Grabbing your snowboard does not only add fun and style to your riding, it is also a massive step forward in a riders’ skills progression. Finding the comfort level in jumping and the rhythm involved in the push at take off into the pull of bringing your feet and board up into your hand can provide a boost in confidence, control and is an essential step towards spin or flip type tricks.
After learning to hop jump and ollie, practice a lot. As you become more and more comfortable with your pop and taking to the air, start working on “coring in”, or using your core muscles to pull your lower body up into your center of mass. Kind of like the movement of doing a cannonball into a pool. The rider pulls the feet and knees up.
A common mistake many riders make when they start trying to grab is to reach down aggressively, which ends up throwing them off balance. It is important to bring the board to your hand. Of course, your hand has to be in the right spot to bring the board to it.
One great way to practice the physical positions of grabbing your snowboard, is what I like to call “bed tricks”. Different than bed tricks on a trampoline, this time you will put on your snowboarding boots and strap into your snowboard in your bedroom. Yes, seriously. Now, layback onto your bed and bring your feet up over you so the board if floating up over you. From this position, lay back and relax. Feel the weight of the board and the support of your boots and bindings, as they attach your body to the board. Now, move it around, grab it. With one hand then the other. Grab the tail or the nose or any part of the board you can. Now grab and poke. Poke the tail and poke the nose. Feel the position that it takes to reach the board in different places with each hand. If you want to feel what a method would be like, roll over on your belly (careful not to break anything while you roll over with your board on), and put our feet up behind you. Now grab the method spot near your front foot and arch that back. Oh yeah, you feel it.
On the hill, think rhythm and flow.
Okay, now just go ride. Try grabbing your snowboard anywhere you want and believe that you can grab it and tweak it any number of ways. Get creative and think about which grabs will work for you as you work on other more advances spin and flip tricks. Just keep dreaming and moving forward towards those dreams.
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