The Money Maker (aka Kamikaze Frog) – Interview with Nick Woodard

Today we have a special treat… an interview with USA Jump Rope All Star Nick Woodard. For those that don’t know, Nick is a superstar in the Jump Rope world. Last year Nick became the first person in the world to do a trick called “The Money Maker” (also referred to as a Kamikaze Frog), and he has graciously answered some questions for us about landing this insanely difficult trick. Also, be sure to check out the video of “The Money Maker” after the interview. A big THANKS to National Champion and All-Star Lee Reisig for providing the video.

UPDATE 4/17/07: This trick was incorrectly called a Kamikaze Frog in the original post. There is an informal tradition in the world of jump rope that the first person to land a trick gets to name it. Nick won a $100 bet as a result of landing this trick and therefore it has been dubbed “The Money Maker.” Thanks to Lee Reisig for bringing this discrepancy to our attention.

JRV: When and where was this video taken?
NW: The video was taken at the North Carolina Workshop hosted by the Bouncing Bulldogs during the first weekend in November. It was a Saturday evening.

JRV: Was this the first time you landed the Kamikaze Frog?
NW: This was the second time I landed the trick.

JRV: In total, how many times have you landed it?
NW: I have landed it two times.

JRV: How long had you been working on this trick before you finally made it?
NW: I had been working on the trick for about a year and a half off and on not hard all the time but when ever I felt it I went for it.

JRV: What was the secret to landing it? Do you have any pointers for others that are working on it?
NW: The secret to that trick is there really isn’t a secret. I muscle that whole trick through. It would be a little bit easier if I were to use my legs to get me a boost up but I use all my upper body which is the way I do it. Well for others trying to do it just push off hard and turn the rope extremely fast, that’s what I have to think about.

JRV: Did anyone else give you any pointers that helped you land it?
NW: Jeff (Mauss) has helped me with the trick. He tells me where my legs are and if I need to keep them in some more or if I need to spin the rope faster, so he has been a big help for that trick.

JRV: I know a few people have been working on this trick. Are you the first person to make it?
NW: I am the first person to be able to land this trick in the world.

JRV: Do you know if anyone else has been able to do it?
NW: Nobody to my knowledge has ever really tried the trick or even thought about it.

JRV: Do you think this is the hardest trick you’ve ever done?
NW: This is by far the hardest trick I have ever done. Once I did it I was really excited but hurt at the same time, I hurt my wrist but it was all worth it.

JRV: Are you working on any tricks that you haven’t been able to do yet? If so, what are they?
NW: As of right now I’m working on a trick called the “death wish”. I have gotten close to it but not landed it yet. Lee (Reisig) from Summerwind came up with it but neither one of us have been able to get it. The trick is a double under A.S. frog. You jump your Double Under A.S. and land in a frog. I have gotten close just haven’t hit it just yet but give me a little more time I will get it.

JRV: Do you plan on putting this in your freestyle routine this year or is it too difficult to try in competition?
NW: I do plan to put it in my routine. I have to get more consistent at it but the second I can do it all the time it will be in there.

JRV: Is this your new favorite trick? If not, what is your favorite? If it is, what was your previous favorite trick?
NW: I would say that yes that is my favorite trick because that is one I had been working on for a long time and I finally got it. So any trick that I finally get after a lot of work that is my new favorite trick. My previous favorite trick would have to be my back flip with a full twist with a rope. Nobody can do that trick right now so I love being able to do those type of tricks. It’s a big crowd pleaser.

JRV: In the video, you do a belch frog immediately after landing the Kamikaze frog. Was that planned or was it an accident? Can you describe what happened at the end?
NW: At the end yes I did do a belch because I was on my way down and I didn’t have enough balance to stay up right so I needed to get another trick so I wouldn’t just fall so a belch was the only thing I could think of at the time. It wasn’t planned but it added a nice little ending to it I thought.

JRV: What was it like to land the kamikaze frog for the first time?
NW: To land the kamikaze frog the first time was amazing. I actually did it at worlds. I was in the back with Jeff (Mauss) and Shaun (Hamilton) and they remembered me trying it a while back and they were like “come on Nick you got it”. So I went at it for about 20 min and on one of my final tries I hit it. There were a lot of people in the back from other countries watching and they all saw it and applauded. It was awesome. It was funny because the competition was going on at the same time so I hope we weren’t to loud.

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