Due to various circumstances I have been skiing very little this summer. Not all bad, mind you, I got to go to hockey camp which was absolutely fantastic. But now, due to house guests, weather, and other commitments it is not the usual. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the water level is going down early, so we may need to pull the course out in a few weeks!
All is not lost though. I am really enjoying the skiing that I am doing. My schedule for the last two weeks and for the next three allows me to ski Monday and Tuesday, instead of the normal weekend. It doesn't get any better than that on a public lake!
So how's it going? Great! I have been skiing at least one free ski session each day prior to running the course since there is no pressure to ski the course before the weekend tubers arrive. Basically, all I have been doing is rhythm and position at various speeds and lines. Then, I'm trying to take this relaxed approach into the course at 15 off, 30, 32 and 34. When it stops feeling the way it did on the open water I stop to avoid diminishing returns.
What have I learned in my three weekends? I have stopped thinking wide. Yup. I have discovered that thinking up-on-the-boat works best for me and I am able to gage this more easily when free skiing. Up on the boat translates more to using my speed to swing more of the arc with less resistance. It just feels more slick and efficient to me. When I think wide I tend to rotate away from the boat and for all the effort, very little of it helps me carry out and up or to swing. Another thing about paying attention to this is that I can immediately tell what is changing when the speed goes up or as fatigue sets in. For instance, when going from 32 to 34, it seems more difficult to move up on the boat at first and I am unable to truly finish my turns and gain angle. If I work harder, it seems to get worse. But because I'm free skiing I can start all over and adjust my stance, pull out, and timing until it feels like 32.
The other thing that I have taken the time to become more aware of is that by moving up on the boat more it has become MUCH easier to get my butt forward and engage my front foot in the preturn. I can be taller and ski farther around the turn before hookup. It even is making trailing arm pressure work where I previously had difficulty. This is just making life much better at the finish and into the wakes. It is also the first thing to go out the window in the course when I'm late and narrow so I have been using it as a self-test as to whether a pass was any good or not.
Anyway, I just thought writing this stuff down would help solidify what has been working the last few weeks.