Nate is the best male skier alive - Watch him ski 15 off

Nate ran 25 41-off passes this year and 51 39-off passes. All in tournament settings where I can attest it’s way harder to ski due to nerves. Everyone wants to know “what is he doing differently?”

The rest of his competition is nowhere even close to where he is. Perhaps we can watch him run 15/34mph and garner some insights. What do you see?

Dane also ran a 41 this year, which was awesome and looked easy.

Here is Dane at 15/36:

Post deleted, please keep this thread on a technique topic track only.

This is actually very interesting to see! Thanks for posting.

A couple of things stand out to me. I find at 34, I get quite a bit of air and I think I’m doing something wrong, but watching Nate there shows that it’s not a problem - he basically ramps from the middle of the wake to the end of the whitewash. (The key difference is he keeps his position upright whereas I often fall forward).

Another thing is he seems to have quite an aggressive lean soon after his turn - especially on his onside - and by the time he’s at the center line he almost lets up and starts his edge change.

And speaking of his edge change he pretty much does it all in the air and lands on the inside edge.

Any thoughts on this?

Nate can make a ton of speed and direction buoy to wake, more than most mortals. This is due to absolutely supreme technique and balance on the ski. You will also see this super early edge change on most male 36mph skiers at the open level.

This is not the most realistic technique for most amateur skiers out there today. Watch the girls ski 34 and you’ll see tip down through both wakes and a transition through the white wash on both sides. Work zone being a little more wake to wake across the boat is where most of us need to be, this is something I’m working on actively right now.

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At gray_mac,
So allowing the ski to leave the surface of the water and go “airborne” is not the thing to do. Let’s remember a very important fact: The boat is going down course at either 32, 34 or 36, our goal as the skier is to go across course. Every time the ski leaves the water, the boat is pulling you down course. Some one can perhaps learn to run a 15 off pass doing this but shortening the rope with find yourself running narrow into the buoy.

Drive the ski through the CL and into the second white water.

Almost looks like they’re intentionally hopping the wakes. Maybe just playing around as it’s so easy compared to their normal? Equiv to a kid skipping along just for the fun of it rather than walking.
Or maybe that boat’s wake is rubbish? LOL

This is more like it. Way less wake jump :slight_smile:

And this shows how he pulls way past the second wake when going slower LOL
wake Nate Smith 17.4 MPH 28 OFF - YouTube

That’s pretty cool. He’s really sinking there and seems like he has to pull harder just to stay up - very un-Nate-like!

I don’t think even Nate would make it to the buoy if he didn’t :sweat_smile:

Nate creates speed more efficiently than most by being very forward on the ski, notice his front knee is over top of his toes due to forward flexed ankle. He creates substantial swing speed into the wakes which allows him to edge change earlier and swing up high on the boat. Notice how he keeps the outbound swing with his upper body maintaining line tension away from the boat while his ski is unweighted and transitioning onto the turning edge. at CL the handle path changes direction and will move to swing down course, you need to move with it, if you attempt to continue cross course on a pulling edge past CL you will get separated and pulled inside, result is a narrow path that will feel extremely fast into the buoy. In my opinion Nate stays connected to the handle better than anybody at all points, but especially from wake to ball. In doing so he’s in better position to be balanced and engage the tip of the ski before the buoy arrives requiring less of a move to get around the ball and begin accelerating cross course. He’s also very very good at edging or rolling the ski onto a steep angle with less lean away than others. Which again allows him to stay balanced, connected, and requires less movement at edge change.

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The jumping is pretty normal at 15 off 32 mph. All boats i have skied on have a larger wake to contend with at that line length. I find the Nautique wake small but hard and the Malibu soft yet a bit bigger at this length. I find it quite a challenging thing to contend with when always changing boats…
Nate just makes it look easy, because for him, it is. Yes, you will lose a bit of space but better to jump due to an aggressive well timed wake crossing than absorb the wakes and lose space that way. Staying aggressive will be necessary as the line shortens. My observation…

Correct, we don’t want the ski to trace up and down across the wake. At longer lines and slower speeds the proper technique will usually result in the ski being largely airborne across the 2nd trough, landing in the spray on the other side.