Light on the Line


Light on the Line

I want to talk about being light on the line and what this concept actually means and how to incorporate it into your skiing. I have seen and heard a lot of people talk about trying to ski lighter and it translates to them just being very soft and not ever getting drive away from the boat after the turn. The idea in reality deals with carrying your speed throughout the entire pass. We feel fast on our skis due to intense acceleration. Acceleration comes from slowing too much in the turn and then trying to regain that spend instantaneously out of the turn. If speed can effectively be carried from the pullout and then carried throughout the course with minimal deceleration and acceleration then there is no need to have periods of massive acceleration which cause extreme amounts of load on the rope in a short time. The key to being light is staying connected throughout the pass, by maintaining connection off of the second wake you are able to carry your speed out and back through the finish of the turn and then begin an aggressive cut across the course. Failing to stay connected results in moving back to the inside and carrying speed down the lake with a loose rope. When the rope is loose in the turn it causes skiers to have to lose tremendous amounts of speed to regain balance. After that point the only way to regain speed is to load really hard out of the turn and accelerate quickly, thus land sliding the same process through the pass. In reality, the idea of being light on the line has everything to do with how well you control your speed in the course. Being aggressive behind the boat doesn't mean you are heavy on the line. Being heavy on the line comes from gaining all your speed instantly right off of the buoy. Instead, once your turn is complete and angle is set begin to rebuild your speed progressively all the way through the second wake. At this point you can begin to carry that speed and direction out to the next buoy. Slowing in the turn is inevitable, how you deal with that speed is what allows you to be light on the line. In the turn, move away from the boat until you move back through the turn. By doing this, you prevent yourself from being stagnant on the ski which causes imbalance and a loose line. Remember that controlled speed is your friend and by carrying that speed throughout the entire course you are in control of the actions you make.

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Balance and Speed


Balance and speed are two crucial elements of skiing but how do you use them? More importantly lets look at how you use balance and speed together to make your skiing the best it has ever been. 

Balance
Being balanced on your ski involves much more than being centered over your feet. While that is the first step, it goes much deeper. To be truly balanced all your movements must work together to move the same direction at the same time.  For instance, if you want to pull out for your gate; your shoulders, hips and feet must move together away from the boat to make an effective outbound move. If you try to make these movements independently you will find yourself feeling extreme disconnect throughout the course. If your entire body is making simple movements across the course and through the turns you can truly be in tune with what your ski is doing and maximize your efficiency and pulling power.

Speed
If speed is your friend then maintaining constant speed is your best friend. Your speed starts with the acceleration you take out on your gate pull-out. From this point it is optimal to carry this same speed throughout the course. By carrying this speed and not decelerating in the turn you allow yourself to maximize width on the boat and maintain position in the course. Any time you decelerate as a skier the boat continues on its straight line down the lake, thus forcing you more down course. The key is to move wide with speed, maintain a tight line and keep your ski moving through the backside of the turn. 

The Combination
Combining your balance and speed maximizes your potential. By taking your strong balanced position over your ski and using it to carry speed in the course you allow yourself to take more width and ski a more up-course line. One thing that really helps bring these two together is keeping both hands on the handle longer into the turn. This does not mean pulling longer but keeping both hands on for balance. As your free hand comes off the handle your inside shoulder naturally begins to drop. By keeping your hand on longer it allows your shoulders to stay more level thus allowing you to carry speed through the turn more effectively. Remember that simple is better. As skiers we often tend to over complicate things. Having a balanced pulling and turning position linked together as fluid as possible maximizes effectiveness. 

Wakeye Camera Mount

We have used a plethora of pylon camera mounts but nothing works better than the Wakeye. 
 Check out the video of Brooks using it and pick one up today at wakeye.com!

Keys to Better Performance




Keys to Better Performance


Skiing is a challenging sport. The continual chase for more buoys can be the most rewarding feeling when it works in your favor. However, it can be terribly frustrating when things don't feel quite right. Lets take a look at three key elements to help your buoy count move in a positive direction.

Training Partners

The people you ski with have an extremely big influence on your skiing. Finding someone who you trust behind the wheel is always a big first step. From there it is important to find a ski partner who motivates you to get out, train and become a better skier. Look for someone who has a similar schedule to you and can go skiing at the same times. It is crucial to train with positive people who make skiing fun and aid in your addiction to round that next buoy.

