I find that where I think I am in the course as I approach the ball does not always jibe with reality (sometimes think I'm earlier and wider than I actually am). I was wondering if there was some way to use a noodle (similar to Mapple video) or some physical marker near or after the wakes so that I could confirm I was in the right place. If so, where would I put it and would it be different for 22, 28 and 32 off?
Hope all is well with you two!
Thanks for the question! This one isn't that easy to answer though. Every slalom turn is different, and while there is an optimal line that you can ride through the course, that will be different for each speed and line length. It's also going to dramatically differ by ability level. A pro at 32 off can cross the buoy line 50 feet early. If that's your hardest pass though, you won't be there.... or it wouldn't very well be your hardest pass!!
How do you think you're earlier and wider than you actually are? Most people have trouble thinking they are later than they actually are.
Your goal at these line lengths should be 1) to get across the buoy line as early as possible 2) travel as wide as you can while maintaining a constant, continuous arc. If you do this you shouldn't have any problems at all :-) Easier said then done, ofcourse.
I'm going to be doing some work this summer on a GPS computer program that should give us a lot of valuable information that will answer a lot of questions.