View Full Version : Which hand on top

06-20-2004, 11:05 PM
Last year I toyed with the idea of correcting my grip. I am a right footed skier and have been using a right handed baseball grip, skiing one handed for about 30 years. Just last season I started noticing that the pro's seem to have their opposit hand on top, i.e., right foot, left hand and vice-versa. I think we have discussed this elsewhere on this board...

Well this weekend I gave it a shot. Water conditions were not great. It was kind of cold and windy so I thought, why not give it a try. It was not as big a deal as I thought it would be once I realized I can try thihng out without going balls-to-the-walls everytime. I think I am going to make the switch permanent. But it could set me back a bit. I actually let go with the wrong hand on my seek side once today. It really does feel kind of wierd.

I talked my son, a left footed skierr, into switching his grip and he really like the results. For some reason he had been using left hand on top. Talked another buddy into trying it as well. We all agreed that that this woudl probably be a permanent change. It definitely changes the way you approach the wake and I think I can make this work...

I have Mondays and Friday off this summer so hope to give it a thorough attempt.


07-16-2004, 05:36 AM
Update - I think I am liking this. I find I like the body position it encourages across the wake. I have also started skiing faster and shorter with more confidence. Not sure if it is just because I am skiing more or what but seems to be a good thing.

I think one thing that helps is that it is simply a change. Looking back, I had been skiing 15 off at 30 for a very long time, sometimes jumping up to 32 in good water. I now ski regularly at 34 and have started having some success at 28 off at 32. Making a small change like the grip kind of forced me to start thinking a bit instead of just doing. I think that helped...

10-01-2008, 11:46 PM
Resurrecting this one for the newbies as well. Not - 5 years later I am skiing consistently at 28 off at 34mph and spent a lot of last season at 38 off. This year dialed it back to focus on form....

10-01-2008, 11:54 PM
BensonWdby - For me: left foot forward, left hand top, palm up. Are you still skiing opposite hand/foot? - Deerfield

10-02-2008, 12:01 AM
The 'correct/standard' grip for a LFF would be a typical right handed baseball grip. That would be right palm up - on top. So by this I would say you are backwards.

As a RFF skier I made the switch permanently to left palm up at the initial time of this post. I still get out of the water with the 'wrong' grip and then switch hands when I am stable.

There truly is no 'correct' way. If you look at the pros you will see both. But I definitely noticed a difference by switching to 'correct' grip.

10-02-2008, 10:12 AM
"That would be right palm up - on top."

I'll give that a try next time out. Thanks.

10-02-2008, 08:39 PM
So if I understand you correctely, when you reach out your hold hand is at the bottom of the handle? This should help with your shoulders correct?

10-02-2008, 08:42 PM
Doesn't the hold hand depend on what side you are on?

10-02-2008, 10:04 PM
Certainly the hold hand depends on which side you are on.
Being RFF with my 'standard' grip my strong side turn, 2-4-6, has my right hand on the 'bottom', but in reality you really are not holding the handle vertically I don't think...And although the grip is called left palm up, when you reach you really have your hold/reach hand pointed up (actually somewhere around 30-60 degrees rotated up depending on where in the turn you are).

I think we all are talking the same language here. RFF uses a left handed baseball grip. LFF uses a right handed baseball grip.

I have found that the real difference is what happens to your shoulders before you let go with the outside hand. I am not sure I can really explain it, but it makes me feel like my body position in the pre-turn is better. And I feel stronger in my reach. It could be psych.

Bottom line - what ever works for you use it. If you think you need to make a change to help your mental game, this is a simple change that does not require a keen sense of the ski...

06-24-2011, 08:08 PM
I'm brining back this oldie but goodie because I think it's time for me to do the same. I've kind of hit a wall so I have to change it up. I tied the rope to the basketball post and experimented with the 2 grips and body position and I feel like I'll have a better time getting my hips in good position during wake crossings with a "proper grip" I'm 34 LFF and skied my whole life with the reverse grip- so this might be challenging.

