A visual tutorial on how to do a frontside 180 on a snowboard off the toe edge.
If you’ve come across this by random or just starting out, read the ‘Snowboard trick how to: Intro’ for a solid stance and progression to all other tricks.
Try the following first, with no board on to gain the understanding of the use of core strength and upper/lower body separation when spinning.
- Setup: Ride along in a low position, head up looking for a spot to ‘pop’ off.
Take off: Just before completing the 90° split (upper and lower body), extend upwards with your entire body in a progressive motion popping off the entire edge – both feet at the same time.
As you pop, your toe edge releases from the snow, and in turn releases the tension built up in your mid section via the upper and lower body split you did on the approach. This is what will get your board around. – Frame 2. –
- Trick: Continue the upper body rotation and allow your legs and board to follow. Bring your legs up slightly and keep looking in the direction of travel. – Frame 3. –
- Landing: Extend the legs slightly ready for landing. Land on both feet, head up, eyes forward and compress to absorb the landing.– Frame 4. and onwards-
Progressively start to rotate your lead shoulder over the heel edge as you get closer to you spot you want to ‘pop’ off.
Stay strong with your lower body gripping the snow with you toe edge and try not to let this shoulder rotation effect the hips/lower body. Keep them centred over you uphill edge (toe edge).
This movement with the upper body will build up tension in your mid-section. (upper/lower body separation). Progressively move further into this position as you reach your desired spot to ‘pop’ off, extending upwards as you do so. – Frames 1 & 2. –
- Use a visual add such as a lump of snow to work on your timing of the release of the upper/lower body separation and the ‘pop’.
- For 180 spins you don’t really need any ‘pre-rotation’, or very little. What I mean by this is the action of winding your arms in the opposite direction to spin and then throwing them forward as you leave the snow.
- Extending upwards with you entire body bringing your legs right up under you will give you more air time but you can only do this if you have got low before popping.
- Bouncing up and down slightly, on the balls of your feet, as you approach will help you relax and prepare you to ‘pop’.
- If you get the timing wrong or have released off your platform to early, check to see if you created the tension in your mid section prior to take off, if not you’ll end up having to use your legs to get the board around. This looks ugly.. make sure you feel the tension and build up of torque by the separation in the mid section, then release.
Correct timing and the separation of the upper and lower body will lead to smooth and effortless spins.
- Use an edge on landing to help control any excessive rotation. (heel edge here is good)
- To start with practice this trick across the slope – then as you progress and gain more confidence work towards the fall line. Once you are comfortable, try doing this off some small rolling terrain on the mountain.
Struggling? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out
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.
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I have a question about getting the 180’s down. I experience having two ways to create tension in the core: in the upper part or in the lower part of the core. Which one is the best way? Thanks in advance.
In a simple answer: Both..!
It’s good that you are able to separate the lower and upper body – something that many riders fail to understand.
Using the upper and lower body separately can help in doing shifties in the air, counter rotated board-slides (where you come back out the same way you went in. ie regular or switch).
Also late spining rotations (classic being a late frontside or backside 180) can be performed with the control and use of in-dependent upper and lower body movements. Leading with the shoulders, then holding the lower body (legs) until the last minute before lining everything up prior to landing.
Try rotating the upper body and lower body in different directions at the same rate and time when doing a fs 180 or bs 180 onto a rail / box. Helps stop the rotation when you land.
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