NOTHING but the gate. No butt-out, counter rotation, shoulders level, eyes level, look ahead, reach for your pocket, line tight, elbows in, handle to the hip, soft knees, let-the-ski-finish, straight arms, loose arms, don't-pull-with-arms, ski-in-front-of-you, chest up, chest out, navel-forward, open-to-the-boat, etc. Nothing else. Nada. Not one other tip.
Hmm.... weird! Maybe we've stumbled upon something of some importance here.
The bottom line is the gate sets up everything that is to follow in the slalom course. Bad gates = bad 1 = super bad 2, and if you're a really, really good skier, 3 will be a re-set buoy and you'll get out of the pass OK. Ofcourse, if you're not a total rockstar on the water you've probably been getting slack at 1 and two the whole time trying to figure out how you can charge your gate harder to make up for your shortcomings.
Newsflash: Waterskiing is not Easy. Furthermore, what's really not easy is that what's hard is in fact easy. Keep blasting into the gate with all your might like it's the most important thing in the world and see what happens. If find with a lot of skiers, the harder they try to nail the gate perfectly, the less perfect they come into one.
People make way too much of a deal of the flappers at the beginning of the course. Why do you feel late or early when you ski? Is it because the buoys are drifting earlier or later during the course of the pass? No! It's always due to the placement of the boat.
Where is the boat where you're skiing? Do you know? If you don't know, and you're just shooting that gate like there's no tomorrow, stop, pull your head out of the pondweed, and Read Up.
Learn more on gates by Visiting SkiTek This Spring! I know the economy sucks. All the better reason to ignore work and hit the water. What you'll learn at sKITEk this Spring will push you to the next level.