I'm very new to water skiing, I can stand up and hold my own on the water but I'm looking to improve and don't have a teacher. I'm going skiing at a lake in two weeks and I'd like to try skiing outside the wake or making a rooster tail. Can anyone give me some tips on this? I have no idea how to make a rooster tail or even turn.
Any help would be great
Welcome to waterskiing. I would encourage you to go by the library and check out some publications on water skiing. You should be able to find some basic stuff to discuss safety and hand signal communication. Safety is most important so talk with your boat driver before getting in the water to agree on what your hand signals mean.
The rooster tail is a byproduct of a turn or cut. You do both by leaning. I have seen people put a little pipe or scoop on the tail of a ski to shoot a rooster tail up continuously. I thought this is for more of a visual safety reason though.
If you can go take a beginner lesson some where before you go on you trip you will probably have a ton more fun on your trip. You should be able to learn more in an hour lesson than you could on the water learning on your own for a year. And at this stage, I would guess it would be near impossible to learn through reading forum post.
Thanks for signing up and thanks for your passion to want to learn more about skiing!
The rooster tail or spray is one of the most recognizable things about our sport... especially when your'e on the other side of the lake watching. A bigger spray comes from displacing more water... which is going to happen by skiing in a good rhythm with the boat. Especially as you are learning to ski, try to keep the rope taught -- not slack, through every turn. There is a certain timing to it that you will constantly be adjusting and mastering.
When you can ski a rhythm with the boat that gets you moving faster than the boat (skiing out to each side of the wake), then you can start to have a spray as you roll through your edge and begin swinging with the handle to the other side of the wake. I would recommend using at most 60 feet (15 off) or possibly even 22 off if you fee comfortable while you work on your rhythm.
To make the biggest spray for where you're at, you might want to just put it back to 75 feet of rope though. This rope length will be extremely forgiving and bongee like, allowing you a chance to pull as you finish your turn which will displace more water and create a bigger spray,
If you shorten the rope up a little bit and work on your rhythm, you may not make a big spray this trip to the lake, but you will practice better, smoother, safer technique that will carry you through to higher levels and bigger sprays in the future.
When practicing rhythm make sure that your wake crossings are smooth and in control. You want your hardest pull to be behind the boat -- and the only way that you can accomplish that as a beginner is to focus on being extremely light with your lean / pull as you approach the wakes. Turning hard at the finish of the turn as a beginner is what we all want to do, but staying smooth into the wakes is of utmost importance.