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View Full Version : 1st time on a course


richardsoncd
06-03-2006, 10:15 PM
Well, I finally went and got a lesson on a course....and by lesson I mean got my arse kicked. But I at least I know what I am doing wrong now. I hope to get through the course at 15 off at 28 before the end of the month (3 or so more days on the course)....how long did it take you guys? By the way I had 3 of the worst falls of my life....a busted lip, 3 torn calus's (spp?), and it was all awesome. I'm gonna go drink a cold beer in the shower now.

88 PS190
06-03-2006, 10:45 PM
Tips...

Gloves, gloves, and more gloves. Anything you can do to save your hands will improve your learning. Painful hands destroy progress.

Stretch out the back (upper due to holding the handle lower due to getting yanked out the front)

May want to add a few shots to your cold beer in the shower...

Getting through the course and getting through the course w/ style and control are two different things.

Cloaked
06-03-2006, 11:00 PM
......... I hope to get through the course at 15 off at 28 before the end of the month (3 or so more days on the course)....how long did it take you guys? Good luck (in a sincere way).

Don't worry about ball count now. That only leads to bad habits.

Twenty-eight MPH is nothing but slow and you'll work harder to get through the water. I can only relate to AWSA's guidelines for tournament skiing, but with your objective, that is what you have referenced as well. Ski at the speed designated for your age bracket, in the novice division (or at least work up to that speed from 28, and then use that as a baseline of skill). You have to obtain a clean pass at the top speed of your bracket before you start taking rope away.

The first loop off at 28 MPH is not out of the question, and my comments are worth about $0.02. My point is to forewarn you of bad habits. How do I know? Been there...


Practice on a long line at 36 (or your age group speed) and work on timing and rhythm.

Timing to pull out and set up, timing on when to pull for the gate entry, timing to stop your pull after the second wake, and timing to pull AFTER yout turn is complete.

Rhythm to change edges after you stop your pull at the second wake, rhythm to bend your knees and dampen the ski to slow down, rhythm to start your turn BEFORE the ball, rhythm to allow the ski to do it's job IN the turn, and rhythm to pull the handle in to your waist, and rhythm to grab the handle without reaching out for it.

A course is not about shortline and balls and doing this and that for accountability. It's about timing, rhythm, and lots of practice. Your progress will come with that in mind.

Two things and I'll say no more. Take it or leave it.

1) Look down at the water you'll fall down. Do not look at the water. Feel your position. Always have the proper body position (posture) for turns and pulls.

2) If you look at the ball out and across ahead of you, you'll ski right to it, which is the absolute worst habit you can acquire. Your turn should complete at the ball, and not begin there. Otherwise you'll always be late for the next one. Never look at a buoy for reference.

Old school? Yes.

Works for me? Yes.

Patience and practice.

richardsoncd
06-03-2006, 11:21 PM
Good luck (in a sincere way).

Don't worry about ball count now. That only leads to bad habits.

Twenty-eight MPH is nothing but slow and you'll work harder to get through the water. I can only relate to AWSA's guidelines for tournament skiing, but with your objective, that is what you have referenced as well. Ski at the speed designated for your age bracket, in the novice division (or at least work up to that speed from 28, and then use that as a baseline of skill). You have to obtain a clean pass at the top speed of your bracket before you start taking rope away.

The first loop off at 28 MPH is not out of the question, and my comments are worth about $0.02. My point is to forewarn you of bad habits. How do I know? Been there...


Practice on a long line at 36 (or your age group speed) and work on timing and rhythm.

Timing to pull out and set up, timing on when to pull for the gate entry, timing to stop your pull after the second wake, and timing to pull AFTER yout turn is complete.

Rhythm to change edges after you stop your pull at the second wake, rhythm to bend your knees and dampen the ski to slow down, rhythm to start your turn BEFORE the ball, rhythm to allow the ski to do it's job IN the turn, and rhythm to pull the handle in to your waist, and rhythm to grab the handle without reaching out for it.

A course is not about shortline and balls and doing this and that for accountability. It's about timing, rhythm, and lots of practice. Your progress will come with that in mind.

Two things and I'll say no more. Take it or leave it.

1) Look down at the water you'll fall down. Do not look at the water. Feel your position. Always have the proper body position (posture) for turns and pulls.

2) If you look at the ball out and across ahead of you, you'll ski right to it, which is the absolute worst habit you can acquire. Your turn should complete at the ball, and not begin there. Otherwise you'll always be late for the next one. Never look at a buoy for reference.

Old school? Yes.

Works for me? Yes.

Patience and practice.

That is a lot what my instructor was saying. I'm going back out next Wed. with him. He really just wanted me to get my timing down and my basics down, but my competitive spirit got the best of me. Thanks for the tips. My biggest problem was that I was starting my turns really late and I was watching the ball therefore skiing right at it. I have to get some liner gloves, before Wed though. I also had a hard time adjusting to getting up and....BAM your are in the course. Private lakes are a little diffrent but it was awesome, if I wasn't addicted before, I am now.

