Before the weather takes a nose dive, at least try this technique on one of your last sets. The one-handed gate (or turn-in, because you don't have to ski the course to use this technique) is one of the few technique changes that can have an immediate positive impact on your skiing.
Nicolas Deleage, head boat driver at Ski Paradise in Acapulco is a great example of how the one-handed gate can benefit your skiing. After analyzing Jamie Beauchesne's gate on video, Nicolas got the hang of things pretty quickly and has since made significant strides in the slalom course.
1. Start your pullout just outside the white wash. That's where most boats have a slight dip. This wider position will eliminate any trip-ups. Course skiers should begin their pull when the tip of the ski passes (plus or minus five feet depending on boat speed) the 55-meter buoys.
2. Relax your hands and arms. This is a finesse movement. The lighter you are on the rope, the less tension, or load, you'll place on the rope and the more easily you'll generate width.
3. Counter your upper body to the right and fall forward. Think about leading the movement with your left hip. You will feel the pull coming from just below your left armpit to your upper left thigh. Remember to keep those shoulders level!
4. Transition the ski outbound. When you do this, reach forward and let go with your outside hand. As the ski releases, keep your direction going out by countering with your upper body. Don't rush things here or you'll decrease your water speed. The goal is to get the ski rotated across course with very little tension (load) on the line.
5. Hit your mark. You'll know you have it right when this one-handed gate feels much like one of your better 2, 4 turns or linking turns during an open-water run.