It has been a long dry fall, but our water is here and the Rock Island we love is back! Here are some shots of the “Top Waves” which most people just consider to be warm up waves before going to the main hole or Brave Wave. We have decided that these waves will be great training for the 2009 World Championships in Thun Switzerland. Why? Because they are small and require really good technique to get the harder moves. Thun is bigger than this but not a Nile Special, Buseater type of wave. The technique for big waves is much easier than small ones. That may sound weird but the reality is that anyone can jump on Buseater and get a Pan Am. You’ll fly off the water on a big wave just trying to front surf. Think of a small wave like skateboarding on the street. Want to do a trick? You have to learn to Ollie high enough to pull off tricks. Same with a small wave. You have to time your Ollie and force it hard, so you can get your boat off the water enough to pull of the moves. You also have to be much faster to do it on small waves. An Air Screw, for example on the “third wave” shown here, requires a super fast rotation or you’ll just roll over on your face and flush. The same move on a big wave is at least 10 times easier. That doesn’t mean that a big wave isn’t a good challenge too, because you are always trying to go higher, do more and stay in control.

Stephen has his Mcnasties down on this wave better than any of us and it is a huge scoring move for the worlds. He killed it in Switzerland with that move to get second place behind Nick who dominated with his Air Screws and Back Pan Ams to win the World Cup final there. I am not as good at the Air Screw as Nick and not as good at the mcNasty as Stephen here on this type of wave, but that is what training is all about. August 2009 is the World championships, and it is on a wave that is right in the middle between the Brave Wave and the Third wave. I am very lucky to be able to train in my back yard and to gain the specific skills needed for this next worlds here. Of course it is all in the name of fun and what could be more fun than being able to paddle every day, and have some specific things to try to be the best at in the process.

Dane and Emily are both doing awesome things in both waves as well and you’ll see plenty of them in updates to come!

Off to paddle!