I’m exhausted, totally mentally and physically drained today. The sun had come out by the time we’d reached the park at around 9:20 this morning and I managed to get a few warm up runs on the triple line of kickers before my lesson kicked off. It was much nicer being able to see where I was going again but I managed to keep on top of my nerves and avoid speed checking again. A good thing too, because after 3 laps of the kickers with Marc he decided that it was time for me to hit the smaller of the two big air kickers (the jump I’m planning on hitting in next week’s Big Air comp), so after practicing my nose grab on the first of the triple line we pulled off to the side and up on to the bigger kicker drop in which is basically the top-side of the half-pipe.
Marc took me down to the point where he wanted me to drop in from and off he went to show me the speed I needed (having given me strict instructions to straight line the drop in and not to speed check. So after he’d landed I stood up, took a few deep breaths to try and calm the panic and dropped. Now this is about the same size kicker that I’ve attempted at the last 2 Brits and I’ve yet to clear the knuckle on it, in fact I only hit it last year to encourage one of the younger kids to give it a go, and he didn’t. So there I am running in down the side of the pipe, gathering speed and the switch in my head flicked to “too fast, go slower”, in went the speed check and I resettled myself and took off from the kicker…..through the air I flew and landed just before the knuckle on the flat table top….ooooops not enough speed!
After confessing all to Marc about my errant speed check we headed back to the top of the park, again I hit the top small kicker with a nose grab before heading back over to the comp kicker. More deep breaths, and off I went, the speed switch again kicked in but this time I managed to hit override and I got to the kicker without having put in any speed control, up the kicker, looked over the top for the landing and I was in the air, and still in the air, there went the knuckle, I touched down on the actual landing, managed not to have a mega case of girly-legs (this is where they buckle beneath you and you fall over for no reason) and rode all the way down to the lift!
STOKED!!! I had done it, admittedly I was still a bit wobbly with fear but I had done it, survived and ridden out. This had been my main goal for the week and I’d achieved it. Not only had I managed to hit the jump before the competition but I’d cleared the knuckle and ridden out. Oh, and this kicker is probably the biggest I’ve ever hit with a flat table of about 13m between the kicker itself and the knuckle of the landing!
Of course the morning didn’t stop there, we lapped and lapped the kickers and I gained in confidence to the point where I was landing well down the landing and grabbing (and holding the grab for a reasonable time) the board and confidently riding away.
As yet there’s no photographic proof but I’ll obtain some of that before the end of next week….in fact I’m hoping to get some sorted tomorrow if the weather is good. In the meantime I shall be repeating the self affirmation “I can do it!” over and over to ensure I don’t bottle it in the comp next Tuesday.