Videoing

Videoing your sets and reviewing them after you ski is more beneficial than most people realize. A single pass in a slalom course happens so fast that it is near impossible for our brains to process all the moves that we make. For this reason K.C. and I have started using video much more. By watching video you can slow it down and actually process the moves that you make verse the movements you should be making. There are many very helpful videos of talented water-skiers on the Internet as well. These allow you to see what skiers at higher levels are doing and from there you can take bits and pieces to incorporate into your own style. By studying your own movements you train yourself to become more aware of what you are actually doing on the water and it 
gives you more control in the course.

Journaling

Keep a descriptive journal of your skiing is a must. Recording your training sessions on paper and knowing what off water training you did along with conditions, ski settings and what you were working on for each set allow you to track the ups and downs of your skiing. By journaling you discover what works best for you and allows you to pinpoint exactly what aids in your success. Reviewing your journal should help you stay on you’re A-game all season long by knowing exactly what you have to do to peak at the right time and how to set yourself up for big tournaments.

Think about integrating theses aspects into your skiing this season. The time we get to spend actually on the water going through the course is minimal. By working on your skiing off the water you can become a better skier and really take advantage of your on-water training.

K.C. Revealed

Take a look at K.C.

Break Out of the Slalom Box

New spread in this month's WaterSki Mag. Different style but pumped on the result, since Radar released the Satori I've been excited do different things on it. Just go have fun.



We Love Herb, We Love Radar

Fun piece we did with Jonathan Pears, http://www.backtoawake.com/2013/, enjoy!

Wilson Bros. Photo Gallery

Over the last year we've had dozens of photo shoots resulting in hundreds of photographs, some landed in print or various places all over the interwebs. 
Below is a collection of our favorite shots within the last year, enjoy.

 K.C. at Lake Tuskawilla by Scott Atkinson
 Brooks at Radar Lake by Bill Doster
K.C. at Blue Lake II by Bill Doster
Brooks at Lake Butler by Aaron Katen
K.C. at Blue Lake II by Bill Doster
Brooks at Lake Tuskawilla by Todd Ristorcelli
K.C. at John's Lake by Bill Doster
Brooks at Lake Tuskawilla by Bill Doster




Slump Busters



Slump Busters

The dreaded slump, it’s something we never want to get in but time and time again we find ourselves in the middle of July struggling during a time we should be excelling. A slump normally starts slow, a few sets in a row not going to plan and all of the sudden the wheels fall off and it feels like you have lost everything. It is easy to lose your cool but stay calm and realize that though it may feel like the world is ending the sun will surely rise again.

When you feel yourself skiing below what you expect take a step back and look at your skiing from 30,000 feet. It is extremely easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to our own skiing. We get so focused on running one more bouy that by the middle of the season it is easy to forget about body position and think only about that next little red ball. Spend a few sets at your opening passes and really focus on the following items that play pivotal roles in our skiing.

Speed

Carrying constant speed throughout the entire pass is crucial to success. Feeling fast on our skis comes from intense acceleration. This acceleration comes from slowing too much at the bouy and then trying to load the rope instantaneously at the finish of the turn. Instead, once your turn is complete and angle is set begin to rebuild your speed progressively all the way through the second wake. At this point you can begin to carry that speed and direction out to the next bouy. Slowing in the turn is inevitable, how you deal with that speed is what allows you to be light on the line.

Balance

Standing balanced on your ski allows you to move together as one unit. If unbalanced, you are fighting yourself constantly. a balanced position is found when you are in a shoulders over hips over feet position. If all those things are in line and moving together you are being as efficient as possible on your ski. If any one of these elements is ahead of or behind the other, you are fighting yourself and not in control of the direction you are taking. Being fluid in the course is possible when you have seamless movements that flow together and allow you to stay in the level, shoulders over hips over feet position.

The most important thing is to remain calm, skiing is fun and don’t lose perspective of the situation. Always be sure to check your equipment and make sure nothing has moved and confirm your ski buddy isn’t playing a bad prank on you. Video is another good tool in this scenario. Take some video of your skiing and compare it to a time when you were skiing your best. It can be hard to feel what you are doing wrong but seeing it in comparison to your best skiing can help simplify things. Keep working thorough the rough patches in skiing and you will back to running PB’s in no time.

Slalom Sessions with K.C.


What's going on in the world of K.C. Wilson?

