Sunday, April 29, 2007

New season, new tricks...

This weekend was the first of the season for wakeboarding behind the boat. Haven't boated it in maybe about 6 months? And I do have to say that cable parking it over the winter has definitely helped me out and built my skills up.

At the cable park, I have been attacking the kicker (a straight ramp) constantly, and mostly switch. My switch is pretty weak in general, but I've learned to get a strong switch heelside edge. I've also been hitting the kicker switch quite a bit and have stayed strong on it. Landing switch, getting a few grabs, and 180's. The 360 attempts are just for fun...I can get the rotation, but not the handle pass. I don't think I have the strength for it quite yet...giving myself till the end of the year to land one.

Needless to say, attacking the kicker has made me more bold and more confident in my riding. Going behind the boat is different. I'm worse behind the boat, which is part skill and part mental. This weekend, I defeated the mental part by telling myself that I would go all out...

My first set out, I was all over it. On the new board I had traded for last year -- the CWB Sapphire. Completely confident in what I was going to do..I rode switch quite a bit -- a rarity last year. I crossed both wakes (I'd never done that before either). My switch behind the boat is pretty weak, especially toeside. As a matter of fact, it's just damn right awful. But I told myself that I have to work on it. My surface 180s -- not exactly the smoothest or prettiest, but I can do them. Practice practice practice.

I decided to try something completely new -- a one wake air 180 - toeside to heelside. I don't even jump the wake toeside, so that was one more thing to add to the mix. But after doing the 180's off of the kicker at TSR (landing switch, with a lot of air), I felt the confidence that I could do it behind the boat. Why not?

The first time I tried it, I landed too heelheavy and let go of the rope, just to get a feel for it. No one on the boat was expecting me to even try anything like that. A surprise for the crowd, I guess. My second attempt, I got good pop off the wake, 180'd, and landed it. Not pretty, but it happened! Third attempt, heelheavy again and could not recover it.

Yesterday I felt so good about the session -- a great way to start the season -- new trick and all.

Today was a good session as well. I did 3 toeside-heelside air (one wake) 180's and landed all 3. The first one was barely air, though, but I still got it. The second and third were decent. I was feeling quite confident.

Since yesterday, my switch toeside had gotten better as well. Today, I would try a switch heelside wakejump. After all, I have been hitting the kicker switch heelside so much...I should have no problem attacking the wake. I tried it and actually got a bit of air (given that it was my first jump of that kind) and landed it as well. It's extremely akward, though. But with some more practice, I'll get better at it.

Oh, and this morning...pure B-U-T-T-E-R. It was beautiful. I live for butter...

My second set today was a bit later in the morning, so the water was a bit more choppy. I rode for a bit, didn't like it, so I traded my wakeboard for the wakeskate. I've only ridden the wakeskate maybe 2 times at TSR, and I suck at it. Pure suck. But I said, hey, why not? First time behind the boat. It took me 3 tries to finally get up, but once I got up, it wasn't bad. Much harder than wakeboarding (for me, at least). I have horrible balance skills. I stayed in between the wakes and moved between them slowly, to get a feel for the skate. Then I decided...okay, it's time to try to cross the wake...needless to say, I think I need to work on that. I tried, leaned back which is a no-no in skating, since I fell backwards into the water and shot the board forward with my feet. I decided to try it again with the skate, got up no problem, and skated a bit before my legs felt like jello and crashed because I leaned again.

All in all, an awesome way to start the season. I feel more confident than ever with this sport. I try to block the mental bits out..the I can'ts and the I'm scareds...and just do it...