Water ski pros deliver their three-event tips for knocking the dust off this spring.
At Fluid Sports, we stress the importance of performing a lot of single-wake cuts with our students. We definitely practice what we’re preaching too. Performing single-wake cuts gets you back on your skis, and just as importantly, puts you back in the air. Once you’re comfortable, you can bump the boat speed up a few miles an hour to give you more speed into the ramp. Concentrate on the basics: back straight, arms relaxed, and maintain your direction through the ramp. Before you move on to double-wake cuts, it is important to practice your cuts without the ramp. This way you will be accustomed to the speed before you hit the ramp.
We like to have our skiers start at a speed or line length that they really have dialed. Typically it will be the preceding line length they were starting on last season. From there we slow the boat down a half-mile an hour. This allows you to slow your mind down and feel things out. Your reaction time is seriously stinted this time of year, since much of your muscle memory is gone after a few months off the water. It is important not to be impatient at the beginning of the season; do not move on to the next pass until things are feeling nearly perfect. As with jumping, concentrate on your most basic keys: establishing a strong position into the wake and maintaining your outbound direction through your edge change.
Tricks is one event where you can really take your time getting back into the full swing of things. We have our skiers spend a full set or two just messing around on the water, jumping the wakes and having fun. From there we even recommend spending some sets running the slalom course. Next, do short sequences of tricks pulled from your easier trick runs. Don’t try to do single tricks in isolation; rather work on getting back balance and strength in your legs through two-, three- and four-trick sequences. You will be building your stamina and slowly piecing your run back together.