Water Skiing and Wakeboarding by Ben Favret

5359fd02beb4df9-261x361.jpeg Author Ben Favret
Isbn 9780736086349
File size 37.6MB
Year 2010
Pages 200
Language English
File format PDF
Category sport


Water Skiing and Wakeboarding Ben Favret Human Kinetics Human Kinetics Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Favret, Ben, 1965-. Water skiing and wakeboarding / Ben Favret. -- Rev. ed. p. cm. “Revised edition of Complete Guide to Water Skiing, published in 1997 by Human Kinetics.” Includes index. ISBN-13: 978-0-7360-8634-9 (soft cover) ISBN-10: 0-7360-8634-X (soft cover) 1. Water skiing. 2. Wakeboarding. I. Title. GV840.S5.F39 2010 797.3’5--dc22 2010025114 ISBN-10: 0-7360-8634-X (print) ISBN-13: 978-0-7360-8634-9 (print) Copyright © 2010 by Ben Favret All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying, and recording, and in any information storage and retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. This book is a revised edition of Complete Guide to Water Skiing, published in 1997 by Human Kinetics. Acquisitions Editor: Justin Klug; Developmental Editor: Heather Healy; Assistant Editor: Michael Bishop; Copyeditor: Patsy Fortney; Indexer: Dan Connolly; Permission Manager: Martha Gullo; Graphic Designer: Robert Reuther; Graphic Artist: Tara Welsch; Cover Designer: Keith Blomberg; Photographer (cover): Thomas Gustafson; Photographer (interior): Neil Bernstein; Visual Production Assistant: Joyce Brumfield; Photo Production Manager: Jason Allen; Art Manager: Kelly Hendren; Associate Art Manager: Alan L. Wilborn; Illustrators: Sara Wolfsmith, Alan L. Wilborn, Robert Reuther; Printer: United Graphics We thank Bennett’s Water Ski and Wakeboard School in Zachary, LA, for assistance in providing the location for the photo shoot for this book. Human Kinetics books are available at special discounts for bulk purchase. Special editions or book excerpts can also be created to specification. For details, contact the Special Sales Manager at Human Kinetics. Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 The paper in this book is certified under a sustainable forestry program. Human Kinetics Web site: www.HumanKinetics.com United States: Human Kinetics P.O. Box 5076 Champaign, IL 61825-5076 800-747-4457 e-mail: [email protected] Australia: Human Kinetics 57A Price Avenue Lower Mitcham, South Australia 5062 08 8372 0999 e-mail: [email protected] Canada: Human Kinetics 475 Devonshire Road Unit 100 Windsor, ON N8Y 2L5 800-465-7301 (in Canada only) e-mail: [email protected] New Zealand: Human Kinetics P.O. Box 80 Torrens Park, South Australia 5062 0800 222 062 e-mail: [email protected] Europe: Human Kinetics 107 Bradford Road Stanningley Leeds LS28 6AT, United Kingdom +44 (0) 113 255 5665 e-mail: [email protected] 00_E4922_FM_i-xii.indd 2 E4922 8/26/10 3:22 PM To Cas, Reed, Adrienne, Garrett, and Yvette. May you find your passion and make your dreams a reality. 00_E4922_FM_i-xii.indd 3 8/26/10 3:22 PM Contents Acknowledgments vii • Before You Begin ix Chapter 1 Skiing and Wakeboarding Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Chapter 2 Physical Conditioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Chapter 3 Fundamental Movements and Boat Motion . . . . . . . . . . 37 Chapter 4 Slalom Skiing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Chapter 5 Wakeboarding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 iv ◀ 00_E4922_FM_i-xii.indd 4 8/26/10 3:22 PM Chapter 6 Trick Skiing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Chapter 7 Jump Skiing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Chapter 8 Off- and On-Water Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 Chapter 9 Competing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Chapter 10 A Lifetime of Fun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 Index 181 • About the Author 187 ▶ 00_E4922_FM_i-xii.indd 5 v 8/26/10 3:22 PM ACknowledgments t he people who contributed their knowledge, expertise, and coaching skills are what make this book special. The most accomplished, innovative, and respected coaches in the world served as my consultants, advisors, and sounding board in making this project happen. Jay and Anne Bennett of Bennett’s Water Ski and Wakeboard School have always been there for me, and so many others opened up their homes and ski sites to us and modeled for great photos that really bring the coaching points to life. Jay and Freddy Krueger (former staff member of Bennett’s) contributed to chapter 7, Jump Skiing, as well. I could not have finished chapter 5, Wakeboarding, without the direction of Mike Ferraro and the editing of Chet Raley. Chet’s coaching skills and ideas are also used in a few other chapters. Mike Ferraro shaped how I wrote this book. He also urged me to contact Brent Larson, who spent hours with me not only on writing chapter 6, Trick Skiing, but also on helping me explain some concepts that are shaping how athletes train, move, and compete. Brent connected me with Harold Harb, innovator of snow ski coaching. Harold’s ideas and ability to explain the movements of our sport changed how I ski, train, and coach. Harold and