The Keys to Landing Frontside 360s on a Snowboard

The frontside 360 is generally the first 360 riders work towards due to its connection with the frontside 180. With some mellow flatland drills that can really get the muscle memory in place for the rotation prior to trying it off a jump. In this article I’ll be explaining a few of the common issues people encounter and how to work them out of your riding.

Looking downhill

If you’ve worked on your frontside 180s a lot, you’ll be focused on spotting your landing and keeping your eyes fixed downhill. With the 360, the last 180 of the rotation will be blind, so you have to trust your going to land the trick and be on the right edge (toe edge) so you do not fall.

Off Board Static Jumps

You’ll want to start getting the feel for the 360, so having a play without your board on will help you focus on letting the spin happen.

Carry out a frontside 360 rotation by working on initiating the rotation upwards from a flexed position with the power coming through from your hips to your shoulders with your back arm assisting in the movement. Focus on your pre-wind with your back arm being just behind your back hip and aiming to finish looking in your natural direction after the spin. Bend your knees to gain height for the rotation rather than bending (breaking) at the waist. Pay attention to how your back arm is moving. Are you initiating the rotation more with your hip and throwing your arm behind your, like your kicking a football, or does it flow with your hip and shoulders, thus helping your body spiral into the spin?

You should aim to do the jump with your eyes closed and feel that your whole body works together for the rotation in a spiral motion and your head goes with your body.

Traverse 360’s

Ride along on your heel edge across the hill and start to turn back up the slope. As your board starts to slow down, keep looking over your front shoulder and start to transfer from your heel edge to your toe edge as the board starts to drop downhill. Keep looking round and the board will rotate, completing a 360. The dead zone between the change of edge can be made smoother with a little 45 degree pop (extension jump) from heels to toes or lifting the nose slightly to free to board from the slope. Don’t over work this drill, as it will cause some early rotation issues when you come to spin off a kicker.

Early rotation on kickers

Kicker Approach Rotations

Up until now you’ll most likely be achieving your rotation across the hill through some flatland spins. Now you should try to adjust your take off angle, so that you can spin off a roller. You’re aiming to leave the roller going as straight as possible down the slope. This is tough, but is a great preparation for rotating off a kicker. See below for an appropriate take off line.

Edge Change Timing

Quite often riders will get onto the heel edge for the spin too early. As soon as you get onto you heel edge your going to start to turn, therefore most likely rotating. This can often result is a toe edge catch on the lip of the jump.

Depending on the size of the kicker transition you can look to initiate the last heel edge for the rotation just as you go up the jump. Your goal is to leave the jump as straight as possible with a slight pop off the tail to assist in lift in the very last ¼ of the jump. This pop can sometimes we difficult to achieve, so do not worry if your still washing the board during the rotation.

Heel catch on landing

It’s very unlikely that you will achieve a clean 360 the first time you try the trick. Your aim first off should be to get just over a 180 and land on your toe edge (270 spin). That way you can scrub the rest of the rotation and get the flow of movements without hucking the spin. If you do not feel that you can hold a clean toe side edge, practice a traverse popping drill (see below).

Traverse Popping

Cutting across the slope on your toe edge start to add in a series of even weight pops (leg extensions). Pay particular attention to the alignment of your shoulders and placement of your arms as that will influence the board whilst in the air. If you’re not aligned the board will want to rotate or land on either the front or back foot first. Aim to provide the pop through your legs rather than bending over and lifting your arms up to create lift.

Heel to Toe Jump

The in air transfer from heels to toes can be a tough movement to lock. You can start to build this into your riding through a simple static drill. Balance on your heels on a small slope making sure your toes are lifted off the ground. Execute a frontside 180 and land on your toes making sure your heels do not drop onto the ground. In addition to helping you lock the edge transfer it will provide you will an opportunity to work on how efficient your rotation is, correcting some of the previously mentioned issues.

Overpowering

Quite often when riders have a slow approach that is too straight into the jump they have to over work the power to get the rotation. This will mean throwing the arms up to assist, dipping the front shoulder, or over tilting the board onto the heel edge. This will result in a corked rotation, or a blow out of the heel edge and the inevitable slam.

Traverse 360’s

Ride along on your heel edge across the hill and start to turn back up the slope. As your board starts to slow down, keep looking over your front shoulder and start to transfer from your heel edge to your toe edge as the board starts to drop downhill. Keep looking round and the board will rotate, completing a 360. The dead zone between the change of edge can be made smoother with a little 45 degree pop (extension jump) from heels to toes or lifting the nose slightly to free to board from the slope. Don’t over work this drill, as it will cause some early rotation issues when you come to spin off a kicker.