Tomorrow it's:
1) proper grip
2) handle low
3) hips forward


06-24-2011, 10:56 PM
Just my .02 but i think Skiyaker has it more right ,in worrying more about hand location with hands by hips and shoulders square etc. I asked Chris Parrish a similar question last summer while out with him and his reply was Go with what is more comfortable and doesn't effect your normal balance.

I had way more issues to deal with than hands up/down to deal with so maybe he was just trying to make skiing easier for me etc.

06-24-2011, 11:14 PM
Pretty hard to argue with someone like Chris Parrish - but my experience is that the 'correct' grip helps. Maybe for me it was just a change to get me thinking. somethingn els I just changed this last week.

I always got up with a 'bad' grip - and then once I switched my grip I had to change my grip after I got up. Last week I tried getting up ith a dobule overhand grip so that switching my left hand was simpler. I really like this. I even switched from a 'self designed' on-handed gate to two handed gate in the left handed baseball grip - I like it.

I think where Chris may have been going is that most of use weekend warriors have so many things to work on that our grip is the least of the issues. But I really think that the 'correct' grip helps encourage proper shoulders position - but does not guarantee it.

06-25-2011, 12:24 AM
Benson, Deerfield, you guys serious? You've been skiing with a backward grip until now? The summer will be a rewarding one for you with the benefits of the "correct/standard" grip.

06-25-2011, 12:40 AM
I love how this thread goes back to '04

06-25-2011, 12:49 AM
Good grief...didn't notice that. Moderators, delete this and my prior post.

06-25-2011, 08:26 AM
Good grief...didn't notice that. Moderators, delete this and my prior post.

LOL yeah I dug it up- well I was going to start a new thread about this but I figured since there was one already started I would just revive it- and prove once and for all that ancient threads can still be useful!

Mikey I'm having a really hard time with my wake crossings and keeping my hips and shoulders square- I made a huge improvement now that I'm looking down course but I'm hoping that changing my grip will help me progress.

Dave- interesting- I've always gotten up using the double overhand grip and then switched once I got up- I think that comes from my 2 ski roots.

Sunny with winds 0-5 mph- time to pack the cooler and head out to the course

06-25-2011, 10:21 AM
Grip change DID make a difference. Baseball style - right hand on top w/ palm toward me. Hey, moombabound, I can delete your posts but nothing wrong with them. Really. Just let me know. - Deerfield

06-25-2011, 10:16 PM
what a great day- the new grip takes some getting used to but by the 6th pass I skied my best ever- made the first four consecutive buoys before I broke at the waist on my way to 5 ball- missed 5 but made 6. Finally able to get some more tip bite on my offside lean- felt like the ski was working for me a lot better.

Today more than ever I am amazed at the amount of focus this sport takes and how a small change in technique can make such a huge difference. My second set I went out to ski "just for fun" and I skied like dog poo when I wasn't thinking about the 3 points I listed above. Got some mojo back by the 3 set but was too dang fatigued to pull it out- hopefully before long I'll claim my 15 off badge- today I was so close.

06-28-2011, 03:52 PM
I am a RFF slalom, but use the opposite grip. Many years ago I remember trying to switch after reading in WS magazine that I was using wrong grip. It just didn't work for me and I remained opposite. I agree that whatever feels most comfortable will most likely work. I consistenly ski 28 off 34 mph and have tried switching and couldnt run 15 off totally threw me off.


06-28-2011, 04:59 PM
Switching to the 'recommended' grip definitely messes with your head. I did it after about 35 years on a slalom ski. Thing is I was never really that good compared to anyone who skis for real (bouys). I can see where someonoe who is already running shortline would probably not benefit from it. By the time you are running 28 off in the course you are pretty comfortable with your style and you body position coming out of the turn. Everyone stnads to improve, until you are running 43 off, but there is plenty of opportunity in other parts of your form that may benefiti a shortline skier more than grip.

I do recommend that anyone who is not yet running 22 off in the course at least try the recommended grip - for more than just a couple of sets.