The biggest thing you can do to make your first jumps successful is be confident and commit, which is easier said than done. Park jumps are a great place to start because they generally have a long in run and landing giving you tons of time to set up before the jump, and regain control after you land.
This tutorial is all about getting you hitting and stomping your first park jump so you can start progressing on to harder tricks. If you've already hit your first park jump, scootch on over to our How To Hit Park Jumps to learn how to dial it in and fix some common mistakes.
(Narrating: Duncan Mainland. Riding: Nev Lapwood. Film/Edit: Vince Emond)
To Start - The Drop In
Sideslip down to a spot you feel comfortable straight lining from. This is where the confidence comes in, there’s no point in dropping in way up high and doing a bunch of turns on the way in. Pick a spot where you can commit to going straight from so you can get moving and just focus on the jump. It’ll get you committing and give you a baseline to start from.
You’ll just know next time you can start a little higher and you’ll be safe.
Once you drop in, concentrate on going straight at the jump with a flat base. Stay in a relaxed stance with your knees bent, back straight, head up and hands over your nose and tail.
Nev with the perfect technique. Just do this.
You don’t have to do anything off the jump, just maintain this relaxed position and let the jump put you into the air.
As you land, bend your knees to absorb any impact and continue to ride out straight for a few meters before turning to the side and slowing down.
Notice how Nev is riding away straight and not turning immediately. Be like Nev.
The Common Problem
The most common problem for snowboarders hitting their first jump is landing sideways. You'll see people try to stop as soon as they land, sometimes even trying to use air brakes to slow down mid air. The bottom line is, your board and body work very closely together and if you let your shoulder or hips turn in the air you board will follow along.
Nev demonstrating a snowboarder who has freaked out in the air and put the brakes on.
If you’re super worried about going out of control in the landing, drop in from lower and build up your confidence from there. Do as many jumps as you can until you start feeling comfortable, dropping in from higher and higher until you’re clearing them all the way to the landing. Good luck!
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