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TOPIC: Struggling to Skiall6

Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6534

Hey Guys,

Hoping to get some help with my technique/form. I have been concentrating on skiing for about two years after one too many surgeries left wake boarding a non-option. Anyhow this is 15 off at 32.3 mph. I can routinely get 3-4 balls but rarely all 6. Any specifics on technique / deficiencies would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6535

  • Brent
  • Tryin to swerve through life
Your video setting is private & can't be viewed:(

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6536

Sorry about that..This is my first video upload. Also, my daughter's first go at videoing a skier....Here's the entire set from that day. I think I've changed the settings so it can be viewed.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6537


You have a great on side (1,3,5) turn but you are losing it all on your off side (2,4,6). You seem to be turning your off side on the tail of the ski. Try to get more over the front foot during your off side turn. What works for me is just thinking about bending my front knee. Other possible things to think about are flexing the front ankle or moving the hips forward.
The following user(s) said Thank You: NautiqueMike

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6538

  • Brent
  • Tryin to swerve through life

Can you post some video of you completing the course at 30mph ?

Make sure you keep your edge through both wakes & then start to reach to help you keep your outward direction.

Honestly the best things you can do is ski with higher end skiers on a regular basis & get some professional coaching ,they can save you from reenforcing bad habits & point you in the right direction.

Where do you ski? When does your ski season end?
The following user(s) said Thank You: NautiqueMike

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6539

Brent - I have been skiing at 32 but could certainly try 30 mph. This is the first time I've had my skiing recorded, so I'd have to get some new footage at 30.

I ski at a private Lake in Michigan, so our season will run 'til late October if the weather holds... I've been out as late as Halloween and put the boat away as early as October 10th. I ski 3-4 times per week.

I do ski with some better guys who are into the 28 off range at 34mph. I've just started seeking help, so I don't have a lot of pointers yet.

I'm sure I could improve in ten different areas, but think I should concentrate on one or two to start. My take on the video is that my off side turn is hurting me in two ways. First it is a very long arc and second, when I come out of the turn my angle is poor. So, I'm losing ground in the turn and my subsequent angle puts me even further down course. Other things I noticed were my pre-turn is markedly different on both sides...bent over/leaning forward on my off-side and I thought looking ok on strong side....other things, too, but these seem to be the most apparent. Your thoughts?

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6540

  • Brent
  • Tryin to swerve through life
Drop the speed of the boat until you can run the course (28 mph?) & then start increasing the speed after each completed pass ,doing a bunch of 3-4 ball passes is not helping you . Most of the time when someone misses a buoy the problem started a buoy or 2 before . Try to relax & let the ski turn without pushing it & see what happens. If you are skiing on a private lake I am guessing you are hooked ,try to get some Professional coaching in Florida or where ever, it will speed up your progress & prevent you from ingraining bad habits.

This advice is free & may be worth nothing
The following user(s) said Thank You: NautiqueMike

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6541

  • AB
For sure drop speed so you can enhance your technique under control.
I also recommend trying 28 off at 28mph. It is doable by anyone if they hold their lean through both wakes,,which you need to engrain. When you miss, you get immediate feedback on why and where. It is also fun! Long line lulls you into thinking you are skiing better than you are because you have more room for errors.
The following user(s) said Thank You: NautiqueMike

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6542

Thanks to Brent and AB for their input. I will slow the boat and work on technique. I'll post new videos in a few days to see what the changes look like.

Thanks again for your help.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6543

  • AB
And if you think you will sink at 28 mph......


You don't need razor turns, focus more on keeping the ski on edge and lead arm pressure through both wakes. Once you have this mastered, there are some other things like ski runout etc., but that isn't needed at this point.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6545

  • BudDavis
  • Today is a gift, so ski. No promise of more.
That looks brutal at 15.5mph 32off.

I would have to say; that looks to me more like a challenge, than a training exercise.

My instinct tells me that a skier should slow the boat to a speed they are comfortable. That would be faster than sinking and slower than intimidation. There is an option to use a ski with more surface area to allow a skier to ski slower boat speeds without sinking.

It seems like I heard of Lucky Lowe making people learn to run the course on jumpers.

Skiing slower (without sinking) allows you to work on standing correctly on the ski. That is the foundation to slalom skiing.

Robert demonstrates it in his videos. www.skiall6.com/2012-01-24-03-48-51/robert-marking

Then work on pull out drills by Seth.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6547

  • AB
Agree. I ran 28/28 at 195 pounds on a standard 68" ski, so assume most skiers can without sinking. Nate was on the extreme.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6548

Hi Mike - looks like good advice across the board from the others. I noticed a couple aspects of your technique that you could work on to help with your coarse problems. It looks as if you have a slight bend at the waist during your wake crossing, causing a bit too much weight on your back foot. The evidence of this is where the water is breaking on your ski. Try a more stacked position, with your shoulders, hips and feet all in alignment, with emphasis on even weight distribution on your feet.

