Carnival is finally here!!!!!!!!!!! The anticipation has made many of us ready to explode better than a bottle of champagne, and with that said our inhibitions are thrown to the wayside. 

Everyone wants to wuk up, juk, wine & then some more adventurous ones want to CLIMB.

Look, we’ve all been in a fete where the energy is palpable & “that song” comes on when EVERYONE loses their mind – nuh behavior at all. At that moment beautiful bodies gyrate in perfect harmony, others burst with excitement jumping all around, some may be in hallelujah prayer form with arms raised to the sky & then we’ve got the true wassi ones…….who in their euphoria find the closest man & begin to climb (or man who decides he’s lifting this gyal to de heavens – maybe for an elevated spiritual experience, who knows).

What we do know is it happens and it can lead to some of the most EPIC moments of your Carnival Season OR be a complete failure with someone getting hurt (either pulling/straining a muscle, getting dropped to the ground, being toppled, or just their ego taking a beating), whatever the case here are a few simple rules to keep in mind.

1.    Never Jump On Someone Who Isn’t Looking Or Expecting It

You want to climb, that’s great – have fun but the fastest way to get yourself or your climbing partner hurt is to climb up when they not looking or expecting it.  Trust me, for some reason women have felt I have magical powers & can anticipate them literally jumping on my back like we playing piggy-back or something – strangling me as they climb, knocking meh drink to de ground, along with sunglasses, headpiece, etc. Fastest way to kill de vibe is treat this like the WWE & you’re jumping from the top ropes for a knockout.  Others I’ve observed may attempt from the front but the man is clearly ain’t ready, not bracing up to support both people’s weight & WHAM down they both go toppling either forward or backwards and knocking others around them over like bowling pins.

2.    Scoop, Hold, Squat & Lean Back
Assuming this is a 1 woman & 1 man scenario (not expecting or encouraging allyuh to do what I do when it comes to lifting multiple gyals at a time, plus there’s something special about giving yuh full attention to just 1 wining partner at that moment). 

Fellas, this ain’t about copping a cheap feel – this is strategic positioning to ensure your woman safely & easily gets into position.  When you go in for the simultaneous lift on your part & jump on her part - Scoop – wrap your hands/arms just below her bottom, that way they rest just above and it will allow her to get her legs easily above your hips and hopefully squeeze to take some of the load off of your arms/lower back and allow it to be more of just a squat exercise of your quads. Ladies, HOLD – we talking 2 ways. #1 Clasp your arms/hand around the base of his neck so you’re supporting some of your weight (this isn’t a free rodeo ride with you flailing because most men don’t have the strength & stamina to maintain that bucking bronco ish for too long). #2 Hold on with your legs – whether interlocking behind his back or just good inner thigh strength, help de man out and squeeze. 

Once the Scoop & Hold have occurred Fellas, squat down a bit as it will help you gain your best balance position and it takes pressure off of your back as well as hands/arms so most of her weight is resting in your “crotchular” area & you can maintain the lift for exponentially longer than just holding her up with your hands.

Last step, like Fat Joe said “Lean Back”.  Most, candidly, don’t go this level .... but if you want to take it past amateur hour & let the woman take control on a whole other level you may want to try this move (just know not everyone can handle this & if you do it wrong someone is going splat).  This clearly takes communication and good core strength – fellas as you lean back farther, almost like being in a bucket chair let her know you’re about to let go and she needs to hold tight & ladies clasp tightly around the back his neck.  The man can actually let go with arms hanging down by your side because she’s now able to lean back and be balanced over his quads (key is counterbalance). Fellas, just lean back, stay firm and let her go to town – it’s essentially a chance for her to do whatever she wants riding on top & for you to get a lap dance.  By this point, trust that the moment will be captured by those who’ve now circled around you & not only do you now get to claim professional climber/lifter status, you’ve got some epic memories to hold on to.

3.    Know Your Limitations

Limitations are meant to be pushed, not necessarily blindly ignored. Soca may give you powers but you ain’t suddenly Superman.  Fellas, if you’ve been drinking too much leave the lifting for another day. Ladies, same goes for you as we don’t want to see you taking a nose dive.  As for strength & size, fellas if you don’t hit the gym regularly let’s take it easy on who you trynna lift no one wants to sit you pull a muscle or drop a woman who’s there just to have a good time.  Ladies, if you aren’t willing to at least attempt to help carry some of your weight – holding on with both your arms & legs hold off and just give a good wine.   There’s also a time limit on this ride – each man is different but ladies, please understand when a man say time done, “ok”, “alright, alright”, “I tired”, etc. when any of these words come out his mouth Get Down ASAP because chances are his legs are already wobbling and he been pushing too hard.  So, unless you want to fall on yuh back or have him topple down, it’s time to disembark de ride.

4.    Time & Place
While a good climb/lifting session can be a blast, let’s keep in mind this ain’t exactly a move for all occasions.  Perfect for J’ouvert (although can be slippery), road march, and many fetes .... you may want to keep this move on land – I’ve done it on the sea & was damn lucky to recover my balance when we hit a wave because the deck of a boat can be wet and so hard, definitely not forgiving.  Never again unless I’m on a cruise liner or docked will that happen again.  Like everything it’s about feel & vibe, early in most fetes we taking it easy – climbing/lifting should be reserved for when it’s in a frenzy OR when occasionally there’s a mid-fete lull and an energy infusion is needed.  If she’s wearing a skirt or a dress, recognize that’s an automatic no go.  We may have no behavior but we can still have respect, especially for women.  Ladies, if you saw a man just lift a gyal please don’t treat this like a ferris wheel and immediately hop on.  We can’t exactly give unlimited rides – especially if the woman he just lifted is on the plus size or acted like she was bucking a bronco - give the man a break and let him rest up, get a drink, and maybe circle back later in the fete.

5.    No Means No
Seems obvious but this is a two-way street. As guys we can get carried away and there’s a point of seeing someone who is hesitant finally join in & have fun, if she’s got the Fear of God in her eyes and is saying no – it means no, you don’t need to test it ten times of getting no to accept it.  Ladies, some of us guys are not actually climbing trees and while often we’re easily persuaded into action, sometimes we’re hurt, drunk, tired, or not feeling the vibe - it will just have to wait.

So, there it is – some easy steps to enjoy taking your lifting/climbing to another level, ensuring no one gets hurt & making sure this year your Carnival experiences will be EPIC.

We’ll have the cameras ready to capture the photos & videos of your success.

‘Til next time, Soca to De World & LIFT DEM GYALS,
Jouvert Mike