How to Frontside 180 – Heel Edge
Part 2 of 4 of ‘How to 180 on a Snowboard’:
This is for those interested in learning (or perfecting) eight different 180 rotations on a snowboard.
If you’re 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 and start to rotate your lead shoulder over the heel edge. - Frame 1. -
The key here is to keep the heel edge gripping until take off. Do this by pulling your toes up inside your boots while at the same time flexing your ankles, knees, hips and spine getting low, ready to ‘pop’ off both feet.
The rotation of your lead shoulder over you heel edge, while keeping your lower body strong, will build up tension in your mid-section. (upper/lower body separation). Progressively move further into this position as you prepare for ‘take off’. - Frame 2. -
Take off: Just before completing the 90° split (upper and lower body), extend upwards with your entire body popping off the entire edge – both feet at the same time. - Frame 2. -
As you pop, your heel 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 body around. - Frame 3. -
- 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. and 4. -
- Landing: Extend the legs slightly ready for landing. Land on both feet, head up, eyes forward and compress to absorb the landing.- Frame 5. and onwards-
- Use a visual add such as a lump of snow to work on your timing and release of the upper/lower body separation.
- 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.
- 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. (toe 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. Look out for the ‘How to’ article to learn this trick off a kicker in the park.
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Where to go from here
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