It’s April in Minnesota and the ice on the lake is working its way off. So what does a pro-caliber kneeboarder do on these cold days? If there’s snow, one could kneeboard down the snowy hills, of course! kneeboard world spent the day doing just that with kneeboard extraordinaire Dan Henning in late February. But, now that the snow is gone, we took some time out to ask Dan Henning a few questions about his favorite sport.
Dan is featured in the popular kneeboarding video, Air Assault, and has been a nationally ranked competitor. His talent was easy to see by watching him jump off of the small two and a half-foot snow ramp at the bottom of the aptly named “Killer Hill” sledding hill. Using an older Hydroslide Kaos, Dan consistently flew five feet high and twenty plus feet out all while pulling off 180’s or 360’s. On the water, Dan has been seen consistently pulling off a variety of extreme tricks including the Macasini, the Layout to revert, the Roadkill, the 1080, and his own, The Cinderella. At local INT competitions, even the wakeboarders look forward to seeing his run.
KP: What is this trick, The Cinderella, and how did you come up with the name?
Dan: The Cinderella got started after I took a second place in a tournament because the judges wouldn’t give me credit for my frontroll that I made. The Cinderella is similar to, but it's not, a frontroll. It’s one of a kind. So, to get credit for it in the future, I was told to give it a name. So, Cinderella came about because if you throw this flip in front of a dock full of girls.....you’ll be going to the ball that night.
KP: Could you describe the differences?
Dan: I do this trick as I would a front sommersault. The only difference is I let go with one hand and I throw my head as I would a frontroll. I wait about 2 seconds when I come off of the wake before actually throwing my frontroll. So, waiting that extra 2 seconds is what makes me go 2 feet higher and makes my frontroll unique.
KP: What other tricks can we look forward to seeing from you this season?
Dan: The McDouble Deluxe and my combos are the focus for this season. Backroll to air backroll combos, layout to front somersault combos and Cinderella to air Cinderella combos.
KP: What’s your setup?
Dan: I ride the Hydroslide Kaos. Number one board, everyone should own one, with double strap (a must). My line length is 60 feet, speed 22mph. For beginners, I would recommend 50 feet and 18-20mph. Keep a shorter rope and slower boat speed until you feel more comfortable.
KP: What is the secret to getting monster air off of the wake?
Dan: The secret to monster air is to be ME! I’ll tell you how, but just remember, I, Dan “The Air Man” Henning, will always go 2 feet higher(laughter). Maintain a hard edge toward the wake and be sure to flatten the board right at the curl for take off. Keep your elbows in and at your waist for better control.
KP: Last summer, you released a short internet video featuring yourself and Chad Beery. Can we expect more vidoes from you?
Dan: Yes. We’ll make another one this year.
We’ll be looking forward to that video and possibly more pictures in the gallery! If you would like to contact Dan for specific questions or pointers, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.