How To Backside Shifty

How To Backside Shifty On A Snowboard

We've covered the Frontside Shifty, and now it is time to get the Backside Shifty dialled. If you missed that tutorial, check it out here:

(Narrating/Riding: Nev Lapwood. Riding: Dean Bercovitch. Film/Edit: Vince Emond)

What Is A Shifty?

A Shifty is where you rotate your board 90 degrees while in the air and counter rotate back to straight for the landing. A Backside Shifty is where you perform that movement, in the Backside direction. 

The Backside ShiftyThis is a Backside Shifty because your board initially rotates in the same direction as a Backside 180.

The Trampoline

The easiest place to learn Backside Shifties is on the trampoline.

  1. Bounce in a neutral position
  2. Jump 90 degrees Backside
  3. Then jump back to a regular riding stance

At first, do this across two movements and continually practice until you begin to feel your upper and lower body twisting against each other. This is the counter rotation at work and is what allows the shifty to be possible.

Counter Rotation For Backside ShitiesYour upper and lower body are counter rotating against each other for the shifty. 

Now do the Shifty in one jump, but don't rush it! Make sure you get into the air before performing the Backside movement. 

Train On The TrampolineIt's the twist in the air that makes the Shifty possible.

Start experimenting with your initial body position by slightly twisting your shoulders towards your tail. This position gives you more leverage in the air for tweaking a Backside Shifty. The important point with this technique however, is that your shoulders need to remain back as you jump and only start to twist forwards after you're in the air. 

The Snow

Practice doing Backside Shifties while riding downhill on a gentle slope. Ride straight, Backside Shifty for a couple of seconds then back to straight. Actively use you upper body to counter rotate the movement both into and out of the slide. 

On The SnowSee how Nev is in a strong Backside Shifty position. With the heel edge up!

The Jump

When approaching a jump for a Backside Shifty, ensure you are on a flat base and your upper and lower body are aligned as you leave the lip.

The Approach For A Backside ShiftyDo not let your upper body face forwards as you're jumping, you're gonna have a bad time.

Get a solid pop into the air before counter rotating into the Backside Shifty position. It's a very common mistake to try and Shifty too early.

Your first few Shifties will be very awkward, but they will feel more natural and get better as you practice and become more efficient with the movement. Remember, don't rush it!

The Perfect Shifty

The perfect Shifty is when your board is rotated 90 degrees mid jump. The best way to achieve this, is to aim to get your back hand over your Nose as you're in the air.

Style It Out

Now that you've got the Backside Shifty on lock, it's time to experiment with it. You can start from an aligned body position, or leave the lip with your shoulders facing towards your tail. This will give you more leverage through the counter rotation and allow you to Shifty further. Try adding in some grabs like Indy's and Method's and on bigger jumps, then slow it down to style out the Backside Shifty.

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Alex McCann
Snowboard Addiction
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