Shop Talk: Stacking, Part 1 (Random thots)

Nate Smith, at Centerline at 41' Off Nate Smith, Gate Pullout, 41 Off 2 Pictures of Nate at 41 off. 

the first is him cutting 2 to 3. He is basically at centerline, but you see how much his COM is still leading his feet. Also, notice how little lean he has for what you'd expect you'd need to run 41 off.

2nd pic is him pulling out for the gates. Again, notice how much COM shift he has, in the direction of desired travel.

This is the fundamental reason Nate is the best. He moves is COM better than anyone else. @gregy is right though, dry land is one of the only ways to really "feel" the movement....due to the lack of good on water drills in water skiing. However, the statement "I can put 90% of my weight in the front foot however if my hips are back I'm still plowing water." is not valid. Not to get too deep, but the physics dictates that your ski doesn't care what you're body position is.....all it knows is where your COM is in relation to it. If you have 90% of weight on front doesn't matter if your ass is back and your chest over the tip, or if your hips are up and stacked....the ski will react exactly the same. HOWEVER, what body position does change, is the skiers ability to handle the compressive force from the ski and the tension force from the boat.

Sorry for the rant.

Here's the simple truth, maybe I can find time to go deeper later:

The best time to accelerate is from the Apex of the turn (widest point), until centerline. Waste time poppin' wheelies or overturning and getting pulled out....and you've wasted acceleration credits (and therefore speed....which means no angle). That's part of the reason we can run our easier passes earlier....because the longer the line or the slower the boat speed, the easier it is to execute a nice carve around the buoy....which means we get more time to accelerate.

The best way to accelerate is to move your COM forward....balancing the amount of COM shift ahead, with the appropriate amount of lean away from the boat.

*Too much lean away from the boat => Reduces the ability to lead with the COM, because the added ski roll results in higher rope load, which increases the drag on the ski, which makes you feel uneasy about shifting anything forward except for your ski. Result is less cross course direction than desired.

The best way to move COM forward, is to Stack your body properly. Now everyone is going to be different, based on body type, mobility of joints...etc. Some people WILL NOT be able to simply get into a perfect stack....maybe their hips are too tight, or their ankles or boots are too stiff. Or maybe their feet are too far about. Million reasons...but those skiers out there who cannot properly stack, yet still get it done, have learned how to move their COM forward without the perfect stack....and without stacking through the wakes. (Dave Miller is a great example)

@wish and @gregy if the ski moves in front of you, you are slow. If you want to hit the breaks into the wakes, move your ski in front of you. *Thats also a great way to let your feet move outbound too soon, and get separated from the handle before getting through the second wake. Again, look at Nate above.....that's 41 off where the Centripetal Force from the Rope at Centerline is much much higher than at 32,35,38 off....and he's still able to lead with COM.

Thats the secret. But really its not a secret....we started this Conversation 16 years ago...just sometime bad info has clouded the message or derailed the train from time to time. 

Glad to see the evolution in slalom theory since then....most people out there are understanding it. the eff do you actually Stack?!!! @Horton maybe you need to make a trip up here to the Ridge soon. We could get a lot more done in person.

P.S. Anyone/Everyone is invited. 




This entry was posted on August 20, 2014 at 2:54 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.