake and lose connection because I feel I've got too much speed to manage at the ball. It shows up in video because I am on the inside edge with my handle out in one hand waaaay before the apex.
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I have recently had a major turning point in my skiing and it is all to do with handle control/ carrying the handle etc etc.....BUT, it has nothing to do with actively carrying the handle to the buoy line - that became a byproduct...

 

On a good day, i can muscle my way halfway down 38'@36mph - but consistency is a real problem...yes, my gates need work, but i have never had particularly good handle control and have never felt the 'hang-time' that Terry Winter seems to have...numerous people have mentioned handle control, separation, back arm pressure etc etc, but i have never been able to achieve it to a satisfactory level...

 

However, that all changed when somebody pointed out the speed of my edge change (or speed of my feet)...this is something that i honestly never thought about...in the same way that a snow skier skis bumps, your legs have to be active - pro bump skiers don't absorb the bumps by having rubber legs, they absorb the bumps by pulling their feet up over the bump and extending them on the other side...timing is critical and anticipation is key.

 

How does this translate?.....in essence, at the second wake, actively RELAX/ PULL your feet up towards your hips..BINGO, the ski casts out and pressure on the line is released...therefore you are automatically able to stay connected to the handle (back arm pressure, separation blah blah blah). Before you know it, the ski is swinging out to the apex, the handle is taken to the buoy line and you are standing tall (the legs automatically straighten as the ski moves out and away from you) - you now have 'hang-time' like TW or Magic Johnson......

 

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@gavski If you are getting 1/2 way down 38 at 36 you are a legit good skier so I am tempted to listen you what you have to say more then tell you what I think.

 

When you say " "at the second wake, actively RELAX/ PULL your feet up towards your hips" I am not sure you are going down the right path.

 

I need the opinion of some other guys I respect.

 

@Chris Rossi @Kevin Bishop @MrJones @skidawg @AdamCord @Colebrah @FWinter @Luzz Does this seem right?

 

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@Horton,

Thank you for including me in such a nice group of people.

I think @gavski 's strategy is a bit misguided. IMHO, the goal off the second wake is to maintain outward direction as much as possible, hence allowing the ski to go out to eventually come back in. With this goal in mind, the ski moves in front of the skier (aka, less ski in the water) to facilitate the roll from one edge to the other. Of course, this occurs in different ways for offside and onside pull, but it is a commonality.

"Actively" pulling the feet up would make the skier too low on the ski, hence:

- requiring more time to ride the ski before the buoy, therefore more likely to get down course

- making the ski very likely to get to the inside edge too soon, hence narrow at the ball.

 

Should one then push on the ski on the edge-change? I would say no, but at the same time not actively pulling the feet up.

Ski coach at Jolly Ski, Organizer of the San Gervasio Pro Am (2023 Promo and others), Co-Organizer of the Jolly Clinics.

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I have tried @gavski's strategy (Im no pro) - I believe the idea is the same as downhill ski slalom - you have loads of pressure on your legs (in a carving turn - where snow skiers change edge), if/when you stop the resistance and relax in your legs (for a short moment) the ski kind of shoots down under you from one edge to the other.... without your body travelling from the left to right over the ski..... (or vice verca) ... When I tried this approach I made the fastest edgechange ever....
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Sometimes what a skier's mind is thinking and what the skier's body is doing are not the same. If @gavski is thinking "actively pull up legs", his body may be "stopping to forcibly drive the leaning edge" resulting in a connected edge change at the right time. Those words in his mind may be triggering a different but correct action in his body. If those words help him ski better, then they are the right words for him, but may not be for others. Something to consider.
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I agree 100% with @Luzz coming off the second wake I don't think about pulling my feet up, and like he said that would make the edge change happen abruptly, causing the ski to come to the inside edge to fast, therefore putting you into a path straight into the buoy. The edge change is about letting your lower body flow free for the ski to change edge while our upper body is still moving away building width keeping the line tight, I think more about where my hips are than anything coming off the second wake.
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@gavski We have all seen images of skiers like Terry Winter with their knees up to their chest at edge change. I am pretty sure this is a result of too much load and not something the skier is trying to do. You see this when elite skiers are skiing at their limit and things are beginning to unravel.

 

Hope you do not feel like we piled on you. Trying to raise everyone's game.