The new year has just begun and I'm excited as ever for what's to come! The semester just started and it seems like it will be a good challenge, but plenty of exciting things to learn none the less. And... (drum roll please) Super stoked to announce that I am signing with O'NEILL! Simply put, O'Neill is dope. And to be able to join their newly revamped team with my bro Brooks and West coast shredders Terry Winter and Makayla Haw is going to make it even better. Ideas and possibilities of things we can do to help the sport of water skiing is going to be great. The year is starting of great, but I believe the best is still yet to come.

 Anything big to expect for 2013?

I have no doubt that 2013 will be a great year in water skiing. Everyone finished the season so unbelievably with awesome scores that without a doubt the expectations are high. And that is exactly what fires me up to keep pushing myself to learn new things to be the best I can be. I always like to dream big and have high goals, so just like any business it is my job to make sure those goals are accomplished. Finally, with the 2013 season being my first summer out of juniors I plan on going all out and taking risks. Why not make all the rookie mistakes while I can? That's it that's all folks!

A New Approach



A New Approach

With every new season comes a new feeling of excitement. Not knowing what will
happen in the coming year leads us to fantasize about the tournaments we’ll attend
and the old friends we’ll see along the way. There is much to be excited about as a
new season approaches but one thing will always be the same year after year. Those
first weeks right after you start back up are going to be interesting. I’ve
got three handy tips to make your entry into 2013 a little bit easier.

1. Patience

While it may sound like common sense, patience is a must at the beginning
of the year. If you come flying into the new season trying to set a new PB within
the first week you’re going to end up with a sore back and a bruised ego. Try
free skiing for a couple sets to get your rhythm back and then hit the course. The
best way to work on getting last seasons form back is to spend some time at your
longer line lengths dialing in a good body position. A key I always like to think of is
“maintaining my speed. “ This means from the time I pull out for my exit gates to the
time I move through 6 and out the gates I am always trying to be moving on my ski.
Gone are the days where we are trying to slam dunk turns and slow the boat down
with a massive pull. Speed is your friend and by carrying speed through the turn and
leveraging yourself away from the boat properly you allow yourself to be lighter on
the line and more efficient with your body.

2. Position

Your body position is the most crucial part to your skiing success. The way
you ride your ski is vital to your success on the water. Let's start from the beginning,
from the moment you get up until you drop on the end you should be aware of how
you stand on your ski. Stand over your front foot with a slight bend in your knees.
Standing strong gives you control to move your ski where you want. During the
winter it is extremely easy to be uptight. Make sure that your shoulders and arms
stay loose and relaxed while you ski. This lets your ski to ride the way it should and
allows you to stay away and strong behind the boat. Another key to focus on is your
release off the second wake. Be strong behind the boat and when the time is right
make your move out. Allow your ski to carry direction outbound by maintaining
body position and not pulling yourself to the inside. The most crucial element to
moving from behind the boat to the turn is making it one continuous movement as
opposed to two distinct moves. By making fluid continuous movements you allow
yourself and your ski to ride more natural and balanced in the water. This leads
us to the turn. When moving back in after the bouy, progression is key. Don't try
to crank out big turns. Instead think that all your direction is now building in the
opposite direction. Once you're at the height of your turn, start moving your free
hand back on the handle and build speed cross course. This will allow you to finish
your turns in a strong balanced position and right where you want to be behind the
boat. Relax your arms and continue the process over and over again

3. Plan

Take the time to write down how you envision your season looking. Think
about what tournaments you want to do and then schedule your training
accordingly. Once that is done set some goals for yourself. Think about where you
want to be half way through the season and then at the end of the year. Setting goals
gives you something to train hard to achieve. Monitor your success and what you’ve
been working on in a journal. First and foremost though, have fun. Enjoy another
season doing what you love and keep chasing bouys!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

A New Wilson Bros. Tee

Christmas is coming and what better way to celebrate than with a new Wilson Bros. Tee? Do it!


Wilson Bros. Tee

Breaking it Down



Breaking it Down

Fall is here, the season is coming to an end and you are trying to squeeze in your last sets for the year. Instead of trying to cram in one final practice personal best for the year, lets look at the big picture. While it can be a thrill to practice those short line sets it is more important to finish the season maintaining the good form you spent all summer establishing. By finishing the season working on your opening passes and keeping good rhythm and body position in the course you are creating muscle memory. This is the muscle memory your brain will pull from at the start of next season so do your future a favor and kick start an easy 2013 by finishing 2012 as strong as it started. Lets review my favorite excerpts from this season’s articles to give you some keys to work on while you finish up this years skiing. 

