Hey all, welcome back to Fifteenoff.com. I initially launched this website 11 years ago, back in 2007. I went through all the work to create the site back then because I felt that there was a tremendous void of practical, real-world slalom waterskiing content & perspective on the web. Lots has changed since that initial launch, but this content void still remains, and I can’t help but try to fill it with my ramblings.
This site has gone through several iterations over the years, from a bustling forum community to a hybrid blog, and even a total shuttering recently as I lost interest in keeping up with the site. The mission and the motivation for the website became fuzzy over time, and only just recently have I re-centered on the idea with enough gusto to bring it back to life.
Looking back at my first blog post from 2007 I can see what, back then, I was trying to accomplish with this quote:
“This season I hope to figure out what’s holding me back on the course and to at least be running at 34mph by the end of the year. I’ll document my sessions right here on this site so when and if I experience any breakthroughs, I’ll pass them right along from the perspective of someone skiing at my level, rather than a pro who just polished off a 38 off pass.” – Me, 2007
So, OK. That kinda made sense back then. I didn’t know what I was doing in the course, but if any lightbulbs came on, I’d pass them along in hopes that it might be really timely and relevant first-party data. The problem with that 2007 mission was that I didn’t have enough perspective or discipline to pass along truly useful information. I hadn’t been to the next level, and as such the perspectives were an open-loop system. Look at this next quote from the same post describing my skill level back then:
“I wrapped up last season being able to run 15 off at 30 mph very consistently, spinning the boat back to back with relative ease. If I increased the boat speed to 32 mph, I’d start getting into trouble. I could still get a pass or two at 32 mph, but it wasn’t pretty. No, I didn’t spend any time at 31 mph but it’s probably not a bad idea.” – Me, 2007
I could barely run 32mph at fifteen-off back then. Holy cow. I was riding an HO CDX, Perfect Pass was still the reigning speed control, public water was our only option for skiing and we went once a week if we were lucky. Nobody I skied with knew what else to do or how to get to the next level– we were a classic case of the blind leading the blind.
These days I’m able to get deep into -32 off at 34mph. I will generally open at -22/34, then cut to -28, then -32. That gives me the following foundation to stand on and provide relevant help and feedback:
- I’ve learned how to ski my max speed, 34.2mph in my case
- I’ve made -22 an almost un-missable pass in any conditions on just about any equipment
- I’ve climbed the wall of -28 and I’ve seen the other side. This is the most important perspective milestone I’ve gained and the most valuable platform for helping you from here on out
- Most importantly I’ve done all of this recently enough that I can convey particular points and remove noise from whatever advice you’re getting or seeking
My mission is no longer to just “get folks into the course” or “pass along insights on my journey”. My new mission is to get you running the -28/14.25M pass at max speed. As we narrow our focus singlehandedly on getting you into the first “real pass” on the line it makes writing much, much easier.
This sport is really, really tough to coach and learn. As such there is a ton of misinformation, bad assumptions, incorrect observations, and terrible advice out there. Skiers’ minds are clouded by fear and ego, and overloaded with equipment options and settings. Even something as simple as video coaching is made really difficult due to missing information such as line tension, shoulder position, foot pressure, and intensity. Combine that with a really short season, limited access to water, and very little professional money in the sport and you get what we’ve got now which is a lot of really confused –yet passionate– skiers trying to get ahead in this sport.
Let’s try to cut through the clutter and noise. I promise to help you at least get into that “mean green” loop by addressing the following potentially controversial topics:
- Equipment assumptions and realities
- How to structure your sets– speeds and lines to run and when
- Speed vs. Line Length and what I’ve learned from that
- Your mind game, including confirmation bias and other ways we fool ourselves out of progress
- Boat driving requirements and consequences
- Your gate and how important the gate is vs. in-course thoughts
- Body conditioning and injury prevention/recovery
If this sounds interesting to you, stay tuned and I look forward to your comments. Follow along with my YouTube channel as well, as I’ll try to keep it updated moving forward.