Thursday, October 19, 2006

What a..

buzzkiller, taking ramps out of a lake in 45 degrees and a 25 mph wind.
Well, taking a ramp out of a lake in any weather is a buzzkiller. I guess the whole ordeal wold suck worse on a 90 gegree day with no wind. At least if it's cold you won't feel like skiing, as much.

It helps to have one of these when you are pulling jump ramps out of the lake.

ramp on shore
This is our distance ramp. It came out of the water in 15 minutes

distance jump hitch
the hitch is a much simpler, much more effective design than that of the show ski ramp. which took 2 hours to get out of the water.

docks on dock
Anyway, after putting the first ramp on shore, we had to unlatch the small floating docks from the large dock and stack them for the winter. This was a good forty-five minutes of sitting in the water trying to unbind cotter pins from steel latches that bind from the uneven flotation. Loads of fun. Luckily, I didn't lose a finger.

naked lake 2
Now, back to the show jump. It was at the far end of the lake. We had to push it 2000 feet to the dock into the wind, with a 25-horse jonboat. That accounts for part of the two hours

By the way, I was the designated swimmer for the afternoon. That was made tolerable by the drysuit and neoprene booties. It took me about two hours to lose feeling in my feet. It would have taken about two seconds with bare feet, even with a drysuit.

show jump hitch
Solid as though it may look, the hitch in the show ski ramp is angled poorly to set onto a trailer hitch. We were forced to improvise, putting the front of the tractor down the boat ramp, and bolting the hitch through a hole in the loader. This created a precarious situation. On several attempts, as Disco tried to back the ramp out of the water, the tractor's rear wheels came off the ground.

Two hours later, we are left with a sight that brings a jumper to tears.

naked lake 1

Sniff, sniff, even the slalom course is out too.

How many days until spring 07?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Futility be damned...

I'm pulling for my (undergrad/ski team) alma mater in the collegiate nationals this weekend.

With last year's controversy behind them (which was within both NCWSA and AWSA rules), hopefully they'll out-ski the predictions of the oddsmakers.

war eagle

War Eagle! Or do I mean Go Tigers!?

As I am a product of my environment, I am guilty of double-naming my blog. My title says Waterskiing etc, but my URL says lakerykert

Anyway, here's a link to NCWSA nationals
  • results.
  • I am my own worst critic...

    part 4 of 4.

    Here, I conclude with another substandard attempt at what is an inconsistent trick for me, the W5B.

    Take a looky-see.

    wake 5b 1
    Apparently, I start all my tricks in the right position

    wake 5b 2
    Good, compressing with the legs while keeping the back straight.

    wake 5b 3
    This series should be titled "the perils of preturning." I am ready to explode off the, uh, middle, of the wake. Once again, I've been impatient in my edge to the wake.

    wake 5b 4
    I have a nice spin going here, but look at where I am in relation to the wake. I am only a few inches away, laterally, from where I was preparing for takeoff in picture three. This is an example of solid technique in the wrong spot.

    wake 5b 5
    The preturn has caused me to spin into excessive slack rope. Because I did not use maximum wake height and rope load, I've pulled my hips inward with the handle pass, but I lacked the up and out direction that comes with using all of the wake. As a result, I don't get all the way around in the air. Even though I know I am sliding the trick, I try to spin the last 180 degrees anyway. Thanks to landing in slack, my ski is sinking as I spin. So it acts like a big scoop in the...

    wake 5b 6

    That fall stung.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    I am my own worst critic...

    part 3 of 4.


