After another relatively epic rainstorm last night, we all awoke around 7 to find the water levels were sub par for any good kayaking before breakfast. It was coffee and reading for most of us. Since the levels were rough, we did a ton of visualization and trigger points. These approaches to kayaking are relatively new to me but I know that they will be helpful in the long run. A trigger point, for example is something that will help me with upcoming competition. You think about one thing that makes you very happy and comfortable, for as long as you can, then touch a part of your body, mine is touching my pointer finger to my thumb. Now, when I am feeling sad, overwhelmed, or stressed, I simply touch those fingers and those feelings go away.
Today was all about Pistol Flips. We did over an hour of working on visualization and body movements to get the feel for it before we got on Nile Special after lunch. We all were pretty fired up for the session ahead, most of us had not ever worked on Pistol Flips prior to today. Heading out to the wave we all were trying them on flat water and Den was helping out with body positioning and paddle placement. It was more of a curiosity for me. I have done the body movement of a Pistol Flip on land, from my gymnastics days, I know the body rotation and I knew what it was supposed to look like. Essentially, a Pistol Flip is just like a McNasty but on a wave, a 180 degree turn into an aerial front flip.
I don’t wear nose plugs when I surf waves, but today I decided the changes of getting a massive nasal deuche was pretty large so I placed them on my face and went for it. My first one was relatively good but didn’t come around the whole way, my second one came around but I was so surprised that I stopped paddling and came off the back of the wave. My third attempt, the big one, I nailed a Pistol Flip and stayed on the feature. I was so happy, it was like I had just opened a whole new door to my freestyle kayaking.
Today was one of the more fun sessions we have all had on the water. No one was stressed about the lineup, no one was stressed about not sticking moves, it was just an easy going eddy and an amazing day.