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#1 Sat, Sep 4, 2010 2:54 AM

youngman
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From: Victoria Australia
Registered: Sat, Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 5

Where should you look.

Just wondering where you should be looking when crossing the wake. Am not running the course at the moment but plan to. I am having trouble holding my edge through the wake (after my offside turn) and ski popping and losing alot of angle into my onside turn. Because i dont have a bouy to focus on i think i am looking at the wake and easing up a bit. Could this be a problem and where do other people look during there sets, freeskiing or running the course.    Thanks.

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#2 Sat, Sep 4, 2010 5:02 AM

davemac
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Re: Where should you look.

you should look down (just kidding).   It is a great question that hopefully will get you some good answers.  Looking at the wake is probably not a good idea.  The problem with looking across the wakes is that...where the eyes look, the head and shoulders will follow, making it difficult to keep your shoulders more square  to the boat.  At a clinic this year, advice was given that your eyes should always be looking over the "high" edge of your ski. 
Looking "down course" as opposed to "across the course" when turning will help with countering upper body.  A friend of mine looks at the pylon the entire time he skis.  It doesn't work for me, but I would suggest you try it while crossing the wakes, or try looking down the side of the boat.  To avoid the popping, you need to keep the ski on edge through the wake.  A mental approach is to think that your turn/cut is a steady progression that does not end until you are behind the boat or reach the second wake.   This is why you will hear people refer to the between the wakes as being the "work zone".
Some great advice is to read Chris Rossi's article about the "Power Triangle" (accessible through the home page on this site "instructional articles").  Every sentence holds value.   Getting your body in the proper position behind the boat (with that handle down to the hip) is the foundation to some great skiing.  I'm not at the level that many on here are, but I do think recreational skiers tend to focus too much on the turn.  Recently, my focus has shifted to what goes on behind the boat (and being in the proper leveraged position).   I'm thrilled w/ how much this has set up to improve all aspects of my skiing. Good Luck.

Last edited by davemac (Sat, Sep 4, 2010 6:14 AM)

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#3 Sat, Sep 4, 2010 5:09 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: Where should you look.

For me, when everything is going well and I'm skiing well, I'm looking at the pylon on the boat. This keeps my head Up and helps to sq. my shoulders to the back of the boat.

Staring down the next Buoy will make most people run straight at the Buoy, Giving up precious time and space...

I would suggest practicing while freeskiing, until you have enuf confidence to Trust your wake crossings w/o looking at them or even thinking about them.


"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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#4 Tue, Sep 14, 2010 8:13 PM

MyPH
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From: Charlton City, MA
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Re: Where should you look.

Youngman, thanks for asking this one, have been searching for direction on this one for a while.  Dave and h20, good info, would you guys mind breaking it down a bit more please. 

Inconsistently, I turn at the buoy, I look down course, I let my eyes follow my body's path and when my eyes meet the pylon I stay focused on it until second wake, which I then inevitably look at the ball, and sometimes my eyes get stuck on the ball, sometimes they don't, leading to a complete pass or not.

My question is, from ski's path from second wake to buoy where should my eyes be focused to properly have my body setup for the turn?  Also, when should focus down course begin, at apex?, when I drop trailing arm? 

Please help.

Thank you.

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#5 Tue, Sep 14, 2010 8:58 PM

Digger
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From: Lakewood WA
Registered: Mon, Mar 23, 2009
Posts: 29
Skis At: Steilacoom Lake
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Re: Where should you look.

I am not the expert by any means but skied in the Mapple clinic a month ago and he told me to NOT look for the next ball as you are turning a ball, look across at the wake. He said the ball is always in the same place, it never moves and by focusing on the ball, you tend to ski more narrow. By looking across at the wake you ski with better angle, once across the second wake, pick the ball up in your vision and start your edge change/turn. He also stressed to not look at the ball as you make the turn, if your eyes are looking down, more than likely your head will be down and you're out of position. I have been skiing better doing this, earlier to the ball and smoother. Is it all mental? I don't know but it has helped me and I have to believe Andy knows what he's preaching. As I understood Andy, I was never looking "down course", just across at the wake, pick up the ball at the second wake and initiate the turn once again looking across at the wake, the balls are just something in your periphery vision. I hope I explained this the right way and it makes sense, sorry if not.


Ski hard or save the gas

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#6 Wed, Sep 15, 2010 6:37 AM

Andrew1988
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From: White Lake, MI
Registered: Mon, Feb 8, 2010
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Re: Where should you look.

h20dawg79 wrote:

For me, when everything is going well and I'm skiing well, I'm looking at the pylon on the boat. This keeps my head Up and helps to sq. my shoulders to the back of the boat.

Staring down the next Buoy will make most people run straight at the Buoy, Giving up precious time and space...