January/February
"In Line"

As you complete the turn you should end up in a balanced position over your ski. To be balanced on your ski requires many things, but the most crucial being that everything is moving the same direction at the same time. A balanced position is found when you are in a shoulders over hips over feet position, referred to as in line. If all those things are in line and moving together you are being as efficient as possible on your ski. If any one of these elements is ahead of or behind the other, you are fighting yourself and not in control of the direction you are taking. Being in line allows you to ride your ski in the way it was designed and wastes less energy while fighting your way cross-course. Once you have established this out of your turn it is imperative that you hold this position all the way through the second wake and then move outward, still in this balanced position. 

May/June
Being Connected

Chances are you have heard this term before but what does it mean? Put simply, being connected means that there is no separation between your hands and your body. When there is a separation between the two, it results in an inadequate pull from the boat. Getting a strong pull from the boat is necessary to get speed across the course and arrive at the next buoy. To establish this connection you have to move through the turn and have your hips move up to the handle from the start. If you turn and then try to establish this position it is too late and more than likely you are being pulled out of position by the boat. At the finish of the turn, focus on bringing your free hand to the handle simultaneously as your ski is coming back under the rope. When done correctly you will feel your hips and hands connecting at the finish of the turn. During this phase, focus on relaxing your arms as you use your core to keep your hips up to the handle. If this move is done correctly you can then adequately build speed cross-course from a connected position.

July/August
Line Tension

Skiing with a tight line is critical, especially as the rope gets shorter. With a tight line it is possible to move through the turn with speed. Without a tight line you are forced to wait at the bouy for the line to get tight before moving through the turn. To maintain line tension you must be aware of the direction you are taking at all times. Similar to speed maintenance you don't want to lose direction off the second wake. After you make a balanced move away from the boat be aware of what your hands are doing. If your hands stop moving away they are more than likely going back towards the boat. Work on effectively keeping two hands on the handle longer. This will keep you more balanced on your ski as well as keep you moving away from the boat with a tight rope. When your free hand comes off, move it away from your body while simultaneously moving your handle hand constantly away from the boat until it's time to turn. When turning, reconnect your hands with your core while carrying speed cross course to optimize tight line skiing.

Team Radar Night Session Radar Lake

Team RadaR got together during dealer days to put on a one of a kind night contest unlike anything else. Instead of a traditional format, each person was given 5.5 minutes to see how big of a score they could put up. Watch this teaser vid to see some of the action that went down.

The Future is Now, 2013 Radar Strada is Here

A quick glimpse of the 2013 Radar Strada with much more to come from RadaR Skis.

Keeping it Fun!




Keeping it Fun

Skiing is a fun sport, plain and simple. The number of hours spent on the lake is countless and the number of bouys we turn is astronomically high. What other sport do you get to hang out on a lake and enjoy the sun and fresh air like we do? We're all blessed to enjoy such an amazing time on the water. However, it is extremely easy to take this for granted. It is easy to get caught up on a rope length and get frustrated and just as easy to spend hours upset after a poor set on the lake. What we often forget to remember is that skiing is a good time to be shared with friends. As the year winds down and weekend competitions come to an end, keep the fire burning by enjoying your lake sessions with friends. Let's take a look at three unique ways to spice up your rides.

Skiing Doubles

Traditionally you go skiing all by yourself, but it is definitely something that can be fun to do with someone else. Riding doubles is a perfect way to do this. Hook up two ropes and the lake can change tremendously. Now that you are out with your friend you can spray each other, jump the wakes and have a good time. For the daring, you can cut back and forth simultaneously or even shorten up one rope and go over/under. It can get tricky out there, so always be safe when riding doubles.

Fun Contest

We all like to ski in contests and see how short we can go up the rope. However, maybe not everyone in your crew is on the same competitive level. A fun way to mix it up is to break out that old wooden Dick Pope and see who can do the best. Riding on something different tends to level up the playing field a bit and change the dynamics. Drop the speed down and see who can manipulate the course on something a little different. If you don't have an old wooden ski, a trick ski works well or you can even try riding opposite foot forward. Just do whatever it takes to have some fun out there.

Build Something

If you have ever checked out thewilsonbros.com you will see a plethora of waterski contraptions we have built and tried to ride. These include a couch on skis, a bike, even snow skis. Now that the season is over you may have some extra time to play around and not focus on running the course every time. Take a break and come up with something unique to ride on the water. A disc is fairly simple to build and offers a ton of towing options. Come up with something creative and enjoy your fall sessions on the lake.

