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You may find yourself at a feature where doing just about anything can be tricky. Sometimes you get stuck trying to do that same darn trick you know you can land over and over and over again. I know that sometimes I get somewhere and I know I can do a move, such as a loop, so all I want to do is stick it at this incredibly challenging feature.  There is a way to learn even more at these tough features, try something you already really struggle with.


By picking a move you already can’t do, or rarely can do you can’t blame the feature for not being able to do the move.  I have always done entry moves in a way that doesn’t allow me to really get the boat high out of the water.  Rock Island has been running 2 generators some hours and 1 generator others. At 1 generator its great for loops and everything else can be quite tricky. For me to get a good entry move here would take lots of practice and dedication as its incredibly difficult here.


Sure enough I have been spending at least 20 minutes a day working on my entry moves and at first it was frustrating as can be. I wouldn’t even get to surf as I would wash right through. But after several weeks of working on entry moves, not only can I stick them on this incredibly tricky feature but I can get big height out of them at times also!

The lesson of this is that even if you cant do moves you already know in a feature, doesn’t mean you cant learn moves you don’t know how to do at all….

Since doing this at Rock Island at 1 generator I can now do a variety of moves of I couldn’t before and some better than ever! (link a ton of lefty cartwheels!!) I cant wait to bring these moves to features that are easier and see how well I can perform them there.

You might not ever get the move in the feature but you can sure learn the edges, body motion and more so when you get to a good spot you aren’t starting from scratch! Same goes for flatwater. You can learn a ton of freestyle moves by starting in the flats. For example I knew how to flatwater tricky woo and transferred that to in a feature. It was different (and harder) but it helped me know what to do with my body and paddle.


Next time you are in a feature that is frustrating you, experiment with a move you cant do! Who knows you may just get your first, and if not, you will certainly be closer!

Happy Paddling and next time you go out- try something new!!


Emily Jackson-Troutman