Prepping for the US Freestyle Team Trials

Philip Robert enters the competition hole in a red Jackson Rockstar at the Nantahala Outdoor Center

Philip Robert enters the competition hole at the Nantahala Outdoor Center

I’ve been at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Western North Carolina for nearly three weeks now prepping for the US Freestyle Team Trials. This is the final week before the competition, and all the best paddlers in the United States are starting to show up. Top paddlers from all over the US are hoping for a slot to represent the United States at the World Freestyle Championships to be held at the Nantahala Outdoor Center September 2-8th 2013.

Excitement is building around the campus as team paddlers from all the big kayak manufacturers prep their routines and show their stuff. Jackson, Pyranha, Liquidlogic, Titan, and Wavesport are all represented. The Jackson family is out in full force with Eric Jackson hoping clinch his spot on the team for the 25th year in a row.

After a bit of a shaky start a few weeks ago, I’m beginning to find my legs in this feature. It’s a workout to spend any amount of time in this feature, but I’m managing to find my tricks. I’m having a lot of fun paddling with all these great paddlers, and learning a few new moves. The big one for me is the loop. Mine is coming along pretty nicely. I know that I’m getting some big air, and I’m managing to get the boat rotated. If I can just pull it all together I may beat my World Cup score of 112. Not much chance to make one of the 5 slots available on the team, but anything can happen.

US Freestyle Team Trials are being held during the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s Spring Fling April 26th thru 28th.