View Full Version : A trip to the Edge

06-14-2010, 12:54 PM
Day 3.5 of my trip to the Edge - The Liquid Edge, just south of Bloomington, IL.
Skied 3 sets with Wade Cox on Saturday - what a great guy. Very patient. Doug and Kristin (owners) are super and both understand the sport and coaching very well.

I am having a blast and have not totally shredded my hands yet, but did forget to tape this morning... Been having some weather, but the site seems to stay pretty calm under most conditions. I am scheduled to go two sets a day (maybe 3) until Thursday.


Having a great time - wish you were here....

ian ashton
06-14-2010, 05:54 PM
Very cool - I did wakeboard lessons in Orlando last year and it was awesome. I'd love to get some slalom lessons - if you don't mind me asking, what is the cost per set, assuming thats how they charge.

06-14-2010, 08:56 PM
I think Doug is charging $50 per set.. Well worth it. Plenty of instruction after each pass and he is very observant, has a good idea for what you may have problems with, and good descriptions on fixes. And very patient. I have been here for a few days now, and seen some nasty weather and the course seems to alway be in good water.

This was an 7.5 hour drive for me and there is a very good chance I will make this trip again. It is so great to be around people who 'get it' when it come to slalom, in a very relaxed environment.

06-14-2010, 10:36 PM
Hey, Benson - You gotta have some video. We like pictures. Video is even better. Great to hear you are enjoying the experience. I did not even know there was something like this in Illinois. How you holding up? What are the local accommodations? - Deerfield

06-14-2010, 11:03 PM
Actually holding up pretty well. Being 50 lbs lighter really helps and I have finallay adjusted to my new ski. Biggest concern right now is the hands, so have gone through some duct tape... So far nothing ripped open yet. But right now I am really beat. Not as sore as I thought I would be. I expected to be really sore after 2 days - now just waiting for the other shoe to drop.. But Doug has a nice hot tub that you can jump in after a set to try to avoid some of the pain.

There are no accomodations on site, but there is a decent motel a few blocks away. Bloomington and Champaign are reasonably close. We were in Champaign for dinner tonight.

Hope to have videos from Saturday by tommorrow. Otherwise not a lot of photo ops.

06-15-2010, 09:05 AM
Mmmm, Papa Del's Pizza in Champaign ?????? Don't forget to go to visit Avanti's in Bloomington and get a famous "Gondola". Glad to hear you're holding up well.

06-15-2010, 12:28 PM
I am learning so much here. My original goal was just to get a couple full passes before I left. But instead I have been running the course almost every pass. Considering the number of bad habits I have to break - wow. Doug is so patient and has been a huge help. I have completely changed my approach to skiing - I don't get as fatigued - running 6-8 passes per set - 2 sets per day. Don't sound like much - but holy cow...

Worked on gates today - totally rethinking my start - from the pull out to the initial turn in - amazing how simple things have huge impact.

This is possibly the most fun I have ever had (away from the family), such a relaxed atmosphere and one-on-one attention. I can't say enough.

06-15-2010, 01:11 PM
Benson - If memory serves correct, there is a place in Bloomington called Luca Tavern. Makes thin crust pizza. Place has been around for years - like before WWII? On a corner location. Might try it if looking for something different. Glad you are holding up, having a great time, and learning a lot. - Deerfield

06-16-2010, 11:26 AM
Benson, recall that thread last month about the ski fin wing, that you, I and others weighed in on? What did these guys at the school have to say about it regarding:
-use of
...as it applies to your skiing?

06-17-2010, 12:06 AM
We did not tweek the fin or the wing. We moved my bindings back to the stock location. That was it. I am not good enough nor skiing short enough for the changes in fin or wing to be significant. I have proven that to myself in the past by making radical changes to the wing and barely noticing it. The emphasis was on relaxtion, body position, and better understanding of the pre-turn and gate.

06-17-2010, 01:54 PM
So here is a link to video. Still working on some stuff from Wade Coaching comments - files are pretty big. Actually have 270 meg of AVI files..

This is the last pass in the second set of the morning. Prior to this had not been in the course since Acapulco in 2008. We were focusing on form (still plenty of work needed), 15off 29.5mph. I actually surprised myself making the course right away.


