As a snowboarder, learning tricks is not only great fun but can also improve your skills and make you a better board rider. There are plenty of ground tricks you can practice outside the park first before bringing them in and trying them out in the snow park once you have mastered them.
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Some of the most popular snowboarding tricks include:
- The 50-50
- The ollie
- The nose or tail press
- The straight air off a jump
- The 360 degrees flat spins
If you are hoping to practice your tricks in a park you need to make sure you are familiar with all the park’s rules and regulations as you don’t want to put anyone at risk of injury or get into trouble for trying out your tricks there.
This is the most basic trick you can learn. You simply pop the tail of your snowboard so that you spring into the air. It’s a common trick that has its roots in skateboarding and enables you to get height without using a jump. It’s a move that can be included within other tricks too.
The first thing to do is push your snowboard forwards, so it’s in front of you and keep your back leg bent at the same time. Next, you need to pull up your front leg which will flex your board upwards. At the same time, spring off your back foot so that you launch into the air.
Once you are in the air you need to get the board straight again by bending both legs, and then land with both feet simultaneously. You have now completed your first snowboarding trick.
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The Tail or Nose Press
Being able to flex your board is an important move to learn if you want to improve your riding skills and it will help you to complete all sorts of tricks if you can master it. Being able to do either a tail or a nose press will help you get used to moving your weight over to either end of the snowboard. It helps you get used to the edges of the board and makes riding more fun.
The Tail Press
Firstly, you need to bend your back leg and stretch out your front leg so that your weight is over the back of your board. It’s important not to lean backward, just move your hips over so your weight is over the back foot. Once you are in the right position, the nose of your board should lift upwards.
The first time you try this trick, make sure you are on level ground. You need to keep your arms and your shoulders in line with your board to keep your balance.
The Nose Press
This time bend your front leg and move your body weight over towards the nose of your board and you feel the tail lifting. Make sure to try it on level ground a few times so you get used to it and keep practicing so you can stay balanced for longer.
This is a trick that sees you switching between your heel edge and toe edge to allow you to spin round in a complete circle. It’s best to try this out on a small slope when you are starting to learn how to do it.
If you have your left foot at the front of the board generally, you need to complete a toe side turn but then point the nose of the board uphill. As you do so, put some more down pressure using your front foot. With your back foot, lift your toes so the board will then twist and carry on spinning around.
With the board nose still pointing up the hill, move your weight onto your right foot and your right heel edge. You will continue to spin clockwise. Do another toe side turn and repeat.
If you ride with your right foot in front it’s the same process but you will be spinning counter-clockwise. The trick works either way around.
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The 50-50 is a trick when you ride your snowboard straight over a box, going nose-first. You can practice it on flat ground by drawing a pretend box in the snow and riding over it. You need to practice keeping the board flat throughout.
While in the snow park, start with a small box and pick one where you don’t need to jump onto it. Once you have mastered it you can move on to bigger boxes and add in tricks as you get more confident.
What you need to do is get up enough speed to get onto your box without having to brake and ride straight towards the box nose-first. Keep your body relaxed with bent knees and your hips and shoulders in line. Your snowboard should be flat throughout this trick.
Keep your eyes focussed on where you are going to land and bring your legs upwards as you ride over and away from the box. Make sure you land flat. Watch out for other riders around you as you come off the box to make sure you won’t hit anyone.
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The Straight Air off Jump
It’s a good idea to watch other riders jumping before you attempt to do it yourself, as you will pick up tips and ideas of what works from watching them.
When you are ready, make some turns as you come up to the edge of the jump and check your speed is correct for where you want to land. As you head up the ramp keep your board flat and straight and remain balanced.
As you jump allow your feet to float upward and keep your eyes on where you are planning to land and stay focussed. Your hips and shoulders should be in line with your board as you land, and you need to land flat before then riding away.
It’s important to stay safe so practice until you are confident you can do the tricks properly, and always be aware of others and obstacles around you.