How to compose a competition trick run
So you’re on the dock, you’re name is being announced and it’s your turn. Have you planned a trick run? Have you worked out what you can fit into the course? How are you going to get maximum points possible?? Well, to help you plan a good competition run, we’ve enlisted the help of Nicole Freeman who is a International IWSF judge to give you a few pointers.
How to understand scoring and planning your trick run
“It’s really important to understand how the judges score your runs and what they look for so that you can come up with the best possible run for you to get the best possible results. (These rules apply to IWSF and BWS sanctioned events)
The scoring for wakeboarding is ‘subjective’ meaning that there are no set points for tricks that you perform. Instead you are assessed on each run as a whole, based on the following 2 areas:
1 Technical Performance (the level and variety of the tricks you performed; judges look for the variety and diversity of tricks in a flowing and creative sequence. For example a good run would include a mix of grabs, inverts, spins and use of the obstacles including both heelside and toeside tricks)
2 Impression (the overall style and control of the tricks you performed as well as how much airtime you had, how long a grab was for etc).
In cable competitions, the course area is usually from the middle of the far side of the cable to the middle of the near side of the cable (incorporating 2 corners) and typically starts and/or ends with an obstacle. In boat competition, the course is made up of two passes of a lake with the beginning and end marked by buoys. It’s your chance to impress the judges by showing them your best tricks both on the water and on the obstacles.
The most important thing to remember is that you come up with a run that you are comfortable with! Performing tricks that you like and that you do well, means that you will be more confident out on the water. Obstacles vary from cable to cable and lake to lake, so it’s always worth riding there a few times before the competition to get used to the course and to prepare a trick run for that specific location.
You will usually have 2 runs per round of a competition. You can choose to have 2 different runs or you can make them the same if you wish. The judges will score both of your runs but only the score from your best run is taken for the final results.
A couple of tips…
Don’t repeat tricks within the same run – if you do a trick twice in the same run you may lose points as this will affect the technical performance score of your run. This is because you are showing less variety in your trick run. You could, for example, do a jump 180 in your run and instead of doing another jump 180 later in your run, you could grab it.
Mix up your trick – try to put different types of tricks in your runs, so include grabs, spins, inverts etc.
Use the obstacles if you can – you will score higher for the composition of your run if you are able to demonstrate that you can use the obstacles as well as perform tricks straight off the water. This doesn’t mean that you have to use every obstacle in the course as usually this isn’t possible anyway!
Use the whole course – Try and make your run fluid (i.e. – don’t leave big gaps between tricks where you are not doing anything. This is frustrating for judges because you could be showing off another trick that you can do!) E.g. – mix regular tricks with switch tricks (the other foot forward) and in a cable comp, use both sides of the cable – this will help with the general look of your run and also means you might get more tricks in the course as well!
Perform tricks that you are comfortable with – Ideally you want to have a complete run where you get around the whole course without falling off. If you do fall during your run you will be scored on tricks that you have completed until that point and may score lower as you have an incomplete run. The good thing is though that you have 2 runs and only the best one counts!
The best thing would be to perform tricks that you are confident with and if you complete a good safe first run why not put the tricks that you are slightly less confident with in your second run as you know you have done as well as you can in your first run.
Learn your trick runs!! – If you are confident with your trick run and know what trick comes next you will appear more confident on the water. There is nothing worse than not knowing your trick run off by heart, having a mental block on the water and then missing out valuable tricks…I think we’ve all been there though!
Have fun and enjoy it – A bit of nervous energy is a good thing but don’t forget to have fun and enjoy yourself!”
The rules and format Nicole mentions apply specifically to IWSF competitions (which includes the Cable Nationals), other comps may be run under different formats, but generally all Judges are looking for a similar thing: a good variety of tricks performed well and with style!
See also our post Entering your first competition
Friday 19 June 2009 | Permalink
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