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Nose Butter 360, Switch Rodeo, 720 Truckdriver – listening to young skiers and snowboarders can be quite confusing. The normal winter sportsman gets really dizzy at the latest with the jumps that freestylers make in the snowpark. But no matter what you call the tricks – they are always impressive. For SPORTaktiv, the winter sports booking platform CheckYeti.com with snowboard instructor Chris Schnabel was in the fun park to show that you don’t have to be a fearless extreme sportsman for basic jumps.
One thing is a prerequisite: if you want to make cool jumps as a snowboarder, you have to be trained on the piste. In addition, you should have the right equipment – comfortable boots, the right bindings and a soft freestyle board are extremely helpful. “The more pop the board has, the better” explains Chris, meaning that the snowboard should support the jumping movement of the knees thanks to its soft preload. It’s also clear that safety always comes first! That means: Without helmet and back protector the experienced snowboard instructor doesn’t take anybody to the fun park! And it goes without saying that the applicable park rules must be observed there.
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Before you try your first simple freestyle tricks at least once in theory (and hopefully also in practice in a fun park), our CheckYeti professional Christian Schnabel will give you some good tips. First of all, as a motivation boost, the principle: “Everyone with a certain basic technique, good balance and a calm look can make a cool figure in the park”. And then there are the three rules of thumb that apply to freestyle: “First: The gaze guides the trick. Second: to dose the speed correctly. And third: Always look at the landing. It’s even more important than the kicker.”
And we already learn the first trick – right on the piste: Put weight on the front leg, go to your knees and combine the pop from the board with a jump from your knees – and you make an “Ollie”. This standing jump is a basic movement on which many later tricks build. It is important that the eyes calmly aim at the landing from the beginning and that the upper body supports the movement of the legs with the arms. This is especially true if you want to vary the movement, for example with a “one-eighty”, i.e. half a turn while standing.
“These two movements – the Ollie and the One-Eighty – you have to practice, practice, practice. Because you’ll need them a lot more.”
The first attempts in the Funpark are best made on a straight, wide “Flatbox”. And you start with a “50/50”: The snowboarder rides straight and keeps the snowboard flat on the box under even load. “Speed it up a bit and keep the board absolutely straight,” says Christian – but don’t edge it up with your toes or heel! A simple but cool variation of the “50/50” on the flatbox is the Tailpress (picture right), where you shift the weight to the back and lift the front of the board (the “nose”). Beginners often have the center of gravity too far back with the 50/50 board slide.
Professional tip: “Be careful not to slip over the backside. Get on your knees and lean forward a bit.”
This is where rotation comes in! As soon as the 50/50 is practiced and also variations like the tailpress work, it’s time for the next trick: the Backside Boardslide. You put the board crosswise and slide your face forward over the box. “To get a feel for it, you can practice the trick with two friends by letting them pull you over the box while you cross the snowboard,” advises Chris.
If you dare, try a Frontside Boardslide as a variant of the Backside – i.e. with your back to the direction of travel (picture). The challenge: You can’t see the landing during the slide phase.