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Tips Monday: 180 Rotation & in Air Stability

Posted on: Mar 28, 2011 Listed in: Freestyle Tips by Chris Skinner

Last week I was up at Hemel snow centre coaching for Definition Camps for their 1 day kicker freestyle session.

One particular trick that everyone wanted to get down was the frontside 180. We also covered how to be more stable in the air in reference to both 180 and 360s’. Later that evening in the bar, after staying for a ride, I was also asked by a friend how to prevent over rotation while in the air and this ties in nicely with the stability aspect.

This weeks Tips Monday is going to be about the set up and exit off the lip when doing a rotation (specific to frontside rotations off the heel edge, but can also be applied to the backside rotations) and how to feel more controlled in the air.

Last weeks Tips Mondays – Snowboard Trick Tactics talked about tactics when doing a particular trick and this week we’re going to refer to the S (Setup) and T (Take off).

The 180 setup and take off

  • First and foremost we need very little pre-wind when doing a 180 so don’t go in pre-winding your shoulders massively.

    I’ve seen this so many times, as the rider starts to go up the lip of the jump, they wind there arms back in the opposite direction. What then happens to the board is it actually get pushed back to the opposite direction that we want to spin (especially the case if they are weak with the core, hips and legs) The board now has to rotate 220 instead of the original 180.

  • When leaving the lip to do a rotation, you need something solid to push off, a platform.

    For a frontside 180 off the heels, aim to leave the lip of the jump straight and slightly off your heel edge. The slight edge angle will prevent you sliding the board as you leave the lip. You’ll lose speed if you slide and go off at an angle (increasing the distance to the landing zone). Both which will run the risk of you not making the landing.

    Your approach should be very similar to that of a straight air, with the same speed or a little more (the rotation will slow you down through the air).

  • To make this heel side take off slightly easier to perform, ride in flat base transferring smoothly from a toe edge and then to a heel edge as you take off.
  • Now that we have some grip and a solid platform, we can use this to pop off.
  • For the amount of rotation required, it depends on speed, size of the jump and how much you pop. Experiment but bear in mind the following.

    If the nose of my board is at 12 o’clock then on the run in I would have my front hand around 10.00. .

    As you leave the lip aim to reach round with the front hand to around 2.00, taking the shoulders, then hips, then lower body with it, in that order. Check out the following post for ground 180’s How to Frontside 180 – Heel Edge

Stability in the air

Now while we all know that our ability to control and manipulate a rotation once you have left the ground and in the air air is limited, it would be nice to be able to hold a position. Say for example, legs up in a nice tucked position making a spin look clean rather than arms and legs dangling everywhere, board rotating to much, etc.

So, next time try this. After the initial rotation of the upper body into the spin, wait for the board to catch up with the upper body (roughly 90 degrees) and then hold. What I mean by this is to be strong with the lower limbs and core, keeping everything compact and together. Think of what happens if someone where to go to try and push you over but told you they were about to do so. You would pre-empt this and stay strong (not tense or rigid, but strong in your center).

This is the type of feeling we want to replicate whilst in the air

You are now in a good position to:

  • Move the board quickly under your feet if you have under rotated the spin
  • Hold your position longer, controlling and/or delaying any needed rotation – say for a late backside or frontside 180.
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2 Responses

  1. paulboy99 says:

    Hi Chris, I noticed in your “How to Frontside 180 – Heel Edge” post (describing the 180 on the piste) you say to rotate the lead shoulder over the heel edge before popping, but for a kicker the shoulders are straight as you pop/leave the lip. Is this because there is less air-time with a flatland 180, so you need to build up tension to help get the board around faster?

    • Hi Paul,

      Yes, exactly right. The fundamentals are still the same. projecting and leading with the upper body, but the timing and how much torque / effect you put into these movements will differ. Speed and angle of projection are the variables which ultimately dictate height and distance travelled. (i.e. time in the air).

      The ability to adapt and knowing how to do this, by changing the amount of torque required, pop etc, is the key to taking a spin to a variety of different sized features.

      For a big kicker (10 meter table) the effort required to rotate a frontside 180 would be very little. The aim though is to get the timing spot on, making the trick look smooth and effortless.

      Chris