The level of progression being seen in terrain parks over the past few years is mind-boggling, and the risk of consequences from missing the landing on new spin and cork moves has been rising comparably. It’s become more important to start training off-snow to make sure you’re prepared, and to avoid cutting your season short.
That’s where the Red Bull Trampoline Camp (affectionately known as Tramp Camp) comes in. Tramp Camp gives athletes the ability to learn new tricks without the risk that comes with learning them on snow, providing a safe environment to hone skills with expert coaches on hand.
Red Bull skiers Kaya Turski, Bobby Brown and Grete Eliassen were in the Toronto area last week at the Skyriders Trampoline Facility in Markham. Overseeing their progress were two of the best coaches in the trampoline world, Matt Christensen and David Ross.
Making Future Tricks Happen Now
Christensen has a history coaching freestyle skiers on trampolines and was the official coach for the U.S. Olympic Trampoline Team three consecutive times before stepping down to start the Red Bull athlete camps.
“I work with athletes on air awareness in ski, snowboard, FMX, surf and now BMX,” he says. “I get to work with super gifted athletes who already have the talent, we just have to show them the trampoline skills they need to get it done.”
"I was here before and literally took five tricks to snow last year." -Bobby Brown
Ross, 61, looks about 40 and is as nimble as someone half that age. David founded and built the Skyriders facility 21 years ago when he retired from Olympic Trampolining. He was both a competitor and coach with the Canadian National Team and still coaches the team now.
“What we try to do with any athlete, beginner to superstar, is push them at a pace with minimal risk of injury,” he says. “We assess their acrobatic skill level first and then try to find some exciting steps that will allow them to progress. With 40 years of coaching experience we know what the steps are and what would be next for a given athlete.”
The results that we’ve seen from Eliassen, Turski and Brown are a testament to David's statement.
“First and foremost it’s good exercise when you’re off your skis,” says Brown, “but I also love keeping my mind in the ski game and the air awareness part of it. I was here before and literally took five tricks to snow last year. I’m looking forward to getting a lot of stuff done here and then going to try it out at Mt. Hood next week.”
Bobby spent most of his time working on double and triple corks, which meant Coach Ross had to adapt. “With this new off-axis type of action that the skiers and snowboarders are doing, it’s a learning experience for me because we don’t actually do those sorts of movements in trampoline. It’s a whole different area of movement experience, but the trampoline still gives you the same advantages.”
Turski, who spent her winter in Mammoth, was excited about her Tramp Camp experience. “I just learned backflips and I’m so freaking stoked! Backflips scared the living shit out of me and I really wanted to learn them. I wasn’t sure I could but just kept building myself up.”
“I think it’s very beneficial,” she said of the program. “You work on your air awareness, your timing and your spotting. All that training builds your confidence on the hill, which is huge because you have to really believe in what you are doing if you’re going to be trying something new.”
Grete was in the same boat. “I’m really happy that I got the opportunity to come here, I’m learning so much about body awareness, spotting the mat and knowing when to come down - basically controlling your entire body while spinning and flipping.”
Speaking of boats, as a Bon Voyage gift after a week of bouncing, Kaya, Bobby and Grete were treated to a sailing trip around Toronto harbor in Lake Ontario (pictured above). Luckily the water was calm, so the bouncing was kept to a minimum.
- Bobby Brown lands a triple cork 1440
- Kaya and Grete earn gold and bronze at Winter X Games 2011
- More Red Bull skiing