Are you feeling comfortable with basic spins on small park jumps, but want to take them to the next level? Well, you have come to the right place! This tutorial will teach you the fundamentals of spinning 360's, 540's and 720's. Not just on the medium jumps, but on large features to really make your riding stand out!
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4 Key Aspects
There are 4 key aspect to focus on while riding and hitting jumps.
- Platform - How to use your edges to assist with spins.
- Set Up - Where and how to prepare.
- Release - How and when to leave the lip of the jump.
- Landing - Where to spot it and how to stop your rotation.
There is also another aspect that you must factor in, speed.
When you come to a jump you want to spin on, the first thing to do is a few Straight Airs to get the speed dialled. One of the best things you can do is watch other riders hit the jump. Take note of where they're dropping in from, how many speed checks are they doing? Are they easily clearing the knuckle of the landing? Make sure you always carry enough speed to make the downwards transition of the landing. Otherwise you will land flat and wreck yourself.
No last minute speed checks, just a nice smooth set up turn. If you do, you could smash the knuckle.
Minimize speed checks to focus on the trick you want to do. Find a spot where you can drop relatively straight from. Once you have the speed for the Straight Airs, use the same speed for the spin or a tiny bit faster.
Aspect #1. Platform
Your approach is perhaps the most important aspect to any jump, because it's what creates the platform for you to spin from. This is where you will use your edges and the technique of carving to assist your spin and make them look effortless. Using this carving technique also puts you on your feet evenly, which is much easier to pop from. You always spin off an edge, rather than a flat base because the edge gives you something to grip and push off the snow with.
Your approach will be a S turn.
For Frontside spins you can spin from either the toe or heel edge. However, spinning from the heel edge is much easier and the best place to start from.
It's all about that heel edge!
Aspect #2. Setup
The set up for any jump always involves how and where. How are you going to spin and how will your body need to be positioned as you take-off to perform that spin? Where are you going to set up so that the timing of your spin is perfectly matched to the lip of the jump?
The point of flat ground, between the down hill run in and the up hill lip of the jump is called the setup point. The setup point is an approximate location of where to be completing your setup turn and transferring on to the new edge to set your platform.
The best way to set up for a frontside spin, is to do a toeside set up turn and transfer on to a heelside platform on your way up the jump. Remember, just as you leave the lip your board should be facing in a straight direction.
This is the ideal set up for any frontside spin.
What happens if you setup too early? You'll end up turning too much in the lip and two things can happen:
- You brush off speed when leaving the lip.
- You drift off to the side of the landing.
Remember, you want that board to be leaving straight. The setup point varies depending on how big the jump is but is usually around the point of flat ground where you transfer from your setup turn to your platform.
Aspect #3. Release
The release is all about when and how you are going to fly into the air and the specific moment you leave the lip. The amount of tension you create is important because the more tension you can create, the faster you will spin. If you're hitting a small park jump, for spinning a 360 you will need quite a bit of tension. If you're spinning a 360 off a large park jump, you wont need as much. If you want to do a 720 on the same large park jump, you need considerably more tension.
Timing is everything.
Release direction is important for staying balanced. Your arms and shoulders can release in a:
- horizontal direction around the body
- a diagonally down direction
- or a diagonally up direction
If you release in a diagonal direction by mistake, you'll end up doing a corked spin. If you spin corked by accident, land it and your friends ask you if you meant to do it? Say yes. With Backside it's easy to spin diagonally down by mistake. With Frontside it's very common to spin diagonally up.
When learning 3's, 5's, and 7's try to release horizontally around the body before leaning to cork them.
When launching off jumps, jump evenly with both feet instead of Ollie-ing. As you approach the jump stand up tall, as you go through the setup point become small, and as you are riding up the lip you start to get tall again by extending your legs and resisting against the jump to create pop out of that lip. Strong pop will help your spin become smoother, cleaner, faster, and make you look good.
Aspect #4. Landing
This is where dreams are made! It's all about where your landing is, spotting it, stopping that rotation and putting it down to bolts with a clean ride out. Who doesn't love seeing a super clean spin landed to perfection? Important things to consider:
- A Backside 360 has an open landing.
- A Backside 540 has a blind landing.
- A Backside 720 has an open landing.
As well as:
- A Frontside 360 has a blind landing.
- A Frontside 540 has an open landing.
- A Frontside 720 has an blind landing.
Some riders find it useful to count out which rotations they have completed in the air, to help them slow down and land the rotation they want. For example, if you're trying to land a Backside 540, count out your 360 as you come around. At that point you know to complete the trick all you have to add is a Backside 180 to your 360. The next step is to land blind and ride away clean.
Now that you have the fundamentals of advanced spinning you must put them into practice.
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