Brent’s contributions were incredibly helpful in chapter 3, Fundamental Movements and Boat Motion. Although I am a slalom skier, the insights of Steven Schnitzer, Andy Mapple, and Mark Bozicevic make that chapter one that I turn to when I get lost and am trying to figure out how to get a few extra buoys or set up my ski. Skiing is a team sport no matter who is behind the boat or on the podium. You need a family to support you and allow you to pursue your dreams. My wife, Yvette, and kids, Cas, Reed, Adrienne, and Garrett, have provided the opportunity and have sacrificed so I can chase my dreams and accomplish my goals. I am eternally grateful. You need a driver and ski partners to train and motivate you. I have a great one: Matt Heinz. There are many others I ski with, not as often as Matt, who always help me in more ways than they might understand. They keep the process of improvement as fun as the results. Thank you, John, Marc, Marco, Doug, Jerome, Steve, Kyle, Chad, and Boz. Similarly, publishing a book is a team sport. Justin, Heather, and Neil, thank you for making it happen on the publishing side. Thanks to Dave Goode for providing skis and Chuck Gleason for providing Eagle vests and gear. And a final huge thank-you to all of the skiers and Bennett’s pro staff members who helped out in so many ways: Andy, Steve, Matteo, Megan, Esteban, Alvaro, Ramona, Stinne, Chris, Daniel, Claire, David, and Ace. ▶ 00_E4922_FM_i-xii.indd 7 vii 8/26/10 3:22 PM Before You Begin w hen you drive by or fly over a body of water, do you wonder who’s riding on that lake and whether a slider, jump, or slalom course could fit in it? Have you found yourself waking up at 6 a.m. to get the smooth-as-glass water, going to coaches and camps, and spending hours chatting it up with fellow addicts about the best techniques, skis, boards, bindings, boats, drivers, coaches, and lakes? If so, you’re not alone in your craving to get more of those ever-elusive, adrenaline-packed moments when you feel at one with your ski(s) or board, effortlessly linking turns or tricks and rocketing off a jump. At last count, over 11 million people in the United States, and double that worldwide, share your passion for water skiing or wakeboarding. Skiers and wakeboarders are long on ambition and die-hard in their resolve, but many, even some of the best-known pros, train haphazardly at best. Many are tempted to do what others are doing without recognizing that they may have a completely different style and struggle with completely different issues of technique, style, or equipment. This book will arm you with the facts, based on research, about what to do on and off the water. It also offers a process, framework, and vocabulary to guide you in getting better where it matters, behind the boat. When you buy a new boat, you get an owner’s manual to teach you how to safely operate and maintain your new toy. This book is like an owner’s manual that will teach you how to safely achieve your own best performance behind the boat. Need for Continuous Improvement Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. Simply put, the idea is to find and fix the flaw, which improves the system. How does this apply to skiing or wakeboarding? Many boarders’ and skiers’ process of learning and getting better is erratic and inconsistent. Often, people improve rapidly at first, but as the moves, tricks, and techniques get more difficult, fundamental weaknesses prevent them from getting better. They may lack the necessary strength and conditioning; they may not have the right skis, board, bindings, gloves, or boat; they may not understand the proper technique; or they may not have the mental discipline to stick with the process of improvement. In many cases, skill development plateaus and frustration sets in, sometimes reducing the fun, too. The good news is that you can improve and perform better. No matter how much you know or how good you are, you can always improve some facet of your skills. Many athletes raising the championship trophy or receiving the gold metal are tremendously skilled and may well be the best their sport has ever seen, but have not yet realized their full potential. To be as good as you can be, you need a systematic way to assess yourself, find problems, and make improvements. ▶ 00_E4922_FM_i-xii.indd 9 ix 8/26/10 3:22 PM x ◀ Before You Begin Process for Continuous Improvement The USA Water Ski coaches’ manual says: “Technically speaking, water skiing is a highly sophisticated and complex outcome based movement task that requires the skier to perceive, interpret, and perform a variety of movement combinations with accuracy, finesse, timing, and power. A skillful performance in water skiing is the result of developing the awareness and perception required to interpret environmental factors such as wind and water conditions in combination with assessing the performance of equipment and determining the skill movement that will be best suited for the situation.” Although this may sound daunting, the process for improvement is not. In his 2000 book, Ambition, sociologist Gilbert Brim discussed how humans seem to be most