View Full Version : Tips to get begginers up

07-05-2004, 09:12 AM
I have been on a slalom since I was 8, an eternal 31 years ago. However, after a week long ski trip to Norris Lake, I have decided that I suck as an instructor. I used to pass it off as not enough power and the skiiers fault, but can't use that excuse anymore. Looking for some tips to help these poor folks who want to slalom like me. Have read a few comments here and elsewhere about dragging a foot. Guess I am naive, but I have no idea how to do this. Learned with both feet in, and have never done it differently. I tried to pay attention when I got up, but it is just natural. I say hit it and stand up. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

07-05-2004, 02:23 PM
I spent many years behind underpowered boats. Both feet in was never an option as it just stops the boat.

The advantage of only one foot in is that your back foot drags behind like a rudder, to stop you "spinning out" to your non ski side. Also you get more planing surface off your back leg as you come out. This is essential if the boat lacks power.

So advice for a beginner for this method:

-arms straight with the tow handle in the position it would be if you had two skis.

-front leg BENT at the knee until you are ALL the way out. This is a must. People who are comfortable on two skis will straighten the front leg too early out of habit trying to "help" themselves out of the water. Straightening the leg will stall the ski and increase the risk of a torn hamstring if they fight it. I actually stick my head under the wave that comes off the ski tip to make sure that I am forward enough and my leg is truly bent. Just let the back leg drag as far back as possible.

-wait until you are right out of the water, still using the top of your back foot as a rudder to stabilize the "wobbles" until the ski is going fast enough to track, then straighten your front leg, and slide your back leg down the back of your front leg until it finds the ski.

The mistake most people make is that the try to straighten the front leg too soon and that grabs a ton of water beteen the ski and their body. They then complain that you did not go off fast enough so you gas it a bit more next time. This time you yank their arms too hard and now they are tired and fed up.

If they dont manage to get up after two tries give them a rest. It takes alot more energy than any of us remember when you are learning.

BTW are they comfortable dropping a ski before you try to pull them out on one?

07-06-2004, 10:59 PM
I had no idea there would be a fine for dropping a ski. I am lucky enough to own some lakefront so the drop zone is pretty safe. This would be an issue on a busy public lake.
Check out the local regs for sure. I find that a slalom beginner can handle dropping a ski long before starting on one.
The single best reason for starting with two feet in is to avoid the pulled hamstring. This has happened to three members of the my local ski community over the last ten years. I have confirmed that in all cases they were starting with one foot out. I believe that it occurs when the front leg is straightened too soon, the ski sinks and stops but the skiier holds on and gets pulled over the front. Any thoughts there?
Also Inliner, do you "drag" your learners slowly through the water so they can feel how to balance the water pressure on the ski. I find this works well for two skis but not so much for slalom.

PS: My youngest swapped his slalom ski for a wake board last weekend. I guess I knew it was coming. He popped out of the water and carried on down the lake like he had been doing it for years. To be young, fit and 60 pounds is a real advantage in this sport. I see fat sacs and a tower in my future.

jose LSV
09-06-2004, 08:42 AM
Hola Linda,
Some tips:

1. To get the balance: While on combos, you should be able to lift one ski and ski onto one leg for a while
2. I do not like dropping one ski, but if you go for it as a way to learn how to get the right balance, here you have a tip: As soon as you drop it, you should put your naked foot in contact with your other ankle/foot in order to get balance. Then slowly slide it to the binder. Once its in, swap part of your weigth from front to rear foot.
3.Remember for tips 1 & 2: boat should accelerate a bit in order to compensate weigth concentration in one ski.
4. To start directly from water: What we are trying to do is to reduce water friction as much as possible . The bigger the skier the bettter it has to do the technique. (unless hes got really strong lumbar muscles).
Wrap up your body and try the ski to be almost parallel to the water surface (30degrees typically).
The position is as follows: Knees touching your chest and thighs touching each other. (One mistake is to have thighs spread wich creates friction)Even better if the ski tail also touches your butt. Straight arms and head hidden (or youll drink the whole lake).

When the boat is pulling it feels like the ski is creating a tunnel (and your body has to go through it.)
Do not stand up until the ski is sliding completely onto the water(at least 200 feet from start)

09-14-2004, 12:42 PM
You might want to pick up a special teaching rope if you see yourself doing this often. They are really simple. On a normal rope, from the handle the two seperate ropes join into one of course, then goes to the boat right. On the instructional ropes, the two ropes coming off the handle are much longer, creating a 3-4ft V after the handle, or some models simply have a section of rope about 2ft in front of the handle that splits into two. This way, the beginner can wedge the tip of their ski in between the two ropes, it keeps them straight while they learn to get up. Helps A LOT.
Other than that, definitely drag the foot like a rudder, and the people on here are right about straightening the leg to early.

09-14-2004, 12:47 PM

here is a link that shows an instructional type slalom rope. You can see how it is different just before the handle. The beginner simply puts the tip of their ski inbetween those two ropes.

09-25-2004, 03:36 AM
For those of you that have a tower on your boat, you can can use that instead of the pylon to help give the skier a little more of an upwards pull. It's worked well for us when teaching new skiers, both with combos and slalom skis.


09-30-2004, 04:17 PM
No arguement there, I just wanted to point out an easy method for improving results to those who have a tower and never thought of using it for beginners. I'm sure there's a lot more boats out there with towers than booms.

10-12-2004, 05:28 PM
I originally bought our boom when I started barefooting. However it has proved invaluable over the years from teaching the very young, to the very old. The skiers, boarder and even pulling the really young ones slowley on boogie boards.

The Moomba dealer I spoke with said no skiing from the tower. We currently wake board from an extended pylon, but the wake board snaps and pulls seem just as harsh as the slalom skiiers. I guess boarding is less pressure, just more jerking.

Do all the manufactures (boats and towers) say no skiing from the tower?