How To Maximize Cross-Course Direction

By Terry Winter

Photo: Todd Ristorcelli

All too often, skiers will integrate their edge change and reach into one movement. The outcome? Loss of direction, i.e., a narrow path into the buoy. These two actions should remain distinct and should occur at different points along the swing from one side of the course to the other. Your edge change should occur somewhere close to the wake’s centerline, while your reach begins much later, at a point halfway out to the buoy line. Establishing and maintaining a solid hip-to-elbow connection from the completion of the turn to the initiation of your reach will ensure you’re in a strong enough position to maintain your desired cross-course direction.

1. As you complete your turn, feel your elbows and hips come together. Your goal is to feel this connection before you feel any load from the boat.

2. Maintain this hip-to-elbow connection as the load begins to increase. If any separation occurs between your arms and the sides of your vest, you will jeopardize the strength of your position.

3. When approaching the wakes, maintain this connection while allowing your legs to soften. This will allow your ski to release and begin its edge change. A still upper body is crucial.

4. Maintain your elbow-to-hip connection until you begin your reach at a point about halfway between the wakes and the buoy line.