happy and motivated when faced with what he called “manageable difficulties”—challenges that are neither too easy (because then we become bored) nor too hard (because then we become discouraged). What we need is a learning system that builds on success, continually challenges us, and pushes us in new and different ways so we can manage success and failure as we strive to be better. I use a skill improvement system called the 25 percent rule. It states that your potential is equal to the sum of your ability in each of four components of skiing or wakeboarding: equipment selection and fitting, strength and conditioning, technique and skill development, and competition. You reach your ultimate potential only when all four components are working together, totaling 100 percent peak performance. The first step in applying the 25 percent rule is to select an athlete to emulate for each component. You can use a different athlete for each component, but try to make it someone who skis or boards in a way you would like to. Anyone who has watched slalom legends Andy Mapple and Kris LaPoint may notice that they carry speed and turn as though they were on a railroad track, staying in the water in any conditions and staying at a consistent angle, making their skiing aggressive, smooth, and predictable. Both Andy and Kris have spent years perfecting their equipment and ski setups. For strength and conditioning, few skiers can compare to Jamie Beauchesne or Chris Parrish. The strengthto-weight ratios of these two are off the charts. You can put Freddy Krueger into that mix as a jumper. When choosing someone to emulate for technique, consider two factors: your personal style and your body type. Although you may be in awe of Darin Shapiro’s style and moves on the water, if your body type and natural movement style are more like Jeremy Kovak’s, you would want to emulate him. In terms of knowing how to win, few are better than Jodi Fisher. He understands how to adjust to all types of conditions, and most important, he has mastered the skill of winning and performing his best in the clutch. This makes him an ideal model of competition toughness. The next step in the 25 percent rule is to rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 25 in each of the four components. You may want to ask a coach or training partner to assess your skills to see whether your evaluation is consistent with what others 00_E4922_FM_i-xii.indd 10 8/26/10 3:22 PM Before You Begin ▶ xi see. If you are comparing yourself to a top pro rider, rate that person a 25 in his or her area. The next step of the 25 percent rule involves assessing your results and prioritizing your training by focusing on your area of weakness. If, for example, your strength and conditioning has really suffered over the last year, you may want to spend more time in the gym and less time at the dining establishments during the off-season. Write down three actions you can take and when you are going to take them to raise your skill level 3 to 5 points on the 25-point scale. As your most glaring areas of weakness improve, usually you will find that other areas improve as well. Listing only three actions helps you stay focused and not be overwhelmed by everything you need to work on. Whether you are concerned with your technique and skill development, strength and conditioning, equipment fitting and setup, or competition toughness, the systematic approach of the 25 percent rule can ensure success, constant skill improvement, and enjoyment. Like the 25 percent rule, this book is set up as a series of small steps, or learning progressions. It begins at the water, first focusing on your board, skis, and bindings and getting you into equipment that will fit your skill level and body type. Next, the book focuses on the strength and conditioning required to perform on the water. Following is an in-depth look at the basic movements of the sport, which are then incorporated into learning progressions for each event. Once you are ready, the book prepares you for competition by addressing mental toughness and strategies for doing your best and bringing home the gold. The book also includes some information on how to get the most out of the sport at any age so you can train with more enjoyment and fewer frustrations for years to come. 00_E4922_FM_i-xii.indd 11 8/26/10 3:22 PM Chapter 1 Skiing and Wakeboarding Equipment ▶ 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 1 1 8/26/10 3:24 PM 2 ◀ Water Skiing and Wakeboarding N othing can accelerate the improvement of skills faster than using the right equipment on the water. All of your equipment, from your board or skis to your bindings to your rope, gloves, and handle, must fit your skill level, body type, and riding style. At every clinic I teach and tournament I go to, the majority of the participants (pros, too) are on skis and boards that do not fit them in some manner or are set up incorrectly. Sadly, these athletes are out there giving their all, not realizing that their equipment is the culprit in many of their performance problems. The wrong equipment not only holds you back from achieving