Back to Spain- I struggled in the beginning with the problem of not being able to tame this hole. The water was high and the hole was just plain mean. After one week of training I still didn’t have a routine I liked. I kept a training log of the entire time in Spain, it is 28 pages of plans, thoughts, reworking my plans, and changing my thoughts. Finally, I had a plan. It was an 800 point ride. Nobody had ever done that before. Neither had I. To make a long story short, I failed over and over again. Getting between 380-650 point rides. That was OK, though, since the rest of the field got an average of 150-250 point rides with an occasional ride in the 400’s and one ride that topped 600 in an earlier round. So although I never hit my ride, I lived by the old saying, “It is better to aim for a star and catch the moon, than aim for the moon and catch a rock.” I waited 8 years to recapture my World Champion title. I always felt I was the best one in the competition, but I have come to realize that unless you can average more than two times the scores of everybody else, you have less than a 50% chance of winning, just the odds. But, of course, if anybody played based on their odds, they wouldn’t ever try anything that the bottom 50% of the lot couldn’t do.
So 2002 was another one of those years. I had a great year all in all. Good results, lots of fun with the family, and I came out with my first video, all good things. I got my 800 point ride in the Pre-Worlds in Austria too. 869 points to be exact. I also got a 739 point ride. This was a new world record high score. How did I finish? Fifth. Oops, I got my lowest score, my only low score, in the head to head finals where everybody else had their best rides. The person who won never broke 300, but he also never went below 220, my low ride where I flushed was 215 or so. The good news is that leaves me hungry for the big event in Austria, the World Championships, from May 29-June 2nd, 2003.
I have since had the best training of my freestyle career at my new home at Rock Island, Tennessee. I do two workouts many days and one long one on others. In January of 2003 I went to Africa to film two new videos, “Playboating Basics” and “Advanced Playboating”. This trip was both great physical and technical training since we had to go through every move in the book, plus three of my new moves that aren’t in any book yet. The “McNasty”, the “Stone Cold Studder”, and the “Lunar Orbit”.