whats crackin' y'all? I been skiing the course about ten feet in front of the buoys trying to get my mojo working. here's the thing that's mind bottling to me. at 32 and 35 off I can go Through the gates, get out to buoy width, finish my direction change a few feet before one ball, keep a tight line, and get progressively earlier for each buoy while still being outside the buoy line. by the time I get to six, I am still out to buoy width and finishing 15 feet early. so why do I struggle with actually going around the buoys? shouldn't it be easier? I am sick of getting slack, taking hits when I actually go around the buoys. am I taking to much angle? I feel like I am skiing to apex and dropping back in just fine. whats your thoughts?
As a person who believes in different versions of "Shadowing," I have noticed simular things. But, for me, it has more to do with staying with it (line management) all the way out to the buoy. When I get early, I seem to inadvertently let up and coast a bit into the buoy by reaching too early, losing speed and/or going a bit flat... At least, this is what it seems like is happening.
Try some video of both of your examples and see what the difference is. Wade Cox is a Big fan of open water drills and he say's that it's much easier to get into a great rhythm w/o the buoys and to actually ski a much shorter course (with the same width) doing open water drills...
"The Buoy's are not our freinds, their only there to exploit our weaknesses"!!! -ha,ha!
This reminds me of Chris Rossi's quote, "The buoy is not your signal to turn, it is first opportunity that you have to turn." If I were to take a blind stab in the dark, I would think that you are rushing the finish of your turns.
Are you getting slack at 1,3,5 or at 2,4,6?
If you're skiing 15 feet early @ 35 off and you still have slack by the time you have the finish, H2odawg's line management comment is pretty right on. You're probably straightlining for 15 feet. Try to keep with the swing you had that got you that early. You should be able to swing the handle outside the buoy @ 35 off.. just because you're across the buoy line isn't a signal that you should ski straight or 'give up' on your swing that you had so well a second ago. If you're 15 feet early, keep skiing out, so that you hit your apex wide of the buoy and early... then you will be able to continue a free ski style turn through the finish that goes around the buoy. When you're free skiing, you're not worried about "staying out there" for the extra 15 feet, you're just skiing in with whatever swing you rode out... So keep riding the swing out for a little extra, get your ski on a higher edge and you'll be able to continue through the finish with the same energy (and a tight line). Think about where you can swing the handle to, instead of taking the narrowest turn you can make around the buoy.
In one of his typically insightful articles, Chris Rossi discusses the amount of time he spends outside the buoy line at 41-off. It ain't long; in fact it's a VERY short amount of time.
The fact he makes this point implies that being outside the buoy line for such a short period is unusual (compared to skiing longer lines). Having never skied a rope even close to that short on a slalom ski, I can only use deductive reasoning to conclude that MORE time outside the buoy line is possible if the rope is longer [than -41']. If that reasoning is correct then there appears to be only two possible ways to accomplish this: 1) larger radius turns, and/or 2) a wider path.
Assuming that reasoning is correct, for your scenario you must either be generating too tight a turn, or not skiing wide enough - or (most likely) some combination of both.
Logic would suggest that you could simply move your existing path downcourse about 15 feet and easily round all six buoys - so try that. Forget going through the gate for the moment; just take whatever is your regular starting point and delay it by 10 feet or so. If you successfully round all six buoys at -35' (which I doubt will happen) then obviously you only need to figure out a starting sequence that will allow you to get aaround the 1-ball while still going through the entrance gate.
Last edited by Thomas Wayne (Mon, May 24, 2010 9:22 PM)