your goals and deprives you of the satisfaction of doing your best, but also can make performing some moves difficult or even impossible. Worse yet, having the wrong equipment can cause injuries. I can attest to both. I have experienced frustration, self-doubt, and injuries as a result of having the wrong equipment or setup. These problems have cost me victories and records as well as physical pain. Conversely, I have experienced the rush and confidence of having my ski tuned perfectly, bindings fitting just right for maximum comfort and control, and handle and gloves just right to allow me to put a death grip on the 380-horsepower beast slinging me across the course. Your enjoyment, safety, and success on the water all begin with getting the right equipment. Nothing is more important in setting the stage for your success and constant improvement. Equipment Selection and Fitting Over the last decade, the Water Sports Industry Association has seen a true revolution of performance-enhancing innovation in every aspect of the equipment used on the water. The changes in shapes, materials, and designs have made the sport easier to learn, attracting hundreds of new boarders and skiers to the water. Additionally, professional performances continue to improve, and world records keep falling. Equipment purchased just a year or two ago (skis, boards, bindings, ropes) is already outdated. Upgrading to modern technology will yield results that will astound you. Like most skiers and boarders, you probably love going out to buy the latest and greatest equipment. Few things are more exciting than that first ride on a new ski or that first launch off the wake on a new board. Before you place that order, though, remember one word: you. Buy the equipment that fits you—your style, your weight, your height, your ability, and your needs. Notice I did not say your wants, your color preference, your graphic choice, your favorite skiers’ choice, or your salesperson’s choice. This chapter will help you filter out the hype and fluff and ask the right questions so you will have the equipment you need to perform at your best and keep getting better. Bindings The logical place to begin a discussion on equipment is at the point most critical to keeping you on your skis or board: your bindings. You need bindings that will give you optimal alignment on your skis or board. Being optimally aligned from 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 2 8/26/10 3:24 PM Skiing and Wakeboarding Equipment ▶ 3 your feet up minimizes the effort you need to balance and control your movement on the skis or board and stacks your bones and muscles to maximize strength and reduce stress on your joints. This gives you the best feel, or sense, of what your board or skis are doing and how you need to move to get them in correct positions. When you stand in your bindings with your feet about hip-width apart, your hips, knees, and feet should be aligned with each other, as shown in figure 1.1. This will make skiing or boarding more comfortable, more enjoyable, and easier to start. The next step is to achieve optimal stability. You want a dynamically effective foot bed that puts as much of the foot’s surface as possible in direct contact with the skis or board. Adjustments in alignment and stability can then be tuned by installing shim strips under your bindings. As an example, I have about a 2-centimeter shim under the left back heel of my foot bed because of lost flexion in that ankle due to an Figure 1.1 Proper adjustment of the bindings and skis injury and surgery. This shim allows me to flex and align keeps the hips, knees, and feet in alignment. so I can maintain fore–aft balance on the ski. Your next decision is whether to choose a rubber or a hard-shell binding. Although hard-shell bindings are now used by the overwhelming majority of top slalom and trick skiers, jumpers and boarders have not adopted them to the same degree. For slalom and tricks, hard-shell bindings provide three performance advantages: If you suffer from cramped feet as a result of poorly fitting bind• Comfort. ings, you will definitely benefit from hard-shell bindings. You can ski as long as your hands can hold out with hard-shells. Extra passes means more time on the water and faster improvement. Finding Your Foot Bed The foot beds of most off-the-shelf bindings provide too much cushion to be adequate. The softness of the material allows your foot to move around in the binding, which prevents the most effective transmission of your leg movements to the skis or board. Many top skiers and boarders use custom foot beds that result in a more responsive ride. These foot beds can be expensive (anywhere from $40 to over $200), but they are a great investment. If you opt for customized foot beds, be sure to talk to a good snow ski shop. These shops fit snow skier’s boots all the time and have a great understanding of the fit that’s required. Some off-the-shelf moldable materials are available, but these may not result in proper support, alignment, or stability of the foot either. Machines that produce instant insoles may also be available, but they too may not put the foot in a balanced configuration. Taking the time to find the right system is essential and may require visiting an orthotic professional to ensure that you get the most for your money and a good fit for performance and comfort. 