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#1 Sun, Jan 17, 2010 2:46 PM

FalconEddie
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Angles, Questions

In reading all of these posts, I realize how many angles there are in skiing...cross course, angle to boat, angulation, etc.  I'm not sure what they all mean or what the keys are within them.

Here are a few I've been thinking about.  Please comment

Angle to boat--it seems with shorter line lengths, your ski would roll onto edge easier due to the angle, and you would get pulled in toward the wake more automatically.

Body angle compared to the water--as a novice skier, I've been told not to overdue this one.  But it seems that in order to get the handle in the pocket and get the forces more linear, you would need to be leaned close to the water, otherwise (standing more straight) the rope is being pulled away from your body.  Also, depending on your bindings, your body may be in a big lean but your ski still relatively flat.  Is this bad?

Cross-course angle--what's the minimum you could do and still make the course.  Depending on where you finish the turn, this can vary, right?.

Angulation--I dont' know what that means.

If you have comments on any of these that would help me move out of the novice ranks, please add comments.

Thanks.  This is a great board and I appreciate your help.

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#2 Sun, Jan 17, 2010 3:00 PM

Jhughes
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From: Chicago
Registered: Mon, Jan 7, 2008
Posts: 118
Skis At: Lake County, IL
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Re: Angles, Questions

FalconEddie wrote:

Body angle compared to the water--as a novice skier, I've been told not to overdue this one.  But it seems that in order to get the handle in the pocket and get the forces more linear, you would need to be leaned close to the water, otherwise (standing more straight) the rope is being pulled away from your body.

I'd like to hear more about this one as well.

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#3 Sun, Jan 17, 2010 3:11 PM

WadeWilliams
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From: Lynn, MA
Registered: Tue, May 15, 2007
Posts: 1087
Skis At: Not short enough
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Re: Angles, Questions

Great post. Good questions.

FalconEddie wrote:

Angle to boat--it seems with shorter line lengths, your ski would roll onto edge easier due to the angle, and you would get pulled in toward the wake more automatically.

>Exactly!

Body Angle Compared to Water, more specifically... if your body is leaned way over and your ski is flat, is this bad? Well, it means you're working a lot harder than you need to be. All you're looking for is that ski edge angle. So if your body is excessively leaned passed your ski edge angle, you're basically digging yourself into a hole. You're going to have to hold the boat back, a lot, and you won't have the cross-course direction that you feel like you're "pulling". I encourage skiers to ski with only enough body angle to equalize the ski edge angle.

Upper body angle is a different animal. You could potentially (theoretically) have a 90 degree upper body angle, but as long as your lower body's angle is equal to your ski edge angle, then you're still in an efficient position. In this position, your "hips would be [wayyyyy] up!" and you wouldn't be digging a hole because your mass is not dragging into the water.

For cross course angle, please see our  slalom course diagram article first. The key point to take away is that what the course feels like when you're skiing it versus what it is in reality are two different things.

As far as what's the minimum cross course angle to ski with, at 15 off, at a slower speed, I don't know. Do the math. What's the buoy-to-buoy angle? Less than 45 degrees cross course angle is totally OK at a longer / slower speed. Andy Mapple still can't get more than 60 degrees cross course.

When I say that, I mean from the overhead perspective. Since the boat is pulling us down the lake, even if you feel like you're skiing at 90 degrees (like Andy Mapple looks some times) you're still getting pulled down the lake so that your ski's path is never ever going to be more than 60 degrees.

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#4 Sun, Jan 17, 2010 4:53 PM

Thomas Wayne
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Re: Angles, Questions

WadeWilliams wrote:

[...]

When I say that, I mean from the overhead perspective. Since the boat is pulling us down the lake, even if you feel like you're skiing at 90 degrees (like Andy Mapple looks some times) you're still getting pulled down the lake so that your ski's path is never ever going to be more than 60 degrees.

This is an important aspect of slalom that I have studied for some time, and addressed in an earlier thread, writing:

ThomasWayne wrote:

In the approximately 1.1 seconds it takes a skier to travel from just outside the buoy line to the center of the wake the boat has traveled 50+ feet downcourse.  Because of the pendulum-like path of the ski handle (and therefore the skier), the skier travels about 32 feet downcourse over the same period of time*.  The line from a buoy to a point on the centerline that is 32 feet downcourse describes an angle of about 51 degrees.  So, if a skier finishes his turn right at the buoy he cannot actually obtain a cross-course angle of much more than 50 degrees.  Because we usually finish a turn further downcourse (and closer to the wake) the angle can be as much as 60 degrees at shorter line lengths.  However, no matter how sharply a skier turns (or how hard he pulls), crossing the wake at 90 degrees is absolutely impossible - as it would require essentially moving from the finish of the turn to centerline in zero seconds.  Until someone suspends the laws of physics that will not be possible.

