by Arturo Nelson
Whether you are a buoy-slaying veteran, a free-skiing specialist or a newbie to the whole slalom game, efficient, seamless wake crossings are a must. By keeping these few keys in mind you will find yourself generating maximum speed with minimum interruption from the boat’s wakes.
The first step is to ensure you are in a strong, balanced position. This will allow you to move into position and hold it as your speed increases.
• Keep your weight over the balls of your feet
• Relax your arms
• Keep your head up, directing your gaze down the lake
• Keep your shoulders up, with back straight
You do not need to dive into a huge pull in order to generate speed and go efficiently through the wakes. You want to start moving slowly from side to side, allowing the ski to naturally generate speed.
• After pulling out to one side or the other, remain balanced over the ski, waiting for the rope to tighten
• Concentrate on maintaining your position as you begin your swing into the wakes
• The farther out you make your first pull, the faster you will swing back into the wakes. (Think in terms of your backswing on a playground swing set)
Get in Your Groove
The speed you will generate from fast, seamless wake crossings will result in powerful, flowing turns. So for now allow all the small mechanics of your turns to play second to your wake crossings.
• Focus on the rhythm of your wake crossings, attempting to keep them uniform from both sides
• Transition from your cutting edge to your turning edge as you leave the second wake. Working too long on your cutting edge will cause slack in the rope, interrupting your timing through the back of your turn