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#1 Tue, Sep 8, 2009 11:52 AM

dwallar
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From: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Wed, Aug 26, 2009
Posts: 20
Foot Forward: Left

Crunching forward while crossing the wake

I am new to this forum but certainly enjoy reading all the great advice.

I became a lot more serious about slalom skiing in the past 2 years.  I am 52 and have been skiing since 9 but only at friend's cottages and such.  I just bought my own cottage and so can ski more often.  I am currently skiing a D3 Custom X 67.5 with double boots.  Just graduated to double boots this year.

My biggest weakness right now is crunching forward while crossing the wake.  I have taken some lessons and have been concentrating on getting my hips forward, knees bent, and chest out while pulling out of the turn.  Accelerating across the wake on the back edge of the ski has opened up a whole new level for me I think.  When it all comes together (and it does more and more now coming out of my onside turn) the feeling is amazing.

My problem is that I can pull like crazy after my onside turn (I am left foot forward) but on my offside I am still struggling to not crunch forward going through the wake.  I still feel a bit afraid of the wake in that direction and I feel like my legs are a couple of pretzels that just don't feel at all good under me so I tend to lean forward at the hips and have a very unstable and must less powerful wake crossing after my offside turn.

What's the one or two things I should concentrate on to fix this?  I have read enough to know that there are probably 500 things I am doing wrong but let's start with one or two.  All advice equally welcomed.

Thanks,

Don

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#2 Tue, Sep 8, 2009 12:09 PM

HO410
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sat, Sep 29, 2007
Posts: 345
Skis At: Outlaw Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

That's very normal to feel awkward going one direction. And some days it feels more awkward than others.


Something helpful would be to focus on keeping even pressure on both arms. On the offside I have a tendency to get heavy onto my leading arm (going from 1 to 2 this would be the left arm). This limits ski angle, loads the rope, breaks you over and pulls your narrow. You will never feel as light on the rope as you do when both arms evenly share the work of holding onto the handle.

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#3 Tue, Sep 8, 2009 12:28 PM

Griff
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From: Richmond Va
Registered: Sun, May 20, 2007
Posts: 58
Skis At: Richmond Water Ski Club
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

The best "single thing" that has helped me is to "hang away" from the handle.  In my mind, I thought I was getting my hips up, but eveyone was still telling me that was not the case.  Now when I come out of the buoy, I try to make sure the rope is under my ski, my shoulders are facing the boat, and I relax my arms and try to get as far from the handle as I can. When I think my arms are relaxed as much as possible, I try to relax them more. This brings my hips up and zips me across the wakes earlier than ever. 

This is again, how I see it in my mind.  I'm still working on it.

Good luck!
Griff

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#4 Tue, Sep 8, 2009 12:41 PM

jerrysnow
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From: Quebec Canada
Registered: Thu, Jun 21, 2007
Posts: 62
Skis At: Lac rouge
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

I'm am an average skier but what help me is focussing on shoulder back with the hands low. It's like fu.... the handle.  To feel this what i have done is just crossing the wake and glide in that position. Check Fluid motion site there is a good video of that drill. Isolate just the wake crossing and get the feel for the position. What i do is do 6 turn at the start of my run with that drill and when i am tired 6 at the end. I warn you it  is more difficult than it looks. What i have learn the last 2 years is that while we want to improve we go to fast to soon and built bad habits that are very hard to correct later on. The most important part is having fun and good sensation without getting hurt.


Share your passion with others and it will keep yours alive!

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#5 Tue, Sep 8, 2009 1:19 PM

snow1122
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From: Los Angeles, Ca
Registered: Fri, Sep 26, 2008
Posts: 120
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

What has helped me cross the wake with no fear, was not to look down at the wakes, keep my chin up or level and don't look down. Pick something at the shore to look at not at the balls and trust yourself as you cross the wake.
Plus pinch your shoulders blades together and hands low.

Good luck!

