I need help on slalom Skiing

I need help on slalom Skiing

Post by Leonard J. Fren » Tue, 25 Jul 1995 04:00:00

I am a pretty good skier, but I can't seem to figure out how to get out of
the water on a slalom ski.



I need help on slalom Skiing

Post by Greg Wai » Tue, 25 Jul 1995 04:00:00

I'm going to distill the comments from last week's replies to a similar
They had a good article on this in Waterski magazine a month or two back
(anyone know which issue?).  I have been able to get up on one ski since I was
a kid, but the article showed me that I had been doing it the hard way -
fighting the boat.  I now get up much quicker and with little effort.
I have a ski with full boots, front and back, so I have to start with both feet
in the ski.  If you have a toe strap as a rear binding, it may be easier to
start with your back foot OUT of the strap.  You can drag the foot behind you
for stability as you get up.
Either way, your position before you start should be:
+  knees bent as if you are sitting, ski tip pointed at boat, with the back of
the ski tucked up under your ***(the angle of the ski to the surface of the
water should be shallow, as far from upright as is comfortable)
+  arms should be straight, let the boat do the work, if you try to keep your
elbows bent you will wear yourself out
+  head up, shoulders back - this keeps you from getting pulled over the front
of the ski
Now, when you don't get up... what happens?  If you are coming over the front
of the ski, you need to get your weight back.  If the ski is getting sideways
in the water as you start, you need to concentrate on keeping the tip pointed
at the boat.  This is essential!  Keeping the ski straight is 90% of the
battle.  Try to think about what is happening when you fall, and how you can
avoid it.
Strength is also a factor for some people, so you may want to do some leg,
back, and arm work.  If you stick with it, you will succeed.  Good luck!

Greg Wait
The other responses to your post all have good suggestions.  Add this to the
pile.  A major problem many have is creating an unstable relationship between
the pull of the rope and the drag of the ski.  Consider trying to push a
stick along the floor from the back, it constantly tries to go sideways and
you are always having to correct, whereas if you pull the stick along the
floor it always stays straight behind the point of pull.  The same is true
with skiing.  If the center of pull (your handle) is behind the center of
drag (basically the ski about where your feet are) you are in an unstable
position.  You can get up this way but it takes constant correction.  A
better method is to get the center of pull (the handle) ahead of the center
of drag (your feet) as far as possible (sorry about the terminology, I'm a
mechanical engineer).
This is aided by (see other postings) arms straight and ski tucked up under
you as much as you can.  Many people try to get the ski tip as far out of the
water as possible, this makes things worse, it brings your feet up in front
of your hands and the ski is now nearly straight up and down in the water,
not exactly how you want it.  You want to feel like the ski is already nearly
flat under you when you "hit it", so that as soon as the ski has enough
velocity to support your weight you just stand up.
This brings up the other major problem people have.  Standing up too soon.
Straightening you legs (or standing up) before you are "on top" of your ski
pushes your hands (center of pull) behind your feet (center of drag) and you
are in an unstable position at slow speed.  Splash.
Last (thank God, you say), but not least.  Make sure your ski is big enough
for you and the boat pulling you.  Don't cheat on your weight when you ask
the person at the ski shop how long a ski you should be on.  Increase the
length a little for a boat that is a little under powered.  Borrow a longer
ski if you need to until you learn to get up.  Once you have the technique
down getting up on a shorter ski becomes a lot easier.

Oh, yeah, have fun!
Alan Brooks
Buy a "Right-Up" ski rope or any other "Deep-V" handled rope. Put the
ski in the middle of the V and give it a try. You should find it much
easier and more similar to starting on two this way. Once you get up a
few times this way, you can go back to the other way. I find that with a
regular handle and the rope on the side that it helps me if the driver
lets the boat reach full idle speed while I drag behind. With the driver
at the ready I can give the word when things are just right and I have a
better chance of getting up. The boat and driver play a large part in
whether or not you get up as beginner. You need enough power, but not
too much power. I'd much rather be a bit under powered that totally
overwhelmed. Alot of drivers will try to "jerk you out fo the water".
It's a *** to get up that way.
With a deep-vee handle I can get up 99 of 100 times on about any kind of
slalom ski short or long. Without the deep-vee handle it's more like 1
out of every 2 or 3. I could improve this greatly with a little
practice, but it just hasn't been worth it yet. I'm not that great of a
skiier (on one) anyway.

Dudley Cornman
And the follow up post from the skier who originally asked for advice:

It seems that my major problems were the two facts mentioned above.
Especially having the skip tip as far out of the water was one thing that
I had thought was essential. It seems I was totally wrong :).

However, thanks for everyone who contributed tips both by postings and


Good luck,
Greg Wait