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Snowboarding freestyle trick FAQ

Posted on: Dec 8, 2010 Listed in: Freestyle Tips by Chris Skinner

Here I will be adding in any questions and answers that I have received relating to the snowboard how to tricks I have posted up in the Freestyle Tips & Tricks category.

Some have been drafted from forums where I have been asked for information and other from comments on posts here. I am still currently working on opening up comments on the tricks themselves – bit of a technical difficulty at the moment.

In the mean time, if you have any questions, Email Me (if you don’t want your question posted up here just let me know).

Q: When lowering your body before popping, do you recommend to hunch over a little at the spine while not breaking at the waist to keep your shoulders above the board?

A: In regards to having a slight curve in your spine. In my opinion yes. As you contract and get smaller, flex all your joints and just let the spine curve naturally.

You should ideally do this to counter the movement of your hips over the heel edge. As you compress and flex down, you will naturally shift weight over your heel edge slightly, via your hips. The curving, or ‘hunching’ as you mention, of the spine will counter that movement. It will make the movement of getting low feel more natural, helping you stay centred over your board.

The same also applies when landing on kickers etc, or any big drops with large amounts of compression or flat landing, cliff/street etc.

Don’t try to keep a straight back. Let the curve in the spine happen. However, as you do point out above, this curve of the spine is not to be confused with breaking at the waist/mid section.

I often see people flexing down and not letting the spine curve at all. What happens?: The hips shift over to the heel edge with no counter balance going on. This can lead to the board turning in that direction, then when they come to extend upwards (say they are going for a jump) they end up taking off on the heel edge.

Too much curving of the spin (breaking at the waist) leads to the opposite. So we need to find a stance somewhere in between. And that takes time and practice. Try to feel lots when riding, it’s your bodies way of giving you a private coaching session!

I know that was probably in a little bit more depth than what was required for your question, but I just thought I’d mention a wee bit more for others out there.

Glad the tips are helpful.
More to come soon.

Taken from the following post on:

Q: So have been boarding a few months now and have started to get the urge to try buttering/freestyle and all that kerfuffle (am booked on a Definition course next month) but am struggling a wee bit with the 180s. I’m not sure what it is i’m doing wrong exactly but i can’t seem to generate the spin needed to bring the board all the way round.

A: Ok, it could be a few things going on but I will address your question re: ‘can’t seem to generate the spin needed’.

As we are now only talking about rotation (spin), go back to the basics and try the whole movement of the 180 across the slope (would suggest heel edge). Do it on the snow (sliding it). Taking away the other elements (popping, take off, landing etc) will make it easier to affirm the rotation and highlight what’s going wrong.

Ensure your upper body and shoulders, precede the board. Over exaggerate this movement and see if you can even get a delayed feeling going on. Shoulders move, hold it for a second, (hips and board still travelling straight) then let the board whip around under you. If you can’t feel this ‘tension’ / ‘release’ feeling you are most probably initiating the 180 with your hips (this makes the board slide and skid – then mid 180 it decides it wants to line back up with your shoulders which are now behind you legs – not good!). This is the type of thing you see a lot when people try to just use their lower body to get the board around – scissoring their legs. Yes it is possible for a 180 and is used for certain movements, rails etc but does not really create a smooth movement.

Another point of concern here is that you could be pivoting around your front or back foot (usually the front), check that the pivot point is between your feet. (you should not feel any more pressure on one foot than the other when doing the above exercise – even pressure pivoting around the centre of your board).

A big thing that throws people out is trying to go for the trick straight off (remember when you were learning, you went through the basics first right? side slip then turning – same with any trick you learn from now on) Get the basics dialled, then build it up.

Once you can get the above exercise going on and it feels good add in some up and down movements. Do the exact same exercise (feeling the separation) just start low and as the upper body and shoulders precedes you will want to be high NB: you are still sliding this across the snow.

Don’t stand too tall too early, get the timing spot on, feeling the separation, pivoting around the centre, small on the run in, tall as you spin.

When this feels good, add in a small pop off both feet. Resist the temptation to ruin all your hard practice and go for the entire 180 first time off. Let you muscles remember good movements, start small and build up. This is the benefit of doing the 180 across the slope as opposed to straight down the hill. You’re less likely to catch and edge and therefore more inclined to build up slowly.

Hope this helps.

Taken from comments from the following post: Snowboarding trick tips added

Where to go from here

If you like this post, be sure to check out more like this in the Freestyle Tips & Tips category. Or, if more technical riding articles are you thing, then check out the Techincal Riding category.

If you would like to know where and what courses I will be coaching within the UK and Europe this year, please refer to my Calander.

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