Getting to the podium starts with a good gate

August 09, 2016

Let’s pick up where we left off with the gates. Let’s talk about width at the gate. Before we get into this, I should probably tell you all that I am a firm believer in the two-handed gate. The approach to each is very different, and techniques varied between the two most likely will not transfer well from one to the other.

That being said, without width on a two-handed gate, you are going to struggle. The two key points mentioned last week were progression and angle. If we have more angle, we will reach the second wake quicker. Obviously, this means less time to progress into the gate. There is a simple solution to creating more time at the gate, and this is width.

The width generated here will transfer well into one ball. I believe it was the late Andy Mapple who once said “the width we generate at the gate will be the same amount of width we generate at One ball”. This is because while we progress through the gate, we are still generating more angle on top of what we already created at the turn in for the gate. Less time means less total angle built, which means less space at one ball. Less space at one often times results in down course motion. We then end up with a bad One ball, and no one-two-punch. So what’s the cure? How do we get lots of angle without running out of space? Width.

So width and total angle through the gate directly correspond with angle and width at one ball.

That being said, timing for the pull out is important as well for obvious reasons. Due to the variance in skis, setups, and skiers, everyone’s glide on their gate pull out will be different. So when you need to pull out is up to you. I typically go about a boat length and a half before the pre-gates, but I tend to have more of a glide at my pull out.

If you were to ever have to pick between pulling out too early or too late, always pick too late. When too late, you’ll still be wide and can force the ski into the turn in with your front foot. You will have slack, but you’ll still have angle and more space. When too early, the skier tends to drift back in before turning in resulting in less angle at the turn in and less space, thus less angle and space at one ball.

In the end just remember this – get wide.


Feel free to hit me up with questions or comments at

2016 Southern Regionals

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.