6 Ways To Maximize Cross-Course Direction

6 Ways To Maximize Cross-Course Direction

by Will Asher

While every part of the course is important, one of the most crucial segments of all is from the completion of the turn through the edge change and into your reach. This section can make or break you by the second buoy, so you have to master your cross-course attack. Follow these six tips to create the perfect path through the heart of the course. — Will Asher, Malibu Boats team skier

Lead With Your Lower Body If your hips are behind, your shoulders are in front and your ski is flat, you’re not going to continue outbound. Make sure you’re leading with your hips and knees the whole way through or you can’t help but lose your cross-course direction. If you can hold your position through the second wake, you’ll set yourself up for your edge change and reach.

Attack The Wakes It’s crucial to attack the wakes without fear, which is where the Response TXi comes in. With its small, soft wakes, you don’t hesitate to commit to the turn and maintaining perfect position is much more natural. Tracking is a huge thing as well. When you’re wide behind the TXi, it’s going to hold its ground instead of swerving out toward you and giving you a slack line, so you can concentrate on making up time behind a rock-solid tow.

Reach Right When you’re going through your reach, don’t let your chest come forward. You don’t want to reach forward toward the buoy — you want to keep good posture. Imagine there’s a book on your head, and you can’t lean forward or the book will fall off. Obviously, you won’t be at a vertical angle through the whole turn, but you’re trying to achieve a straight spine through the entire reach.

Turn Early Complete the turn as soon as possible. The sooner you can get everything finished and moving across the course the better. If there’s a big delay after the turn, you’re just losing ground as you travel down course at 36 miles per hour. To get an early turn, accelerate past the buoy instead of simply executing a turn around it. Imagine a racecar driver accelerating through the turn. To do this, give yourself enough time to get outbound, then get the ski rotated and pointed back the other direction before you even reach the buoy. The earlier you arrive, the faster you can turn.

Stay On Edge Your ski should never point straight ahead while you’re attacking the course. Anytime you’re running straight down the course you’re losing ground, so try to always stay on the attack and stay on edge.

Keep The Handle Close Don’t let the handle get away from you too early. Skiers tend to let the handle out when they’re heading in for their edge change and they get dragged back in prematurely, throwing off their turn. You want to keep the handle close off the wakes, so you can take it out with you for the reach and be ready for a controlled extension with optimal line tension.

Get Aggressive Be aggressive and commit to the move. If you’re going to make an edge change, make an edge change. If you’re going to go for a solid reach and make up some ground with an early turn, commit to it. Meekness doesn’t belong in the course.