I would suggest practicing while freeskiing, until you have enuf confidence to Trust your wake crossings w/o looking at them or even thinking about them.

h20 gave me basically the same advice earlier this summer and it worked wonders for me. My wake crossings are 10x better and I feel like I am skiing much stronger and more fluid.

Terry Winter also has quite a few instructional videos on his Ski West Coast website, http://skiwestcoast.com/instructionals.html. I think it is either the second or third video down on that page he talks about vision in the course. All of his videos on there are very helpful though and very thorough.

Remember what works for everyone else may not work exactly the same for you. Although we all strive to have the picture perfect form, very few of us do. So find what works for you. Also new things always feel awkward at first so give it some time in open water first and try to groove it.


Looking for places to ski in Metro Detroit!

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#7 Wed, Sep 15, 2010 7:39 AM

EdJohnson
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Re: Where should you look.

Andrew,

I have a different take on this. My Goal is to LOOK at Nothing !!! By this I mean that I want to keep my head square with my shoulders, quiet, and not moving around. To specifically look at something takes thought and concentration. I want to devote all the concentration I can to my timing, movement, and form. It only takes a glance after the edge change to SPOT the turn buoy, there is no need to stare at it.
I have proven this to myself many times by pulling out to the right for the gates and Free Skiing the course opposite the buoys. I am always amazed how good my form is when I take the buoys out of the equation and can fully concentrate on my form. A lot of time I will alternate this at different line lengths. Afterwards, when I review my video, my Free Ski Form is ALWAYS better than my in course form. The difference being the added concentration devoted to the timing of the buoys. When your subconscious can totally ignore the buoys you are now allowed full concentration on form, rhythm, etc.
I know this is a different concept for some, but it really works well for me Especially when working on New Technique.

Ski Well,   ED

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#8 Wed, Sep 15, 2010 10:50 AM

Shark
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From: the shores of Sproat Lake
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Re: Where should you look.

I've been closely studying Jon Travers and Will Asher's style. Getting video of Will from the boat is hard to find. But I captured his passes at the 3 sisters and did some split screening (which I might upload to youtube it's a pretty sick vid) Anyway both JT and Willy get these wicked turns both sides. 

Both skiers are executing the new book on styles IMO - obviously keep their head level and look or face down course. So turning 1 you are looking down the line at 3 and 5. In the pull you are looking at the boat. I've talked to Will about this years ago too, and tried  this in past years never making it stick. But now I realize I must as part of getting that sick turn that seamlessly transfers into the pull.

Yesterday' set was day one, every turn looking down course, every pull looking at the boat. I ran 8 passes.  Really strange sort of out-of-body skiing. Got slack at the end of the turn but overall it went well. Popped the handle once getting more than I could handle.  Here's a shot of one of the better turns. Lots of the ski the in water but the tip was squirting up.

http://twitpic.com/2op7p8

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#9 Wed, Sep 15, 2010 12:36 PM

MyPH
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From: Charlton City, MA
Registered: Sun, Jul 18, 2010
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Re: Where should you look.

I agree with Shark in that when looking down course in the manner he describes it is a bit of an out-of-body feeling, perhaps because things seem to really slow down. 

Apologies for going off of the original post subject, I run into similar slack issues on my offside (1,3,5) when consciously look down course. 

Thoughts on this being a result of not completely finishing the turn or rotating hips in direction of travel?

This vid here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8mwu9Yq7XU of JT, while LFF, on 1,3,5 it appears as though he simultaneously brings handle across his body to his right hip, while driving the hip up and around, correct me if I am wrong please.

Thank you.

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#10 Wed, Sep 15, 2010 1:35 PM

Thomas Wayne
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Re: Where should you look.

Terry Winter advocates looking at the next set of boat gates until you're across the wake.  He says to begin looking at that target as soon as you know your ski will go around the buoy - note that this is not the same as waiting until your ski does around the buoy.

To be exact, as soon as you know you will clear the one-ball (well before actually clearing it), you fix your gaze on the boat guides for the two-ball.  You're gaze remains locked on those guides until you've crossed the wake on the way to the two-ball.

The purpose of this technique (according to Winter) is to get a better, more countered finish on your turn.

TW

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#11 Wed, Sep 15, 2010 3:51 PM

Shark
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Re: Where should you look.

OK I looked at that great vid of JT and my wannaskilikewillypartII again. The common element is the level & still head forming the pivot point of the turn - like the center point in a circle. Not so much as to where you look. Where you look has to promote a steady & level head. Willy is more pinned down the line onside for example, and we all know what his onside is like. 

So for me my head tended to rotate or stay in-line with the shoulders and I was unable to keep a steady and level head through the turn = loss of horizon and balance = a lumpy turn.

In other sports - like hockey you totally keep a level head for balance, drooping your head would be crazy....or in a golf swing you are taught to keep a steady head.

Last edited by Shark (Wed, Sep 15, 2010 3:51 PM)

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#12 Wed, Sep 15, 2010 7:55 PM

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: Where should you look.

I agree with the Buoy only being in your vision, but not starring it down. Everyone is working towards Rhythmic automation as much as possible. Trust is essential. But, this only comes with a level of success.

We all must crawl B4 we walk and walk B4 we run. Everyone is at different places in their developement, age, experience, etc... I really doubt if there is any Hard and fast rules that will work for everyone across the board all the time.

But, one absolute is: the Body Always follows the Head. i.e. Left, right, up, down... A level head is a must as much as possible. A still Head is just icing on the cake!

Aft. the 2nd wake, one can see #1 buoy w/o looking directly at it. One can stare or Focus about 5-10 ft. to the right of the Buoy. I've seen many greats (Cris Parrish) actually look at the shore line (beyond #1) as they begin their reach and focus on the shore line until they initiate the turn. This helps you to stay outbound and countered while also maintaining good rope management. -very Cool!

I've experimented with looking down the Rope Line to the Pylon just as soon as I'm past the apex... It works wonders for me. As a matter of fact, I've gotten even better results by focusing on the tower pylon or Bimini top. This helps my head stay "UP" better.

I believe these kinds of things will have to start out as intentional, mechanical movements. That in time "can become" unconscience Good habits. And that is what Ed is refering to. -"Not thinking about anything"  AUTO PILOT. Rhythmic automation.
But, we must 1st crawl B4 we walk, etc...


"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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#13 Wed, Sep 15, 2010 8:03 PM

EdJohnson
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Re: Where should you look.

Shark,

This is exactly the point I brought up. Keep the head level and concentrate on the MOVE. Why who you want to deplete your concentration level to "LOOK AT SOMETHING."  I believe BALANCE is of prime concern. Head Level ---Eyes Level, you will finish the turn with your head facing down course.
I feel the same way about the gates. Keep it VERY SIMPLE !!!  When I pull out for the Gates my focus is on the Right Hand Gate Buoy. Why???? Because that's where the hell I'm going. Why spend time paying attention to the Boat, lining up buoys, etc. All you have to do is start your pullout in relation to the Green Buoys. I start mine 2 feet from the Greenies and use the same pullout from 32 -41. Once I establish my lean I focus totally on the right hand gate buoy. It tells me width, speed, everything I need to know. I get to select my turn in point out of a preturn glide and guarantee you will be within 6" of the right hand buoy virtually every time. Why ??? Great skill and athletic ability ??? NO WAY ----Because it is EASY. Once you have selected your turning point you still have the ability to vary your edge to pass just inside your target, the R-hand Gate.
The point is to keep it SIMPLE. ..SIMPLE = EASY.....EASY = CONSISTENCY.

Thanks,   ED

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#14 Thu, Sep 16, 2010 7:01 AM

Andrew1988
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From: White Lake, MI
Registered: Mon, Feb 8, 2010
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Skis At: Where ever I can
Foot Forward: Left

Re: Where should you look.

Ed, I totally agree too. Looking at nothing and just skiing within a rhythmic pattern is the best. But having some sort of focal point to look when you are trying to grove this pattern is a good starting point. At least it was for me. But I totally agree that your head has to be level and pretty much like a pivot point.

This is all true in all sports. When I downhill I don't look at my tips of my skis I look ahead, I think.. lol I don't actually know where I look which is a good thing though. Same with mountain biking. If you look right in front of your tire, you will clip a tree or something.

I emphasize all of this so much whenever I'm teaching someone to do something knew. And most of the time it clicks and they do much better.


Looking for places to ski in Metro Detroit!

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#15 Thu, Sep 16, 2010 7:58 AM

davemac
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Re: Where should you look.

while only slightly relevant to this discussion, thought I'd throw this thought into the mix.  If you were to take an advanced (auto) driving course, they do a drill where they mount a cup on the hood at the front of the car and put a ball in it.  The object is to then drive the car through a slalom course without letting the ball fly out of the cup.
If you stare at the cup, it is almost impossible to accomplish (primarily due to overcompensation).  To succeed, you must focus your eyes downcourse which smooths out the driving.

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#16 Thu, Sep 16, 2010 8:20 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: Where should you look.

davemac wrote:

while only slightly relevant to this discussion, thought I'd throw this thought into the mix.  If you were to take an advanced (auto) driving course, they do a drill where they mount a cup on the hood at the front of the car and put a ball in it.  The object is to then drive the car through a slalom course without letting the ball fly out of the cup.
If you stare at the cup, it is almost impossible to accomplish (primarily due to overcompensation).  To succeed, you must focus your eyes downcourse which smooths out the driving.

Great point Dave! Kinda like towing a trailor and trying to keep it in 1 lane, or how the waiter/waitress walks around with a fully Loaded tray of Drinks. Heck, even walking around with a full coffee cup!


"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 Thu, Sep 16, 2010 11:30 AM

Shark
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From: the shores of Sproat Lake
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Posts: 78
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Re: Where should you look.

Perhaps Ed (or anyone in this thread) can post some pix of offside or and onside turns and we can break it down.

For me I am going to need a definite point of reference because it is very clear through my recent split screen with Will that I was NOT getting the job done of keeping my head level and steady.  I took me this last set to understand what exactly it does, and it is very sketchy to ski like that. But I don't care I am going to force myself to get used to it.

Onside turn-  Eyes on 4 and 6 http://twitpic.com/2oz71m 

What I did like is how my onside turn kept moving. The ski tip came up at the finish, mostly due to loose line, but I kept moving transitioning into the pull much better than before.

So free skiing I am going to practice this as well by looking down the lake during the turn then picking up the boat/pylon during wake crossings.

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#18 Thu, Sep 16, 2010 12:52 PM

MyPH
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From: Charlton City, MA
Registered: Sun, Jul 18, 2010
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Re: Where should you look.

not sure if anyone can breakdown from these, a little different perspective than from behind the boat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOe9D2wd … ata_player

Also, look at page 6 of this months 'the water skier', Jamie looking down course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plrfIpsF … ata_player

In this Pangea vid, you have to fast forward a bit, but you can definitely get a feel for where heads are facing.

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#19 Fri, Sep 17, 2010 10:07 AM

Shark
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From: the shores of Sproat Lake
Registered: Wed, Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 78
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Re: Where should you look.

Busted out that split screen last nite that clearly illustrates the head/vision issues with my skiing.

Also noticed that when free skiing I do keep a level head.

But get into the course, things change - as shown in the video below.  I think this could be true for a lot of skiers. Anyway I am going to pay much more attention to this in the future.

4@41 in the UK man that is some skiing.....

Last edited by Shark (Fri, Sep 17, 2010 10:11 AM)

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#20 Fri, Sep 17, 2010 11:28 AM

davemac
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: Where should you look.

Paul,
Here is one of my favorite videos to watch (still optimistically hoping for some osmosis to occur)....

http://waterskimag.com/videos/2009/09/3 … eauchesne/

Sticking to the topic at hand you can see JB's point of focus from this vantage point.
I thought it provides another illustration of great skiing while maintaining  a level head.

Last edited by davemac (Fri, Sep 17, 2010 4:35 PM)

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#21 Fri, Sep 17, 2010 5:31 PM

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: Where should you look.

Hey Paul, thanx for all the time and effort you put into this sport! I appreciate what you do Man. -keep it up!smile

Your video is very Cool. For me to emulate the focus of Will, I think I would focus on the shoreline briefly as I come into the Ball. Then focus right down the Buoy line (i.e. @2 ball, Look dn. 4&6) at about the apex and then focus on the pylon at the Hook up and through til 2nd wake... Then repeat...

I'm not sayin' that this is what Will does. (or that I could realistically emulate anything he does after leaving the Dock!!!) But, I feel that's what might work for me anyway....

Check out his Head (and vision) @ 6 ball right before the Hook up and @ Hook up...


"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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#22 Sat, Sep 18, 2010 3:59 PM

youngman
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From: Victoria Australia
Registered: Sat, Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 5

Re: Where should you look.

Thanks for all the great feedback. Very frustrated that i have'nt been able to get out on the water due to work. Hopefully i will get a ski in the next few days. Have read all the replys and will try and focus on what h20dawg79 does and see if that works for me. Thanks guys will let you know it goes. (water still very cold over here in oz, my new rip curl ebomb wetsuit is awsome, takes a few days to get the feeling back in my feet though)

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#23 Sun, Sep 19, 2010 4:38 PM

Shark
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From: the shores of Sproat Lake
Registered: Wed, Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 78
Website

Re: Where should you look.

The best skiers at Diablo certainly were on the level..and the winner you could have put a pint of warm bitters on top of his head at 39 and it wouldn't lose a drop! Karina was also talking about that too, head and shoulders on some of the top skiers.

Just checking in. Did a several sets since last post. I am finding that looking past the boat down the course seems to be where I can focus and still ski. It's hard because the natural thing to do is look where you are going over the tip of the ski and head in line with the body.

Free skiing looking down the lake as if I was driving the boat.  Makes for a smooth balanced ride. I like that.  I've got a ZX3 video and a helmet mount (i used for hockey) so next chance I'll use it skiing, "see" how it turns out.

thanks for the good karma.

Last edited by Shark (Sun, Sep 19, 2010 5:04 PM)

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