Generating speed

I’ve been free skiing mostly until last year. I had the opportunity in the fall to ski the course about 10 sets… hoping to be able to do more this year.

How do I generate more speed to get to the balls? - I can run the mini course at 28 and 30 mph. When I say mini course I mean 1,3,5 buoys and left guide balls as 2,4,6

working on the full width course at 15off / 28 mph this coming year. Could only get 1 and part of 2 - pulling way to long to the ball.

thanks for your help

You need to build speed in the Work Zone; between the wakes. Correct body position, leverage, ski on edge (stacked), make sure there is no slack in the roap. Don’t worry about the turn balls at first. Work on form. Try turning inside the turn balls. As you progress, you will find it difficult to turn inside the turn balls. If you “chase” the turn balls in the beginning, you may sacrifice form which will make it difficult to progress later.

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I remember exactly when I first experienced this, and it was the feeling of kinda pushing back with my legs behind the boat when I finally experienced it. Free-skiing I remember shortening the rope a bit too which really helped. 15 off free skiing is extremely odd feeling, I’m usually free skiing at 32 off and there iz zero wake there as well as a bonus.

So a few things to try - understand that usually its not needing more speed its about timing and space. If you start too late you are going to be pulling too long and then you are going to be too late for the next one and so forth.

Start with this drill. Skip the gates and instead pull out wide of 1 ball - don’t go around it though, turn in and go to 2. If you’re there early don’t worry about turning 2, just head right to 3. Work on doing this until you essentially are turning “before” every ball. If you get out of rhythm just restart at whatever ball and continue the drill. Once you are reliably turning before the ball work on moving that closer and closer until you are going around the balls. A this point add in the gate - but again if you find yourself coming in late and narrow start with trying to ski before the gate and before the balls. Once you have that get closer to and finally turn the balls.

The course is not that wide compared to how long it is - but there is not a lot of extra time if you’re running behind.

Another drill or rather a way to work on “speed” is to start ignoring the wakes. The best method I know of is to force yourself to ski looking at the top of the window frame or the spotters mirror - whatever works for you. Turn in and look there till you are through the wakes, spot your ball, make your turn, arms straight eyes on the back of the drivers head and repeat cross spot the ball make your turn arms straight eyes back to the drivers head. Repeat.

This does a few things but the main concept is that it eliminates viewing the “wake” as a target. You have no target other than swinging out to the next turn. This makes the work zone what it is supposed to be by eliminating the wake as a target. At your level doesn’t matter if you mean to or not if you aren’t getting easily out to the far ball you aren’t staying on edge through the wakes.

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My biggest jump forward in technique was when I was told to stay open to the boat.
The coach said I was trying to use the old school turn, lean back, dig in rear shoulder and ‘root the rope’ technique. It didn’t work!
How he got me to ski more open was as half_past said, turn and look at the driver. It kept my shoulders open to the boat and stopped me looking at the wakes. Instant major improvement :smile:

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Ya its a calculated way to get the body position right without opening up some of the negative problems people can get.

For instance you’ll get lots of new skiers who are crossing with the handle high and separation between the handle and their hip. But you also get a lot of new skiers who watched their uncle throwing up sheets of water and he used to make sure to tell you to hide your back shoulder.

The first person actually probably does need to close off their shoulders to the boat a bit and hide that back shoulder a bit because doing so and getting your arms straight will be a much stronger lean position for them. You can still tell them to look at the window because that position is “more closed” than what they were probably doing which was either not specifically looking anywhere (day dreaming) or possibly looking at their rope/handle. They’re going at the wakes sort of flat and not on edge.

The second person is probably looking too far across the wakes during the crossing, and is actually looking down a path at the wakes that you cannot ski if you wanted to. This closes you off and usually means you’re carrying so much extra load that you come off edge into the wakes or the handle gets pulled in and away from you after the wakes. This person also can look at the boat.

Again this is about a certain level of skiing. If your name is Terry Winter you pick up the next ball in front of the bow as you hook up out of the turn. In which case what your vision is likely to be is going to be different.

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