Snow

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#6 Tue, Sep 8, 2009 3:52 PM

h20dawg79
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From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

If you are skiing the coarse, then I would stay out of the coarse and free-ski for a awhile.

#1.  While free-skiing, I would 1st work on your pulls from just outside of the spray. (10-12 ft. past wakes) Very simular to a pull out & turn in but, still gracefully making a surpetine with all of the focus on your pull position and acceleration and not on the turns...

Make a slow graceful turn back toward the wakes with your arms straight and the handle low (waist high) and as Snow stated, do not even look at the wakes. (They are meaningless, and harmless. Especially if you have great form!) allow your shoulders to square up to the back of the boat while you Stare down the pylon  This will help you to stay in proper form while trusting yourself and the ski thru the wakes.
When you get comfortable and confident with this mini coarse drill you should begin to notice the "automatic edge change" that Will occur upon landing outside of the wakes! -Even at this slow speed! (just briefly look down as the ski lands and see how the water is breaking off the trailing edge...) This will tell you that you are doing it right. Now, just start slowly opening up the size of the turn area... (the imaginary coarse)

I would work on this for days or weeks. (I do it for warm up when ever free-skiing...)

#2.  Get someone to video you! Even if it's only a camera with video capabilities...

Good Luck to you!smile


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#7 Tue, Sep 8, 2009 5:47 PM

2gofaster
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From: Cypress, Tx
Registered: Sun, Jun 1, 2008
Posts: 337

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

I will second was stated above. As you turn and start your pull across the wakes, look down the rope to the pylon. This does a few things.......... it squares your shoulders to the boat, it forces you to keep your head upright, it keeps you from staring down the wake, etc.


Shane Hill

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#8 Wed, Sep 9, 2009 8:05 AM

dwallar
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From: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Wed, Aug 26, 2009
Posts: 20
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

Hey Guys,

Thanks so much for all the feedback.  There's a good idea in every response.  I shall attempt to implement.  I should have said that I am not in the course but only free skiing although I have access to a course occasionally.  I think the idea of not worrying about the turns right now but rather just working on the pull across the wake will really help me to focus on that...especially the offside pull.  Together with all the other tips I should be doing much better.

Now, the only problem is that it's going to turn cold up here in the Great White North pretty soon so I've only got a couple more weekends to actually put all your good suggestions to work.

Thanks again everyone.  What a great bunch of people on this forum.

Cheers,

Don

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#9 Wed, Sep 9, 2009 4:12 PM

2gofaster
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Slalom Mentor
From: Cypress, Tx
Registered: Sun, Jun 1, 2008
Posts: 337

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

Don, Over the last year I've really become convinced that the turns happen because of where we put the ski in the pull. Also, read Rossi's article in The Water Skier this month. I assume Wade will get it published here too. It's a very applicable piece, which talks about the Power Triangle which puts you in a strong position for your wake crossing.


Shane Hill

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#10 Tue, Sep 15, 2009 3:29 PM

laz
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From: Toronto
Registered: Wed, May 14, 2008
Posts: 23

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

dwaller: that was exactly me, until very recently (think).  I was stuck getting through the course at 15' off at 52k for quite a while.  I would coach me friends telling them about hips forward and shoulders back and all that thinking I had it made.  Then my ski buddy videotapped me.  I was horrified.  I look terrible...like I was crossing the wake and going to the john at the same time.  I spent quite a bit of time thinking about why I looked so bad and couldn't seem to get into the right position.

I started to feel a difference when I focused on keeping my shoulders square to boat as I pulled across the wake.  In the past I would pulling my leading should away from the boat as I tried to get more angle.  This just set me up for a dramatic over the front fall. 

Now I'm able to really fell like I'm stacked from shoulders to hips to feet and I don't feel like I'm about to go over the front.

I'll have to video myself again to see if it actually looks any different.

BTW, were do you ski?  Summerski (summerski.ca) is 5 minutes west of Newmarket.