88 PS190
06-03-2006, 11:24 PM
those glove liners rule, get them tight.

i personally like saying to start out wide of one then carve 2,3,4,5,6 that way you eliminate the gate, and start wide enough.

its hard to learn rythmn if you get thrown off before you round ball one.

drills work well too, if you're not near a course focus on skiing smooth and wide, with rythmn and make six good turns
then its just a matter of adjusting to fit the course.

PendO
06-03-2006, 11:25 PM
Getting through the course and getting through the course w/ style and control are two different things.

guys who can do both are pretty damn cool to watch! :)

Cloaked
06-03-2006, 11:26 PM
That is a lot what my instructor was saying. I'm going back out next Wed. with him. He really just wanted me to get my timing down and my basics down, but my competitive spirit got the best of me. Thanks for the tips. My biggest problem was that I was starting my turns really late and I was watching the ball therefore skiing right at it. I have to get some liner gloves, before Wed though. I also had a hard time adjusting to getting up and....BAM your are in the course. Private lakes are a little diffrent but it was awesome, if I wasn't addicted before, I am now.Re-read what I spoke of and digest it several times. I have been through a course more times than Carter has liver pills.

Trust me... timing and rhythm and practice. Time on the water will be your friend.

If your instructor doesn't know how to advise you of the basics (no insult to him / her in any manner), don't do bad things just to make headway. Learn properly and listen to those that know, my friend. Most of all, be safe and enjoy the water.

Brent
06-03-2006, 11:35 PM
Drop the speed till you run the course(with in reason) & then increase the speed Until your age group (34.4mph or 36mph). Watch out the better you get ,the more addictive it becomes. Rhythm is really important, Don't stop free skiing , it help's you improve your technic . If you get a chance to go to a ski school or ski with other good course skiers grab it! Try to keep your elbows touching your vest as much you can (power position)!

richardsoncd
06-03-2006, 11:47 PM
Drop the speed till you run the course(with in reason) & then increase the speed Until your age group (34.4mph or 36mph). Watch out the better you get ,the more addictive it becomes. Rhythm is really important, Don't stop free skiing , it help's you improve your technic . If you get a chance to go to a ski school or ski with other good course skiers grab it! Try to keep your elbows touching your vest as much you can (power position)!

Awesome advice fellas!!! My instructor is the "coach" for the Georgia College and the University of Georgia team. He is approaching the course like you say....slow at first, get your timing and techinique down, then speed up. The only reason we were 15 off is that was the rope we had in the boat. A couple of guys he skis with came out and I got to watch them pull, it was amazing seeing that caliper of skiing from the boat, not from the shore. Man I tell you...having a goal while skiing and really pushing towards something is amazing. And don't worry I will never stop free skiing, if anything it will give me more time to work on my technique with my hands, back, and shoulders. Keep the tips coming boys...I love it!!! Thanks for the advice Sporty, Brent, etc.
Anyone have any good video suggestions?

Kevin 89MC
06-05-2006, 12:21 AM
Much good advice above. My experience is similar - it is super addicting, but last year I free skied once, and I think my passes at the end of the year suffered. I lost track of my form chasing bouys. I need free skiing to perfect my technique and work on improving my skills. Working on finishing the turn and wake crosses now. I also started at 15 off, because that's where I've always skied. Took me forever to make the course at 30, and then forever again to do it at 32. I'm talking years. Had my expatations too high.

Here's my :twocents:
Video yourself (I use the Trakker), and ski with those who know what they're doing. My biggest problems are skiing to the bouy, and not staying in proper position after the turn and thru the wakes. When I thought I was really killing it, mainly strong side, the video made it look like I was not even trying. Sometimes the truth hurts!
It's such a rush!
Good luck.

Brent
06-05-2006, 08:08 AM
Make sure your grip is knuckle up for front forward & palm up for back foot. I have been working on changing my grip this season after too many years the other way. It really help even out both sides.

BeavenX5
06-05-2006, 09:56 AM
Make sure your grip is knuckle up for front forward & palm up for back foot. I have been working on changing my grip this season after too many years the other way. It really help even out both sides.

Brent, Can you explain this for me. I am not sure I understand what you mean here.

John B
06-05-2006, 10:06 AM
Brent, Can you explain this for me. I am not sure I understand what you mean here.
It is like the way you hold a baseball bat. :D

BeavenX5
06-05-2006, 10:26 AM
I hold my baseball bat left hand down same way as my golf clubs. Hockey stick is the opposite just like my ski handle. I don't get Brent comment about "knuckle up for front forward & palm up for back foot"
What doest this mean other than not to hold the grip both hands up or both hand down. Is there a way?
I hold my grip left hand up and right hand down, with my left foot forward. Is this the way? Should I have my left hand up on the grip? Or it does not matter?
I am a bit confused here. :confused:

John B
06-05-2006, 10:45 AM
The last issue of Waterski Mag. Page 63 " Get a Grip " Left-foot-forward skiers should hold the handle with the right palm up and the left palm down. :D

88 PS190
06-05-2006, 10:47 AM
If you are left foot forwards then the right palm should be up, and the left knuckles showing.