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 3 8/26/10 3:24 PM 4 ◀ Water Skiing and Wakeboarding edging and tipping control. A hard-shell binding fixes the ankle in a • Ski flexed position. As a result, you cannot control the skis with ankle and foot movements. Instead, you have to use your hips and knees to edge the skis. This is beneficial because the foot and ankle are made up of hundreds of small bones and muscles that are hard to control at high speeds. By moving the control point farther up on the leg, you use bigger and stronger bones and muscles to control the skis. The result is a dramatic improvement in edge control and leverage of the skis. Adopting a hard-shell binding will require an adjustment period. You may need a set or two to relearn how to edge and turn the skis, but the performance benefit is well worth the time. I have seen top skiers and students alike make drastic improvements in body position and ski control as well as in their scores using hard-shell systems. Although hard-shell bindings do provide better support and protec• Safety. tion for the foot and ankle, questions always arise regarding the release system. How do you detach the bindings from the skis or board after a fall? Manufacturers provide a variety of release systems including industrial Velcro systems, modified snow ski systems, and permanent fixture systems that do not detach from the ski. The best choice is whichever system you like the most. With hard-shell systems, you get to choose how much force causes the release of your skis, whereas your foot may simply slip out of a rubber binding. Regardless of the type of binding you use, you need to focus on lateral support and alignment and how your knees track in the bindings. Tracking happens when you flex your knees and they move forward over your bindings. Ideally, your knee should track in a straight line along the center of the foot, moving over your second toe. If your knees come closer together because they track inward, your legs may twist when on the water, which can result in skidding or sliding of the skis or board or less edge control, making carving or turning more difficult. Tracking to the outside causes fewer problems, but it can affect your balance. The essential element you are looking for is a lateral and horizontal stiffness that responsively transmits your edging efforts directly to the skis or board. Boots that twist and rotate generally transmit twisting to the skis while you are trying to edge, making balance and control more difficult. Solid, consistent support results in good performances for most skiers and boarders; unregulated rotary twisting rarely results in good performances. Fore–aft balance is as important as, and in some events more important than, lateral alignment. Fore–aft boot adjustments are used to match the balance needs of the diverse body types of skiers. Shims and foot bed adjustments can aid fore-aft balance. Like most dynamic movement sports, proper footwork controls balance. Good balance results in good movements. Your foot work on the water is controlled by how well you can move and control your ski or board. For these reasons, you need to always begin fine-tuning your ski or board set up with your bindings before you adjust anything else. Skis Finding the skis that fit you correctly and will improve your ability takes more analysis than reading ski test results or online message boards, looking through 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 4 8/26/10 3:24 PM Skiing and Wakeboarding Equipment ▶ 5 manufacturers’ literature, or comparing prices in mail order catalogs. If you are really serious about trying to improving your skills, you will need to put in some research and testing time. The upside is that getting on the right skis often can mean better performance on the high end and more consistency overall. The secret to buying skis that will improve your skiing and be more fun to ride is finding those that will help you overcome or eliminate your weaknesses without hampering your strengths. Grab a pen and paper, make four columns, and label them technical strengths, style strengths, technical weaknesses, and style weaknesses. Ask yourself, What do I do that makes me a good skier? Consider whether you have awesome turns, great balance or rotation, or a solid body position. Ask yourself, What can I count on to bail me out of trouble? Possibilities may include good knee bend or handle control. Try to identify the qualities you don’t have to think about, those that just happen for you when you need them. Now list your weaknesses. Ask yourself, What do I have to practice and remember to do? What do I constantly need work on? When do I fall the most? Where do I get in trouble? With a better understanding of your skiing style, you can look for skis with characteristics that will help you improve in the areas in which you need