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#11 Wed, Sep 16, 2009 8:33 AM

dwallar
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From: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Wed, Aug 26, 2009
Posts: 20
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

Hi Laz,

Thanks for the input.  I normally ski at my cottage which is on Deep Bay near Parry Sound.  But I recently heard about Summerski Club and spoke with Paul Roberts at length.  About 3 weeks ago I visited the club and had a lesson with Paul.  It's the best kept secret in York Region.  I live in Glenway (Newmarket) about 5 minutes from the lake.

It's an amazing club that Paul has developed.  My problem is the cost.  If I didn't have a cottage that was already draining my pocketbook I would be able to join.  I don't begrudge Paul what he charges....I just can't afford it.

But I do intend to visit as a guest at least up to the three times per year you are allowed to.

Where in Toronto do you live?  If you want to chat on the phone sometime just give me a holler at work at 416-401-7393.

Cheers,

Don

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#12 Thu, Sep 17, 2009 7:02 AM

WadeWilliams
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Pro Skier
From: Lynn, MA
Registered: Tue, May 15, 2007
Posts: 1087
Skis At: Not short enough
Foot Forward: Right
Website

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

Don,

Just saw this post linked from the home page. I think the topic name says it all. "Crunching forward while crossing the wake".

Done some crunches lately? Like sit ups?

You should

When you lower your torso towards the floor, think about pushing your hips forward (keeping your core tight). Basically emphasize the anti-crunch. You can go ahead and think about your wake crossings like this.

If you're letting yourself do a crunching motion, just think about doing the exact opposite. Almost go out the back through the second wake. It's really hard to get hurt by going out the back.

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#13 Sat, Sep 19, 2009 8:27 PM

SethStisher
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From: Charleston, SC
Registered: Fri, Oct 31, 2008
Posts: 33
Foot Forward: Lefty
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Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

Dwaller,

Wow, you got some good thoughts out of everyone.  I would say that if you can tie a few of these ideas together with some dry land practice, you will have a better chance of linking a couple of things together.  In golf they say, "Don't think over the ball," meaning that you think in your practice swing and just "feel" when you're hitting the ball.  Hook the rope to something like a trailer hitch and point your feet across course and then try some of the things above to find out what feels best for you.  The key behind MOST of these posts is that if you stay countered (facing slightly away from the direction of travel) by using the equal arm pressure thought, you can make your hips accelerate in the direction you are traveling.  As your hips accelerate (and you focus on what Wade said about the "anti crunch" you will proactively move through the center of the wakes before your body has time to "crunch."

Here is also a link to a page on my website with some videos.  One of the videos is a wake crossing drill I call the rhythm drill that would be a nice way for you to practice this very thing with super low intensity.  Take a look at the next to the last video on the page:  http://www.waterskitrainer.com/spip.php?page=video


Seth Stisher
www.h2osmosis.com


Seth Stisher
seth@h2osmosis.com
www.h2oztrainingcenter.com and www.h2oproshop.com
Click here for virtual coaching:  www.proskicoach.com/pros/seth_stisher/

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#14 Sun, Sep 20, 2009 5:29 AM

h20dawg79
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Water Ski Sage
From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

SethStisher wrote:

Dwaller,


Here is also a link to a page on my website with some videos.  One of the videos is a wake crossing drill I call the rhythm drill that would be a nice way for you to practice this very thing with super low intensity.  Take a look at the next to the last video on the page:  http://www.waterskitrainer.com/spip.php?page=video


Seth Stisher
www.h2osmosis.com

Great video Seth! -yer awesome...smile

This vid. pretty much exemplifies my above #6 post.  All the  way down to the automatic edge change!cool
However, I might also suggest starting this drill on or just outside of the white water and slowly progressing out to where seth is turning... In my example, The turn process is a bit less prominate, with a touch of hesitation like a pull out/turn in (on both sides of the wake) allowing one to totally focus on only the pull aspect...

