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How to make speed? How does speed impact length of pull?


Horton
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I have heard it for years, especially on my gate - “Don’t pull so long”. This is terrible coaching but it brings me to a few questions.

 

A ) I think most of us believe that length of pull is related to water speed and load. The best skiers in the world make a lot of speed early and not only are they able to get out of their lean early but it also happens automatically? Typically a skier who chronically pulls long is going too slow at the first wake?

 

So the question is why or how can this be? Why when I make a lot of speed early do I automatically start to transition sooner. If I am narrow on my gate I always pull long. It is sure as hell not a conscious effort. What are the mechanics?

 

B ) Make speed early? I can guess things that would help but really I am clueless. What do the very best skiers do different to make more speed sooner off the ball?

 

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I don’t try to think about making more speed out of the buoy but trying to maintain the speed I generated into the buoy through my turn and into the hook up out of the buoy. In terms of the gate, you are narrow because you did not generate enough speed on your pull out to get wide on the boat and therefore have to apply more load in order (which causes you to pull longer) to generate necessary angle. The best gate shots I have almost feel like I am turning in on slack because I am rolling in with a higher speed allowing me to generate angle without load. Similarly in the course every time you lose speed by rocking back or breaking forward at the buoy you have lost speed and now have to pull harder and longer to generate the angle you need for the next buoy.
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Focusing on b) for a second, I think what the very best are able to do is to be in sync with the boat as they turn the buoy. That is, as they grab the handle, the boat is ahead of them, the line is tight, and they can use it to accelerate sooner. I have never had a chance to test it, but if you were to take aerial shots of Freddie and Nate, the only two guys imho with margin at 41off (meaning, they can make Mistakes and still run an extra buoy or two), I am pretty sure that, as their front boot is at the buoy, the boat is a bit further down the course than the rest of us.

 

Not after the turn. Right at the buoy.

 

There're a lot of skiers out there that can slam a turn and give a chance to the boat to catch up. This, however, occurs quite a few feet after the buoy. The line will be there and they will accelerate like mad. The tradeoff, however, is lack of control of speed off the second wake and, equally as important, position.

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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@Drago you are just grumpy. If I did not think you knew what you were talking about you would not be able to see this thread.
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@luzz that is kinda GUT(Denali guys) theory as I understand it. Get high fast, by the time the ski gets past the buoy the boat is getting out in front again. If not you either turn at the side of the boat and get punished, or have to wait for the boat to get out front by turning more down-course. I think you are spot-on.

@horton how far down course after the ball do you become a "ball of spray" in still frame vs. Caldwell becomeing a BOS?

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Okay so over the years I was told to pull behind the boat but it seems that I have to make speed off the buoy in order to have most of the work done by the time I am behind the boat so I can glide free to the next buoy, be over the ski and edge change easily. I heard from one of the top elite skiers that what you do from the buoy to the first wake will dictate how good my 2nd wake to next buoy is. This is very insightful but how does that work with working behind the boat?
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I thought my gate was better until I watched this. I know I know. More front foot & less lean to the inside as I turn in.

 

Seems like I need to be at 38 or 39 to work on the gate for 38 or 39? Is that right?

 

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As soon as the line gets tight after your gate move, right after your left hand gets back on the handle, your hips drop back and collapse, the ski moves out in front of your mass and you ride hard and heavy on the tail into 1. Then at every buoy the same thing happens. It’s easy to fix but you just have to be aware that this is happening so that you can consciously try to keep your hips higher and moving towards the wakes right over your feet. Probably start with the gate first and then see how that translates down the course.
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Couldn’t agree more with @matthewbrown

 

The way I think of it is to try and leave the ski out on the buoy line pointing down the lake, while moving your body toward the gates. The ski will build angle and follow you into center on its own. If you force angle and put the ski between your body and the boat before the whitewash, you’ve created load without speed.

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So, @Horton . One thing I just re-remembered : If you're pushing the ski in front of you, often its because it won't naturally come back under you when you move the way @matthewbrown and @AdamCord are describing. If running 39 is your goal, pretty much the little things matter (like small fin adjustments:) You should try moving your fin for more speed in the ski.
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I thought about what @AdamCord said above this weekend when approaching the gates. I have been catching myself letting my hips fall back into the gates. Speed without load was the result, as well as good angle and better body position. The ski came back under me quickly too, so it felt natural, not awkward. Good stuff.
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Watch your ski tip as you finish 1. It pops up and you have to re-establish angle. That is a function of not getting more leverage in the gates. It is your good side lean and if you watch the very best, they seem to have more weight over the front of the ski in both directions to drive the tip down which creates the leverage and speed. You get into a real nice position going into 1 but you could sooner if you get better leverage in the gate. It's all about tip pressure! The boat will win most of the battles if you only use the tail to lever against it.

 

5ph776aagfj0.jpg

 

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One time I was a dock starter and Will Asher came up to ski. I asked him, "I noticed how, especially on your offside, how far forward you get your hips and upper body coming off the apex in relation to the ski, every time I try to do that I feel I'm going to OTF big time and it scares the hell out of me. How do you get over that?"

 

His answer was, "I just do it and know the ski will catch me."

 

Brilliant simple answer....I never forgot that, and still working on it.

 

 

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I’m 60, over weight, and out of shape, and ski scared. I don’t get forward enough to get tip pressure on my offside lean. It’s also easy to sit on the tail on my onside lean not maximizing my pop off of the wakes.

 

Don’t ski like an old man. It’s not fun.

 

Watch video to see if you are coming out of the turn and staying back or getting weight over the center or slightly forward. Even the gate turn in.

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@AdamCord @Drago reading through this thread I’m wondering how to get more speed out of moving the fin forward. Are you moving DFT forward which will affect smear

moving leading edge forward or making fin length longer with a DFT neutral adjustment.

Thanks

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