The hook kick..
It was probably the first movement you learned in tricking, or one of the first.  It’s used at every level as the main go-to segue into most powerful setups, like touchdown-raiz, masterscoot, and cartwheel, not to mention cheat kicks, and basically everything in between.  Why?  Because it’s convenient, and it’s controlled.  It’s also lazy, if you ask me.  I’m not talking about c5h (c7), or boxcutters, I mean specifically a standing/grounded spinning hook kick.  I can’t recall a single instance where i thought to myself “gee, that hook really made that combo work (visually)”.  For this reason, i believe that the hook should be discontinued as a common movement, once you’re past a certain level of proficiency.

I’m not trying to make you trick my way..  let’s not play that game.  I’m simply advocating a higher standard of tricking for those proficient enough to pull it off.  If you’re brand new to tricking, this is probably not for you yet, but perhaps it will give you something to think about.

Now i’m not saying that you should never use hooks, but i am saying that when you find yourself using it regularly, or if you’re planning to use it intentionally, it’s a crutch, and perhaps other choices should be explored.  Quite often, a c5h (c7) or wackknife is just as easy to get off in a combo as a hook is..  Or try an E-kick, or palm kick..  Try a tornado (or any round trick) and clever transition, like a skip, or reversal, instead..  The point is to remove the easy, common control movement in favor of a more unique, or at least visually interesting, option.

Often times, tricks get paired with hooks so much that our brains completely turn off the idea that perhaps they dont have to be done together.  If you see a c7r (c9), you can bet that it will almost always be followed by a hook kick.  Why not just vanish from that kick, or choose a different option, like a jackknife?  Similarly, as mentioned before, powerful setups like scoots and carts are almost always preceded by hooks, as are sideswipes and other raiz axis tricks.  Why not p1s (p3-hyper) or tornado instead, and vanish into the the sideswipe?  Try a round kicking trick and skip into that cart or masterscoot..  there are a number of ways to do all of this.

What i want, more than anything else in tricking, is to see the individuals of the community do something new, different, and unique.  Sure, you can choose uncommon tricks to stand out, or to show your individuality, but you can also use common tricks in uncommon ways by utilizing your transitions, and choosing not to follow the common trends of the past, such as relying on a hook kick to glue two broken combo segments together.

-1

Homework:
No hooks this week.  That doesn’t mean you just spam jstep cork swings all week.  If you’re up to the challenge, i want you to create well rounded combos, or modify existing ones, that exclude the use of hooks, but still stay true to your style.  The goal is to think outside of the box, and apply a greater degree of technicality and difficulty, while still accomplishing your general combo goals.  Yes, it can be hard..  but it should help you to achieve better combos, unlock new ideas, and hopefully add a bit of challenge and fun to your sessions.

Example:
(existing combo):  p180hH rpop c3r hook s/t masterscoot s/t cork.  (p3hyper rpop tornado hook mscoot cork)
(modified 1):  p180hH rpop c3rHS skip masterscoot s/t cork.  (over-rotate the tornado to a hyperstyle landing – land in backside on the non-kicking leg)
(modified 2): p180hH van 3k s/t masterscoot s/t cork.  (p3hyper vanish 540 masterscoot cork – same combo really, just altered some landings)

(existing combo):  c7r hook cartfull  (c9 hook cartfull)
(modified 1):  c7r van spyder reversal cartfull
(modified 2): c7r van ekick van cartfull

This is meant to take you out of your comfort zone, and challenge you creatively and physically, but it should still be fun.  Good luck, and as always, if you do something really cool, i want to see it; post it to the tricktheory fb page.

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Written by The Grumpiest Of All
Just a grumpy old man who really loves tricking.