Many of my students are trying to find an answer for the gates. Everyone knows that a wide tight-line gate with perfectly timed speed is the difference between making or missing your hardest pass. Of course, the real issue is having the confidence to combine all that when you need it the most. Aiming to turn in from a wide point with speed may cause skiers to sacrifice their timing if the rope is not tight. With the right pullout no component is sacrificed and when you turn it's easy to control.
Finding a bigger window for the turn in for the gates requires striking the right balance of length, intensity and efficiency in your pullout. A shorter pullout will give you better outward direction, but may leave you slow or narrow. A longer pullout enhances width and water speed, yet the line tension is harder to manage and the timing is much more tricky. If you can condense the same amount of energy into a shorter pullout, then you can end up as wide with as much speed, and the rope will always be tight. Here are some ways to do it:
• Relax your left arm and left side of the body while keeping your shoulders level. This opens a passage for the center of mass to lead the pullout.
• Keep your shoulders facing the boat as you pull away from the wake. You should feel the load on your left lat muscle rather than your left shoulder.
• Move your hips in the direction you want to go. Don't let them drop back or away from your feet.
• When it's time to stand up and glide, apply some counter with the upper body and move the handle to a forward reaching position ready for the turn in.
To ski with Matt at his world-class training facility in Clermont, Florida, call (407) 832-3674 or go to mattrini.com.