Whatever you do, remember that you started skiing because it was fun. Recall those first skiing memories, which more than likely took place off the course. Get back to your free skiing roots and always enjoy every minute you are on the lake!

K.C. scores another cover!

K.C. ripped his way onto the cover of another mag!


Fire on the Water, The Wilson Bros. Flare Skiing

A sneak peak and behind the scenes look at the video
behind the shot in the 2012 Fall issue of WaterSki Magazine.




2013 Radar Skis Coming in Hot

Team Radar took a trip down to our secret location in the Flahamas and shredded on Blue Lake!

Training With A Purpose



When is the last time you hit the water with a single goal in mind for your set? It is crucial to have a plan of attack when you hit the water. By going out there with a set plan it allows you to be productive every time. There are lots of great keys you can focus on but let's go over three simple things that are sure to improve your sets!

Speed Maintenance

Maintaining the same speed from your gate pullout throughout the entire course is an absolute must. By keeping the speed throughout the pass you allow yourself to move up the boat with freedom and ease. Carrying speed through the turn is tough but not as hard as people make it. By continually moving outbound off the second wake you are able to effectively prevent yourself from standing stagnant and unbalanced on your ski. Anytime you are riding flat on your ski it causes you to lose the rope and fall inside, losing speed in the process. Work on moving away into the turn all the way to the point where you turn back in on the bouy.

Balance

If you are riding your ski in an unbalanced position it is extremely hard to make progression in the course. It is also hard to establish a connected position in the middle of a pass. Before you pull out for the gates makes sure you are riding your ski in an in-line position. Being in-line requires that you are balanced with your shoulders over your hips and your hips over your feet. Starting from this spot allows everything to move together in the same position at the same time. By moving together at the same time you are more effective on your ski. This also helps you move with fluidity during your pass, maximizing balance.

Line Tension

Skiing with a tight line is critical especially as the rope gets shorter. With a tight line it is possible to move through the turn with speed. Without a tight line you are forced to wait at the bouy for the line to get tight before moving through the turn. To maintain line tension you must be aware of the direction you are taking at all times. Similar to speed maintenance you don't want to lose direction off the second wake. After you make a balanced move away from the boat be aware of what your hands are doing. If your hands stop moving away they are more than likely going back towards the boat. Work on effectively keeping two hands on the handle longer. This will keep you more balanced on your ski as well as keep you moving away from the boat with a tight rope. When your free hand comes off, move it away from your body while simultaneously moving your handle hand constantly away from the boat until it's time to turn. When turning, reconnect your hands with your core while carrying speed cross course to optimize tight line skiing.

Focusing on simple keys like the ones above during your set allows you to zero in a specific point in your skiing and perfect it. When taking sets with such a specific goal in mind it is important to judge your set on how well you completed your goal as opposed to how many bouys you ran. It is still important to have sets in which you run up the rope and maximize your bouy count but having sets in which you focus on important keys allows your skiing to reach full its potential. 

K.C. Breaks the Record!

K.C. Wilson put himself into the record books on Saturday at Palm Bay, FL by smashing the Boys 3 National Slalom record formerly co-held by Chris Parrish and Jon Travers at 1.5@41. It was the oldest record in the books initially set by Parrish on June 15, 1996. K.C. ran 3@41 opening it up and catapulting himself into the top 5 on the current year's world standings list. 

Wilson has been knocking on the door for over 12 months by running -39 consistently. Most recently, he three-peated his title at the Jr. Us Open and tied his Tournament Record on Robin Lake en route to winning another Jr. Masters Slalom title. 

K.C. is the better looking, fresher smelling partner of the prolific whirlwind duo known as The Wilson Bros.  He is also sponsored by Radar Skis, Nautique and Performance Ski and Surf. Life-size cardboard figures and big-wig bobble head dolls will be available shortly. Please visit www.radarskis.com for more information. 


K.C. Crushing some 39's!

 Hancock had their June Record and K.C. smoked 39 both rounds!

K.C. Rocks it in Sports Illustrated!

K.C. was in the Faces in the Crowd section of the last Sports Illustrated, go get a copy!


K.C. Takes Gold at the Masters!

K.C. shredded Robin Lake and took the win at this years Jr. Masters!

Mexico!