Also, I noticed you have a compact, hunched position during your pre turn coming into the buoy. try a more erect, tall, relaxed position and add an element of counter rotation to your pre turn. Really reach out there with that handle and rotate your upper body. This will cause the ski to cast out wider on the turn and help get that extra width you need to make the buoys.

I would emphasize, however, that you focus on that stacked body position first, that's your bread and butter. The Terry Winter video on this site and on you tube called lesson 1 body alignment, would be a really good one for a you to check out. Also check out the staying countered video for an explanation of the benefit of good counter rotation.

I know this was a bit wordy, but I hope it's helpful for you. Slow down to 28 or 30 and try these ideas out, then come back to 32 mph and you'll slay that coarse. Good luck and keep up the good work.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6549

  • BudDavis
  • Today is a gift, so ski. No promise of more.
Well worded. I like what you said and how you said it. Good step by step advice to follow Mike.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6550

Thanks bud, I'm not an accomplished tournament skier, but I ski with a bunch of guys who are right at the same level as Mike, I see a lot of similarities, Hope I can be helpful. Thanks again.
The following user(s) said Thank You: NautiqueMike

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6551

Thank you, Scott for the advice and words of encouragement. I would agree with Bud that your explanation was very well written. I liked the progressive nature of it where I can work on specific skills and then try to put it together.

I skied 8 passes yesterday and eight more today - 28 off at 28 mph. (None were complete passes, but I was making it further down the course as I went along.) AB got it right when he mentioned "instant feedback" - the errors I made were magnified...especially when I was not in a strong position crossing the wakes.

Next time out I will spend some time on the "pull out drills" - really trying to get that strong body position into my muscle memory.

It is going to take a lot of work, but I am encouraged about the progress I've made already.

Thanks again to all who have taken the time to help.
The following user(s) said Thank You: AB

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6561

Awesome mike - Skiing 8 runs a day combined with being so receptive to technique changes is going to do volumes for you. Keep it up!
The following user(s) said Thank You: NautiqueMike

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6593

When I coach I try to find something the skier already does well that is instructive. I think your posture when you start is good. You are stacked and look pretty good until you turn in for the gates then you bend at the waist. Try and maintain the same posture throughout the pass you start with. I see lots of skiers who start well and flare at the ends of the course with good posture. They already have experience standing that way they just need to learn to do it while negotiating the course...
The following user(s) said Thank You: NautiqueMike

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6597

Thanks to Bill and Scott for the recent input.

I worked on pull out drills yesterday doing sets of ten on each side, and will do so again today (Haven't been out in about a week due to work.) I'm still at 28mph and 28 off. There is a sizable rooster tail at that line length/speed (2000 Air Nautique) which has given me some difficulty in getting a smooth wake crossing. I will try 30 mph and/or a loop up or back to get past it.

The pull out drills seem to reinforce the proper body position, and I feel as if I'm in a much stronger stance then I previously had. Now, I just need to transfer that posture into the wake crossing....Easier said than done.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6598

  • AB
The key with a rooster tail is to keep the ski on edge. I would play with speed up or down and force myself to edge through the rooster tail. It can be done. We all use to ski on older boats that rival today's wakeboard boat wakes. New skiers today have it too easy with flat wakes.

As you head into the wakes, look across them in front of the next buoy and give a little more lead arm pressure until you are through. It can be done and must be done to advance.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6599

Thanks, AB for your support.

I went out yesterday and worked more on pull outs and wake crossings. A boat speed change to 30 mph made the rooster tail smaller and more manageable - still at 28 off. I'm inconsistent, but a few crossings I felt like I was in a strong pulling position (and most all crossings, stronger than I've been.) I will need to get some video to confirm.

My plan is to free ski a few more times until I'm more consistent with a stronger wake crossing then get back to the course and work on timing and turns...Does this sound good, or would you recommend another approach?

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6600

  • AB
Buoy count doesn't matter at this point. Getting into proper position will pay dividends over the long haul, as this should be your muscle memory going forward.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6602

I'm just joining the conversation here, so forgive me if I missed something. But I'm not sure I agree with skiing 28off at any speed if you are unable to smoothly ski 15 off and / or longer at that same speed?? To me that seems like trying to learn to run 38off when you can't run 32off? I agree with what I've read for you on most everything else. Slowing the boat is definitely a good idea. Training drills like Seth's or even the old 12 steps of slalom by Gordon Rathbun are excellent. Work on proper body mechanics / stance etc (remembering that what works for some doesnt always work for others). Good luck with the last one, BTW... LOL...I've been working on proper body stance on a ski for 15 yrs and still don't do it like the pros. ;(

But I think the most important thing for me really learning to advance in line length and speed was getting professional help and advice from a well respected coach or ski school. I have personally gone thru many times struggling at 35off and can spend one week with Wade Williams, or Swiss ski school or others and all of a sudden I am not struggling as much. If you have really good guys to ski with also this is almost just as good. However, by really good I mean guys like Bud that run 38off and shorter. These guys are on a different level of understanding than most skiers. They know things and will see things the average 28off skier just doesnt know / or understand. No disrespect meant for anyone skiing at longer lines.

