Use the trampoline to maintain and build on everything you accomplished this season.
During the season you spend each session repeating tricks to engrave them into your muscle memory and drive your progression. But when the off-season arrives and cold weather has driven you out of the water, you face a major dilemma. Everything you learned during the season will dwindle away and by the start of the next season, you’ll have to relearn tricks and rebuild your muscles and stamina.
A trampoline and trampboard are great tools to help bridge the gap between seasons. Trampoline training not only helps you to maintain your progression and fitness but also to push your bag of tricks to the next level, so you’re ready to progress on the water when the next season starts. On the trampoline you can repeat a trick over and over so you maintain what each move feels like. It also helps you build a comfort level that gives you the courage and awareness to add a grab or an additional rotation.
Takeoffs and Landings
When training on the trampoline, it’s important to correctly mimic the takeoff and landing edging positions to make sure you’re not cheating on your tricks. Still, many riders stand parallel or even open to the rope’s point of attachment on the trampoline for toeside takeoffs. This open position makes spins and flips much easier on the trampoline, but it just won’t feel the same as the twisted position you’re in when edging toward and up the wake for a toeside trick.
It’s best to jump on the tramp in the same twisted position you’d be in on the water. This will help you build better habits and consistency as you transition back and forth between training on land and on water. In addition to sound takeoffs, you also want to anticipate proper landing positions. Don’t just land on the tramp; edge out of the trick. Focus also on falling against the rope in the same direction you would to edge out of a trick for a stable landing on the water.
Most every flip you can perform on the water can be mimicked on a trampoline. When flipping, the rope is your axis, and it’s important to keep that axis as tight as possible. If you’re doing a trick related to a side flip like a heelside back roll, the rope should stay directly in front of your hips. If your hands and the handle move all over the place as you flip, your axis becomes big and less efficient. Minimizing the movement of the handle will make your flips much smoother and more controlled.
Keep in mind though that for some tricks the boat’s pull plays a major roll in helping you flip on the water. For example, a heelside roll to revert on the trampoline doesn’t feel anything like a heelside roll to revert on the water. In the water, you edge away from the boat, and the line tension plays a major roll in pivoting your body around for the landing. On the tramp, many riders just relate a heelside roll to revert to a cartwheel-style flip with a 180 or a side flip with a 180, but the trampoline sensation just isn’t the same because there’s no line tension from the boat.
Layout-style tricks, or any move related to a toeside or heelside Raley, can be learned more easily and safely on a trampoline. When riders first try these tricks on the water, they often take extremely hard falls by catching their front edge. This happens because they aren’t used to letting the board move behind them, and don’t have the strength to pull it back in. A trampoline Raley allows riders to execute the layout motion repeatedly, which helps build core muscle strength for when you are executing the move on water.
On the water, you can spin two different ways: on-axis and off-axis. On the trampoline, you need to use different techniques to execute the two styles. For off-axis spins, let your body first drift out much like a Raley, then pull to initiate rotation. Drifting sets the axis, and how hard you pull determines how fast you spin. For on-axis spins, try to keep your axis perfectly straight. To do so, don’t initiate your pull until the peak of your jump.
FOUR STEPS TO FAST TRAMP PROGRESSION
1. Feet first – learn each flip or spin on just your feet first without the handle or trampboard. This teaches you how to use your body to initiate your rotations.
2. Strap up - next, add the trampboard but leave out the handle. With the board on your feet, the trick will be a little harder because of the additional swing weight, but this will help you build strength for the water.
3. Get a grip - now remove the trampboard and dial in the trick with the handle. Having the handle in your hands will give you control and will teach you how to manipulate your body in the air just by pulling or moving the handle in different directions.
4. All together now - last, learn each trick with both the trampboard and the handle. This will get you totally prepared to try new tricks on the water.
For more detailed video instruction, watch The Book Wakeboard Instructional Series.