Frontside snowboard spins off the toes. Could they be easier than the heel edge?
The typical way to spin Frontside is off the heel edge, but there is something to be said about mixing things up and spinning off your toes.
In many instances spinning off the toe edge will help you maintain a more balanced posture as your shoulders will be nicely over that edge. Quite often when people spin off their heels they lean too far over their heels and struggle to move the board back underneath to land on the toes resulting in a fall, or they over carve and start to skid out on the jump as the board slips away from them.
Another bonus is a very straight take off and landing. It’s especially useful for spinning onto boxes, as a heel edge initiated rotation can often result in a lot of drift as people tend to travel pretty slow and rotate too early up the kicker.
Kicker Approach Line
If you want to spin off a kicker you’ll want to use a clean and simple approach line to help make the rotation easier. My approach line is exaggerated in the video below, but it makes the movements quite clear. The bigger the jump the more speed you’ll need and the thinner the approach corridor will become.
I use a typical approach line for a backside spin so I have a strong toe edge platform to pop from and initiate the spin. I resist the urge to open my shoulders to early for the rotation. They should come into effect just as you get to the lip of the jump.
You can work on this rotation on the piste before trying it on a kicker. Look to traverse the slope on your toes and start to refine the spin. It’s common for peoples pop* to be weak, so you can start by just traversing the slope and popping without the rotation. Once you have a more balanced platform and some spring in your legs bolt in the rotation.
Try them in both switch and normal, as you may be better starting in switch. I know I prefer it that way. Once you have them on the piste start spinning off the sides of the piste or little lumps of snow. That way you can dial in the power and the timing. If all goes well start having fun on some small jumps and add Melon grab for extra style.
*Pop is an even weight extension that results in the both feet leaving the slope at the same time.
Thanks to Simon Chmiewliski for the filming.