Here are five fundamentals for getting your best start in the course:
One: If you pull out as wide as the 2, 4, 6 buoy line, it will be easier to get wide into 1 ball. This will also give you enough room to turn and get your ski set before hitting the first wake. Your glide speed before you turn in for the gates should match the speed of the boat.
Two: A strong balance position is key. If you can think about having your head positioned over your front foot when you turn in, you'll have plenty of ski in the water to ensure good rotation. Your hands should be no higher than the bottom buckle of your vest.
Three: Pretend the rope going to the pylon is a wall. When you're gliding on the left side of the wall and you're ready to turn in, you want your ski tip to be the first thing that crosses it. When you finish the turn you want your ski tip to be on the right side of the wall and your body on the left side.
Four: When the light of the boat goes through the gates, start your turn in, with your focus on getting as close to the right-hand gate as possible. If you're new at skiing the course, don't be worried about going through the gates. Get turned and go, and if you're too early into the gates, then make the necessary adjustments on your next pass.
Five: Once the ski is turned and it's under the line, and your body is getting closer to the handle, lower the handle and you'll lower your center of mass without squatting. As you pass the right-hand gate ball, your focus should be on 1 ball.