By: Brad McNally
It doesn’t take long to start thinking about all the tricks you could do once you start changing from just downhill to downhill with a lot of air along the way. Knowing what you are going to do before you get into the air is helpful, though, because you don’t want to commit halfway to a trick and then fail to execute. As with more traditional sports, one of the best ways to learn is repetitive practice, even if that is during the off-season on the trampoline, so you will be ready when the hills are covered with powder again. Once you learn these five grabs, you can expand to more difficult ones or add in other variables, but if nothing else, these will give you something to do with your hands while in the air.
- Nose Grab
This one sounds pretty simple, but it is surprisingly tricky to pull off. Bend your knee on your front leg, and pull the board closer for the grab. As your hand makes contact, drop your rear leg and show off a bit of style. When you start to descend, release your hand from the front of the board. As you return to the ground, adjust your legs so both knees are bent slightly and absorb the force on contact.
- Tail Grab
Also one that looks simple but can be tricky, this should basically be the opposite of the nose grab. Unfortunately, if you release at the wrong time, your nose hits hard and sends you into a poorly positioned fall. Bend your knees as you come off the jump and reach back with your rear hand. To add a bit of flair, pull up on the tail as you grab a time or two.
- Indy Grab
This grab is done by reaching down and grabbing the toe side of your board between your feet with your rear hand. As with the first two on this list, bring the board toward your hand by bending your knees a little extra. As your rear hand hits the board and you grab on, focus your attention on the landing more than anything else. Release when you begin to head back toward the ground and keep your knees slightly bent.
- Mute Grab
A mute grab is very similar to an indy grab, but you use your front hand instead. Although simple, these two can be very stylish and look great. The trick with this one is to not reach forward to grab, but reach downward and bring the board to your hand. If you do reach forward, you can end up off balance and have to bail out.
- Method Grab
According to the About Sports skateboarding page, the Method Air was a skateboard trick invented in the early 80s as a way to jump higher when in the air because you are basically pulling the back of your board upward and bending at the knees. This one is more difficult than the indy or mute, but can look absolutely amazing if done with style. Reach with your front hand and grab the heelside edge between the bindings. This can almost look as if you have bent your knees as if to walk on them and grabbed at your feet. Bring the board back into position as you descend and nail the landing.
There are many variations to every trick, and you can find a lot of ways to add a little style to each of these. Always be careful and make sure you snowboard within your own limits, but once you master taking off and landing, these tricks will get you started.