I think that leaning out over the edge of the ski with the upper body takes on different significance, depending on when the skier does this leaning.   When the skier leans over hard to the inside of the turn with his upper body only - sometimes referred to as "dropping the shoulder" - it may look to the casual observer as if the skier is trying to force more edge angle onto the ski.  In reality, I think this over-leaning is an instinctive response to being too slow at the apex of the turn; breaking sideways at the waist allows the ski to flatten out, maintaining a bit more velocity.  Simultaneously, the skier's upper mass moves to the inside of the arc, compensating for the centrifugal forces produced by the tighter radius of a slower turn.  The result, unfortunately, is a less efficient, larger radius turn that finishes with the skier off balance on the ski.

I also think the same type of upper body over-leaning in the "pull" phase produces similar real-world results, but for different reasons.  During the acceleration phase, if the skier has taken too much angle - again, often caused by insufficient velocity during the turn - excessively leaning the upper body [only] away from the boat lets the skier avoid being yanked upright while at the same time flattening the ski to allow more down-course slip, which relieves some of the pressure produced by the excess angle.  Again, we end up with greater effort for lesser results.

Often these two errors follow each other and are both caused by the same failure to carry enough speed into and through the turn.  I think understanding the cause of these errors is important because correcting them requires a change earlier in the run.  It's very easy to spot when someone is dropping their head or shoulder in the turn/pull, but knowing that the error is occurring won't help if we don't know the cause of the error.  Most of the time if you're constantly screwing up at the same point in your run you need to look earlier in the pass to find the cause - and in the case of bending your upper body out over the edge of the ski I believe the cause is usually failing to maintain speed after the wakes and into the turn.

TW

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#5 Thu, Feb 4, 2010 8:11 AM

ToddF
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From: Kennewick, Wa
Registered: Wed, Aug 5, 2009
Posts: 134
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Re: Angles, Questions

WadeWilliams wrote:

Upper body angle is a different animal. You could potentially (theoretically) have a 90 degree upper body angle, but as long as your lower body's angle is equal to your ski edge angle, then you're still in an efficient position. In this position, your "hips would be [wayyyyy] up!" and you wouldn't be digging a hole because your mass is not dragging into the water.

Wade, that paragraph made more sense than anything, For me this just enlightened my perception of water skiing.
Learning concept versus specific technique helps so much more for me.

Todd

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#6 Thu, Feb 4, 2010 3:59 PM

Shark
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From: the shores of Sproat Lake
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Re: Angles, Questions

The ski slips in the water like a controlled trick ski side slide. So the more you have angled your ski TIP, the better.  That way when you switch over to off-the-rope mode (i.e 2nd wake or edge change) the wider the arc will be, the earlier the turn is done. This is what separates the top elite skiers v.s the mid rangers. 38 & up is very demanding in terms of protecting direction of the ski tip. The ski has to have front end contact and be loose enough/grip enough at the back end too - to generate speed in the slip process and be pointed outbound.

I did a youtube video split screening with Willy on this. The first edged has excellent footage (best i've seen) of the above description.

you wanna ski short this is what you need to do. hope that helps.

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#7 Thu, Feb 4, 2010 6:50 PM

Thomas Wayne
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Re: Angles, Questions

Shark wrote:

[...]  That way when you switch over to off-the-rope mode (i.e 2nd wake or edge change) the wider the arc will be, the earlier the turn is done. [...]

This seems to be the antithesis of what Terry Winter teaches when he writes:

Many skiers make the mistake of combining the release of the handle with the edge-change.  What achieves greater results is separating the two...  http://www.skisunsetranch.com/blog-0/

As far as I know, he's a pretty consistent "38& up" skier.

TW

Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Thu, Feb 4, 2010 6:51 PM)

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#8 Thu, Feb 4, 2010 10:44 PM

Shark
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Re: Angles, Questions

sorry mr.wayne you must have misunderstood. off-the-rope mode is a term i use and means transitioning off of load from the boat - you still will have two hands on the handle. so i do certainly agree with terry. in fact the more your ski is pointed outbound through this phase you can ride longer with two hands and let the handle out as you wish, keeping a tight line.

also conventional grip skiers will have more control over this transition phase as well.

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#9 Thu, Feb 4, 2010 11:14 PM

Thomas Wayne
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Re: Angles, Questions

Shark wrote:

sorry mr.wayne you must have misunderstood. off-the-rope mode is a term i use...

Yes, perhaps I misunderstood... or perhaps you weren't being clear.  After all, one can't be expected to readily understand terms you create for your own use, especially if they may be ambiguously interpreted by those who aren't familiar with your own personal terminology.

That minor consideration aside, there is some argument over whether or not using a "conventional grip" is all that advantageous when incorporating a more open pull - as is encouraged by most professional ski coaches these days.  Back in the days when closing off your shoulders to the boat was considered a good idea it might have mattered more, but with the newer equal loading of both arms some think that grip orientation is far less important.

