The Phonix Monkey is one of the most fun tricks to do in just about any hole. It’s a move that combines the energy of a cross-bow pirouette, which accelerates all the way around and culminates in a front loop! Invented in the Kaituna Hole in New Zealand, the Phonix Monkey is fun to learn, fun to watch, and is possible in small and even shallow playspots. You need to be able to do a loop, and feel comfortable putting a cross-bow draw in the water to try the phonix monkey, but it isn’t hard once you get the feel.
Here’s how to do it (explained pirouetting to the RIGHT):
1. From the top of the foam, get ready to initiate the trick in the seam, or even behind the seam in the hole. Make sure to angle your boat to 1:00 or maybe even 2:00 so that you don’t slice your bow through like a cross-bow-initiated cartwheel.
2. To initiate the Phonix Monkey, you need to do push down on your feet (like you’re plugging a loop), lift your left knee, and pull on a cross-bow draw with your left blade.
3. As the bow initiates, try to keep your weight over the boat, look over your right shoulder ahead of the pirouette, and keep pulling on that left blade all the way around.
4. As the pirouette is about to finish, think about a pausing for a split second to square your shoulders and head back to forward, and stand up to start your loop.
5. Jump up with your hands and body, tuck forward to flip the boat, and finish on the back deck with a loop stroke as described in the “how to air loop” article. SWEET!!!! That was awesome!
Here’s are some Jedi-secrets, passed down for generations from Yoda himself:
-Practice your paddle placement, feet smash, and edge in the flatwater a few times to get ready for the motion in the hole.
-The cross-bow draw has to potential to tweak whichever shoulder is high (if the left blade is drawing, it’s the right shoulder that might feel the strain), SO keep that right elbow as low as possible.
-Angle of initiation is key: too little angle to the right and you’ll just slice your bow in and fall over. The more angle to the hole you have, the more you’ll need to pull, so start at around 1:00 in most holes
-Try to look ahead of the pirouette all the way around and keep it lower-angle so that you can get some pop on your loop. If your pirouette goes too vert, you will just fall on your head when you try to jump for your loop. Jason goes fairly vert on his pirouette in the photos, so his loop does go too big–though he still has the skills to bring the loop through straight.
-In a spot that’s more of a wave-hole and less of a pour-over, try to almost bounce and fall into your initation–the faster the wave, the more force is required to start the trick.
Well, that’s all folks! Enjoy the photos of big Jason Craig in #5 in the Reno Whitewater Park! Go learn one of my favorite tricks!
Live from 30,000 feet on the way back to TN,