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Hey, no worries...i think Marcus Brown mentioned a while back that he actively relaxes his legs/ knees to initiate the edge change off the 2nd wake...to be honest, i think that this is probably a sub-conscious movement pattern associated with a proper edge change....for me, i found that being conscious about actively relaxing my knees to initiate the edge change produced profound results - probably because i never had this movement pattern nailed in the first place....anyway, it's a work in progress - loving the TW hangtime before the buoy though....
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To me the mere mention of "pulling your feet up" is akin to levitation. As your weight is supported by the ski on the water. I just can't wrap my head around that. I can accept a lowered level of resistance, but pulling up??
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you only have to pull your feet up at a speed faster than 32 feet per second -athletes jumping rope do it all the time. water skiers have the added advantage of being thrust up ward by the 1st wake making them functionally ' lighter ' by the 2nd wake do to there momentum.
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Our muscles can't 'co-contract'...in otherwords, you can't engage oppsoing muscles (eg bicep & tricep).

 

As you cross the wakes, you are engaging your quads. When you come off the 2nd wake, the 'fastest' way to allow the knees to flex, edge change & cast the ski out is to 'activate' your Hams by pulling your heals up...note: this is a 'tiny' movement and merely thinking about it might be enough...

 

If 'relaxing' works, great...but, just like a Pro Bump skier/ World Cup slalom skier - relaxing is 'passive' and too slow...

 

Look at all the pro's/ elite skiers in slow mo....the movement is there....but it will be sub-conscious & automatic..when i execute this 'tiny' move, my skiing becomes effortless, balanced & consistent...

 

All i am doing is 'releasing' the pressure under my feet - my upper body doesn't move. For the first time, i am able to feel my hips and ski move out wide whilst i can keep the handle 'in' all the way to the buoy line - i am free of the boat, swinging out/ back in with a tight line..i now feel like i am edge changing properly...

 

Whatever works for you..until this move becomes sub-conscious, i will be 'actively' relaxing my feet off the 2nd wake...

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The analogy that comes to mind for me in snow skiing is the concept of rebound. When the ski(s) is at max load (at the bottom of the turn on snow or behind the boat in water), the ski is flexed and naturally releases its energy upward, creating an unweighting of the ski and almost automatically causing an edge change. A good edge change is the result of everything else leading up to it.
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If you have to consciously think about sucking your legs up to edge change, it means you are pulling too long and still loaded with your legs past the second wake, or you must have not created enough angle and speed out of the previous turn and cut. You ideally want your legs to be free of the boat load at that point and and shoulders still away as @Colebrah has already indicated. If I was skiing the Schnitz coordinates and tried to suck my knees up in the edge change I'd only be able to run the mini course.
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I will jump in with my thoughts. If you are going to one ball, and you stay connected to the handle with back arm (right arm) pressure, after the second wake, it will pull across your body and cause you to go narrower into the ball. the right hand needs to get real wimpy after the second wake and there is a transfer of load to the left hand. this allows the chest to be pointed out bound to one ball. release the right hand and pull the right shoulder back leaving your right hand at your wiast to ski your right hip around to the handle. if you consciously try this, see if that doesn't allow you to ski away from the handle early and wide.

 

I like to think about pushing the ski out in front of me after the second wake, as I have observed most top skiers do this and it looks like they are sitting in a chair and they follow the ski in the pre turn, and do not stay on top of it. this could be the pulling feet up to hips feeling. when I do it right, the ski comes right around the turn and drops under the line and is effortless. every once in a while I get it right. I have to think about it, as I am an old pull and stall the boat at the turn guy.

 

 

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@gavski , I like that analogy. I coach kids snow skiing, and we did a lot of work on off piste and bump turns this year, using that hamstring, pulling heels/ski tails up to help initiate the turn, particularly over a bump, while keeping the tips down and in contact with the snow, allowing edge change and control. Interesting to think of it that way in a waterski turn. Will play with it to see how it works for me. I think it will be a much more subtle move, and quick. But it might be a mental approach that could work if one has the experience with it on the snow. My concern about the concept of relax/rebound is for me personally, it takes me back to straight (snow ski) days, where I (probably improperly but a lot did it back then) allowed my shins to straighten up and reduce cuff pressure to release the ski energy. Problem was the skis were released without discipline and all that energy/direction was lost, necessitating a recovery move. keeping the ankles flexed (as has been discussed in this forum in other posts) seems to me to be key so as to not get immediately pulled down course or something. The tiny hamstring/pull move you mention might work for me as a mental tool.
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