(no pictures or video, just a quick update)
Ok, I can't seem to get this figured out.
I'm skiing pretty well right now and having tons of fun, but I've been stuck at the 3 - 5 ball mark at 34mph for over a month and can't seem to break through. It's to the point where I feel it's becoming mental instead of physical.
I had a "new" problem pop up that seems to have coincided when I switched over to the RTP where I'm getting a loose line on my offside (2, 4) turns.
This happens all the time at 34mph, all the time at 32mph in tournaments and only once in a while at 32mph in practice.
When I get this loose line 1 of 3 things happens...
1 - I'm forced to pull way back on the handle and thus get on the tail of the ski only to fall over to the inside of my turn since I have nothing to lean against. I wrote about this phenomenon in the article - I was almost too early.
2 - If I manage the line without it being loose (not sure how I do it), I can't get my body into position and have zero angle going to 3 ball.
3 - If I manage the line while it's still loose, I can't take the hit from the boat (I'm not in a stacked position with the handle at my chest) and get crunched over.
I realize that I let some of my form slide when I switched to the RTP but I've either slipped further than I thought, or I just can't get it back.
I've tried a number of solutions...
1 - Making sure I'm more connected (inside elbow touching vest) coming off the second wake. Perhaps I'm still not doing this well enough?
2 - Last night I tried doing a better job of keeping my head up going around the offside ball. This tends to slow down and delay my reach.
3 - Last night I also tried getting in an even better stacked position behind the boat so that I'm wider and earlier to 2 ball so I don't have to think so hard about the perfect turn.
While I don't think my stacked position is "bad" per se - it can be better (see Butterfield's article). The theory that Greg and I were working on together was that right now I need to ski a pass real pretty and perfectly or I don't make it at all. If I can create more space by being earlier, I can make a mistake at the turn and still run the pass.
4 - I've also been thinking about what BD said in my post above, keep the shoulder open more through the offside turn. I think it's possible one reason why I get a loose line on the offside is that I close off the shoulder too soon. And, the reason why it always comes up at 34, and 32 in tournaments is because I'm not trusting and being patient with that body position like I do at the slower speeds and in practice.