Over the past month I carefully studied Chris's excellent articles: Power Triangle, Balanced approach, Tansistion Zone. and Keys to Great-Off Side Turn, and put that advice into action.
My boat has ZO and I use Radar boots on a Prophecy.
I have one tip to add that works for me ... As I start my turn (at apex when the boat tugs slightly) I actively twist my lower body and advance my outside hip until the handle meets my outside hand at the center of my hip with arms extended and that begins the Power Triangle.
By actively twisting my lower body as I turn, I encourage greater ski angle (required for 35+ off) while keeping my upper body facing straight down course and level. Twisting during the turn does not create greater ski edge angle off the buoy that would load the boat too soon.
After connecting the power triangle, I continue to fall away and advance my outside hip to the handle to maximize ski edge angle at the second wake (this works exactly as Chris says it would).
Actively twisting the lower boady and advancing the outside hip into the turn, combined with all of Chris's other excellent advise, has allowed me to run the most effortless 35s since I've been competing (5 years now).
Chris, if you read this, I give you many many thanks for your excellent articles and kudos on your excellent year!!!
Sincerely, Mark Karpo.
The active Twist is at the waist. When the turn starts the lower body must twist relative to the upper body if the upper body is not going to move (i.e upper body remains facing down course) while the lower body and ski gain angle on the course. Just Twist and Shout!
I agree with Deke - your description does sound backward. Are you saying that in a turn to the left (135 side) that you are twisting your hips counterclockwise and vice versa on the other side? Or am I not reading your description correctly? I twist my hips so that the inside hip advances, which sounds like the opposite of what your are describing.
Last Saturday I tried what Mark is talking about and oh boy, I ended up passing 2ball by miles!
When I read Chris article I understood the same way Mark is explaining.
Do we have it backwards?
The articles that Chris has been writing are so good because they speak almost exclusively about fundamentals. He leaves a great portion of the "how" up to the individual. If something is working, it is rarely outright wrong.
I don't really think markskarpo was making an addendum to the article as much as he is relating how he makes sense of the image of the triangle. Relating these things in text is tricky to say the least, and the misunderstanding is revolving around "outside hip." I think mark is defining "outside" as away from the boat: this would be his left hip. While there is no standard book of slalom jargon, outside is usually understood to mean toward the turn buoys and inside is toward the boat bath: which would mean that the left hip is "inside"
Last edited by HO 410 (Tue, Oct 13, 2009 10:59 AM)
HO 410 wrote:
the misunderstanding is revolving around "outside hip." I think mark is defining "outside" as away from the boat: this would be his left hip. While there is no standard book of slalom jargon, outside is usually understood to mean toward the turn buoys and inside is toward the boat bath: which would mean that the left hip is "inside"
Ditto! That's exactly what I was thinking he probably meant. And I agree on the whole inside / outside thing. I literally have to think for a second about which is the in or out every time I read or write something!
OK, I see the problem with definitions. I'll try to be clearer. As I approach apex of buoy 1 my Right hip is the outside hip. As I begin turning at apex of buoy 1, I'm thinking about twisting my lower body counterclockwise at the hip as the ski turns while my upper body quietly remains facing down course at all times. By encouraging the twisting motion of my lower body in a counterclockwise direction I am encouraging ski angle, but not ski edge angle. I then advance my right hip toward the handle as I pull behind the boat and fall away from the boat such that the right hip contacts the handle at the second wake where I have maximum ski edge angle and load. At second wake I begin to come back up to vertical heading toward buoy 2. At this point my left hip is the outside hip. At buoy 2, my lower body twists clockwise as the ski turns. Now my left hip keeps advancing as I fall away until the second wake where the left hip contacts the handle and I start coming up heading to apex of buoy 3 where the process repeats as from buoy 1.
I hope this is clearer. I started this thread because it seems to me that by encouraging a twist with my lower body I'm getting more angle without loading up like I used to allowing me to keep my angle all the way to the second wake.
I hope this is clearer and I welcome any comments.
That's how I understood your first thread.
I did this last Saturday, I had so much angle and speed that I knew what to do with at 15'off. Like I said before, I past 2ball by miles.........lol......
Next time, I've to keep it under control. But, this works for me.
