You are now entering the kindom of Freestyle Snowboarding Tricks.
Ahhhhh, I love it here.
Skip to chapters below:
[Frontside or Backside?] [Axis of Rotation - Spins & Flips] [How-To's]
or, move on to specific pages on:
[Jump Tricks] [Halfpipe Tricks and Tips] [Jibbing Tricks]
To begin this section of the site, I want to share with you the importance of the sequence involved in any freestyle snowboarding tricks. The PSIA/AASI have nailed down a simple format to explain the sequence of trick execution.
It is called:
Snowboarding Tricks- Frontside vs. Backside Spins
90 degrees or 1/4 spin from takeoff, Frontside of body and toes are facing downhill.
-Regular spins Left, Goofy spins right.
90 degrees or 1/4 spin from takeoff, Backside of body and heels are facing downhill.
-Regular spins right, Goofy spins left
Progression to Bigger Spins and Flips-
It is vital for a rider to understand that the key to spinning or flipping faster is not really all about a bigger jump, wind up or even in hucking it harder. It is all about the wait and snap. That what I like to call it. Wait and snap. The bigger the spin, the more you must wait as you approach the take-off,
ready to snap the unwind into the spin.
Bigger spins require more patience in the ready and loaded position on approach to the jump-
For example, on a common 30-40 foot park jump, for a 360 a rider will start to unwind anywhere from 10-15 feet back from the lip of the jump. While to do a 540 it is more like 5-10 feet, or to do a 720 it's more like 4-8 feet and so on. Then of course it takes more snap, commitment to the rotation and awareness of where you are in the air and where you will spot your landing. -A common problem is starting to unwind in the same place as for the smaller spin, and just trying to snap faster. This will not work, because when the snap is finished and the rider should be releasing from the take-off, the board is still on the ground with a few feet left to the lip. This can create 2 different problems.
The Key is Timing!! Patience and timing. These things are learned from practice and a relaxed mind set that allows the rider to focus on the moment. Taking a good approach line, winding up enough and at the right moment, then being patient and unwinding with snap and finesse to start snowboarding tricks off right.
Let's go over the rotation and axis terms I will use to describe the tricks and how to do them. It is really important that you understand the basics on this page and the difference between the X Y and Z Rotational Axis. It will help to clarify in your mind how each trick works.
X Axis- goes sideways through hips -
Basic Front Flips or Back Flips rotate around X Axis
Y Axis- goes through Belly Button area -
Cartwheels and Side Flips rotate around Y Axis
Normal Upright Spinning
Z Axis - is a straight line running from the top of head down through center of mass through the feet
X-Flipping Forward or Back Y-Flipping Sideways Z-Spinning Upright
How-To Control Spin Axis?
Controlling the axis of a spin is all connected to body movement at takeoff.
Think of the upper body as an inverted triangle.
The shoulders being 2 of the three corners, and the 3rd corner being right between your hips.
In order to spin on a clean upright axis,
the side of the triangle between your shoulders must maintain its upright and flat positioning with the hips underneath. Keeping the shoulders parrallel to the horizon as the unwinding motion starts the rotation.
Corked Rotations or Corking it Out
Blending Spin and Flip through X Y and Z Rotations Utilizing the Grey Area between spin and flip. Corked tricks include Off Axis Rotations like Rodeos, Mistys, Cripplers and McTwists.
To flip or cork, the triangle will shift depending on the flip or cork intended. For a frontflip, the shoulders come forward at take-off. For a backflip the rider will give a powerful forward push of the hips, pulling the shoulders bacg at take-off. For corks like mistys and rodeos the shoulders/hips "the triangle" will tilt at take-off and roll through the trick. Although a cork 3 is possible (very difficult), this rolling motion naturally takes 540 degrees to get your feet back underneath you to land.
In all of these snowboarding tricks, the axis is more or less set in the motion at take off. From there it is crucial that the rider uses their core strength to bring the lower body with the trick. Bringing the board up into a grabed or tweaked postition adds lots of control to commit to the motion of the trick and see it through to the landing.
In each of the links below you will find the names and desriptions of any Freestyle Snowboarding Tricks you're anxious to learn. Take your time reading and come back often to remind yourself what your working on or want to learn next.