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A Few Basic Snowboard Tricks for the Beginner

Aug 17, 2007
As snowboarding continues to become a popular pastime for more and more young people, it is only natural that a few basic moves (or tricks) have become common among snowboard enthusiasts. After developing your basic skills, the beginner may want to master a few of these tricks.

Fortunately, a snowboard trick does not have to be all that complicated and can usually be mastered in a very short time. Here are simple instructions relating to four snowboard tricks that will help you perfect your form and increase your enjoyment of the snowboarding experience.

One of the foundational tricks you will want to master is referred to as the jump. Essentially, you are learning how to jump with your snowboard. To practice this, start out on a flat section of terrain. Strap your feet onto the board, then bend at the knees and prepare to jump. The idea is to bring the board off the ground and safely land again, without wobbling or losing your balance. Don't shoot for more than just clearing the ground while on the flatland. Once you feel comfortable with being able to jump enough to lift the board from the ground, then you can progress on to jumping a foot or two into the air. For this exercise, find an area with a slight incline, such as a hill. While the flat area was fine for your initial practice, trying to make a jump of a foot or more will be hard on both you and the board. As you prepare for the jump, crouch slightly. Enter the jump by repeating the process you mastered on the flat land. Try to land flat on the incline, with your weight centered on the flat of the board, not on the edges. It may take several tries to accomplish your jump, but soon you will feel like an old pro.

The Indy Grab is another basic trick that will serve you well. This trick will involve using your hands while your feet are strapped to the snowboard. Using the opposite hand of the foot you have strapped to the front section of the board, grab the toe area between the bindings and turn the board to the left or right. The idea is to maintain your momentum and your balance while changing the direction you are headed. As with the jump, start out on flat land while you master this trick then move on to other types of terrain.

Another popular trick for the beginner to master is the Backside 180. Your expertise in jumping comes into play with this trick. To start out, again employ a level surface, but with a small bump in the terrain. Just as you approach the bump, enter a jump. Bend your knees up to your chest while in the jump, grabbing the toe area in a similar fashion as you do with the Indy Grab. Move the board to the left or the right while still in your jump. Immediately let go of your grab and straighten out your legs for the landing. As with any kind of a jump, you want to land flat. If executed properly, you will not lose momentum and will continue to move forward in a different direction than when you entered the jump.

One last basic trick has the colorful name of a Roast Beef. For this trick, you will be aiming at a roller. As you prepare for the jump, spring up as hard as you can, pulling your legs up toward your chest. Grab the back of your board with the hand that corresponds to the foot you have in the heel position of the board, and lift your opposite arm into the air. Release your hold on the backside of the board and return to a slightly crouching position for your landing. If performed correctly, you will clear the roller and continue your speed at the same level as when you entered your jump.

As is true with learning any new technique, have someone on hand who has mastered these tricks. This may be a friend, or an instructor of a snowboarding class. Not only is this an essential safety measure, but this also allows another pair of eyes to observe your form and offer suggestions on what you need to do in order to improve your performance during the learning process.
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