Sunday, June 17, 2007

Throwing tantrums (or at least trying to)

We had a busy weekend, wakeboarding the entire time. Yesterday, we were supposed to go behind the boat in the morning, but the rain messed up our plans. By the time the rain had passed, we knew that Lake Austin would be chop-tastic. So we ended up heading down to TSR instead.

We ran in to Nealia, Bret and Swami there as well. Nealia was rocking the front box, and Bret was trying some crazy things like a backroll or something. I missed it, thought. Swami was there to give me advice on hitting the front long rail.

Needless to say, I felt really accomplished yesterday. I landed every grab off of the straight kicker (heelside switch) -- grabbing indy and tindy (yeah yeah, but I'm learning). Tried two 360's, not getting the handle as usual. Did my regular routine (front box, back box, sliding on the water, front rail, straight kicker...). But I ended up doing the best I had ever done on the front straight rail. Two times, I got to the end of the bottom flat section, then the ramp up threw me off. Granted, I keep going up 50/50 (in my head is a yelling Ryan Doyle, "No one rides the rails 50/50!!!" from camp)...but I am hitting it switch. And one time I rode it, my board turned from 50/50 to a backlip (backwards). No this was purely accidental, and I just had an "oh shit" thought in my head, but held it out till the ramp up, where I fell in. But apparently it looked good because I got quite a few complements on it. Maybe my balance isn't as bad as I thought

Today, we were on the boat in the morning. It was the same thing this morning..rain, so we delayed it and ended up going on the boat around 7:30am. Sean and I have been demoing boards lately, since it looks that I'll be getting a new one around a 130-132 range. Right now, I have one that's too small (125) and one that's too big (134)...so will sell my other ones.

Last weekend, we demoed the Ronix One in a 132. The board is extremely zippy, fast when you set a hard heelside edge on it...so fast that it caught me by surprise and my butt dragged in the water. And holy pop! I didn't even try to jump toeside, but just edged into it and stood tall, and got good pop off the wake. Good pop heelside as well. Last week, we also tried the Liquid Force Melissa 130. I wasn't quite impressed with it...I mean, it's a nice board, but my vote was definitely the One over the Melissa.

Today, we tried out the Liquid Force Watson 134 (they didn't have any 130s to demo) and the Liquid Force Jett 132. The Jett was good, got some good heelside pop. But I was more impressed with the Watson. So the final decision is between the One and the Watson. I think I'm going to go with the Watson in a 130...basically, it seems to be a good all around board. Good pop, easy to break loose. Whereas the one is much harder to break loose, meaning more faceplants or backplants! So we'll sell some my old gear first before sinking another $400 (ouch!) on a new board (the 130 version is brand new, so no chance of getting a used board..doh!).

I think I've pretty much given up on getting women's gear at this point, since there aren't that many choices out there in my size range. And I can do without the pink...

After boating, we hit up Hula Hut for lunch. Then watched Laura and Donnell board for a bit before putting the boat up. Sean and I ended up going back to TSR. We love the sliders...

I felt really accomplished at TSR today, too. I decided to grow some cojones (figuratively speaking) and go for a tantrum off the straight kicker..now this is my switch side we're talking about as well. I spoke with a kid at the park yesterday who was throwing tantrums off of it, he told me a little bit about what to do. And Bret said that it would hurt as much as trying a 360 off of the kicker (which are pretty painless, actually).

So today was the day...I would give it a try. It took me a while to muster up the courage. I hit the kicker switch a few times, trying for grabs and landing them all (not grabbing all the time, though), just to get my confidence in hitting the kicker. No problem. Then I went for it, threw my head back...landed in the water on my butt and back so hard that the water shot up the back of my life vest and it rode up a few inches higher. I laughed all the way back.

The next run I had, I asked Devin how to do it. He said to get a progressive edge into the kicker, and at about half way, start throwing your head back. That sounds so sketchy and scary to me. But he knows what he's talking about...

I try again, not the greatest approach..same thing, landing on my butt/back. No big deal. No pain, no gain. So did the walk of shame back to the dock.

On my next run, I would try harder, commit to it. I did start throwing my head back in the middle of the kicker, an unnerving feeling. And when I ended up hitting the water, I landed on my upper back and shoulders. Holy shit that was the most akward landing ever. And it hurt. Well on the bright side, I did get more rotation than before! But I think it's going to be the type of thing that I'm going to try 100 times before I get it. I'm slow when it comes to learning things that are athletic...

I walked away from that crash with a headache, and swore off trying tantrums for the rest of the day. I was fairly worn out from riding yesterday and this morning.

But I had to go home on a good note. The line was dwindling since we were close to closing time. The A-Frame was the next beast to tackle. I have been wanting to hit it for the longest time. My complaints...it's a far swim. So I want to try it when it's quieter. In the winter, it was too damn cold to swim that far. I tried and tried and tried to edge out to it many times. The majority of times, I didn't edge enough, so ended up hitting the front box. Then I edged too much and rode around the far side of it. Then finally, I knicked it, rode up maybe 1 or 2 feet, ended up 180'ing off of the far side and rode away switch (thank god I have been practicing my switch riding there!). Yes! I finally hit the A-Frame..well..barely, but still I count it. So I went around again, thinking..okay, I have it this time...I hit it, did my best to boardslide it, went up a few feet up the upramp, then fell off the far side. And it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be.

By the time I landed in the water, I was closer to the end of the A-frame. It's a harry swim because you have to go to the blind side of the front box. I watched the cable, and thought I had a clearing. As I pushed my board forward, I saw the cable look like someone was coming right for the front box, so I left my board and swam backwards. Sure enough, some novice had hit the front box, crashing on his tailbone and into the water. I knew it was clear from there, so I swam on. Close call.

The swim back to shore wiped me out, causing me to have a small asthmatic attack as I got out of the water. I was done for the day. Feeling fully accomplished!

But now I'm sore as hell...I'm going to whip out the massaging chair that Sean's cousin, Karen sent us for our wedding present...

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