With a backroll you don't need a hard progressive cut. You can take an easy cut and then throw it. I.E. take a 50% - 70% and then drop into it 110%.
The act of "throwing it" is to push the board straight down into the water. The push is not like a jump or ollie. You are pushing the board into the water almost perpendicular to your body. The causes the water to grab the board and build quick tension on the cable that you don't get from the edge. When the water grabs the board it will throw the board back behind you and into the air.
There is NO in between. This is a "do or die" trick. If you try a partial raley to see what it feels like then you will face plant. The backroll is almost automatic. When you launch look over your leading shoulder to initiate the rotation. I advise newcomers to concentrate on a death grip on the handle. The roll will complete itself with even a halfa$$ effort. However, it's an almost certainty that the immense tension that builds up will cause you to lose grip on at least one of your hands. The loss of grip and control can end up being the most damaging in terms of a hard fall. If you can keep both hands on the handle when learning you have the most chance of landing the trick or at least not having a painfull crash.
(Message edited by fly135 on August 09, 2005)