That's a better explanation - thanks. It is the reverse of what some of us are doing, but if it's a movement that's working for you, then great! One of the reasons that I rotate the opposite direction that you do (counter-rotate), is to move mass forward on the ski into and through the turn. That, and the fact that I want my upper body to be open to the boat or facing downcourse during my acceleration and counter-rotation enables this. I have a hard time visualizing rotating my hips in the direction of the turn and trying to keep my upper body facing down course. This sort of happens on the offside naturally, but counter-rotation actually fights this. Again, if it's working for you, go with it.
I think I get it, and I don’t believe this idea conflicts with counter-rotation theory at all.
I would just suggest that what you are actually doing when you're "twisting [your] lower body counterclockwise" (after the apex of the 1-ball turn) is you're allowing your hips to roll back in line with the direction of the ski while your shoulders remain counter-rotated. As I see it, your described action and the purist vision of counter-rotation are not in opposition with each other at all.
The reason your ski turns left when you [counter] rotate your hips and shoulders to the right is because you must have something to turn against in order for that rotating to begin with. Under ordinary circumstances we can rotate our hips and shoulders (while standing on solid ground) without our feet twisting the other way because of the friction between the ground and our feet. If you stand on a ball-bearing turntable (such as a kitchen "lazy susan") and try to twist your hips and shoulders to the right, your feet will be forced to turn to the left to counteract the rotation of your upper body. In the same way, our ski turns left when we crank our hips and shoulders to the right.
But there's a limit to how far our ski can turn before the counter-rotating force of the hips and shoulders has done all it can do. Counter-rotation, after all, is really meant to be a method of initiating a turn. What the original poster is describing is a way of allowing the ski to continue its turn by letting the hips roll back around in line with the feet. And in order for the hips to reverse direction and rotate back toward the left they must have something to rotate against. That “something” is the shoulders, and this becomes - in essence - a continuation of the original counter-rotated turn. The ski is already turning left, and has momentum that is not easily or quickly reversed. Meanwhile, if your shoulders can separate from your hips then your hips can follow your knees around the corner while your shoulders remain facing downcourse (counter-rotated). Invariably, to actively twist your hips to the left your shoulders must turn to the right.
Try this: grab your ski handle and let hang it down in front of you while you pinch the rope at about mid-length. Twist the rope in your fingers so that the handle rotates one direction. Now suddenly stop your twisting motion and reverse it. Do this a few times and notice the effect as the handle grinds to a stop and then begins rotate back around the other direction. Here’s what actually happens:
1) you begin twisting the rope at your fingertips and the upper portion of the rope follows,
2) the middle portion of the rope begins to follow the twisting motion,
3) the “V” splice begins twisting around,
4) finally the handle follows this rotation around;
Now, when you stop and twist the rope the other way,
5) the rope near your fingertips rotates first,
6) then the middle portion of the rope begins to follow the twisting motion,
7) then the “V” splice begins twisting around,
8) finally the handle rotates around the other way.
In other words, before the handle can stop and start rotating the other direction, everything above it has to reverse direction first. In the same way, your ski is going rotate to the left (after the apex of the 1-ball) and eventually your shoulders will need to follow that leftward rotation – hopefully not until after the next edge change, of course. But your shoulders can’t really follow your ski around until everything below them (ankles, knees, hips) has done so first.
Marcus Brown has famously said, “counter-rotation begins at the ankles” (obviously followed by the knees, then the hips and finally the shoulders). Canadian pro skier Thomas Moore offers one of the purest displays of this concept I’ve ever seen, and if you watch him closely as he approaches the 1-ball you’ll see that his knees twist noticeably outward (to the right), followed by his hips and finally his shoulders. So it makes perfect sense that rotating back toward the next turn must also begin at the ankles, followed by the knees, then the hips and then the shoulders. I think the idea that markskarpo is expressing here may be exactly what is happening about halfway through a smoothly executed counter-rotated turn.
Makes perfect sense to me. Where the hell were you with this stuff last spring, when I really could have used it?
Thomas Wayne wrote:
I think I get it, and I don’t believe this idea conflicts with counter-rotation theory at all.
As I see it, your described action and the purist vision of counter-rotation are not in opposition with each other at all.