It matters because of biomechanics. Grip onto a handle and then look at the way your hands face. If you have them the way that was described earlier ie. palm up on back foot side of your body then when you go through an offside turn your palm is to the sky, this allows you to use the much stronger grasping and holding of your bicep, think doing pullups w/ your hand facing towards you, instead of away, this maximizes your grip and strength in your weaker turn.

Then in your onside turn your hand is palm down which if you reach it out right now you'll notice its not a power posistion.

The effect of this is that through your onside turn where you shouldn't be trying to pull on the handle at all and have ease of turning you don't need the extra strength, and on your offside where you might get fishy or have a more jaring impact etc. etc. you're in form.

BeavenX5
06-05-2006, 11:02 AM
Thanks 88 and John B. I get it now, finally :o I will try this next week-end. Might not be that easy to change my grip after so many years... but I will try.

88 PS190
06-05-2006, 11:09 AM
It'll be easy if you're in the course, sudden marked improvement in your offside turn... etc. etc.

Just bust the habit wide open.

Kevin 89MC
06-05-2006, 01:07 PM
I was told to switch a number of years ago (as stated above), when starting on course skiing, and it really helped. It was wierd for the first few times, but now it is second nature. Oddly, I still get up the "old way", then switch over when up. I always remember it as follows: for left foot forward skiers, grab it like a right handed batter, right foor forward, grab it like a left handed batter. I bat left handed, but ski left foot forward, so it felt really strange for me.
Good luck.

88 PS190
06-05-2006, 02:05 PM
I learned to get up both palms down like a trick skier or wakeboarder, for some reason atleast at first if i had them baseball gripped i'd pull on one arm and my body would **** in the water, then i was done.

shepherd
06-05-2006, 02:20 PM
I've always skiied with right foot forward, right-handed batter grip. I thought about changing it once years ago but read an article in Waterski magazine that you should just go with what feels most comfortable. Now, you guys got me thinking about changing it... I need something to help me improve, I feel stuck at my current level.

BTW, congrats on getting into the course Chuck :headbang: Like they said, it's addictive, to the point that I hate free skiing - when I'm doing it (free skiing) I can only think "man, I wish I had some buoys here... :cool: "

richardsoncd
06-05-2006, 03:19 PM
Well at least I do one thing right from the start...my grip!!! I'm going back out tommorrow night. I'll let yall know. :woohoo:

Cloaked
06-05-2006, 10:57 PM
Brent, Can you explain this for me. I am not sure I understand what you mean here.Baseball bat type grip.

Brent
06-06-2006, 10:30 PM
I''ve been working on changing my grip for last couple of weeks, at first it felt really strange & then after a couple of sets I'd grab the handle the wrong way once a set . Now I'm comfortable with it & just have to get back up to speed . I was skiing 32mph just to ease my way into it . I generally start @ 28off & shorten the rope on each successful pass (normally gat a few @ 35off) .I've 28offs @ 34mph the last 2 days. Changing the grip should help me run 35 off & beyond . The old grip gave me an awesome onside turn & a really bad offside. this adds symmetry.

shepherd
06-07-2006, 12:04 AM
Brent,
I tried changing my grip when skiing tonight and it just felt too weird. I couldn't imagine getting any decent pull and control. Like you said, using my old grip my on side turn and pull are relatively great, but my offside needs work. Sounds like I need to just slow down and work on it with the new grip (right hand on top of bat with right foot forward)?...

88 PS190
06-07-2006, 03:57 AM
Just flip the hands and forget about it...

Really, it might "feel" odd but that means you are thinking about it.

If you have a tree in your yard just stick a handle around it, and grab your ski gloves, and get in the new hand posistion (don't even try the old one) and just do it.

My worst habit was when I learned slalom i kept going to trick/wakeboard/straight gripping the handle, i could not force myself to flip the 'ol left hand. but as my cuts got better it started to feel right.

But you have retained muscle memory, time to fry it.

Brent
06-07-2006, 07:36 AM
i've been stuck @ mid 35off for the past 3 years & the grip change should help in improving that score. I tried changing last year for about 2 sets & went back to the old grip (it felt uncomfortable & weird). Now I know better & honestly my off side turn & pull are much better .I just had to get the BS out of my head & do it.

Right foot Forward = left palm up in a base ball type grip!

shepherd
06-07-2006, 11:34 AM
Alright I'll do it! :mad:

Seriously, thanks for the advice guys. I'm going to bring an old handle in to the office tommorrow so I can practice my new grip during breaks.

Oh, and sorry for the threadjack Chuck. :wavey: Good luck on the course dude.

richardsoncd
06-07-2006, 12:02 PM
Alright I'll do it! :mad:
Oh, and sorry for the threadjack Chuck. :wavey: Good luck on the course dude.

No worries, threadjacks make my day go by faster at work :D Hit the course again last night, didn't reach anymore buoys, still stuck on 3 ball, but I was getting there faster with more control....my instructor said I am not bending my front knee enough around 2 and its making me turn on the rear of my ski....I'm hitting it again next week :headbang: