Okay, I've been able to get away with it on my 36-22 pass but at 36-28 and watching some video it is amazing how much "pop" I'm getting when I cross the wakes. What is the secret "potion" to concoct to sprinkle on my ski to prevent it from wanting to go airborne?
Are you driving your front ankle down? Tightening your toes? Holding the handle at a certain spot? Just what is the trick to keep me going "OUT" and preventing me from losing so much angle and coming to fast into the turn?
You are holding your load too high in your body. Jumping or Popping the wakes comes from your ski being too flat. In order to keep that ski rolled over longer through the wakes, I suggest "pushing the handle down" from finish of the turn through the 2nd wake. Most skiers at your level are putting too much fight into running the course. What I mean by this, is that you are trying to pull harder to get early to the next buoy. This is an impossible action as the cruise control will apply more gas as you apply more pressure, thus just sending you faster and narrower into that next buoy. Get rid of that upper body fight and you will be on your way to your next breakthrough!!
When you place your outside hand back on the handle after a turn, think "load is bad, get rid of it" To do this, as soon as you feel load or pull from the boat, push the handle down. I think the big word here is "push" the handle down. Almost everyone I watch ski instantly "pulls" on the handle after the turn. Any pulling of the handle results in you holding your body upright, thus minimizing ski angle. By pushing the handle down your leg, you are letting your body fall more off the edge of your ski, thus increasing edge angle. The great thing about this is it takes considerably less energy to do, and you gain a lot of space into the next buoy. This lesson applies to every skier at every level.
If you are having a hard time visualizing what I am teaching, try this. Hook a handle up to a post or the pylon of the boat. Now put your self in your wake crossing position. From here I want you to pull harder on the handle. The visual for this would be to try to bend the pylon or post you are connected to. When you do this, what you'll find is that your body actually comes higher than where it started. Since the post doesn't move, any pulling force, will inevitably raise your body, thus reducing ski angle. Now get back in that wake crossing position and "push" the handle down your leg. Your body naturally falls away as far as it can, thus gaining maximum ski edge.
I'd like everyone to give this some thought and on your next ski set, see what you feel.
Chris - Great stuff, going to go out and try this tonight. I don't have a handle here at work, but think I totally get what you're saying. Keep it coming!!! - Scott
1. is it only a matter of pushing the handle away in the same line as the rope, or should one also press down on it?
2. til where does the ski stay on its accelerating edge? should it still be on its accelerating edge just after the second trough in the white stuff? in other words where exactly does it go flat and where exactly should it be on its inside edge?
Re- "pushing the handle down"
I am a novice who heretofore had been running about 30-40% of my 15' off passes at 31MPH. I had read Chris' posts about pushing the handle down. This past Friday I really focused on this concept. I normally ski 2 sets of 8 passes each. I went from 30-40% to running 16 out of 19 passes. The extra passes were because I was having so much fun running easier, earlier passes that I didnt want to stop. My driver made me quit.
I believe this one tip really helped me keep the ski on edge ALL the way through the wakes and achieve more angle, with less percieved effort.
Thanks Chris and Wade!
certainly had an "AHhhhh-HHAAAAhhh" moment on the water last night, this was huge Chris...we had a good 10-15mph cross course wind and easily smoked by 36-22 and 3 at 36-28, nice...can't wait to work on it with better water now...not sure didn't get word from the boat if i was still doing a "wake crossing" but will find out tonight...DUDE YOU THE MAN!!!
1. The handle should be pushed down. This will help to reduce separation, thus maximizing direction.
2. The ski releases off the second wake and goes airborne for a split second. When it lands, it should land on the other edge. I would be most concerned with doing a good job of what I mentioned above and making sure you maintain this through the 2nd wake and the rest will take care of itself.
Leon & Scott - I love it! Keep ripping!
I'm sure mentally I haven't got my head wrapped around this concept yet. I could do it at -28 but at -32 if I think about pushing the handle down I end up pulling long. I think I was thinking to use the tricepts like in doing dips instead of using whatever muscle group it is that pushes the handle down to your thighs. Does that make sense???
Great piece of advice Chris! Tried today and immediately improved efficiency of my cuts/wake crossings. I also liked the fact that it is something really easy to add to one's technique.
The only trouble I had was combining/timing the "push down" with the "twisting out of the back shoulder" at the edge change. What do you think?
Chris - I was still fighting my battle behind the boat and just struggling on the 36-22 and tons of slack at 36-28. I tried pushing down and softening my knees in the turn, back arm pressure but nothing consistent. Then a good ski buddy of mine noticed last night, my handle wasn't PARALLEL to the water behind the boat. I was trying so much of this other stuff that I had the handle almost perpendicular.
So second set last night worked on "keeping that handle level" and WAHHOOO, easily ran 36-22 with plenty of extra time and now just have to work on the "SLACK" on my 36-28 pass coming out of the turn.
Too funny when you "OVER ANALYZE" things like I do, then can't get them all together and one quick TIP makes the world of difference!!!
CHRIS OR WADE HELP!!!
