Originally Posted by whentherainscome
I'm not sure how it a straighter pull will help my problem, but rest assured that I'm working on it anyway!
It's not necessarily straighter that you want. It's just that certain paths won't allow you to get a rip. Here's a diagram from DGR:
The rail on the right can easily get you a slip (note how there's no full or half hit zones or ideal release point). The hammer pound will likely lead you to the rail on the left.