When coaches talk "back arm pressure ", I always thought it was the arm closest to the water, ie, left going 1 to 2. I am now hearing that it means the right arm when going 1 to 2. , to keep you open to the boat. Any thoughts on this?
I had the same dilemma. Back means the arm away from the direction of travel, e.g. the right arm going from 1 to 2. This realization's greatness was short lived as my wake cross position still needed major help afterwards.
Edit, 02/19/08: More on this topic at: http://proskicoach.com/articles/sustainable_angle
"Back Arm Pressure" means whatever you need it to. Is your back arm forward? I'm not sure what exactly a coach may have tried to tell you at some point.
Your arms must be straight and relaxed. But if your arms are straight and relaxed, you probably want equal pressure through both arms. That's the only way both arms can be straight.
Typically skiers will over load one arm and underload the other. This is really easy to spot from the boat because, your arms wont be straight.
For example, your right arm is bent in half.
Here your arms are straight, but it looks like your front (?) arm -- your left arm in this picture, is overloaded in comparison to the right. Unbalanced = not smooth across the wakes. Since your left arm is overloaded, thinking "back arm pressure" right arm in that second picture, would probably help.
Ofcourse the first picture makes it look like your trying to hold all that load with your right arm alone, in which case thinking "back arm pressure" will exactly hurt your position rather than help it. But I think we can agree your arms are not straight relaxed, and loaded equally between the two.
Personally, I want to be balanced. I do not think more one arm or the other, but as both arms being an extension of the rope.