Spinning Platform | Snowboard Freestyle
We have some awesome spinning tips for you from a knowledgeable and talented snowboard coach! Josh Taylor has a wealth of experience and has been teaching for 10+ years out of Canada, Japan and currently The Remarkables in New Zealand. I'll hand it over to Josh for him to dive into the juicy details of how to improve your snowboard spins.
Spinning Platform For Success
When spinning off a kicker or side hit, it's super important to get the right performance from your snowboard.
It's all about creating a platform with the snowboard, so it grips to the snow and won't slip when we apply forces to it as we jump and spin.
You may have heard phrases when learning to spin off jumps that almost contradict each other, like, "use a set-up turn", or "keep your board flat". But you think to yourself, I need my edge to turn & how can I turn with a flat board? There is merit in both of these phrases, however, we need to find a compromise. So instead, use a very gentle set-up turn and keep half of your snowboard flat.
Snowboard Freestyle Tips On Spinning
The best way to achieve this is by twisting the board, but not in the conventional way you would when making turns, in fact, the opposite! Here, you're going to keep your front foot and nose of the board flat, while the back foot grips with the tail of the board once you’re in the take-off zone.
For example; when setting up for a front side spin; as you change from toe to heel edge in your final set-up turn, keep the hips and shoulders closed to the nose with the leading shin staying pressed gently against the tongue of the boot and back foot pulling up to the shin against the top of the boot. From this position, we are still centred and able to pop evenly with both legs.
This form of twisting ("reverse twist") essentially straightens out the sidecut of your snowboard giving 3 main benefits.
Benefits of Snowboard Spinning Platform:
Grip - using half the snowboard's edge enables us to hold that straight line while we pre-wind and unleash our spins without the board sliding about. Thus maintaining power, speed and stability.
Vertical platform - when we jump to spin; we want to jump upwards, not outwards. By keeping half the board flat, we’re more capable of jumping and spinning on a vertical axis.
Less pivot - pivot leads to skidding which slows us down. We want our boards going straight when leaving the jump, so we can make it safely to the landing zone and avoid catching edges at the lip.
You can practice this technique by straight-line carving. On a very easy, even slope, try to reverse twist your board and hold a carve down the fall line for as long as possible. Do this on both edges, then add some hops to it to practice the take-off. Lastly, blend some 180s or any spin you’re comfortable with to practice it outside of the park.
There you have it, how to use a set-up turn and keep your board (relatively) flat at the same time when spinning off any jump or side-hit. Also note, that this technique can be used when spinning onto boxes and rails. Take care, now get out there and spin to win!
Example body and board positions during take-off zone when preparing for a frontside spin: