Since we’ve already covered grip, throwing-motion, spin, release-height, throwing speed, and descent-trajectory for the ULTRA Low, Slow, and Easy Toss; let’s tackle landing zone target-areas and how to troubleshoot your landings before finally dealing with backwall rebounding in Part Five.
Trampoline-Table Landing Zones
The Landing Zone is the initial target area at which you throw the dice, and it is the spot where the dice first make contact with the table.
Your landing zone is determined by a number of factors, the first of which is how bouncy the table is, and how low in trajectory your actual throw is.
Generally, the lower and shallower the flight-path trajectory is, the further away from the backwall you can throw the dice on these super-bouncy trampoline tables.
For example, if you release the dice at the height that we previously discussed; then you can land the dice about 12” to 18” inches away from the backwall because their initial contact with the table will not decelerate the dice as much as a higher-trajectory landing will, and therefore they will maintain more of their forward-speed while usually maintaining their axial and facial integrity.
The big benefit to the dice in terms of using an initial landing zone that is comparatively further away from the backwall (than traditional target areas on hard-neutral or soft/low-bounce tables); is that (because of their still on-axis but unspent forward-energy) their second contact with the table will be at the smooth lower non-bumpy margin of the backwall.
Needless to say, you have to experiment a bit to determine exactly how close or how far from the backwall your initial Landing Zone should be in order to move their second contact-point right to the base of the backwall.
If for example, the first bounce launches them high into the backwall alligator bumps; then obviously you can reduce your throwing energy as well as moving your initial landing zone quite a bit further from the backwall.
If on the other hand, their first contact sees them barely dribble in and almost fail to make contact with the backwall; then obviously you can move your initial target-area a bit further down the table and closer to the backwall.
Equally, the higher and more parabolic (mortar-like in shape) your flight-path trajectory is, the nearer you can throw the dice to the backwall.
For example, as we discussed a moment ago, a super low-trajectory throw with a low spin-rate can generally be landed further away from the backwall simply because the dice will seem to skip over the surface after first making contact with the table; and therefore they will travel a greater distance while still maintaining their axial-set than a pair of dice landed from a greater (steeper) descent-trajectory angle with the same or lower spin-rate.
Because of that, it can then be said that if you are using slightly more height with your throw (and it has a somewhat steeper descent-angle trajectory when the dice first impact the table surface); then you can land the dice much closer to the backwall. Again though, you’ll have to reduce your spin-rate even further because, as the descent-angle increases (in a more mortar-like parabolic trajectory); the dice will have a tendency to “jump” higher as the spin-rate increases.
Less spin almost always equals less HDCC rebound, and that is especially true as you move your initial landing zone contact point closer and closer to the backwall.
Troubleshooting the ULTRA LS&E Landing Zone
If you have trouble using an ultra low flight-path trajectory that is mere inches off of the table surface throughout its flight; then you can stick with a slightly higher toss-height elevation but land the dice much closer to the backwall.
In experimenting with the ULTRA Low, Slow & Easy Toss, I found that you could land a perfect Dead Cat Bounce right at the base of the backwall and the dice would die a nice on-axis, primary-face death.
Unfortunately though, on super-bouncy tables and especially where the high-density closed-cell foam (HDCC) underlay is covered with a super-slick micro-fiber layout instead of conventional wool or wool-blend felt; that particular DCB toss is unbelievably sensitive and requires a perfect square-to-the-backwall, perfect flat-and-parallel-to-the-table-surface landing; otherwise you’ll see the dice do some acrobatic maneuvers that would have a Quebecois contortionist from Cirque du Soleil drooling with envy.
On the other hand, if the super-bouncy tables that you play at have a traditional wool or high-ratio (80/20) wool/polyester felt surface overtop of the HDCC; then you may find that you can move your initial landing zone target area much closer to the backwall (about 2” to 5” away), but you have to stay fully cognizant of the fact that you do not want the dice to be vaulted high into the backwall alligator-bumps (thus creating rebound splatter). Instead, the idea is to either get the dice to die at the base of the backwall or to gently make contact with the smooth non-lumpy margin in order to achieve an on-axis facially-correlated rebound.
You'll find a full discussion and explanation of the Dead Cat Bounce in The Mad Professors Shooting Bible Part FOur
Coming up in Part Five, we’ll deal with backwall rebound distances and how to get straight and true facially-coordinated rollouts
Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor
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