The winningest Men’s 3 skier wowed us for 10 years with his consistent top scores and eight U.S. National Championship titles. Read on as Chuck Forrest tells his secrets:
Ski with same driver in practice.
With the exception of one friend who I trained with for a while, my wife has been my driver in practice for about 25 years. She’s an excellent driver — there’s no one better.
Listen to your partner.
Since my wife has watched me ski for so long, she has observed my habits and techniques and has a view of me that I don’t have. There was a point where she told me to stop tinkering with my ski, or she wasn’t going to pull me anymore. She made me stop adjusting my fin completely, and I haven’t done it since.
Embrace varying conditions.
My first big tournament with Perfect Pass was in 1996. I use it at home now for practice too, but for many years there was no cruise control, and I think it helped my skiing. I would go back to hand driving tomorrow if I were still skiing a lot of big tournaments. Dealing with the nuances and shifts of manual driving teaches a skier to be responsive and agile, and young skiers should try it. Also, I live on a creek with brackish water — there are tides so the conditions in the water vary somewhat. Just like skiing without cruise control, the small changes in water conditions benefit the skier who learns how to deal with them.
Get on a bike.
I bought my first road bike in 1974 when I was a student at UNC at Chapel Hill. I got serious about biking in ’77 and haven’t stopped since. Biking has been better for my skiing than weight training. Biking increases my endurance, elongates my back muscles and strengthens my legs. I would say it is the best physical activity you can get as a skier, other than skiing itself. These days, I ride more than I ski.
Ski a lot at a single line length.
When you have easy access to water, you should run as many passes as you want. I’ve spent a lot of time on my little creek. I would run 35 off 100 times — 8 or 10 sets at a time — before I would try 38. Getting 35 exactly how I wanted to got me on track for running 38.