Level 5 – Shortline Skier
You run the 28-off pass and can ski at 32 off or better at fast speeds (32 to 36 mph), and you pay attention to body position during wake crossing. You're learning the principles of fin adjustment and ski setup, and you're skiing consistently at shortened line lengths. You're working toward testing new skis and bindings, commited to understanding the physics of slalom skiing, and working with a coach to develop a more rigorous training schedule that involves land workouts and more water time.
Name: Andy Brisbourne
Skills: After six years behind the boat, Brisbourne has mastered the course at 15 to 28 off at 36 mph.
Working On: Skiing the course at 32 off and shorter is Brisbourne's target, along with perfecting his offside turns, maintaining cross-course direction and gaining a better understanding of ski setup.
Coach's Take: Said Thomas Desgasperi: “One of his major problems was turning too hard on his offside. He was working on not dropping his right shoulder into the buoy. I was telling him to keep his shoulders level and keep his chest up when he approaches the buoy. We worked a bit on the gate, too. He was improving a lot.”
Tip: Check Your Boots
At this point in your skiing, even small equipment adjustments can help you improve your course performance. The flip side is that a problem with your equipment can be a detriment. After spending some time on the dock with Chris Parrish, Imanol, for example, learned he had a problem with his double-boot bindings. “You want to have one size bigger in the back with double boots. You don't want that same tightness in the back as the front; then you start back-footing when you ski,” says Parrish. “I think a lot of amateur skiers don't realize that just your equipment alone can either hurt you a lot or help you a lot.”
Tip: Check Your Boots
Tip: Align Your Center of Mass
“The biggest thing for Andy to work on — being left foot forward — was being very open to the boat with his upper body, with his center of mass high up,” says Jodi Fisher. “I believe that he really needed to work on getting his upper body weight in the direction of the path that his ski was taking, especially on the off side.”
Achieving proper body alignment helps the skier maintain the same direction while going through the edge change. When the upper body mass follows the same line through the change, the skier will not only be wider but will arrive at the apex earlier on the buoy.