So you’ve been looking at some videos on youtube of riders doing crazy tricks and you’re feeling all inspired. You have decided that this weekend as soon as you get on the water, you will try a new trick that you have been thinking about all week. The one problem is that there is nowhere on the internet that offers instruction on your chosen trick, well, its good that you stopped by here because we are going to run over some of the fundamentals to learning a new trick.
Before you even get on the water, before it even gets to the weekend, visualise. Visualisation is where you form a mental image (or video) of what you are going to be doing. This skill is really important as it helps you understand exactly what you will be doing and gives you a clear thought process for the trick. It is important to visualise in as much detail as possible (when, where, why, how) break down every little detail about your chosen trick and examine why you are doing a certain (i.e) cut and how that will help your trick overall. Do not fear if you can’t visualise very well, it can be practiced and improved the more you train the skill of visualisation.
Before you are about to ride let the crew on the boat know that you are about to try a new trick. Make sure the driver knows what speed you want to ride at (a slower speed is normally advised when learning a new trick); the spotter will also need to be informed as they will keep a better lookout and pay more attention in case anything goes wrong. If you’re lucky, the people on the boat might know how to do the trick and can offer advice and support as you attempt it. So do not just have a spontaneous go halfway through your set when nobody on the boat is really engaged. Safety is paramount when learning a new trick.
3. PRACTICE ON LAND
Get creative, pop your board onto a trampoline and practice the motion. Get a friend to put tension on a rope and practice the handle movement on land. This is the major step of visualisation where you are now physically recreating what you expect the trick to be/feel like, and so you know what’s coming. Although this is a great way to ready yourself for a trick, as soon as you get out on the water everything will seem different. Don’t let this put you off, stick to what you practiced on land and you’ll be fine.
There is nothing worse when attempting a new trick than second-guessing yourself. Of course, it’s natural, we all do it from time to time but if you do second guess yourself then stop, take time to make sure that you can commit and only then retry. If you are not fully committed then you risk bailing which might result in injury, and that’s the last thing you want on a first attempt because an even bigger mental block will come down on that trick. Much like visualisation, committing to a new trick is a skill that gets easier the more you do it. Once you know how to do a 360, your body will be able to understand better what a 540 will feel like etc… so get your favourite tune on and send it!
5. KEEP TRYING
You would be very lucky if you manage to land a new trick on your first attempt so do not be put off when you fall flat on your face. There is no definite number to how many tries a new trick will take but remember, there is a number. You will be able to land it and view it as a matter of time rather than number of tries as this will let you focus on the overall session of attempts rather than worry about whether you will land it next try or not. This will help you to relax and embrace the process of failure, an invaluable lesson in the sport.
Well there it is, we hope that you find these 5 tips to learning a new trick useful and hopefully you will will land that cool new trick which has been gripping you all week.