I have made pretty good progress this year and just got back from skiing 4 days at Okeheelee. I've been knocking on the door of 28 off for a few weeks now and finally ran it twice in Florida. Of course you have to shorten it to 32 off just for the record books and also so that you can go back to the dock with the green loop on (not that any one is really gonna notice). I had no love at 32 though, only 1/2.
At least I can officially call myself a shortline skier now (after 7 years of course skiing). Running 32 mph, 34 mph and 22 off off the dock now most of the time. It feels good to finally get somewhere. Okeheelee is my happy place.
You know when someone posts just to brag about a new personal best and it's kind of annoying? Well I'm gonna be that person today. I can't help it because I did two things I'm pretty proud of.
One is that I ran 1 1/2 at 28 off the dock. That is 32mph, 34mph, 22 off and then 1 1/2 at 28. So that was my first time running 22 right up the line. The second thing is that I ran 5 1/2 at 28 later in the same set (previous PB was 3 1/2). It was so close. I'm pretty confident that I will run it before the season is over.
Thank you for listening!
I'm not sure how many of you read my thread on BOS in March where I tell the world I bought a house in West Palm Beach. So, ya, I bought a house in West Palm Beach as a project and an investment. It is a beautiful old house that needs a complete restoration. This is the reason I went to Florida 3 times this winter and I am here now.
This trip I am on a mission to hire the contractors that need to be listed on the permit application. I am applying as an owner/builder and not using a general contractor. I plan on trying to run the job myself which should be interesting considering I live in Toronto. I guess I will have to make the sacrifice of having to make multiple trips to Florida, poor me.
Anyway, I skied with Jeff Kepchia again yesterday. He was skiing with a guy who was introduced as Harold. I'm like "okay, nice to meet you Harold" and then Harold proceeds to run down the line and make 3 at 41. Turns out it's Harold Hintringer another Big Dog skier. He and Jeff are skiing in the Texas Big Dawg in a week or two. Harold is skiing very well and should be able to put up a decent score, he was 4th last year.
I felt pretty special putting that rope on the white loop and being in the boat with such elite skiers. There was also a woman named Laurie skiing with us who skies into 35 off. It's always good to ski with people who are better then you so this was definitely the case.
The water temp is 90 degrees. This is the warmest water I have ever skied in in my life. It's really weird to feel the water warmer then the air when it's 85 out. Conditions were good and the boat is a Nautique 200 so I managed to run my 22 off again. Harold had me working on being more upright in my glide before the turn in which is something that I never paid much attention to.
I will be skiing with them again tomorrow and will try to get some pictures
I had some nice conditions yesterday morning and ran 22 off at 34 for the first time this season. I ran it last year for the very first time on Sept. 27th and then a few more times before the season ended. So I'm pretty happy about this.
I'd still like to be more consistent with the 34 mph pass though as I'm still only making it about 50% of the time.
Had a lovely day today at the lake with water well into the 70's and air in the high 70's. Ditching the drysuit a couple weeks ago and the water warming up really does help my skiing. Have dropped my 30 mph pass and am making 100% of my 32's and 50% of my 34's. Today I made 4 at 22 off/34. Just looked at my ski log from last year and I didn't get 4 at 22 until mid September so this is quite a good start for me.
Finally some of this time, money and effort is starting to pay off. I think it helped for me to go to Florida 3 times in the winter. Also spending a lot of time on water ski websites, watching video and reading about technique, has helped.
I had a year (2010) where I did not gain one bouy for the entire season and it was very frustrating. Last year (2011) I vowed that that would not happen again and I did make some decent progress. I think what made the difference for me was really concentrating on every pass of every set on what I specifically need to do in the course. Never letting my guard down and going on auto pilot. I am not a naturally gifted skier so my auto pilot is not to be trusted, ever.
What I need to do is think about my technique while waiting on the dock, think about it again on the set up, think about it in the water after the first pass, again in the water after the second pass and so on. Think about it ALL THE TIME.