Okay, these pictures are UGLY, really look worse than I normally am, but this is just the 2nd time on the 66" MPD and without my Fogmans, back on a pair of HO Phantom Approach Bindings. To see the whole progression drop me an email and I'll send you a link to the photo, otherwise the "SPAM PROTECTOR" is preventing me from posting a link.
hmm what would Adam say.....
TURN OFF THE SUCK!!!
Chris, I love how you worded your advice on this one. I think forcing the handle into a lower position will really be a key tip for me in the upcoming season. Is there any way to gauge that you have lowered the handle "enough" after the turn? As in, is there a good landing zone for the handle like the upper hip or otherwise that you could use to verify that you've lowered the handle enough? I'd love to have some cue that I was executing this tip properly in the course- something easy to remember and easy to verify. Any ideas?
Your arms need to be 100% straight and relaxed. By lowering the handle, or pushing the handle down, you are in effect moving your shoulders further away from the handle and moving your hands closer to the pylon. Basically you're stretching your arms to be their longest length when you're behind the boat. Dependent on the length of your arms, this should put your hands somewhere around your hips. Any arm-bend or load-hold in this process is stopping the handle from getting away from your shoulders, which is inhibiting how much angle you can really take through the wakes. Indeed angle is a result of how far you can get your shoulders away from the handle, not how hard you can pull on it. The rest of your body should remain "strong" - not necessarily pulling your butt off, but you want to maintain a stacked position where you can use the strength of your skeleton to acquire speed rather than just your muscles.
The number one source of low-back pain is trying to use too much load with your arms/shoulders/upper body, which causes your back to bend and thus strain the muscles (and having weak core muscles). If your arms are anything but 100% straight, you need to relax, release the load that you're holding in your hands, and push the handle away from your shoulders more. It will feel like you're doing a lot less, but you'll be getting a lot more.
I'm glad this came back from the dead. This might be just what I need at this point in my skiing career.
Proper Handle control + proper Body pos. creates Leverage. (which is effeciency) The term "HIPS UP" may Not inspire the correct posture for some people. But, the proper "Stacked" position can be I.D.'d as Hips up/ Handle Low, Stacked, etc... Regardless what phrase or trigger word inspires the correct positioning the position is Basically the same regardless of skiing style...
The Dry Land Rope Drill is often done incorrectly. Because the person often ties the Rope Too High on the tree or wall and then actually practices the wrong position and then can never figure out how to get to the "Effortless Stacked Position" in the course.
The Rope really needs to be secured at a hgt. No higher then your inseam measurement. (or crotch) Then one can naturally let the arms out Low, while you clench your Butt, engage your Hamstrings and core. (this produces the Hips up position...) It's kind of a pelvic thrust fwd. while the upper body falls away and the arms naturally drop in around the waist line. It's an effortless (effecient, stacked, hips up, etc..) position that you can literally hang around for hrs. and not get fatigued. (o.k. not hrs. but a long, long time!) In fact, one just barely needs to "Clinch" the Handle with their grip...
I'm curious to hear if Chris's take on stacked body position and "pushing" the handle down are the same now as when he first replied on this thread back in 2007. Recent video of Chris such as the "testing the Strada - 32 thru 41" and the Radar promotional video with the great slow motion vido of Chris seem to show a more loaded, chest-up, head-back stance than the description of pushing the handle would suggest. This is probably only a subtle difference, but the position that Chris gets into before the first wake now doesn't look particularly "light" in terms of load or like the handle is very far down his legs. It looks great, is what it looks like. I imagine he is far enough in behind the boat that if it is a heavier load that the boat is only going to help him and not hurt him at that point. I picture the pushing-the-handle-down position to result in a little more caved-chest, with a few more angles in the hips and knees than Chris's current loaded position. I agree that the arms should be long, straight, loose (not flexing against the load) to allow the best edge angle during the cut, but not sure how far down your legs the handle should be. Chris? Wade? Anyone? Anyone at all?
Sometimes, I feel like Beuller with about 1/8 as much Fun and adventure!
In my personal, The "puffed Chest" is another aspect (very important aspect) of the "Stacked, Hips up" thing. Though it's clearly NOT a Tug o War, the Leveraged position is very simular. (Stable , powerful and effecient) If the spine is bent fwd. (slumped) at all, one is disengaging their Core and the arms will tend to separate from the Body. -This is Not a "Stacked, Leveraged" or Strong position.
With a little attitude, Ya Gotta arch that spine a bit, puff the chest out slightly (pinching the shoulder blades) and then Ski like Deniro. -"Ya talkin' to me"? -"ya talkin' to me"?
Man, this seems like this was meant specifically for me. I am at the same point in my skiing. I can smoke 22 at 36 but I get into 28 and I can barely get around the one ball. I come into the ball smoking fast and either the ski skips out or I have so much slack I can't continue the turn. I think my focus is going to have to be about pushing the rope down and not pulling hard through the gates. Keeping my knees soft has also helped.
I'm going to give this a shot tonight.