Are you confident on the slopes and have hit a few jumps or rails? Looking to try out a few new tricks on your board? Red7SkiWear spoke with Professional Freerider, Angelica Sykes (@angelicasykesuk) and Freestyler, Fiona Reid (@fionaevelynreid) for their top 3 starter tricks:
Snowboarding can be as easy or as hard as you make it. You can complain about it being painful, infuriating and slow or you can embrace it and learn how cool, empowering and friendly the sport is. Broadening your skills and repertoire, it the best way to progress. Whatever your level, there is always something new to learn. But if you are new to the sport and you want to broaden your snowboarding horizons, here are a few simple tricks to take your riding from safe to smooth as peanut butter!
1.) "Ollie" - The Ollie is one of the most fundamental tricks on your snowboard. It's a skill that you use to avoid obstacles, practicing your flat jib techniques as well as a most basic skill to nail every jump in the park or off piste. Learning an Ollie will make you feel confident and super bad ass in front of your pals. It’s so simple, it's almost criminal.
When snowboarding, reduce your speed at first to a level where you feel you are in fully in control; lean your weight every so slightly forward, pressing onto your front foot. Then lift your front foot up and quickly swift your weight onto your back foot in a popping motion. So weight forward then pop and bring your weight back and centre again. This motion is graduated when you are approaching a kicker on a jump. As your front foot leaves the kicker, bring the foot up and the weight back then as you land you shift your weight neutral once again. Simple right? You got this!
2.) "Method grab". The Method Grab is a slightly shifted form of the "Melon Grab", where the rider grabs the heel side of the board between the bindings or at the front binding with the front hand (thanks wiki for providing us with a dictionary suitable definition). This is always my go to panic grab. It seems to come to easily when you have done it once, on every roller, every raised snow mound at the side of the piste and every chance I get I love to method. It's the "Basic Bitch" of snowboard moves but who cares, it's such a good way to build your confidence. I find when learning to jump in the off piste, the method grab was a great way to test the water with what you can do when you don't know the landing. It’s a move that you can do in a second or two.
3.) "Indy grab", also known as an "Indy air", is a trick where the rider grabs his/her back hand on the middle of his board, between his/her feet, on the side of the board where his toes are pointing. Unlike the method you use the other hand and it does bring a new element to your move. In the air, lead by your front foot, the front arm seems to want to react first. Learning to move the back hand first and keep the grab for as long as you can is a great skill. It looks hella cool too and a favourite with everyone from beginners to pros alike. The Indy is a great trick to get well acquainted with as when you start to learn rotations, you can add in the Indy grab for a new and exciting element.
Practice as always, makes perfect. If you are a seasonnaire, or just heading to Chamonix for your next Winter Break why not make this your project with a trick a day? Take the time you need to get your confidence up. Breathe and enjoy- when you nail a trick for the first time, there is nothing quite like it. You will no doubt want a pic from every angle and your poor office bound friends at home will be inundated. Good luck and enjoy!
At Red7SkiWear safety is always of our upmost importance, so please only attempt these tricks if you feel 100% confident, and always wear a helmet! Alternatively grabs some lessons prior to heading out, there are loads available across the UK.