When this issue was raised on another forum, I posted the composite photo seen below.  It shows two very, VERY good 55k skiers - Scott Tynan and Chet Raley - and, as anyone can clearly see, they represent both sides of the argument:

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n293/ThomasWayne_2006/Rightgripvswronggrip.jpg

TW

Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Fri, Feb 5, 2010 1:40 PM)

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#10 Fri, Feb 5, 2010 8:06 AM

jbski
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Registered: Fri, May 8, 2009
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Re: Angles, Questions

TW said:

"When the skier leans over hard to the inside of the turn with his upper body only - sometimes referred to as "dropping the shoulder" - it may look to the casual observer as if the skier is trying to force more edge angle onto the ski.  In reality, I think this over-leaning is an instinctive response to being too slow at the apex of the turn; breaking sideways at the waist allows the ski to flatten out, maintaining a bit more velocity.  Simultaneously, the skier's upper mass moves to the inside of the arc, compensating for the centrifugal forces produced by the tighter radius of a slower turn.  The result, unfortunately, is a less efficient, larger radius turn that finishes with the skier off balance on the ski."

Thomas - why do you hate my style of skiing so much?

Just kidding. When I read this I was thinking "ugh. Been there, done that."

Jim

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#11 Fri, Feb 5, 2010 12:10 PM

tjo
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From: Draper, UT
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Posts: 197
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Re: Angles, Questions

How much does the offside vs. onside affect the two body positions in these pics?  Seems to my "unprofessional eye" that these pics are comparing apples to oranges a bit.


Travis Ogden

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#12 Fri, Feb 5, 2010 1:39 PM

Thomas Wayne
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Re: Angles, Questions

tjo wrote:

How much does the offside vs. onside affect the two body positions in these pics?  Seems to my "unprofessional eye" that these pics are comparing apples to oranges a bit.

I included the photos for the sole purpose of showing two skiers who are both at the top of the game, but exhibit opposite opinions regarding the benefit of coordinating grip preference with leg orientation.  As seen in these photos, both Scott Tynan and Chet Raley hold the handle as if swinging a baseball bat left handed, yet Tynan skis left foot forward and Raley skis right foot forward.

No other purpose intended or implied.

TW

Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Fri, Feb 5, 2010 1:42 PM)

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#13 Sat, Feb 6, 2010 8:46 AM

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: Angles, Questions

TW, thats a great example of grip orientation.
If one only goes by the common wisdom (opinion) out there, (which may or may not have any real substance to it...) Then one would surely only grip with the baseball bat style grip. I have switched to the B/B style grip for slalom. But, for me, (skiing) it is totally UN-natural! And I cannot Deadlift in the gym with that grip at all. (not with any authority anyway...) But, I am trying to see if it has any value to me personally on the water...

I love examples of accomplished skiers doing the very things that fly right in the face of the common wisdom (opinion)! i.e. The "Backwords grip", "Getting on the back of the ski more", etc... I think this  helps to really open up the realm of opportunity and personal potential in everyone.

Slalom is hard enough w/o adding absolutes that are not absolute!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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#14 Sat, Feb 6, 2010 9:36 AM

StevenHaines
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From: Canyon Lake Ca.
Registered: Mon, Jun 9, 2008
Posts: 152
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Re: Angles, Questions

TW,
I didn't notice the grip orientation until you pointed it out the second time (silly Me) Wouldn't that alternate grip help the skier to be more open to the boat during the wake crossing on the skiers offside? Or am I all messed up here?
As for being on the back of the ski more, I think that is more in how the ski is set up than how you're standing on the ski. In Chris' pull out though, it does look like it something that he is intentionally doing. Again, no absolutes! 

It's pouring down rain here and it's killing Me!!!!

Last edited by StevenHaines (Sat, Feb 6, 2010 9:38 AM)

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#15 Sat, Feb 6, 2010 11:06 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Re: Angles, Questions

h20dawg79 wrote:

[...]
I love examples of accomplished skiers doing the very things that fly right in the face of the common wisdom (opinion)! i.e. The "Backwords grip", "Getting on the back of the ski more", etc... I think this  helps to really open up the realm of opportunity and personal potential in everyone.

Slalom is hard enough w/o adding absolutes that are not absolute!smile

For a couple of decades I skied with a "goofy" grip, but decided to change to "conventional" grip in the mid 90's.  I first spent the winter using that grip for handle pull-ups so it would not feel too foreign on the water.  It took me a few weeks to get used to it, after which I never looked back.

Until I broke my left upper arm (humerus) in 2006.  After multiple surgeries and the final result of a permanent steel plate & screws I ended up with a slight outward curvature of my left arm.  I mostly have full range of motion,  and can supinate my wrist (turn palm upward) fully when my arm is extended, but cannot get full supination with the handle at my hips.  For this reason I've been forced to revert to the original "goofy" grip.  I haven't really noticed a huge difference, probably due to working on a more open pull, but then I also have other, more significant left-arm issues I'm still recovering from.

TW

http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n293/ThomasWayne_2006/Xray1aemail.jpg

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#16 Sat, Feb 6, 2010 3:41 PM

skibuddy
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Re: Angles, Questions

ouch!

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