Angle and Progression... Luke talks about gates.

July 23, 2016

Angle and Progression... Luke talks about gates.

Happy days ski world,

Regionals have started all around the country meaning the 74th Annual GOODE U.S. National Water Ski Championships are not far behind. It’s grind time! Time to refine and fine-tune the details of our skiing so we can peak at nationals! My last post went into what I like to call the One-Two Punch, emphasizing the good start. Now, what is essential to know about having a good start, is that your start itself needs a good start as well. Better stated, you MUST have a good gate. In my opinion, the gate is everything. A bad gate can put you behind right from the beginning of the pass.

So what exactly makes for a good gate? Two things (to me, at least) - Angle and progression. This can be difficult because the two are counterintuitive of each other when put into practice, which is where repetition and focus come into play.

Angle: 

Without angle, we are going to go nowhere but down course. This is bad. Eventually, yes, one will achieve enough width to move outside the buoy line, but they’re going to end up way down course at one ball, starting off the pass poorly. This means no one-two-punch, which means no PB, which means no fun. Boo. When turning in for the gate, turn as you would two-four; use your knees and hips to bring the ski around and set your path across course. Even if you have overshot the gate pull-out and will turn into slack, try to turn in efficiently to set your angle. Rocking onto the back foot can take away angle thus sending you down course again.

Progression:

Once you have set your angle, it is important to progress through the gates. What I mean by progression here is to start out the pull gently, then slowly build your pull until peaking behind the boat. Directly behind the boat is the ideal peak for the pull, for this is where the ski will have maximum angle set. Peak pull at the peak angle will send the skier moving outwards smoothly. If you set

Once you have set your angle, it is important to progress through the gates. What I mean by progression here is to start out the pull gently, then slowly build your pull until peaking behind the boat. Directly behind the boat is the ideal peak for the pull, for this is where the ski will have maximum angle set. Peak pull at the peak angle will send the skier moving outwards smoothly. If you set angle at your gate, the ski will naturally have a continuous movement through the turn in starting you at an already increased speed. So without progression, it can be very easy to overshoot the right amount of total pull necessary.

One thing that can be very helpful in achieving both points is width. I almost consider width as important as the first two. We’ll talk more about width next time though. For now, get out there and work on angle and progression. Good luck to all those skiing at regionals and nationals! Let me know how it goes at Luke@getagripwatersports.com

Ski on!

-Luke





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