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Wakeboard Trick: Kicker Perspective

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Spinning off a kicker behind the boat or on a cable can be really easy if you take your time and wait for the top. Unlike a boat wake, a kicker has a much longer ramp, and the natural anticipation of throwing a move can make you spin too early. Be patient and wait for the top as you would off the wake to maximize your lift and control.
Jimmy LaRiche is known for his huge 7s and 9s off the kicker at Ski Rixen in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Here he’s pictured doing a toeside frontside 540 at Orlando Watersports Complex. You can tell from his body and handle positions that he is in total control right off the top. Here are a few things Jimmy thinks about, whether he’s spinning a 180 or a 900. – Kyle Schmidt, Head Coach, The Wakeboard Camp
 
Flatten Out
“I try to keep the board flat as I’m going up the ramp. This helps me get a good push right at the top.”
 
Tight Turns
“During the whole trick, I keep my elbows locked and the handle near my hip. I find that if I let my elbows out it makes it a lot harder to get the pop I want and to get the rotation going faster.”
 
Handle Position
“When I spin, the handle is a huge factor. I use my shoulders and hips some to get the rotations going, but mainly I use the handle. When I’m riding up the kicker I try to lead my rotation with the handle. I try to pull the handle into my lead hip and that makes me advance into the spin. It also doesn\’t make the line so tight.”
 
Pop at the Top
“Waiting to the top of the kicker is key. Right when I feel myself at the top of the ramp I give a little push with my knees. This is what gives me the pop I need.”
 
Staying on Axis
“I actually think about my axis more when I’m on the kicker. I usually try to stay on axis, and for that I just keep my shoulders even and let off my edge right as I’m about to hit the kicker. If I’m going to go off axis, I think about pushing the handle down off the end of the kicker and throwing my shoulders more into the rotation.”
 
Spotting the Water
“As I give that last push off the ramp, I check out the water, and then after I get that last handle pass I look down and make sure I’m still over my board and not about to eat it. Usually the landing is easy to see and you can ride away smooth.”