Just got back from a quick, fun trip to Mexico! It was a great tournament and we got to do lots of exploring and sight seeing. Mexico is an awesome place and the trip was a blast!


Making Moves



As skiers, we often get caught up in the intricate details that make up an entire slalom pass. The fastest anyone will get through a slalom course is, at most, 16.08 seconds. While that doesn't seem like a lot of time, think about all the movements that take place in that timeframe.  It is more time than most people realize. No two buoys will ever be the same.  There will always be something different about every turn or movement that is made. We tend to agonize and think about all the little things that happen in a pass and it can consume our thoughts. It is a waste of valuable time to over think these little moves. Instead, let's look at two big keys to work on every time you are in the course.

Being Connected
Chances are you have heard this term before but what does it mean? Put simply, being connected means that there is no separation between your hands and your body. When there is a separation between the two, it results in an inadequate pull from the boat. Getting a strong pull from the boat is necessary to get speed across the course and arrive at the next buoy. To establish this connection you have to move through the turn and have your hips move up to the handle from the start. If you turn and then try to establish this position it is too late and more than likely you are being pulled out of position by the boat. At the finish of the turn, focus on bringing your free hand to the handle simultaneously as your ski is coming back under the rope. When done correctly you will feel your hips and hands connecting at the finish of the turn. During this phase, focus on relaxing your arms as you use your core to keep your hips up to the handle. If this move is done correctly you can then adequately build speed cross-course from a connected position.

Keeping a Tight Line
Slack rope is no fun at all but how do you get a tight line? The key to keeping a tight line is to carry your direction away from the boat. If you begin to move back to the inside you carry your speed down the lake and end up with a loose line in the turn. By maintaining your connection off the second wake you allow all of your speed to be carried away from the boat resulting in a tight rope through the turn. As you exit the second wake focus on where your hands are, keep your handle and core together and feel yourself move over your front foot as you carry speed outbound. Keep holding this direction as you move toward the buoy. Concentrate on keeping both hands on the handle until the turn. By rushing your free hand off the handle you lose balance easier, keeping two hands on longer allows you to be in control. Once it's time to turn, take your free hand off the handle and rip through the turn with a tight line.

By focusing on keys like this during your set you are able to look at the crucial aspects of a good pass through the course.

Skierpalooza!


Skierpalooza took place at O.C. Waterski Club last weekend and it was awesome! We pulled ski rides all day Saturday and Sunday. A ton of new people got on Strada's and absolutely loved them. Saturday night there was an art show and fundraiser at the Villas of Grand Cypress and it was insane. Bill Doster's Art looked phenomenal and all the pieces got auctioned off to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. If you didn't make it down this year definitely do in the future, it was a blast. Check out the photos and video below.


K.C.'s a Cover Boy!

K.C. just scored the cover of the new WaterSki Mag, go check your mailbox!


Misconceptions: Outbound Direction

As a skier moves off the second wake, it opens up a world of possibilities as to what line he can take into the bouy. I generally see people rush toward the buoy off the second wake, forcing them inside and down course before they can turn. This led me to write some articles talking about carrying direction away from the boat off the second wake. I want to take this time to dig a little deeper into that concept and see how that direction should be carried. As you exit the wake, maintain the connection between your hips and hands as you begin to move over your front foot. This move should be driven by your core and not your shoulders. Think about the line your handle would take if it stayed tight and moved up the boat into the turn. That's the same line that you as a skier want to take. If you try to take more direction than the boat will allow, you will experience an extreme disconnect between your lower and upper body. Forcing your feet outbound without your body results in long drawn out turns that  make becoming connected again difficult. By staying in an in-line, shoulders over hips over feet, position you allow yourself to be in control of the moves you make. Maintaining that connection is what gives you the strength to control exactly how much direction off the second wake you want. Don't come off the second wake and push your ski outbound thinking that's what gives you momentum outward. The outward momentum comes from moving everything together at the same time in the same direction. It all starts with the hips and hands connection off the second wake and works towards moving everything together over your front foot and into the turn. The key here is to ski an attainable line that puts you in the best position to carry speed through the turn. The more balanced and in control you are on your ski is what makes this possible. Making these moves fluid is key. All moves should be linked together in seamless fashion.


Skierpalooza

Radar has partnered up with the Prevent Cancer Foundation to bring you an awesome day of skiing at the end of April. If you can't make it out for the event please consider making a donation to the foundation. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer so check out http://skierpalooza.com and make a donation today!


