The uber-angst of winter has brought forth a sliver of inspiration: Instead of longing for time on the water, I can practice tricks with out the normal hazards of floating ice and less-than-desirable core temperatures. I think I have put together a cheap, effective dryland tricks simulator.
Here are the pieces:
a rubber floormat, a standard trick handle, and a 16" wobble board . The wobble board works really well. Because it's unstable in every direction, I have to use perfect form to execute the simplest tricks. A rubber floormat allows the board to spin but keeps the board form being constantly pulled forward by the resistance tubing.
Speaking of tubing, the bungee cords were a failure. I found something better, SPRI resistance tubes . The different colors have different resistance. I use the hardest resistance(purple) for practicing basic surface turns, the next lowest (blue) for practicing the LB/LF sequence, and a low resistance (red) for practicing a RTB. My plan is to perfect my form with low resistance, and to move up to purple by the time I'm ready to trick for real.
This is my footing for practicing toe tricks and stepovers.
This is how I stand on the board for hand practice
The combination of the wobble board and the tubing gives a realistic simulation except for one problem: when slack rope is created while skiing, there is a hard jerk on the rope. This cannot happen with resistance tubing. Unfortunately, that's the best I can do. I don't have access to a rope and pulley that is set at a height similar to that of a pylon. The ideal hookup would be a cable crossover machine with height adjustment. My gym doesn't have one of those.
If anybody out there has their own dryland rig, I'd love to hear from you, to find out what works and what doesn't.
NEXT: major equipment purchases and marital bliss