Words: Keith Lyman Photo: Spencer Smith
A heelside melon poke frontside spin is an absolute crowd-pleaser, especially if you take it huge and into the flats. It’s also a perfect warm-up trick that you can take really big and, if properly styled out, you can make look pretty sick. I also like to use this move to test the wake and find out what I’m working with. Plus, you can really make it your own by finding unique spots to poke the board. Here are the basic steps to throwing this versatile spin.
Pop as big as possible Start from the side of the boat and use a Raley cut into the wake (ed note: we didn’t want to edit Lyman’s preference for edging, however a mellow progressive edge can work as well). At the bottom of the wake, stay on your heel edge as if you’re doing a big, poppy wake jump and push off the wake to get the highest possible pop.
Let the line work for you Because you’ll be grabbing the board with your front hand and keeping the handle in your back hand, the line tension will actually do the spin for you. As you leave the wake and begin to let go of the handle with your front hand for the grab, you want to push the handle toward your front hip with your back hand. This will stall your frontside rotation long enough to make sure you get a good, strong grab and poke.
Handle the handle Lock the handle into your front hip at the same time you grab your board. Like anything else, the more you do this, the more you’ll understand where the handle needs to be. The bigger you take it, the longer you will need to lock the handle into your hip. If you are doing this trick wake-to-wake, you can relax the handle position more than if you are taking this trick really far out into the flats.
Poke it out Once the grab and the handle position are locked in, you need to work on the poke. Pick a spot on the shoreline that you’re traveling toward, and think about karate kicking that spot with your front foot. You’ll also need to manipulate your back foot and leg in order to get your front leg as boned-out as possible. Bend your back knee and at the same time think about kicking yourself in the butt with your heel. Stay in that position as long as you can.
Bring it home Now that you’re soaring through the air like Chuck Norris, you need to spot your landing and start to relax your handle from your front hip to your back hip to begin the frontside rotation. Throughout the rotation, hold the grab and continue to look in the direction you’re traveling. I actually spot between the shoreline and the place where I will land and lock the handle into my new front hip to keep the line tight. When you land, make sure your shoulders are headed in the same direction you were spotting, and you’ve got it nailed.