Like a foam pit for BMX or Motocross, a flow rider for surfing, or a swimming pool for ski jumping, every aspiring wakeskater needs a trampoline. As frustrating as it is to learn flip tricks on a skateboard, it’s made ten times harder when every time you fall, you have to float awkwardly waiting for the boat or ski to come back around and grab you. But you can jump on the tramp for hours and figure out exactly how to move your feet, make the board move like you want it, and master the perfect flick and catch without a boat, or a driver for that matter. And with the ever-raising price of gas, a trampoline will pay for itself in that many less attempts at a trick once you take it to the water.

How to set up your trampoline for optimum training:

-Set it up next to a tree to tie the handle to. You can flip the board ‘til your hearts content, but to really transfer it to the water, you need to practice with the rope in your hand.

– Tie your rope so the handle falls right on the middle of the tramp for maximum pop. This also enables you to practice toeside or heelside by moving slightly to one side or the other.

-If possible light that sucker up. That way you can practice into the wee hours a night, and even avoid some of summer’s most scorching heat.

-If you want to master rails or locking into crooked grinds on your box, try setting up a rail across one side of the tramp. You just need a 4 x 4 long enough to stretch from metal to metal and then you can build whatever contraption you want on top of that.

But be warned:

-You will get welts in your shins. Stef Tor once admitted to wearing soccer shin guards when she was practicing on the tramp. It might sound kooky, but it definitely helps if you are trying to have a future leg modeling career (or you don’t like pain.)

-The summer heat and tramp training are not a good mix, but it is the quickest way to warm up before you ride. Drink plenty of water and remember that ground below is hard, so try not to fall on it too often.

Once you’ve mastered tramp skating, you are ready to transfer your skills to the water. There you may have to contend with rollers, white caps and gators. But while water might be a bit more difficult to master, but at least you have plenty of other variables to blame.


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