You're getting more confident in the park and on the mountain but you want to explode your riding like Mentos is a Coke bottle, or your pants after eating KFC.
This tutorial is for riders who have 180s & 360s dialed on small park jumps but want to bring these spins to bigger features. As well as learn how to spin 5’s, 7’s and the fundamentals for spins greater than 9's. We cover 180s, 360s, 540s and 720s all in the backside direction.
For the same tutorial in the Frontside direction and more, check out the Streaming Membership. We update the Membership with at least 1 new tutorial every month.
Are You Ready?
Before you try to send it like Buzz Lightyear, you need be honest with yourself and make sure you are ready. You should have checked out our intro to jumping tutorial and the 180's and 360's tutorials, which will introduce you to spinning.
You should be able to do all four 180's off small park jumps and 360's on side hits before applying the following techniques.
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 are also aspects that you must factor in such as 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 dialed. One of the best things you can do is watch other riders already hitting the jump. Take note of where they are 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 your self.
Minimize speed checks to focus on the trick you want to do. Find a spot where your 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
The first key is to create a solid platform to spin from. This refers to how you use your edges to approach a straight park jump. It is considered to be the most important aspect to mastering your spins. 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.
Question: Do you think it would be better to pop off the lip with both feet? Or to do an Ollie off your back foot.
Answer: You can do either, but it is more effective to pop evenly with both feet, because you will be using the full length of your edge. To assist initiating the spin. Popping from the centre of your board also helps to keep you more balanced. Ollieing when spinning more than a 360, takes away from your balance and platform.
Backside is when the back of your body enters the spin first, like this. Almost everybody spins backside off their toe edge. You can spin Backside off your heels too, but it's much harder. Frontside is when the front side of your body enters the spin first. Spinning Frontside is common from either the heel edge or the toe edge. It depends on what edge you feel comfortable with and what you've practiced most, there is no right or wrong way. Most people today tend to learn Frontside off their heels and from this video we will be showing you from the heel edge.
Lets Start by setting up for a Backside Spin. When creating a platform to spin Backside, we are carving on our toe edge. You board will be turn on it's way up the lip, however we want to leave the lip in a straight direction. So, we will need to do a setup turn on our heel edge first. Drop in and do one setup turn on your heel edge, creating a toe side platform. The platform is happening on the way up the jump. If you do just one setup turn, it allows you to concentrate on what you are doing and where you are doing it.
Too many speed checks and setup turns tend to throw off your balance and concentration. At the very last moment you leave the lip, your board should be leaving in a straight direction. This allows you to travel straight while in the air, and stomp down in the middle of the landing. If you go off the lip on an angle, you will fly off in that direction, probably hitting the knuckle, crashing and hurting your knees.
Your line of entry is almost exactly the same for any Backside spin. With Frontside off the heels, drop in from the same point. This time do 1 toe side setup turn and transfer in to a heel side platform on the way up the lip of the jump. Just as you leave the lip your board should leave in a straight direction which allows you to travel through the air straight, to the middle of the landing. The platform made with the heel edge is almost exactly the same for more amounts of rotation.
As you're creating a platform, you are carving. Which is where you are only using your edges to turn. When carving you lose very little speed which is why you can use the same speed or a tiny bit more for a spin, as you would for a straight air. Creating a solid platform is critical to spinning and almost every good rider does it the same. That is why you often see an hour glass shape forming on the lip of a big park jump. Get your edge work right and you'll be able to spin better than you ever expected.
Pick where you're going to drop in from, do one setup turn, make a solid platform on your way up the lip, leaving in a straight direction.
Aspect #2. Setup
Where and how will I set up? you might ask. on this diagram, the line is the point of flat ground, between the down hill run in and the up hill lip of the jump. This point of flat ground 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. For a Frontside spin your finishing up that toe side setup carve and transferring to your heel edge. The whole way up the lip of the jump your holding that heel edge carve.
What happens if you setup too early? Look at the line of entry on this diagram to see what happens. If you do a setup turn too far beyond the setup point. The platform will also be too early. You'll end up turning too much in the lip. Two things happen here:
- You Brush off speed when leaving the lip.
- You drift off to the side of the landing.
It's far more likely to fly off and hit the knuckle of the landing and crash. Remember, you want that board to be leaving straight. The setup point varies depending on how big the jump is. It's usually around the point of flat ground where you transfer from your setup turn to your platform. The key thing is that your board leaves at the end of the lip, straight. It's very common to see people setting up too early. So if you find yourself brushing speed off the lip or drifting to different parts of the landing, then try doing your setup carve closer to the lip. The Setup point is also the point where you are the lowest with your knees. When launching off jumps, jump evenly with both feet instead of Ollieing. As you ride in you are tall, going through the setup point you are 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 you spin smoother, cleaner, faster, and make you look good. It will also give you your own line of air, your own trajectory so your in control of the jump. The last aspect regarding the setup point is that it's usually the point where you wind up for your spin.
Wind up with your arms and shoulders, although it will also help to use your hips and knees. Avoid winding up before the setup point.
Aspect #3. Release