Level 5 – Shortline Skier
You run the 28-off pass and can ski at 32 off or better at fast speeds (32 to 36 mph), and you pay attention to body position during wake crossing. You're learning the principles of fin adjustment and ski setup, and you're skiing consistently at shortened line lengths. You're working toward testing new skis and bindings, commited to understanding the physics of slalom skiing, and working with a coach to develop a more rigorous training schedule that involves land workouts and more water time.
Name: Imanol Luisa
Skills: The rookie of the group has only been skiing for a year and a half, but he already has the course wired at 15 to 28 off at fast speeds.
Working On: Luisa wants to perfect his one-handed gates and improve his body position during the pull and through the wakes on his way to 36 mph.
Coach's Take: Said Wade Cox: “He improved the most of all. We played around with his ski a bit, and he was super receptive to it. He didn't have his bindings in the right place, and he didn't have his fin in the right place, so we just customized it. He went from struggling at 22 to ripping 32 by the afternoon.”
Tip: Check Your Boots
At this point in your skiing, even small equipment adjustments can help you improve your course performance. The flip side is that a problem with your equipment can be a detriment. After spending some time on the dock with Chris Parrish, Imanol, for example, learned he had a problem with his double-boot bindings. “You want to have one size bigger in the back with double boots. You don't want that same tightness in the back as the front; then you start back-footing when you ski,” says Parrish. “I think a lot of amateur skiers don't realize that just your equipment alone can either hurt you a lot or help you a lot.”
Tip: Check Your Boots
Tip: Align Your Center of Mass
“The biggest thing for Andy to work on — being left foot forward — was being very open to the boat with his upper body, with his center of mass high up,” says Jodi Fisher. “I believe that he really needed to work on getting his upper body weight in the direction of the path that his ski was taking, especially on the off side.”
Achieving proper body alignment helps the skier maintain the same direction while going through the edge change. When the upper body mass follows the same line through the change, the skier will not only be wider but will arrive at the apex earlier on the buoy.