Where the water breaks on your water ski speaks volumes about how balanced you are. If you’re edging through the wakes and the water is breaking behind your back foot, you know you need to readjust your stance and get in a more efficient position. If you’re turning the ski and the water is releasing close to the tip, the same holds true. If you’re unaware of how the water comes off your ski, have a set of eyes from the boat watch you or use a video camera to record your run.
“When I’m skiing well, I know exactly where the water is breaking beneath my ski,” says Jamie Beauchesne. “I call it the 3-inch balance zone, which starts under my front foot and continues 3 inches in front of the big toe of my front binding. I try to limit excessive tip/tail water breakage by keeping the water breaking somewhere in this zone.”
Beauchesne says up and down movements help you feel and find the sweet spot on the ski. “I like to think about my weight over my ski in relation to up and down,” he says. “Getting taller [up] pushes more ski in the water and gives you that hang-10 feeling, which allows the ski to decelerate in the turn. Getting smaller [down, bending knees while maintaining an athletic posture] allows the ski to move forward and accelerate, causing the water to break under your front foot.”