jake hinga head shot
Jake Hinga
Age: 26
Hometown: Climax, MI
Years doing trampwall: 3

Q: What is your favorite aspect of trampwall culture? 
A: My favorite aspect of trampwall culture is definitely the community spirit.
A lot of us are naturally competitive but not in a cutthroat kind of way. We all want each other to be our best selves and then to compete against that. Everyone’s rooting for each other, down to teach skills, put in good work. Everyone’s building each other up. That’s easily my favorite part. It’s such a healthy mentality and I think if a bit more of the world operated like that it’d be a little bit better of a place 🙂

Q: What lessons has trampwall taught you?
A: The biggest lesson I’ve learned is about fear and how to manage it. Trampwall is constantly terrifying and if you can’t learn to sit with fear, have a conversation, and to move forward in your relationship with it you’re gonna have to part ways like its a bad break-up. The nice thing is it’s 0-100. Do or die. As soon as you step off that cliff (the wall) you are in it and there’s no turning back. So if you can just get your body to take that step you [are already falling and] have to just figure it out. That goes for life SO MUCH. Often times it’s just taking that step. Dancing in front of a group of people. Talking to that cute person. Knowing that I’ve done that countless times for trampwall has helped me face my fears in the rest of my life.

Q: What are the most essential qualities to excel in this discipline?

A: Depends a bit on the criteria for success. As trampwall comes from a primarily live-performance-based perspective I’ll offer some insight to that. If you want a trampwall gig I’d say there are 3 main things to focus on: 

  1. Attitude.
    Are you a good person? Do people get along with you? Meaning are you going to fit well with any cast and not cause problems. That’s one of the biggest things as a lot of work is word of mouth and personal recommendations.
  2. Consistency and Safety.
    Can you do the skills on a consistent basis. Are you going to be safe? Would you put yourself or your castmates in danger? It doesn’t matter if you can throw the biggest, baddest shit if you can only do it on a Tuesday at 3:30 pm with a specific hype song and 2 energy drinks beforehand when you’re “feeling it”. You need to be able to do your shit at 10 am 3 times a day for 5 days straight if necessary.
  3. Cleanliness/Aesthetic.
    How do you look? Is it pleasing to the eye? Is there some kind of form, or if not form, an intentional choice being made? Do you stand out? Luckily trampwall isn’t as strict as other disciplines, but performance is performance and these things still matter.
  4. Difficulty/Skill Repertoire.
    Can you throw more difficult skills or a wide variety of skills to help carry the entire act? This is still less necessary as I’ve seen people with this consistently get picked over by guys who had the first 3 points more. But if all things are equal or you’re at such a low level this does still play a part. I just think it’s less essential.

To recap this is what I believe is important for success for getting performance jobs. I think there are other ways to define success on wall, but that’s another paragraph 😛