Last edited by h20dawg79 (Sun, Sep 20, 2009 5:36 AM)


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#15 Sun, Sep 20, 2009 6:00 AM

ktm300
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Registered: Thu, Jul 19, 2007
Posts: 20

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

Any thoughts on how to teach this to a child?  So much of what I would tell an adult seems inapplicable to a 65 pound 27mph skier.  When the wakes are about 1/3 the height of the skier, it seems to change things quite a bit. So far, telling her what to do but not how to do it seems to work best.  Maybe I'll go ski behind a 32' cruiser and get a feel for what its like to have someone insist that I "hold an edge through both wakes" when I am alternately going uphill, downhill and airborne.

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#16 Sun, Sep 20, 2009 6:16 AM

h20dawg79
Karma:   10 
Water Ski Sage
From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

ktm300 wrote:

Any thoughts on how to teach this to a child?  So much of what I would tell an adult seems inapplicable to a 65 pound 27mph skier.  When the wakes are about 1/3 the height of the skier, it seems to change things quite a bit. So far, telling her what to do but not how to do it seems to work best.  Maybe I'll go ski behind a 32' cruiser and get a feel for what its like to have someone insist that I "hold an edge through both wakes" when I am alternately going uphill, downhill and airborne.

Ya, you have it correct; "Teach by example"! yikes-Ha,ha!!!

I feel the best method for children is to be short on instruction, Long on encouragement and Kudo's. And the very best example for kids, is seeing other or at least another child about their age doing it. I know that's exactly what kicked me in the fanny to really want to go for it when I was young...


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#17 Mon, Sep 21, 2009 6:01 AM

dwallar
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Regular
From: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Wed, Aug 26, 2009
Posts: 20
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

Thanks Seth for your valuable comments.  I did visit your site and watched the videos.  Very helpful.  One of my "coaches" has suggested essentially that same drill.....ie don't worry about the turns just concentrate on the wake crossing.

You have a great website...thanks for all your help.

Cheers,

Don

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#18 Mon, Sep 21, 2009 2:32 PM

want38off
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Rookie
Registered: Sun, Jul 26, 2009
Posts: 3

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

hello dwallar (are the lakes frozen yet up there?)
Not sure if this helps but I have that problem occasionally and fix it very quickly by consciously absorbing the wake with my knees.  Especially with straight legs, but even with bent knees if you do not absorb the wake, when you take the bounce, the first reaction is to bend forward after the bump to balance yourself, and this causes many more problems.  This is especially a problem on longer lines (assume you are having this problem at 15 or 22, right?), it becomes mute after 28 off as the bump is much less.

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#19 Tue, Sep 22, 2009 5:28 AM

ColinCanski
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From: Kent, England
Registered: Sat, May 17, 2008
Posts: 83
Skis At: Gosfield WSC
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

This is worth a view too. Seth skiing on one leg. And then as Seth states, an unbeliebably accomplished skier, skiing one leg. Spot the difference.

http://waterskitips.h2osmosis.com/


Ski to Live - Live to Ski

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#20 Thu, Oct 1, 2009 7:24 AM

dwallar
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Regular
From: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Wed, Aug 26, 2009
Posts: 20
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Crunching forward while crossing the wake

Well guys, I thought I should post one more time in this subject to close things off....

I had another opportunity to ski at a private ski club near me with a great coach, Paul Roberts, and after doing a series of drills with me he slowed things down a bit to 28 mph and I attempted the course for the very first time @ 15 off.  On the second pass I got balls 1-4 and only missed 5 and 6 by two inches and that only because I had a less than ideal offside pull out from ball 4.

I know that these numbers are pretty mickey mouse for you guys but I really felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment since I have worked hard to get just to this point.  I feel that I am very close now to being able to run all 6 at 30 mph and 15 off.

Unfortunately, things have turned pretty cold up here now so I guess I'm going to have to pick this up in the spring...but I sure have something to look forward to.  Incidentally, I think the most important thing that helped me was the concept of leaning away from the boat and back edging the ski and then TRUSTING the ski to hold its edge through the wakes.  When I did that, things really improved.  So thanks again to all....

Cheers,

Don

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