Tag Archives: ridethespot

darin shapiro

Trampoline training for wake boarding by Darin Shapiro

darin shapiro

Kien Shapiro playing on a Voda board

5 Benefits of Trampoline Training for Wakeboarders by Jimmy Tiblier

Trampoline training is an important tool used throughout action sports communities. Most trampolines seen in training facilities are high performance trampolines, but a backyard trampoline works just fine. In this article I have organized five principles that will help you get started with trampoline training. Before starting to work on the below exercises, become familiar with your surroundings, as trampolines do carry inherent risks.

1.) Body Alignment- Using a trampoline allows you to figure out proper body position when airborne, which takes some practice. Start by bouncing in the same spot while bringing your knees up to your chest with your feet directly under your knees. Do not kick your butt while jumping. After about 50-100 reps of focused practice, you may notice that bringing your knees up to your chest in an abrupt fashion will keep you airborne longer. Use this to your advantage.

2.) Spots- Once comfortable on the trampoline, practice while focusing on sight. Pick out certain stationary objects in your view that standout. Use these reference points or “spots” to orientate yourself on the trampoline, increasing air awareness. Visualize what the spot looks like from all angles. You can use these spots to start basic spins and inverts if you are ready.

3.) Air Awareness- By now you have already learned some basic air awareness. Practice tricks, but examine your surroundings more closely. Once you get into spins and inverts, you may start losing view of your original “spot” , leaving you “lost” in the air. Learn how to bail properly. Never use your wrists to break a fall. Instead use your shoulder. One drill that helps with air orientation is bouncing on your back because the athlete is forced to find a new spot on the ceiling, sky, tree, etc. Knowing if and when you are going to fall are important elements of air awareness.

4.) Line Tension- Hook up a rope and handle so that you can begin to feel line tension while using the trampoline. Find a strong point to anchor the rope/handle combo (a tree or post) and fasten it securely so that the angle of rope is similar to the angle of rope behind the boat/cable. To keep tension on the rope throughout the entire jump from start to finish, you must send your mass away from the rope. Once you have established an understanding of how the rope helps us initiate spins, flips and rotations, learn to apply these principles to certain tricks you are working on.

5.) Trampboards- Voda is a company that specializes in trampoline training. The guys at Voda have come up with a genius idea that allows for a whole new wave of progression. Voda makes a flexible foam board with comfortable bindings, safe for use on the trampoline. The athlete can practice aerials with the added weight under foot, without worry because the boards are very forgiving. Once tricks are learned on a trampoline using the principles above, throw the Voda board on, and then practice the trick again. I bet you find it much easier to land that next trick!

Remember that it takes the body about 50-100 reps before our muscles truly remember the new movement. It takes time for the brain to turn on new nerve meridians, but once you are in sync with the trampoline, I feel that there is no better way to train for wakeboarding while off the water. I find it just as fun as the riding itself! Use the trampoline as a tool, but also as a playground. Try new things and get out of that comfort zone! Happy Shredding!

Thank you Darin, Heather, Kien, and Kai’a for your continued guidance,love and support. I would also like to than Ryan Jones of The Tramp Place for teaching me how to jump. I am forever grateful for you guys. Thanks for reading!

Darin Shapiro

10 Wakeboarding and boating tips you may have never heard of with Wakeboarding World Champion Darin Shapiro

Darin Shapiro wakeboarding

Darin Shapiro wakeboarding “Last Light”
Pic: Meddock

1. Always pick up a fallen rider on the drivers side of the boat so that you can have a constant visual of the rider.

2. If your rope often tangles or wont wind up easily try dragging the rope backwards with the handle end in the boat while driving at riding speed for 2 minutes, this should unwind it.

3. When someone is getting into or out of the boat lower the stereo so that you can easily hear what is going on at the back of the boat. I have heard of a terrible accident happening because the driver couldn’t hear what the rider was saying over the stereo.

4. Shut the engine off whenever a rider is getting into or out of the water.

5. Make sure riders are wearing a decent life vest, especially kids. Many jackets these days are comfortable and stretchy but you need to make sure they float you well and won’t get pulled if you take a good crash. I recommend buckles and zippers, not pull tight stretchy bands that some manufacturers use to tighten vests.

6. Girls should wear two layers over their bottoms for protection when wakeboarding. Boardshorts over bikini bottoms works well or you could always go with bikini bottoms over board shorts if that does it for you.

7. Using helmets for really little kids usually under 10 is a great idea. Small kids are super flexible so the board can hit them in the back of the head if they take a hard fall, plus the board length to height ratio is greater with little ones making it easier for their head to come into contact with the board.

8. When taking your wakeboard boat out of the water the ideal depth for your trailer is putting the wheelwell steps just an inch under the water. This will insure your boat rests perfectly evenly and wont be shifted to one side of the trailer.

9. No power turns if you want to keep your line calm.  A power turn is when you turn around and do a big high speed circle to get back to your rider, it wrecks the lake and wastes gas. When someone falls just slowly pull off of the throttle, turn around in gear and idle back to the rider. Approach a rider slowly and take the wind into consideration as well.

10. Be a great riding partner or guest. Bring gas even if the boat owner says we’re good.”  Help prepare or put away the boat and wipe that bad boy down as boats are a lot of work and people take pride in their whips.