Get to Know Your Wilson Bros: K.C. Wilson

K.C. lives and breaths slalom skiing. Watch a quick video of him training for the 2012 season.

Misconceptions: Light on the Line


This will be the first article in a three part series of misconceptions a lot of skiers have while on the water. I want to talk about being light on the line and what this concept actually means and how to incorporate it into your skiing. I have seen and heard a lot of people talk about trying to ski lighter and it translates to them just being very soft and not ever getting drive away from the boat after the turn. The idea in reality deals with carrying your speed throughout the entire pass. We feel fast on our skis due to intense acceleration. Acceleration comes from slowing too much in the turn and then trying to regain that spend instantaneously out of the turn. If speed can effectively be carried from the pullout and then carried throughout the course with minimal deceleration and acceleration then there is no need to have periods of massive acceleration which cause extreme amounts of load on the rope in a short time. The key to being light is staying connected throughout the pass, by maintaining connection off of the second wake you are able to carry your speed out and back through the finish of the turn and then begin an aggressive cut across the course. Failing to stay connected results in moving back to the inside and carrying speed down the lake with a loose rope. When the rope is loose in the turn it causes skiers to have to lose tremendous amounts of speed to regain balance. After that point the only way to regain speed is to load really hard out of the turn and accelerate quickly, thus land sliding the same process through the pass. In reality, the idea of being light on the line has everything to do with how well you control your speed in the course. Being aggressive behind the boat doesn't mean you are heavy on the line. Being heavy on the line comes from gaining all your speed instantly right off of the bouy. Instead, once your turn is complete and angle is set begin to rebuild your speed progressively all the way through the second wake. At this point you can begin to carry that speed and direction out to the next bouy. Slowing in the turn is inevitable, how you deal with that speed is what allows you to be light on the line. In the turn, move away from the boat until you move back through the turn. By doing this, you prevent yourself from being stagnant on the ski which causes imbalance and a loose line. Remember that controlled speed is your friend and by carrying that speed throughout the entire course you are in control of the actions you make. 


New Beginnings

It's time to take a fresh look at one thing many people tend to overlook in their skiing; the gate. It's a new season and the best way to start it off is by dialing that gate right from the start. We're going to break it into three parts; the out, the up and the in. When executed properly, these flow together in seamless fashion.

The Out
To start your outward move you should stand just to the left of the trough in a balanced "in line" position. From this place you can begin to generate outbound direction. The key on the gate is to get width without creating load on the line. To do this, think of making the same move you would off the second wake. Feel the pull coming through the right hand and think about following the natural path of the handle as the acceleration is made. A problem I see time and time again is people using their shoulders to initiate this move which results in an overloading and drift back to the inside. When done properly, your core moving out should be what generates your speed. To do this you must have a connection between your hands and hips. Once you have established the proper body position you can begin your pullout. You want to make an aggressive yet progressive move out. While you need to be strong on that first move you want to continually build the speed. After you have made a good strong move out, you will feel yourself move over the ski leading to the next part, "the up".

The Up
                                                                                                    
The speed you created on "the out" is what allows your ski to continue carrying outbound direction. At this point, whether you are using a one or two handed gate, you should be focusing on letting the ski naturally move out from under you. By letting the ski do this, you are creating the space needed to fall back in for the gate. The key here is to stay balanced over your ski as it carries out. A lot of people mistakenly push the ski in front which forces them onto the back foot in the turn in. Staying balanced over your ski allows you to continually carry speed, making it possible to be fluid into, "the in".

The In
                                                                  
Once you have properly completed "the out" and "the up", "the in" is quite simple. By doing all the work in the first two steps you allow yourself to fall back in naturally. You will feel your ski start to pull back in and you should not fight this move as it is what generates your angle into the gate. Whether one or two handed you should focus on making the connection back between your hands and core. By keeping this connection, you allow your speed and angle to be maintained into the bouy. Failure to make this connection results in your hips behind you and a narrow line into one ball. Once you've made the connection your focus should be on progressively building speed to the right hand gate ball. If you instantaneously build all your speed you will have loaded the line and peel back to the inside. Continually building speed allows a clean release to happen off the second wake and the ability to carry speed through the turn at one ball. 
                                                                                           
These keys when executed properly will flow together seamlessly in one move as opposed to three. For learning purposes it is easier to think about them separately but execute them together. By following these steps, you will repeatedly find yourself on an earlier more manageable and consistent line into one ball.