Technical Slalom Buzzwords
Do you struggle to decipher the technical mumbo jumbo of a slalom instructional? Use this quick lingo reference to explain away your uncertainty.
CENTER OF MASS:
The concentration of the mass of one’s body. This point is always affected by any addition of outside force on the body. Typically, you would consider this point located near or around the hips and core of your body.
LEADING INSIDE EDGE OF THE SKI:
The edge of the ski from the toes of the front foot going forward on the side of the ski that is in the water (and also in the direction you want to go).
APEX OF THE TURN:
This is the point in the turn where you complete your outbound travel (away from the centerline of the course) and begin your inbound travel (toward the opposite side of the course). It can often be called the peak of the turn.
Helpful Water Ski Fin Facts
If you’re consistently blowing your ski out of the water, there’s a good chance your fin dimensions are out of whack. Fin adjustments can be very complex, so these tips are specifically relative to finding a fin balance for a great carving turn.
With too little fin depth, your ski will slide through the finish of the turn too easily, which decreases control. On the other hand, a fin that is too deep causes too much resistance and forces you to overcompensate and push the ski through the turn.
A longer fin will give the ski some carving ability, but it will also limit your outbound trajectory off the second wake. It is important to find the perfect balance where the ski is free to carry outbound direction off the second wake, but not so much that it will not initiate early enough to create a carving turn.
DISTANCE FROM THE TAIL:
This adjustment is often thought of as only affecting the onside turn, but I think it has great affect on the finish of both turns. When the fin is farther forward you will finish the turn sooner, but with less holding power and less ability to maintain speed through the finish of the turn. If the fin is far enough back, you will be able to maintain speed through the finish of the turn. Find a happy medium.
Seth Stisher is the co-owner of H2Osmosis Sports and head instructor of the H2Oz Training Center at Oz in Charleston, South Carolina. To ski with him at Oz, at your place or at a site near you, go to h20smosis.com or e-mail email@example.com.