By: Brad McNally
Being able to head down the mountain is only one part of snowboarding. Being able to jump into the air and pull off some tricks are quite a different part. Previously, we posted about how to add grabs to your airs, but how can you show even more style and skill while you are flying around from ramp to ramp. One of the best things to learn next is the ability to rotate around and still land aiming in the right direction. In this post, we will tell you how to get your rotation down so you can make your grabs look that much better.
Use Your Momentum
The key to starting out with spins is to prepare before you jump. If you plan on spinning to your left, turn your upper body to the right while keeping your board on path for the ramp. When you hit the lip, swing your upper body and arms hard in the direction you want to spin and allow the momentum to pull your legs around. As with any jump, keep your eyes on where you intended to land and focus on absorbing the shock. One way to do this is to keep looking over your shoulder in the direction you are spinning. It will allow you to see the landing point sooner and hopefully assist in keeping your momentum up.
Frontside or Backside
Depending on which way you spin it can be called a frontside or backside spin. One of the hard things to remember is which one to call it - some veteran riders even get it confused. According to Snowboarding Essentials, if you ride with a normal stance, a frontside is a counter-clockwise spin while a backside is clockwise. If you ride goofy, it is the exact opposite, with a frontside being clockwise and a backside being counter-clockwise.
Start Small and Build
One of the problems that many riders have is that they intend on doing the biggest trick possible on their first time in the terrain park. The key with spins is to start out small with just a 180-degree turn. Once you get that down, push yourself on around to a 360-degree turn. The better you get, the bigger you can go, but it takes more airtime and momentum to pull off bigger spins, so be ready. It is better to land a slow and smooth 180 instead of a fast and flailing 360. Take your time and build your skills.
When you first start hitting jumps, you can grab onto your board or spin yourself around, but by combining both things together you can really create a large number of tricks with a few basic moves. As long as you plan ahead before you hit the jump and really focus, chances are you will get them down pretty fast. Be careful out there, but enjoy yourself.