the most help. This is where the ski test results and message boards can come in handy. The basic idea is to find skis that will improve your strengths and help counteract your weaknesses. For example, if you have determined that you need a slalom ski that will help you get across the course faster, look for skis with stiffness and acceleration. If you need better control and tighter turns, look for soft, more forgiving skis. And remember, at this stage you still are not buying skis; you are merely determining which ones are best suited for you. The real test comes next—when you take a few for a ride. If you don’t demo skis, you won’t know whether they will help you, whether they will fit your style, and whether you can get them to work. Take the time, spend the money (pro shops often have a demo fee), and ride three different pairs of skis that you have determined from your strength and weakness analysis will help you the most. Then use the following tips to help you choose. patient. It is extremely rare to hop on a pair of skis and ski your best or • Be anywhere near it. So give every pair a chance—two or three sets, minimum. If you do hop on skis and tear it up, make sure that the skis are doing what they are supposed to do. Be sure they are improving your weaknesses, not merely repeating your performance on the skis you have been riding for years. adjustments. Don’t be afraid to make minor adjustments to the • Make bindings and find. The manufacturer has most likely gotten the setup fairly close, so the adjustments should be relatively small (drilling new binding holes would be going too far). Trust your feel and intuition. If you believe you need to make an adjustment, don’t hesitate. If you need to slow down quicker, add a bit more wing, and move the fin deeper if you are unstable. Be sure to keep track of your adjustments and their effects in a notebook so you can compare them and find your ideal setting. brand loyalty and graphics. The equipment manufacturers spend • Forget a lot of money coming up with the newest, hottest graphics and even more 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 5 8/26/10 3:24 PM 6 ◀ Water Skiing and Wakeboarding developing brand loyalty, but the fact is that neither graphics nor loyalty to a ski has ever won a tournament. The top skiers do whatever it takes to their skis to get them to perform their best, and they go through numerous skis to find that ideal setup. You should spend your time finding a pair that works best for you—not those that looks best in the case or are made by the company that made the skis you used to ski on. the right size and speed. This seems almost too simple to men• Choose tion, but I can’t tell you how many people I see skiing (the better word may be struggling) on skis that are either too big or small for their body type. When I ask people about their skis, the excuses abound. I have skied on them for years and love it. (Translation: I’m too cheap to buy skis that will help my skiing and be more fun to ride.) I like this ski because it’s so stable. (Translation: I’m scared to try a new ski because I might fall a few times.) My personal favorite came from a 200-pound (91 kg) guy who insisted, “I have always skied on a 65 slalom ski, and I will never be able to turn a 68.” (Translation: I don’t want to admit I have gained weight and gotten five years older.) The fact is that most skiers would benefit from bigger skis. They are more stable, more forgiving, smoother to ride, and less tiring. Bigger skis are especially good for those who ski at slower speeds. This is because bigger skies offer greater acceleration, more consistent turns, and more leverage against the boat. Combo Pairs A nice set of combos is a must-have for anyone with a boat. These are basic skis that are most often used to learn how to ski but have evolved into freestyle skis that are a blast to cut, edge, jump, slide, or try just about anything on. These skis are constructed of wood or fiberglass and have flat or slightly concave bottoms with tapered sides (see figure 1.2). The size depends on your weight and the speed you want to ski at. The lighter you are, the smaller your skis should be. Shorter, wider skis are ideally suited for freestyling, but in general, adults over 150 pounds (68 kg) usually use 60- to 70-inch (152 to 178 cm) skis, and children ski on 40- to 50-inch (102 to 127 cm) skis. Additionally, the slower you prefer to ski, the larger your skis should be to reduce drag and body fatigue. Your best bet is to spend the extra money and buy a nice fiberglass combo pair with a concave bottom and gooda b fitting bindings. Fiberglass will last much longer than combo pairs made from Figure 1.2 Combo pair skis in both (a) adult and (b) junior sizes are good wood, and the bindings will have less for learning how to ski. 