The things I personally need to remember are to keep the ski on edge with intensity through the gates and get super wide and early. My turns are fairly good but I need to keep the ski on edge through both wakes and not let off my pull too soon then change edges quicker. I havbe all this condensed into single key words that I try to repeat in my head throughout the course.
I am not a natually aggressive skier so I have to constantly remind myself to keep up the intensity. I even have this thing where I grunt like a weight lifter in my wake crossings to help get that extra "oomph". I'm glad no one can hear me do that from the boat or the shore (I've asked).
I don't know if anyone will get anything out of this rant but I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you have to "bring it" to the course every time to see any real improvement.
Our water is now up to 60 and the air the last few days has been low 70's. Still in a drysuit, I like to wait until the water is at least 65 before I ditch the wetsuit and go to a shorty (I don't have a full wetsuit).
My skiing is quite a bit ahead of where I was at this time last year, but nowhere near where it was at the end of the season. I'm not one of those people who can jump in and pick up where they left off the previous year. I'm getting all my 30mph passes and most of my 32's and then 3 at 34 and that's it for now. During 2 sets today, I must have got 3@34 five or six times but just couldn't make it past that.
I want to blame the cold water, the drysuit or anything else but the truth is that I think that I'm not getting wide enough on ball one. I'm early but not wide and that is killing the 34mph pass. If I can fix that, 34 will go down and then onwards and upwards once the water warms up and the drysuit comes off.
It was a beautiful sunny day today so I couldn't resist skiing even though the air was only about 55 and the water was 49. (I wasn't the only one, 4 or 5 skiers and a couple of wakeboarders used the club today.)
I have an O'Neil Assualt drysuit which I wore with a heater top under it and my vest over it. The neoprene top wasn't the most comfortable thing to wear under the drysuit but I was perfectly warm and dry in it. The hardest part was the ice cream headache.
I did 2 sets of 6 passes. My normal sets are usually 8 passes but 6 will do for this time o year. I shadowed a bit, ran most of my 30's and a few balls at 32. It was quite windy as well so all in all it was more about excercise and getting the ski muscles back in shape.
The forecast looks decent for this week with a couple of days in the 60's and 70's so I hope to get out again soon.
I just got back from Florida yesterday where I was skiing at Okeheelee Park. This was my third trip this winter and I have to say the conditions this time were amazing. Well into the 80's for the air, no wind and the water around 77 every day.
I skied 2 sets everyday for the 4 days I was there which was pretty intense. I was quite pleased with my skiing, I didn't miss a single 30 or 32 mph pass and ran 34 almost every set and got 2 at 22 a couple of times.
But that's not the best part. The best part of the trip was having the opportunity on one of the days to ski with Big Dawg skier Jeff Kepchia behind his Nautique 200. (I know this is not as exciting as Anthony's trip to Ski Paradise, but it was still exciting for me.) There were three things that were cool about this experience.
I've always wanted the chance to ski behind a 200 and I'm a little embarassed to say that I didn't even notice it was one until after I skied. I skied so well behind it and it felt so good and easy to cross the wakes that I wish I never had to go back to skiing behind anything else. It was a real confidence builder to feel so smooth and strong.
2. Watching a Big Dawg Skier
Jeff ran his 32, 35 and 38 and I felt privledged to put that 39 1/2 off loop onto the pylon, my first time doing that for anybody. The thing that struck me the most about him was his ability to make a mistake and then be able to correct himself in the blink of an eye and get back in the pass. His best pass that day was 4 @ 39 1/2.
3. The Coaching
Before I skied I made myself sound really bad because I really think I am. But Jeff was actually impressed with my skiing. He said I shouldn't sell myself short and that I had very good fundamantals. He felt that if I could just lock myself into the good position that I start out with at the first wake through both wakes that I could progress very quickly from there.
So there you have the beginning of my season. I tend to ski much better in warm water so hopefully I'm not back to square one when I finally start skiing up here in the Great (not so White anymore) North.