Ya, that is about what I came up with as well. As I stood in the "ski position" and did a simulated counter rotation, starting @ the ankle's as @ 1 ball and then held that fully rotated position and visualized then rest of the turn. While still holding this position, as I reached the pull aspect (in my minds eye) I simply dropped my hands down as in the "Pull position" and the trailing arm meets up perfectly with the outside (right) Hip. (Might need to slide the hip fwd. after the hook up continue this position.)
On paper, This seems like it would benefit the whole "Trailing arm pressure" thing...
If our Evil weather ever lightens up, I'll give it an actual test drive!
Last edited by h20dawg79 (Wed, Oct 14, 2009 8:42 AM)
This is a cool discussion - I like what TW wrote. I've talked about the action-reaction from counter rotation with several people and about what would happen on a lazy suzan. Here you just have inertia to move against which would keep any net rotation to zero - so if your shoulders go 10deg clockwise, your feet would go 10deg counter clockwise. So it seems that the inertia effect of countering while skiing definitely will rotate your ski in the opposite direction that your shoulders, hips, etc... go.
Take this a step further and consider the axis of rotation which is close to a line from your neck to you feet. Depending on your lean angle, countering may not be related so much to the turning path through the course as it is to tip-up or tip-down. If you increase counter rotation once you are leaned over, you are forcing the tip down.
I am certain this works the opposite way from watching some of my video and trying to figure out why I was over turning. I was thinking my ski was setup wrong, like fin or bindings too far forward, but at the same time it really didn’t feel like my ski turned that well (stock settings) – so I was pretty confused. From the video I could see my ski stop turning or at least stopped turning as fast when I reached for the handle w/ my off hand (un-countered) too early. When this happened, it looked like my tip rose, my ski went straight down course for a few feet, I got more lean than intended, then the tip came back down and hooked back up, and then I pulled the pylon out of the boat . Countering and staying countered fixed this right away.
As posted above, your ankles, knees, hips, torso, & shoulders all add up to your total range of rotation. One thing I noticed was that my bindings had a big impact on how much I could counter w/ my lower body. I went to hard-shells this spring, and figured out that if I tighten the buckles down too tight, among other bad things, it really reduces my ability to counter rotate with my legs. I also moved my bindings closer together and this made it way easier to rotate. I had stiff ribs for a month or so and certainly lost range of rotation w/ torso. And the taller I stand and closer my knees are together in the pre-turn, the easier it is to rotate… I ski my best when I’m most flexible in rotation, my bindings are on the loser side and close together, and I stand up tall as I reach.
So several questions come to mind - you only have so much rotation to use, so should you go all the way really early in the pre-turn, or should you save some for the apex when you really want to come off the buoy, and when should you start rotating back the other way? If you think about all of the flex points that allow rotation (ankles, knees, hips, torso), then what should be rotated when? It’s like you have a “rotation budget” at very point in the course – so what is optimal for a smooth, fast, low-load pass?
As for Mark’s comment on un-countering at the finish w/ hips or whatever, it seems like it would bring the tip up if you are still leaned a lot – but this could be a good way to limit your initial angle off the ball and not overload which gets you more angle later. If you don’t get too much angle early and don’t overload, the acceleration is greater and you have more angle through the rest of the pull from additional speed. Also, if a pulling position is best when your shoulders are facing the pylon, you would have to rotate towards the boat more (un-counter) to accomplish this at shorter line lengths, than at longer lines. For longer lines, down course is closer to aligned with pylon…
That’s a lot and disjointed, but whatever… I’m posting it.
I really wish Chris and Wade would give their opinion on this. I consider Chris's article, The Power Triangle," one of he best ever written. Although I've skied WC for 4 years now, this year I have incorporated a lot of Chris's methods and have been impressed as to how much less work and movement are involved. I always wondered what he meant by being light on the line and feel I have finally figured it out.
Today I tried the technique Mark talked about. It worked well on my 32 opener and even a 35 tail wind. However, it took several attempts to run a 38. I liked the solid feeling it gave me with the hip to handle aspect, but I felt I was on the line longer from hookup to edge change and slightly narrower across course. After reviewing it on the video I felt I wasn't getting as much Center of Mass forward of the ski and the ski wasn't moving away from the handle after hookup as fast as it normally does with counter-rotation going towards the second wake. This only showed up at 38. 32 and 35 were a piece of cake using this method. It was quite windy though here in Orlando and I hope to further experiment with this Sunday and Monday.
