View Full Version : Free advice anyone?

Chad M
08-25-2008, 10:40 PM
I've been following the various pic/coaching threads and thought I'd jump on the train and see what kind of free coaching I could get. Here are shots from last week - not all in sequence but still showing different parts of my turn. I'm entirely self taught and was just always trying to pull harder than my brother ever since we both started skiing - no history on the course either. Speed is 32 at 15 off.

Please keep the comments about my 20+ year old Connelly Team SP to yourself... I might get around to replacing the bindings this winter...

Note the neo on my back leg - without it I get a severe burn/bruise. If I shift my bindings forward would this go away? On my off-side I also tend to catch my rear knee - related issue or is this just what makes it my off-side?

BTW - location is Dale Hollow Lake in KY/TN.


08-26-2008, 12:26 AM

For starters - looks good. I'd say one thing to work on is bending your knees in the turn and especially the pre-turn. Your front leg is locked so it is pushing the front of the ski to outside. If you bend your front leg a little more you'll allow the ski to finish the turn tighter.

Also, it looks like you might be leaning a bit far back. Ideally when you are in the pull phase you want to be in a neutral stance with your weight pretty evenly over the ski. I don't see a photo of exactly the pull phase so I'm somewhat just "projecting" what I think will happen when you reach the wake.

08-26-2008, 08:11 PM
Regarding the first photo. What I have found to help me keep good body position (when I get it) is to reach the handle a little ahead of my body and lower as I ski away from the handle in the last part of the pre-turn. After watching the most recent Andy Mapple slalom video - which I highly recommend - I noticed that he does that as well. It is a very deliberate motion with the handle. I used to think that all you had to do was ski away from the handle like a bucket on a string but that lower handle placement actually facilitates getting more outside with the ski by allowing you to keep your body low (the whole hip in the water thing), which in turns puts you in a better position to ski up to the handle with your hips and keep your hands low on your torso. And by reaching forward just a hare it helps prevent the tendency to lean back.
I am not an instructor and I not even a regular course skier anymore, and definitely old-school for the most, but I am a student of the sport for over 35 years.
Experiment and enjoy.

08-28-2008, 08:05 PM
We need a Moomba slalom jam so we can help each other in person!

08-29-2008, 09:57 AM

I'd love to hear his impressions on the outback V. I am a slalom junkie and always will be but I am a dying breed in my family - don't even have a tower (yet).

My wife finally got me a wakeboard last year and now my sister had to go and get my brother in-law one this year and the space in a V would be nice for all the kids and they're growing "stuff".

I realize I probably won't ski anymore tournaments but I still love the "butter" my Outback DD creates when I get the chance to use it.

09-02-2008, 08:33 PM
Cut don't desert us yet, were just gettin to know you. Us slalom junkies are hard to come buy. With over 3000 members to this board, we only hear from maybe 20 different people all season.

Chad, I agree with the points from my esteemed collegues. You need to reach a little over the front of your ski which will help you with the bend in the knees and make your stance more neutral. I would also call for a little more rotation so that your upper body would be just a bit more square to the back of your boat.

By the way is this behind your LSV?

09-03-2008, 12:06 AM
I wish I understood this form thing a little better. As I look more at all three of these together, they really do look like reasonably good form as I understand it. I am just not comfortable with the amount of ski out of the water as you go into the lean in the 3rd photo. Hands appear to be right where they should be. I would really like to see where you are at the first wake in this sequence, if your hands are still down or if you are getting separation.

This is a photo of me in about the same posiition as you. There are plenty of things I don't like about this photo, but the amount of ski in the water I do like. Gordon took this and thought it was a pretty good turn.
I am not too crazy about my hand position - still pretty high, but the potential for being in the right place at the wake is there...Also have kind of wierd kink at the hips - not so sure about that. But eyes are at the back of the boat, not across course, and shoulders have not rotated in the direction of the turn yet.
Don't get me wrong - not saying you should ski like me. I have more than my share of issues..

09-03-2008, 12:03 PM

Don't worry - I don't think anything will ever replace my love for slalom! The other day we were out to dinner and sat on the patio next to a little man made pond that I was staring at. My wife looks over and says "you could look at a calm puddle and think of skiing couldn't you?" Answer is absolutely!

Ok, I'm loking at the photo that Benson posted and comparing to the first set and here is what I see (in my not very trained eye). The main thing I see different I think is that the body position is somewhat similar. The difference comes in where at in the turn the skier is. If you look at the first set you'll notice the line is pretty tight and the skier is getting ready to start his pull toward the wake but the ski is still pointing "downlake". In Benson's post the body position is about the same (some slight differences) but, look at how there is still slack in his arms and in the rope but his ski has finished the turn more completely and is pointing much more across the lake.

Something I struggle with all the time is to let the ski finish the turn before I start pulling. I always want to start pulling sooner so I can pull more but this actually puts you farther behind. One thing I've had to learn is that it's about angle and direction of the ski more than brute force put on the boat by the skier.

My $.02...

09-03-2008, 06:59 PM
The thing I like about Daves turn is just how far he has driven the ski into the turn and is ready to be on the edge already, therefore giving him a much faster ski across the wake. Faster across the wake means less pull time and more set up time. Yeah his hands are high but I really like his ski attitude.

Chad M
09-05-2008, 06:08 PM
Hey everyone, thanks for the pointers. I think my form comes from my brother and I seeing who could pull harder on the 17' outboard that we grew up skiing on. Yanking the back end of the boat around was somehow more important to us than being fast across the wake.

Sled, yeah this is on my LSV. Above 30 the wake really flattens out. Below 28 it kind of sucks...

09-05-2008, 08:45 PM

I also grew up on outboards of all types. And in now ay am I suggesting I am in a position to give instruction or criticism. I take lots of video and am constantly analyzing my style, fooling myself that I know what is right.

As I found out in Acapulco, the amount I don't know far exceeds what I thought I knew. And who knew there was that much to know...

I listen to everyone, try different things, and keep what works.

Good luck and most importantly have fun..

Chad M
09-08-2008, 11:12 AM
I checked out your crash and burn video - wow! Been there and done that...

It made me recall some pretty good crashes of my own from when I was working on a longline tumbleturn. Ouch.


09-08-2008, 05:50 PM
No lie - Back in about 1980 a friend of mine did a tumble turn -- on a slalom ski... with a standard ski vest on ... I was in the boat. He told his dad - no matter what you see, don't stop the boat, but did not tell us what he was going to do.

Amazing stunt.