Deep Water Starts

my deep water starts went to crap the 2nd half of last year. I’m 6’ and about 225 and skiing on a 69" Ski. I know a lot of it is my weight :man_facepalming:

seems like I’m fine with a slow pull out but if I get too much power I start plowing and loose the handle. If I use an easy up handle there are no issues so I think it’s pushing the ski tip down for me or keeping me from going to far forward. I just need one thing to concentrate on that will replicate this for me.

Just something I’m thinking about in the winter months

First of all, welcome.

As for deep water starts, are you starting with 2 feet in? Less power out of the hole will definitely help as will keeping your eyes on the boat. @Dave91 had some issues with this recently and has overcome them so maybe he’ll chime in.

2 feet in. Rear toe plate

The biggest thing for me was body weight. When I was having trouble I was 230 on a 69. I dropped down to 190 on a 67 Senate and popped out of water. Agree a slower start helps.

I tried a 71 Senate when I was 230 and the starts were ok but I found that the ski was very sensitive to rollers. Sometimes our lake has rollers after two passes. Once the water got busy I couldn’t ski.


One more thing. Don’t try to stand on the ski to soon. Stay low and stand up slow.

Same issues…wider ski, a ski with a wider tail help. I tend to bury the tip with the ski I normally use and get washed off the handle.

Tuck as small as you can and stay tucked. Common problem for bigger people.

Resist the urge to straighten legs. Common problem for strong or unskilled people. Also common for people whom are used to popping straight up but no longer are due to extra weight, failing technique or different driver…

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Since you know your goal is to get your body out of the water. Work on projecting your body to the surface…
Starts when you are sitting there in the water before you say go.
The tight ball is good but you have to balance that with needing to use your strong legs to protect your weak back otherwise you get crumpled into the ski and you have to be superman to stand up out of that.

So this is my tip for you. Knees are bent but more specifically you want your back heel to be in the crack of your butt - that way the ski is not going to go straight up and down in the water and turn into a plow. Arms fully straight - your two knees should be by your elbows at this point. When you say hit it and as the boat starts to pull you want to think about this - Eyes up at the boat not down at your ski shoulders back arms straight, and engage your butt to start to extend your hips.

Here is a beautifully rendered drawing of the difference - top what I suggest as the boat pulls you want to project your butt upwards which will prevent the bottom shoulders being pulled forwards butt sinking down and back which forces the ski upright in the water and pulls your handle to the top deck of the ski.

The “deep Vee” handles have a cross bar that as your shoulders get pulled forwards pulls the top deck of the ski down into the water flatter which then makes the space for you. Notice the vector of your motion drawn as an arrow - UP vs. Forwards.

deep water start


Thank you, that’s a great diagram. So are you pushing the ski tip down as you raise your hips and what is going on with the back ? is it leaning back also ?

I have gotten up a few times that way with all the different techniques I tried at the end of last year. That seemed to work better with a fast pullout - with a slower pull i seemed to want to fall sideways - how do I prevent that?

I never really refer to pull the tip down or trying to push the tip up - its just not helpful in my teaching method as I don’t even want you to look at or think about the tip of the ski. But so you can think about it for years and years people did one footed starts because the boats lacked the OOMPH to pull up a skier. So how is it less drag to get up if one foot is out? Same skier, boat, engine, ski etc. So what’s the deal?

Well the deal is that when you push on your back foot the ski goes vertical in the water. If you only had a back foot in the ski the tip would hit you in the face when you have both feet the front foot tends to push the ski flatter in the water for lower drag with more ski in and the rear foot tends to stick the tip up into the air and pushes the ski vertical in the water column.

In the way I teach it your goal is not to “lean back” but it is specifically not to let your shoulders get pulled into the ski from where you say hit it I treat my back/pelvis/shoulders/neck and head as a stationary unit and all the work is done with the hips. Tuck your knees, flex your hips, say hit it and engage your hips and core and you just keep extending your hips as the ski has enough pressure to stand on it. Another way to say it is that I treat my upper body during a deep water start exactly like I do when I’m up and skiing shoulders/chest proud. Arms straight core tight. Squeeze that butt and then the only difference is bend those knees and use them to power your way up.

thanks to all - great thread and gives me a lot to think about over the winter break. Only about 10 more weeks :smiley:

What kind of vest are you using? The nylon vests don’t absorb water and provide more floatation than the comp vests.