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Those Darn Reverses! 2017-12-05T10:01:31+00:00

“When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.”

-Alexander Graham Bell, American Inventor/Scientist

“Hi Lanemus
I’ve always kind of prided myself for taking the extra time to learn the reverse trick for every basic trick I learn. I’ve always been able to work through the awkwardness of using the opposite appendage or moving in the opposite direction. I believe that in doing so this has strengthen my skiing abilities as well as add to the number of tricks I can do or chose from in my Trick run.

So all was going well until I started doing turns. First of all, I am one of those footers whose basic F to B is stronger and cleaner than my basic B to F. Not sure why. It just is. Anyway, I can do B to F, F to B and reverse B to F. All feet to feet, although, I could definitely use some maintenance on all three. BUT! The reverse F to B has got be perplexed. I at least have some sort of “feel” for a trick. That is, I can tell that it is going to happen. I can picture myself doing it. I can feel it in my bones Lane!! Except for the reverse F to B? Nothin’!! The handle doesn’t feel right, my feet don’t feel right. I have been able to make the rotation only to have my heels get buried and end up on my neck. I work the shoe skis and try to stick to the three strike rule. Sometimes only one strike. (ouch) I don’t think I am dealing with a fear thing just a lack of feel for the trick. Are there any skiing exercises that can do for strength and or confidence?

Thank you for your help Lane
Brian Butterworth”

QUICK NOTE: Lane Dawg LIVE has reappeared so if you would like to have me answer any questions you have, call 702 876-4343 NEXT SUNDAY (JUNE 3, 2001) at 7 pm EST! I will send a reminder next Friday!

Although this will seem like an advanced article, I would like to aim this at everyone who has had trouble with doing tricks not only on the “other foot” (i.e. your “reverse”) or in the “other” direction (known as your reverse direction).

First of all, use the correct language and not negative language. I find power in the use of the right words, although I do not have time to go into it now! I believe it is self-defeating to refer to your reverse foot or direction as the “weak foot” or your “bad direction!”

My philosophy here is, “if you do not have trouble walking on your other foot, then there is no reason whatsoever to have trouble skiing on your other foot. There are no weaker directions in turns either. There are only weaker starting positions!”

On a personal note, I sure hope writing this helps me to work through a difficult reverse trick I am currently working on! I know it will, and I will practice what I preach! I promise!

It is so common that it is almost comical for me to see someone work through a reverse trick. After explaining my philosophy to someone who is struggling, I get tremendous joy from watching my student “reframe” (Anthony Robbins term meaning “to look at in a totally different angle so that the problems represents something totally different.” My personal paraphrase.) and then conquer their previous nemesis with total surprise on their face!

For those of you who are already preparing those emails explaining to me your war wounds and excuses, not you, of course, halt! If you are healthy, then there are no excuses. If you do not have a clean bill of health, stop skiing stupid and HEAL THYSELF!

I am being inspired by my toy Yoda who is starring at me offering me advice, “Try not. Either DO or DO NOT!” It is very difficult to watch someone (including myself) make excuses and then proceed to pound themselves into a concussion. Make up your mind. Either do it or do not do it, but stop sabotaging yourself and be honest. You deserve your full effort!

Let me break it down for you with my never before published program for achieving success in ANY reverse!

Lane Dawg’s Definitive Guide to Achieving Reverse Nirvana!

#1 Position, position, position! Tricks are not hard, only holding a great position in the face of adversity (your reverse.or basic for that matter).

Here me now, believe me later! “Fear kills position. Great position conquers fear!” I just made that up and I am liking it the more I think about it. Write this down and laminate it to your mirror in your boat!!!

#2 A great “set-up” makes learning anything 10 times easier! I teach people to always break down their skiing into three parts; POSITION, SET-UP, and finally, YOUR SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED TRICK!

What is a set-up? It is what is required to be able to move from a normal skiing position into your targeted maneuver.

For example, if you wanted to complete your reverse front one-foot, you know from reading my Ankles and Angles article (, that you must be able to create Angle in your hips, shoulders and handle without losing any of your AWESOME Posture and Glide! The actual tilting of your body to create the appropriate Angle is what I call the set-up!

But by this time, Brian Butterworth, is wondering when am I going to address HIS problem.

I am willing to bet any amount of money (up to and not exceeding a Canadian Loony) that your starting position is bad and getting worse the closer you get to the actual turn! First go back and review my article on The Front to Back ( Next, analyze through the use of video analysis, your starting position verses my starting position (I am hopefully assuming that you have my awesome 2-hour instructional video- ../../video_ad.htm)

I promise you that your position is not as confident and that it deteriorates as you get ready for your handle release!

First, master your position.

Second, master your set-up.

I guarantee that if you could send me a picture of what you look like a fraction of a second before your hand release, that you have let the handle get away from you. You are bent over forward in a position that resembles Cro-Magnon Man a lot more than Posture Man. Your glide is getting sloppy. Your vision is impaired (i.e. you are looking down into the water as you turn-you expected to kill yourself and you are bracing for it!)

You mentioned that you are catching your heals. I will make one of the most massive assumptions I could hope for and assume you are in a great backwards position. The problem then becomes one of RESISTANCE!

In the same way that someone who is trying a back one-foot, who has a great Power Band, Posture and Glide, AND the correct Ankles and Angles-BUT STILL catches a heel, the answer is easy.RESISTANCE! Great position can still lead to falls if you have bot maintained the correct RESISTANCE!

I might have explained my “BUCKET THEORY of RESISTANCE” before, but I am to lazy to go check! This is a good one so pay attention!

Imagine you were doing your dry-land practice (I sure hope you do religiously!). Instead of having your handle attached to a door knob, imagine that a long rope (attached to the handle, of course) went up 15 feet in the air,  passed over a pulley, and the down to a bucket of weights. Let’s say for arguments sake, about 25 pounds.

The idea of correct resistance is that the bucket should maintain a constant height as you go through your turn (or one-foot forwards and backwards, back to front, etc.).

If  your position and set-up are correct and you STILL catch your heels, then you have lost your mojo (proper resistance) in the backwards position. In other words, your butt has drifted over your heels when it should have been over your toes.

Here is a list of mistakes to watch for when analyzing your reverses!

#1 Did the posture change?

#2 Did the ankles move forward in front of your knees?

#3 Did your vision remain constant?

#4 Did your elbows get way from your ribs where they belong in a turn!

#5 Did you raise up above the “Perfect Position?”

#6 Did you maintain your Power Band?

I have now surpassed the legal limit for these articles as my wife reminds me to keep you guys hungry!

Good luck and remember that reverses rule!

-Lane Dawgumus Maximus

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