Every year, campers arrive at WATERSKI‘s Fantasy Camp with a wide range of ability levels looking to learn an equally diverse number of skills and techniques. No matter how good campers are, however, each can benefit from focusing on a few of slalom’s foundational elements — as can the majority of readers. To highlight some of Fantasy Camp 2010’s top water ski how tos, we asked Thomas Degasperi and Will Asher to provide general advice for improving upon four key issues in slalom: turning width, speed, balance and timing.
Thomas Degasperi’s Top Water Ski How Tos From Fantasy Camp 2010
Rush the turn and you lose speed and width. Patience is key for skiers of all levels. Being free from the pull of the ski boat and maintaining momentum throughout the turn results in maximum turning width.
More speed equals better balance on your ski. You want to be as strong and fast as possible behind the boat for an ideal release into the turn.
It’s a natural tendency for skiers to be heavy on their back feet, but what you really want is equal pressure on both feet for optimum balance and control.
Establish a good rhythm from the very start. If you have bad timing at one ball, you’ll likely be in full scramble mode the entire pass. The key to timing is to be patient going into the turn and then aggressive right after.
Will Asher’s Top Water Ski How Tos From Fantasy Camp 2010
A narrow turn-in point for your first cut toward the wakes will put you narrow into the turn. Take your focus off the buoys, and practice consistent turns with balanced pulls.
Lack of speed is a key problem for many skiers at 15 off who ride at 30 to 32 mph. I encourage my students to push the limits of their speed into every turn.
Your vision is the biggest key to enhancing your balance on the water. Keep your head as level (vertical) as possible and it will greatly help your balance.
Timing is everything in the course. Ski wide and start your turns early. The sooner you can move toward the next buoy, the better chance you’ll have at a successful pass.