The only other thing that is helpful from a motivation standpoint is to find someone to occ ski with who is basically at YOUR level. In other words someone to compete with in practice. It's fun and kinda pushes you. But also when you see him or her ski a line length you are working on something in your mind tells you 'hey if he can do that I can too" LOL.

Anyway, love your determination and openness to advice. You are at a great time in skiing. When every day is a PB. LOL. Enjoy it. My wife is learning the course, and today she ran the course for the first time EVER> 15off and 25 mph. She was STOKED! I was in many ways envious. PBs for me are few and far between!! LOL.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 5 years ago #6603

  • AB
I see it work all the time. Guys can scramble and make 15 off at 30 or 32 mph. Long line lets you make a boat load of mistakes and still run the pass, and we all get carried away with going up in speed, which makes it even harder.

It sounds like he can run 30 and some at 32, so he knows how to lean and turn. If he was skiing with me, we would go 28 off at 28 mph and work on wake crossings. The wakes are smaller, the speed is slow enough not to intimidate, and most of all, you get instant feedback why you missed. You need to have 6 good leans through the wake if you run 28 off, and it becomes clear right away where the problem is - to the skier too. I have seen lots of skiers do this and most run 28 off that day, and the reward is getting better timing, seeing what lies ahead with shortline, and they normally have a big smile on their face because skiing shortline is fun.

Why stay frustrated at 15 off to say you are a purist? The last 3 guys I worked with that were in the same exact spot, all say 28/28 helped them a lot! One guy is up to running 28@32 mph and some at 34, yet he is a M1 and has not run a full 15@36mph yet. He says hands down running slower 28 off is way more fun than anything at 15 off. He isn't chasing tournaments yet, so why not have fun and learn at the same time?

Just my take on it.
The following user(s) said Thank You: david38off, MISkier

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 4 years, 5 months ago #7710

There's a couple things I see right off. First is body position. Your hips are to far back. Your crossing the wakes like your sitting in a chair and as the pressure increases its pulling your shoulders forward. After you pull through the 2nd wake, then you want your shoulders forward to put more ski in the water to slow down. Not accelerating off the buoy. The other thing, Don't look at the buoy. Pick out something on the shoreline 10 to 15 ft up course of the buoy and pull for it. If you look at the buoy you'll be late.
The following user(s) said Thank You: NautiqueMike

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 4 years, 5 months ago #7713

It's been a long winter and I hope to be back on the water this week. I've been working on my "stacked" position for the past few months and am anxious to try it behind the boat. Your comment, Ron, that it looked like I was sitting in a chair was right on...Just what I need to correct. Once I get a few sets under my belt, I'll post another video to see if there's improvement. Thanks again for your comment.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 4 years, 5 months ago #7718


Where are you skiing in Michigan? I'm in the Lansing area.
Goode XT - 65.25" with Wiley double high wraps
2009 Malibu Response LX with Zero Off Rev R - Setting C2

Ranked in the top 50 for US Open Men's slalom

My skiing is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 4 years, 5 months ago #7722

I'm in Tyrone Township, about half way between Hartland and Fenton...probably 40 minutes from Lansing.

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 4 years, 4 months ago #7725

Hi Mike

A couple quick points for you:

1. Your arms are bent - result - your hips are back. It is near impossible to maintain a stack when pulling with the arms, Keep arms dead straight and hold the handle more with the fingers and not palms.

2. Gate Pull Out - move 2-3 feet to the left so you are out of the trough. Move out gently and slowly so you do not load the back of the ski. Once your on the tail/rear foot it is difficult to find your center through the course.

3. Where is your vision focused ? If you look to much across the course the body position will be compromised.

Good Luck

Re: Struggling to Skiall6 4 years, 4 months ago #7726

Mike, Just want to add, when working on the Counter, start from the bottom up....Ankles, Knees Hips, then Shoulders...Hips Countered Outbound is what your looking for..The shoulders will naturally follow the hips...Just rotating the shoulders outbound will do absolutely NOTHING for you..Your goal is to bring the inside hip forward as you counter the hips so as to be able to lead with the hips COM, to accelerate off the apex...This sets everything in motion..Good Luck.
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