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Wheelie Out / Pro Ski Coach Water Ski Forum
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#1 Sat, Jun 5, 2010 10:01 AM

tjo
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Slalom Mentor
From: Draper, UT
Registered: Wed, Apr 23, 2008
Posts: 197
Foot Forward: Right

Wheelie Out

What is the main cause of wheelieing out?  I wheelied out a couple of times this morning and was very frustrated.  I monkeyed with my wing a little last night, but thought I got it back to the same place (7 degrees).  Not sure if that's related or not. Seems like it may just be a fatigue thing...it seems to happen more when my legs get tired near the end of the set. D3 RCX, 34 mph, usually happening at 28' off.   

Thanks!


Travis Ogden

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#2 Sat, Jun 5, 2010 11:08 AM

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

Re: Wheelie Out

What was the wind like? With a stiff tail wind, it's pretty tough to get the ski to engage. But you can safely bet on fatigue. Instead of staying balanced and driving through the turn, you fall back a to the corner.

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#3 Sat, Jun 5, 2010 2:43 PM

tjo
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From: Draper, UT
Registered: Wed, Apr 23, 2008
Posts: 197
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Wheelie Out

No wind.  It's like as soon as the ski gets out from under me it is gone...i can't pull it back in and I inevitably end in a crash.  It feels like it's body position, but wasn't sure if this is indicative of something else (like fin positioning).


Travis Ogden

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#4 Mon, Jun 7, 2010 4:42 AM

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

Re: Wheelie Out

Are you stiffening up and straightening your legs at the apex of the turn?


Shane Hill

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#5 Mon, Jun 7, 2010 8:38 AM

tjo
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Slalom Mentor
From: Draper, UT
Registered: Wed, Apr 23, 2008
Posts: 197
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Wheelie Out

Not sure...I'll have to pay attention next time I'm out.


Travis Ogden

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#6 Mon, Jun 7, 2010 9:04 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: Wheelie Out

This exact question came up for Chet Raley the last time I was at his site, and his response was very interesting.  He said the most common reason we "wheelie" at the apex of the turn is because we sense that we have too much speed, and we abort our original turn "plan" while we try to slow the ski down.  The solution he suggests is to mentally overcome that gut feeling and stay in your original turn path until the boat picks you back up.

If you think about another common "wheelie" moment you might come to the conclusion that Chet could be right about this.  Everyone who has ever skied a slalom course has, at one time or another, pulled out a little too hard (or too long) for the gates, and has subsequently tried to "put on the brakes" by rocking back onto the extreme tail and plowing water to slow down.  In fact, if you've skied the course enough years this erroneous response may come almost like second nature - I know it does for me some days.

So Chet's recommended fix for this error [in the turn] is to stay focused on skiing through the finish of your turn without taking any drastic measures trying to slow down (read: wheelie).  If you can successfully do that, here's what may happen:

1) you might blow out the tail - this, however is not really following through your original turn, but instead is a variation of the "wheelie" response; or

2) you might ski smoothly back toward the wake, only to have the handle yanked out of your hands by a big slack hit; or

3) the boat might pick you back up smoothly around the spray line and you might get one of the best turns of your life...

A number of years ago WaterSki magazine ran a brief article about learning to counter in the turn by letting go of the handle (outbound, with speed) and counter-rotating HARD until you skied to a stop.  The only difference here is that you might have to let go of the handle if you encounter a mile of slack.  I personally think you should try to find out.

Remember, according to Raley your wheelie probably has nothing to do with fin tuning, and everything to do with what's going on between your ears. 

TW

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#7 Mon, Jun 7, 2010 2:03 PM

2gofaster
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From: Cypress, Tx
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Posts: 337

Re: Wheelie Out

And that's exactly where I was going with it, TW.  I do the same thing. Turn in too hard or dip the shoulder, blast the gates, then your natural inclination is to straighten out that front leg and fall back on the tail. And especially if you're tired will you do this.


Shane Hill

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#8 Mon, Jun 7, 2010 4:26 PM

tjo
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From: Draper, UT
Registered: Wed, Apr 23, 2008
Posts: 197
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Wheelie Out

This now makes a lot of sense.  Thanks guys. I was getting frustrated since it has happend both of the times I was out last (and twice in my last set alone)!  Good to know what to focus on.


Travis Ogden

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#9 Fri, Jun 11, 2010 8:04 AM

2gofaster
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From: Cypress, Tx
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Posts: 337

Re: Wheelie Out

Another thing that can cause wheelying is if you get on the front of the ski. Any time you get on the front, there's only one place to go......BACK.  I know that if I climb on the front at the glide before the gates, I'll be on the tail through the gates, and then on the nose at the apex of 1, then on the tail off of 1. It's like a teeter totter.


Shane Hill

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#10 Sat, Jun 12, 2010 8:11 AM

BudMan
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From: Sandy Run, SC (Near Columbia)
Registered: Tue, Nov 24, 2009
Posts: 126
Skis At: Bud Lake
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Wheelie Out

There are some good responses to your question. I would also question your wing angle. Do a search for wing angle and see if you can get some information already posted. Search thewaterskiforum also. Seven degrees might be a little shy of what you need. Personally, I like to be at factory setting and work on me first, then ski settings second.


Life is great! Enjoy every minute!

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#11 Sat, Jun 12, 2010 8:15 AM

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

Re: Wheelie Out

Budman, he's on a D3. The plane angle of a D3 is less than other skis, so 7 degrees is stock on them.


Shane Hill

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#12 Sat, Jun 12, 2010 8:28 AM

BudMan
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Slalom Mentor
From: Sandy Run, SC (Near Columbia)
Registered: Tue, Nov 24, 2009
Posts: 126
Skis At: Bud Lake
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Wheelie Out

Oh, I did not know. I'm learning. One problem for me is I forget faster than I learn.

I told a guest skier yesterday that even though I donít get as many buoys now, as I did in the past, I am so excited to have the freedom to ski.

I thank everyone that has fought for us to enjoy our freedom, especially the ones that fought and gave up theirs. It is truly hard to wrap my head around the blessings that are so easily overlooked in our day to day lives.


Life is great! Enjoy every minute!

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#13 Sat, Jun 12, 2010 12:02 PM

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

Re: Wheelie Out

hahaha. I wish I remembered everything I've forgotten! LOL


Shane Hill

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#14 Sat, Jun 12, 2010 3:06 PM

tjo
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From: Draper, UT
Registered: Wed, Apr 23, 2008
Posts: 197
Foot Forward: Right

Re: Wheelie Out

2GoFaster is right, 7 is the stock settings for 34 mph.  Just to report back...I've been skiing more than normal (for me) this week and have applied the recommendations provided on this thread.  TW's description of what is causing it was spot on.  I've noticed that when I come in real hot to a turn I can sometimes try to put on the brakes by putting pressure on the tail and abandoning my original turn plan.  However, being cognizant of that has kept me from making the mistake the last few sets.  Thanks again.


Travis Ogden

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#15 Sat, Jun 12, 2010 6:10 PM

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

Re: Wheelie Out

TJO, one of the critical things with slalom is to use your ankles and knees to bleed off speed and NOT the tail of the ski. Watch Rossi, CP, Mapple, etc and be cognizant of their knees and ankles. Their body position from the waist up doesn't change. But their weight distribution on the ski does by using their ankles.


Shane Hill

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