A solid frontside boardslide is one of the iconic moves in snowboarding, but there are a number of pitfalls as people attempt the movement. The first key element is to understand and feel the most appropriate position to be in for the trick. Here are a few of the keys issues with this trick and how you can resolve them.
Knowing what trick your doing
It is not uncommon for people to confuse a backside boardslide with a frontside boardslide. You have to remember that it is not the way you rotate, but your body position in relation to the feature. With reference to this article you can figure out exactly what you should be doing on the feature.
Excessive torso twist
Riders are often worried about travelling backwards on a feature, or feel they require a lot of twist in their upper body to make the trick happen. If your upper body is too open (facing down hill) it will tighten the muscles in your lower back making it harder to pivot the board into the correct position.
Find the right position
Your aim is to keep your shoulders in line with the feature, (similar to a 50/50) and aim to pivot your hips and legs underneath you. To assist the rotation you can start with your back hand by your back pocket and as you pop move your back hand in front of you. That will help centralise your weight over your front foot and assist in the counter rotation required to pivot the board.
Try this position statically on a flat piece of ground and play with the torso twist and body placement, so you can feel when it is correct.
You can pay with the separation of the upper and lower body by trying the move on snow. Choose a mellow piste. Keep your shoulders in line and pointed down hill (fall line). Pivot your board underneath you into the frontboard position. You will be getting some grip from your toe edge and you may traverse a little. Do not be alarmed with this. The key here is feeling the pivot whilst moving. You can then step the drill up and work towards placing more weight on your front foot and expand it into a butter, where you will end up balancing on just the toe edge just under your front foot.
Weight over the back foot
Most riders have a tendency to ride a little over their back foot. This can result in riders finding it very difficult to get enough weight over the front foot for the trick. The result being they slide off the feature early. If you’re unable to work this issue out then it can be better to work towards a front blunt/backside tailslide. It is similar to a frontside boardslide, but your weight is over your back foot.
You need to effectively balance on your front foot during this trick. Building a static feature will help you work the front foot balance. This is basically something you can jump onto. If the static feature is too wide you will not be forced to balance on your front enough. So pick something to challenge your balance skills. I often use a small piece of wood for this drill.
Fall line nosepress
Work towards being able to nosepress on a mellow pitch of slope. Do not just lean over your front foot to achieve the press. Aim to do a little ollie, then quickly slide your board underneath you so you can balance more effectively on the nose. This will help you feel how much pressure is required to nicely balance on your front foot, which is your ultimate aim with a frontside boardslide. If your uncomfortable with the ollie to nose press, try it on some flat ground first.
Once you’ve tried the torso twist drills you can work on a feature to build you confidence. Your aim is to ride onto a wide low box in a 50/50 position. Once on the box you will try a backside shifty, aiming to pivot around your front foot and feeling what it like to slide on the box backwards without over committing yourself. You then come back to your 50/50 position to exit the box. As mentioned, keep your shoulders in line with the feature and keep looking down the rail to maintain a solid posture and visual on where you’re headed.
The key to this is NOT to try to hard with the pivot, as you’ll most likely put too much weight on your toe edge and slide out. Less is more. Build up the amount of pivot you can achieve. Once you know you can balance effectively on your front foot, it will be time to jump into the trick.
One way to reduce the level of effort in getting into the frontboard position is to take a slightly more angled approach line. Move your starting positions for a 50/50 further out from the rail or box. That way as you get onto the feature you will be in more of a set position for the frontboard from the start. Once you have a platform under your front foot and you’re not sliding out you can pivot the board to make the trick look better. The next stage would be to jump directly into a more angled frontboard position.