Slalom Water Skiing Tips

By grasping and practicing a few helpful slalom water skiing tips, you can really help your performance on the water. While it's safe to say that plain old two-skiing is pretty difficult, slalom water skiing throws those who try it another curveball – there's only one ski on which to balance. And while that will eventually help you to make the hairpin turns necessary to excel at slalom water skiing, the learning curve is definitely steep. Use these slalom water skiing tips to help yourself conquer that big, ominous hump. 

  1. Getting up on a slalom ski. In general, the process of getting up on a slalom ski is much like getting up on two. That is, you want to curl yourself in a ball as the boat comes to a start, and unfurl yourself to the top of the water as you gain speed. The main difference is that your ball won't be nearly as compact, since neither foot is free to move. This means you'll have to put more effort into leaning back against the direction of the boat and keeping yourself balanced. Try to communicate often with your driver to make the pull up as smooth as possible.
  2. Adjust the rope to a comfortable length. The accepted principle for rope length is the shorter it is, the harder the turns you will have to make as a slalom skier. For experienced water skiers who've just moved on to slalom skiing, graduating to shorter ropes will be a fast process. Newcomers, on the other hand, might find it difficult to shorten the rope for some time. Unless you're slalom skiing competitively or just love face-fulls of water, take your time in adjusting rope length.
  3. Going over the wake. This slalom water skiing tip is essential to master if you want to be able to actually run a slalom course. The main reason beginning slalom skiers fall when crossing the wake is that they're simply too stiff. As you go over the wake, no matter how big it is, just focus on bringing your knees up to absorb the shock of the rising water. As long as you cushion that blow, your balance will be much easier to maintain.
  4. Cutting back and forth. Now that you've practiced cutting across the wake with ease, it's time to graduate to sharp turns. Begin by getting as far as you can to one side of the boat, and bend forward slightly, With your inside arm, pull the rope handle towards you, simultaneously shifting your upper trunk backward. Finally, turn your ski just barely in the direction you want to go. This will create a natural momentum that swings you to the other side. Remember to bend your knees as you cross the wake, and you'll be slaloming back and forth like a pro in no time. 
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