Let’s say you make a great turn and finish strong, but you still end up narrow at the next buoy. Sounds like your turns aren’t the problem. Most likely, your problem has do to with your leverage position and your intensity level behind the boat.
Think of your leverage position in levels of intensity. We are going to assign the completion of the turn as level 1. This is low-level of intensity. Level 2 is a few feet after the completion of the turn and is called midlevel intensity. Level 3 is just before the 1st wake. This is high-level intensity, because the skier is in the ultimate leveraged position.
Forget what you’ve heard in the past about having your hardest pull at the second wake. Today’s boats are very powerful and they don’t budge. If you don’t achieve optimal angle before you get to the first wake, it’s not going to happen at all.
As a skier goes from level-1 intensity through level 3, they are using their whole body to progressively establish leverage behind the boat. Envision the ultimate leverage position as being perfectly balanced over the ski. The ski is pointed directly across course, handle is low and centered, and your arms are 98 percent straight and down at your body.
Now comes the critical part: holding this position through both wakes. Don’t be afraid of speed, this is the most important part. If you hold level-3 intensity through both wakes, all of the energy you earned progressively in levels 1 through 3 will put you early and wide at the buoy.
So remember: Don’t let up behind the boat – BE FIERCE and FLUID.
This article appeared on page 88 of the August 1999 issue.