    Many of the same flaws in my wrapped WO technique show up in this trick. Observe.

    wake 5f 1
    As usual, I am in good position at the start.

    wake 5f 2
    Here's where the problems begin. I have reduced, not increased my edge and I am beginning to bend over slightly at the waist. This is the opposite of what I should be doing. I should be increasing my edge as I come into the top of the wake, and keeping an upright upper body.

    wake 5f 3
    As was the case with the WO, my axis is good, but I am in the wrong spot. Once again, I am mistaking the feeling of reduced rope tension from the flat ski for the feeling of the edged ski releasing off the top of the wake.

    wake 5f 4
    I do not finish the rotation in the air, I simply slide down the wake. The lack of direction at the beginning of the spin causes the slack rope, which in turn cause me to finish the (no credit) trick with poor body position.

    wake 5f 5
    I get back into tricking position only after a second or two of repositioning myself, and waiting for the rope to come tight. I'm still wasting time between tricks with poor execution.

    The series concludes tomorrow with a W5B.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Lakerykert news flash!!!!!!!!

    I am no longer an unemployed ski bum. I am now an employed ski bum.

    Here's an action (figure) shot.

    male nurse

    I am my own worst critic...

    part 2 of 4.

    This time it's my flip. I have my good and bad days with this trick, some days I stick the landing, some days I butt-check the landing, and sometimes put it in the water every time. This was a particularly bad day for flips.

    flip 1
    I'm ok right here.

    flip 2
    I'm still right where I need to be, stacked over the ski, setting a progressive edge.

    flip 3
    This is where it goes bad. I've loaded the rope as hard as I can, and I'm not even in the spray yet. Notice my left shoulder. It's beginning to get pulled into the boat. I've already peaked the load on the rope, and at the moment of the picture, the rope load is beginning to decrease. I should be STARTING to edge more aggressively here, not peaking out.

    flip 4
    The sensation of reduced rope load somewhat mimics the reduced rope tension that occurs when leaving the wake. This causes me to begin my flip rotation too early. I am just before the top of the wake, and I have already initiated the flip. At this point on the wake, I still need to be edging away.

    flip 5
    Although my position in the air is good, I have not achieved much height because I have not used the full height of the wake, or the maximum load on the rope.

    flip 6
    The result of all this is an incomplete rotation. My ski does not rotate under my hips, and I fall, damnit.

    Tomorrow, wake 540 back-to-front!

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    I am my own worst critic...

    part 1 of 4.

    Thanks to a friend with a much better camera than I have, I had the opportunity to get some good sequence shots of some of my hand tricks (Thanks, Jeff!!). This gave me a great opportunity to critique myself, so here goes.

    Wrapped wake O

    wake o 1

    As I am about to start the trick, I have an excellent stance over the ski, but very little edge into the wake. I will not be able to turn this trick into a reverse W5B unless I get a stronger edge into the wake.

    wake o 2

    Once again, a solid position with a good axis of rotation. The problem here is my location relative to the wake. Although I have released from the wake, I am directly over the top of the wake. This means that I must have begun to turn BEFORE the top of the wake

    wake o 3

    By turning early, I have advanced on the boat, with minimal outward direction. This is, more than likely, what caused the slack in the rope.

    wake o 4

    Although I have reset to a balanced skiing position, I have wasted a second or two waiting for the rope to come tight again. This is probably why My flip was out of time at dream lake three weeks ago. There is no time to waste in a 20-second pass.

    Speaking of flips, that's the trick for part 2. Log in tomorrow for more in-depth analysis.

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    Lakerykert PSA

    My amigos at The Green Boathouse have decided to paddle on. They have piled into a floating chick magnet, and now call themselves The Creaky Rowboat . Same wacky banter, new name. Enjoy the new locale.

    I want to see them paddle @ 35.4 mph, letter P

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    Yeah, Yeah,Yeah...

    I hear it all the time: The crisp, clean, air,
    Nature's color palette
    The bountiful harvest.
    Reaping the fruits of toil in the summer heat.
    Need I go on?

    The reality for skiers is that fall sucks.

    fall sucks

    Fall just means that this
    happy spring 2.
    looms near.

    Being a transplant to the Midwest, my belief is that over generations, Midwesterners have deluded themselves into these myths about the change of seasons being so wonderful. It's the only thing that keeps you from offing yourself while scraping ice off of a windshield.
    Next: gratuitous tricking photos