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 6 8/26/10 3:24 PM Skiing and Wakeboarding Equipment ▶ 7 chance of ripping as a result of dry rotting. Combo skis have adjustable bindings, and you should choose bindings that will come off easily during falls but are well constructed of rubber or another soft synthetic that provides a snug fit with adequate support. Another big benefit of a better combo pair is the slalom ski portion of the pair. This ski has many of the same design features as performance slalom skis but with slight modifications to make it easier to get up on and learn to make smooth, controlled turns. Money spent on a good combo pair is well spent given the durability and wide range of skiability such a pair offers. Slalom Skis In 1994, the world’s first carbon fiber water ski was introduced, and it changed slalom skiing forever. Tricks, jumping, and wakeboarding soon followed. The acceleration, speed, and reduced weight have made carbon fiber a standard for many high-end skis and boards with great results. All world champions and world record holders have been riding carbon fiber slalom skis. Does that mean you need to run out and buy a carbon fiber slalom ski? Maybe. Manufacturers want to match you with the perfect ski as badly as you do because they know that if you ski well on it and ski the style the ski is designed for, you will buy more of their skis for years to come. What makes finding the right slalom interesting is that no two skiers are identical, nor are two slalom skis. On top of that, each manufacturer offers three or four models at a variety of price points. How are we to make sense of it? The secrets to choosing the right slalom ski are not to let your ego or an ignorant salesperson get in the way of getting the right ski for you, and testing skis before making the investment. Select the right ski and you will be off having the best time of your life cutting up the lake rather than fighting the frustrations of falls and body-straining starts. Refer to table 1.1 to determine the correct size ski for you. TABLE 1.1 Slalom Ski Size Chart Boat speed (miles per hour) 26 28 Skier’s weight (pounds) 30 32 34 36 (ski size in inches) 100 64 64 64 64 64 64 100-115 66 66 66 64 64 64 115-130 67/68 66 66 66 66 66 130-145 67/68 67/68 66 66 66 66 145-160 67/68 67/68 66 66 66 66 160-175 67/68 67/68 67/68 66 66 66/67 175-190 69/70 69/70 67/68 67/68 67/68 66/68 190-205 69/70 69/70 69/70 67/68 67/68 67/68 205-220 69/70 69/70 69/70 69/70 67/68 67/68 220+ 69/70 69/70 69/70 69/70 69/70 69/70 Note: If you are on the borderline between sizes, select the larger size ski. 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 7 8/26/10 3:24 PM 8 ◀ Water Skiing and Wakeboarding Skiers at all ability levels should look for several things in a slalom ski to make sure it matches their skiing style. design. A good slalom ski has a concave bottom that acts like an • Bottom upside-down airplane wing sucking the ski to the water. This suction allows the ski to hold angle through the pull and helps the ski track (control of the ski when on edge) better in the turn. edges. This is the part of the ski that you are riding on during • Beveled the turn and the part of the ski that you tip or edge with. The width and sharpness of the top and bottom edges dictate the tuning characteristics of the ski. (Refer to chapter 4 for more information about tuning the edges.) The rocker is the curve of the ski from tip to tail. The greater the • Rocker. rocker is, the more the ski will turn, but the less it will accelerate. The opposite is true for a flatter ski. The stiffer the ski is, the more difficult it is to turn, but the better it • Flex. accelerates; the opposite is true for a soft ski. A combination of rocker and flex is critical to dialing a ski in to your style. (See chapter 4 for more information.) The bindings for slalom skis should fit snugly and comfortably. In slalom, you can choose double boots or a rear toe piece (see figure 1.3). There are advantages to both setups. Let personal preference and comfort guide you, but generally speaking, double boots offer the greatest support and secure fit, but also cost the most; a rear toe piece is easier to get up in and get out of, but does not give you as good a feel for the ski. In both configurations, a slight lift of 1/4 to 1/2 inch (0.6 to 1.3 cm) under your rear heel will help with fore–aft balance and leg flexion and extension movements. a b Figure 1.3 Slalom ski binding options include (a) double boots and (b) a rear toe piece. 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 8 8/26/10 3:24 PM Skiing and Wakeboarding Equipment ▶ 9 Trick Skis Manufacturers have now designed trick skis for beginners that are easier to ride and adjust to, and lighter, smoother skies for advanced trickers. Trick skis, as seen in figure 1.4, are shorter and wider than normal skis and have no fins. Again, your ability level is critical in determining which skis are best for you. For beginners, numerous well-designed and well-manufactured fiberglass and foam skis offer the stability and tracking needed to learn how to ride tricks. More experienced trickers prefer carbon or honeycomb skis because of their lighter weight. In either case there are several design factors to consider when selecting trick skis: Figure 1.4 A well-designed trick ski. top edges. This feature allows water to slide over the top of the • Rounded skis during turns. tip area. On