This is quite a change from my normal open water runs of 28 off at 34, but as Doug pointed out repeatedly over the week - 40 years of open water skiing has created plenty of opportunity for improvement - We are working on completely changing my style to be more efficient, ultimately putting me in a much better position coming into the ball..

06-18-2010, 11:50 AM
Benson - Look good. I gather from the expression you missed the last ball? This was Day 1? What is the tow boat? How does it compare to the Moomba? Like that flat water. - Deerfield

06-18-2010, 04:45 PM
Yes, I felt so good coming out of 4 that I got lazy on 5 and just missed 6. But in general I was making most passes, which was actually quite surprising.
The boat was a Mastercraft 197 - couple years old, running Zero Off. It was a great pull. The biggest difference between it and my 1999 Mobius is the trough. My wake is not that much different but the trough outside the wake is deeper, with more of an upward incline on the outside. Sometimes you can get crushed into that edge, especially at the slower speeds. At 34 it is not so bad, and at 36 almost not there at all. I buried a tip into it a couple weeks ago and did a serious face plant.

I put up a couple more passes, plus coaching comments from Wade on my home page. Use the link below and look for the Wade Cox link under videos.

06-18-2010, 10:31 PM
Benson - Excellent. Watched the videos. I can see the improvement in technique and understand his explanation. Now, if I can only apply it. Actually, have not even skied yet this year. Looks like you find a nice ski school right here in Illinois. Thanks for sharing. - Deerfield

06-26-2010, 07:34 PM
So Dave, I've been off a while and haven't had a chance to talk tek with you since your last email you sent me.

How is the Radar? You said you moved your bindings to stock...from where and why and with what result?

You look very smooth and relaxed in the video. I'm assuming you were at 15 off and running a little slow? Details Details Details.

The more I think about it and how there shedule works the more I think I'm going to try to find some time to get down there yet this summer. Not too bad of a drive for me.

06-26-2010, 11:19 PM
I am liking the Radar now. I moved the bindings back based on recommendations from Wade Cox, Doug (Liquid Edge), and Gordon (Ski Paradise). My Venom binding has 5 holes and the center hole is about stock location. I had it moved all the way forward because I could not hold an edge and stay off my tail.

Well I finally manged to find my center again - sort of, and am able to get a better glide going into the turns - spent some time working on this with Doug - what he calls 'square turns' vs. point-to-point skiing.

I was only running 28-29.5 mph. in the videos. They wanted to stay slow to work on form and I think it was working. I skied a local tournament Friday (yesterday) and walked through my openers in all three rounds - 28 mph. But for some reason I am having trouble with my 30. I think I just completely revert back to old style as the speed goes up. I may have found a guy to ski the course with around here so that might be worth pursuing.

Open water skiing at 28 off at 34 tonight went OK. Still finding right combination with the new body weight. But am skiing smoother and wider than before according to on-lookers. Going to take a lot to undo 40 years of bad habits..

You should definitely check out The Liquid Edge. Wade is for sure coming back in July. it is on the Lesson schedule, looks like July 17/18. I suggest the second day - a little cheaper and should get 2 solid sets in.
Here is the calendar -
If you decide to ski with Wade - you may want to move soon - they fill up... If you just want to get in there with Doug, I would call him rather than rely on the schedule. He is pretty flexible. The water seems to always be good there, but mornings will be better.

Have fun...

06-26-2010, 11:40 PM
So do you find the ski fast, slow, stable, holds a good edge? Hows the off side? I just moved my bindings ahead again. I was comparing my ski to the others in the boat and my bindings were the furthers back. So if moved them forward and closed the gap between the two boots.

I would like to ski with Wade but for now I think I would just like to sneak down for a couple days some mid week and check it out.

06-27-2010, 09:22 AM
I find the ski plenty fast now and am holding the edge much better. Compared to my onld Connelly, the furthest forward on the Annex is still behind the Concept. Dougs recommendations is that you use the neutral setting from the factory, especially if your weight is close. After a serious headplant having moved them forward, I tend to agree. I think once I get my weight balanced better over the ski on my weak side I am going to really like it.