Once again, I wish for Chris or Wade to weigh in here with their opinion and others who are pushing the envelope with this method.
Thanks Greatly, Ed
Follow the excellent advice Chris gives in his articles and you will be into 39 in no time. Believe me when I say he is right on track. The "Power Triangle," and "Skiing the Impossible Line," are right on target. You can also sign up for his Virtual Coaching or go to his school, all excellent.
For me, I have only run 39 five times and 41 was an absolute wall. Only once did I even make it out to 2 ball and not close to turning it. At Nationals this year I watched 25 skiers in the Big Dawg run 38 like it was 22, with several running 39. Now that was skiing. Makes you feel like a Wally after watching them. The key is CONSISTENCY. From 38 on little things make BIG Differences. We are all trying to learn and I am very appreciative of the excellent advice that Chis, Wade, and others have expounded about on this forum.
Thanks Again, ED
Direct link is here:
http://www.proskicoach.com/slalom_artic … _approach/
Link to the discussion initiated by Wade is here:
The Link you posted was for the "Balanced Approach," not The Power Triangle.
The article, "The Power Triangle," was published in the Sep. edition of the Water Skier on page 42 &43. One of the most factual articles ever written.
GOODE LUCK, ED
Ed, I have to agree; the power triangle article Chris wrote really got through to me. I paid alot of lip service to skiing back to the handle in the past, but when I put the power triangle into practice it worked great! Sometimes it's the way somethings worded that gets the concept through. Still not getting more than half way through 38 but I'm determined to figure it out!
Ed Johnson wrote:
The Link you posted was for the "Balanced Approach," not The Power Triangle.
Ooops. Hope I don't get scolded for accidentally posting "off-topic".
The link I meant to post is here:
http://www.proskicoach.com/slalom_artic … r_triangle
Ed Johnson wrote:
Thanks TW, good job, hopefully more people will get to read this excellent article and apply it to their skiing......ED
I archive personal copies of all articles that I consider well-written and valuable to understanding current slalom theory. Needless to say, Chris Rossi's writing is well represented in that group.
The reason I keep stand-alone copies (rather than web links) is because website contents have a way of changing from time to time, and you may very well find yourself searching for an article that no longer "exists". The downside to this approach is that it takes a little backtracking to find an active link when someone else wants to access the article. In this case the USAwaterski connection was contained within the archived pdf, so once I noticed that I knew where to find a link.
Can someone rephrase this point? -it loses me @ old school, lead shoulder... Does this "Lead shoulder" mean the "inside shoulder" or the Fwd. facing "outside" shoulder? Excessive upper body rotation as in W/C style or not W/C because the whole body is rotated beginning from the ankles???
Mucho grassy a$$!
”Back arm pressure is my focus.” I
am talking about the old school thought
of lead shoulder away from boat. This
requires excessive upper body rotation,
which will cause excessive ski angle
vs. boat angle before the wakes and a
rapid loss of direction through the edge
change. We want a 45-degree ski angle
vs. boat with increased ski edge angle
for sustained direction in the course.
Outside hip/ outside hand to handle will
leave your shoulders level with your hips
forward. Now all you have to do is lean
and you will be rewarded with the best
wake crossing you can have for the turn
The way this is worded could be better but the concept is sound. Assuming your shoulders are square to the boat/course, your lead shoulder would be the left shoulder as you travel from 1-2 and it would be your right shoulder going 2-3. Now that we have this visual it will be easier to think about back arm pressure. Going from 1-2 some skiers (including myself) like to think of "back arm pressure" or feeling more of the pull through the right arm and shoulder. This will lead to having more freedom for my ski to swing under the rope through the wakes and cast me out wide for the next turn. As the above quote states, if I am to loaded onto my lead arm my ski will take excessive angle out of the turn that I will not be able to maintain through the wakes causing a premature edge change. The thought of back arm pressure is a good thought if you have a strong tendency to drop your inside shoulder out of the turns and overload your front arm going into the wakes. It will help to even out the pull through your arms as you go side to side by flattening out your shoulders in turn freeing up your hips and ski to carry strong angle through the wakes and cast out to the buoy line with ease. Hope this helps!