trick skis, the tip area is similar on both the tip and tail to • Ski offer better stability. Whether to choose rounded or square depends on your personal preference. design. The bottom design should be flat, with or without tracking • Bottom grooves. These grooves help the skis track but sacrifice rotational speed. On trick skis, the rocker sometimes runs the full length of the ski. • Rocker. However, skis with a short flat spot in the center are ideal because they make surface tricks smoother and edging easier. This rocker pattern makes surface tricks smoother and edging the ski easier. Trick skis should be as light as possible for easy turns and good • Weight. control. Match the length of your skis with your weight in accordance with • Length. table 1.2. Many trickers are now using different skis for different tricks. For hand tricks, flips, and handle pass tricks, they use bigger and wider trick skis that have TABLE 1.2 Trick Ski Size Chart Weight (pounds) Size (inches) 0-80 36-38 80-120 38-40 120-160 40-42 160-180 42-44 180+ 44 Note: Divisions between sizes are approximate. Seek the advice of a coach to assist you in your choice. 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 9 8/26/10 3:24 PM 10 ◀ Water Skiing and Wakeboarding hard edges and are more like wakeboards. For toe tricks (tricks done with the rope attached to the foot), skis that have rubber edges and less rocker with a larger flat spot under the foot are best. Hard-shell bindings have become the overwhelming standard for most high-end trickers, but a few are still holdouts for rubber bindings. Jump Skis Figure 1.5 A jump ski and the equipment you need to jump a long distance safely. The most dramatic change in jump ski design over the past 10 or so years has been in the length of the skis and the materials they are made of (see figure 1.5). The ability of longer skis to carry speed, hold angle, and create lift has translated into distances once thought impossible. The physical demands of jumping are not to be taken lightly. Designers and manufacturers of jumpers know this and have designed jumpers for every talent level. It is imperative, whether you are a beginner or whether you have jumped over 200 feet, that you get jump skis that are safe and durable and fit your size and skill level. As with trick skis, jumpers are made of carbon, fiberglass, and foam honeycomb and graphite. Regardless of the materials used, several performance characteristics should be considered before buying any set of jumpers: tip. On jumpers, the ski tip should be wider than the middle of the ski, • Ski or at the very least the same width, to create lift. edges. Jump skis have flat, square edges that are more like snow • Square skis on both the top and bottom to promote faster turns and hold angle. design. The bottom must be smooth to give full acceleration • Bottom during cuts. The rocker should be moderate from tip to tail to aid in the tuning • Rocker. and stability of the skis. Flex should be softer for beginners and lighter jumpers, and stiffer • Flex. for more advanced and heavier jumpers. The fins should be made of a strong material such as metal, carbon, • Fins. or plastic. The ski length should be matched to the weight and skill level of • Length. the jumper. The smaller and lighter the skier, the smaller and lighter the jump skis so the skier can control and manage the skis on the water and in the air. Jump skis are sized from 68 to 76 inches for first time jumpers up to jumpers who are cutting at the ramp. Advanced jumpers use jump skis sized at 84 to 92 inches. Size and weight are part of the equation for 01_E4922_Ch1_1-18.indd 10 8/26/10 3:24 PM

Author Ben Favret Isbn 9780736086349 File size 37.6MB Year 2010 Pages 200 Language English File format PDF Category Sport Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare Whether you’re a crafty vet on the water looking to take your skills to the next level or a recreational rider interested in doing some eye-opening tricks for fun, Water Skiing and Wakeboarding is your guide to tearing up the water. Ben Favret’s 25 years of competitive experience have produced numerous gold medals at all levels of competition. In Water Skiing and Wakeboarding, Favret teaches you how to perfect the skills and turn some heads—and do it safely. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn ·         how to select and fit your equipment, ·         conditioning both on land and in the water, ·         skills for mastering the slalom course, ·         essential techniques for wakeboarding, ·         the secrets to tricks and jumps used by the pros, and ·         how to compete and win. Hit the water and ride like the pros. Most important, have fun while doing it. Let Water Skiing and Wakeboarding be your one-stop resource to endless fun and an exhilarating experience on the water!     Download (37.6MB) Mastering Skateboarding Skateboarding: New Levels: Tips and Tricks for Serious Riders Mastering Snowboarding Janet Evans’ Total Swimming Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, 3rd Edition Load more posts

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