A Thought: Surfaced

Choose your surface carefully. To bounce on something soft is one thing, it uses a specific set of muscles, training on a hard surface trains another set. Switching between the 2 creates problems for the beginner and is a skill in itself. One can either stick safely to the surface of preference or switch frequently between the 2. It could be argued that training on the hardest surface is more beneficial, as adapting to anything softer is easier on the joints, muscles and ‘airtime’ spacial awareness. I think I agree with this approach, but personally prefer the frequent switching of surfaces.

I’ve noticed that after bouncing on the trampoline for a while, I lose my bounce on the hard floor. I’ve noticed other people comment on this sudden ‘sucking away of bounce’, leading people to shy away from a trampoline.

It would be better to switch frequently between the 2, and be prepared for the change in surface. Or rather ‘learn from it’. Know that a different technique is required on a hard floor than on a tumble track for example… or not technique as such, but power and bounce etc. To be prepared for less airtime and to counter act that by tucking tighter for a twist or spin perhaps? You know I’m no expert, but its common sense to me and that’s all I have to go by.

Few of us are lucky enough to have the consistent surface of snooker, curling, table tennis or diving. It appears that all the dedicated competitive professionals train in consistent environments as much as possible to eliminate inconsistencies and strive for perfection. However memorising the forces of various surfaces and adapting to them, is also common in many sports: golf, tennis, skiing, moto-x etc. With regard to flipping on various surfaces, maybe it isn’t the surface itself with we’re adapting to, but the energy we can absorb and return to and from it. Am I losing you? yep, me too.

Imagine gravity wasn’t constant, but all surfaces were: solid. Grass would have the effect of strong gravity, whilst a trampoline would have only a gentle gravitational affect on us, enabling us to bounce just as though the surface was ‘bouncy’. Get me?

So now flick the gravity back on and consider that every surface has a ‘bounce’ .. even solid concrete. Yet the body weight of a human cannot feel it. Though we’ve all seen concrete flex and bow like a trampoline surface, when filmed during an earthquake for example. Admittedly its the surface underneath the concrete giving way in that example, but you get what I mean. Wood has another type of density, of which we can receive energy from whilst bouncing on it, as well as grass, and mats and eventually very ‘giving’ surfaces like trampets etc.

I think challenging ourselves to adapt to as many surfaces as we can is a good thing. Or is it the surface? or is it actually the airtime? Anything we do that requires lift off an object, is about timing, technique and spacial awareness after all. Think back to the inconsistent gravity example above and there the surface has nothing to do with the activity. Its all about the airtime, not training, muscle mass and strength. Its pure technique. Though if that was to happen, the quest for height would either switch to pure technical perfection in delivery, or move height level far beyond what we know it now. And if that was the case and height was still measured in competitions (whether formally awarded or peer based) then the search would be on for the best ‘low gravity’ location to perform the biggest tricks.

But relax, I’m only letting my mind wander. I’ve never really considered the forces and effects of surfaces before. I guess its only when you constantly quest to defy gravity that it becomes important.

I’m sat in a coffee shop after a dull meeting in London and I just needed to drift off in thought for a while. (The new Portishead album is floating through my ears)

I’m done. The has been a public brain swervice announcement on behalf of lateral thinkers everywhere. I bid you fair well.



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Filed under Flips, Life, marks progress, technique, training

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