Johnathan Martines: The Hardest Thing to Learn

As you all know, barefooting is not an easy sport. In barefooting, almost nothing comes easy. No matter what you are learning, whether it’s a toe-hold, a back deep, or a line turn, you are bound to take your fair share of falls and encounter some hardships. Throughout my barefooting career, I’ve had my fair share of struggles, but my most difficult and frustrating challenge to date was learning how to jump inverted.

In April of 2012, I went down to the WBC for a week of training. Having learnt all of the basics, it was now time for me to start learning surface turns and jumping. I started jumping about my third day in. Once I learned how to jump traditional style, I started to work on inverted.

Everything went well in the days that followed, and by the end of the week, I was jumping inverted and landing on the ten foot extension on the boom. After spending a few months home training and not jumping, I came back at the beginning of June for a month. One of my priorities for this trip was to learn inverted jumping behind the boat before the 2012 Worlds.

My first set back was terrible. I would lunge, come forward on the ramp, and be early every single time. For some reason, I was afraid of jumping. This fear hurt my skiing for weeks and weeks. Some days I would go out on the ten foot and look great. Other days, I would go on the five foot and not even be able to land a jump. One thing was the same, though; I could not land an inverted jump behind the boat to save my life.

Finally after a month of jumping every day, something clicked. I went out one afternoon in early July and landed my first inverted jump behind the boat! I was ecstatic! One thing I had dreamed of doing all my life finally came true! The struggle didn’t stop from there. Even though I could land jumps now, they were still very small.

Even today, I still struggle a bit with my jumping. The struggles, however, are on a higher level. Moral of the story, push through your hardships in life and in barefooting and it will be very rewarding.

By: Johnathan Martines

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