Melon Grab

THE BEST FEELING ICONIC MOVE

How to Backside 180

The backside 180 is an iconic snowboard trick. It feels great and always looks stylish when performed well. However, a number of things can go wrong, as this trick is often attempted without the key foundation riding skills.

In a previous blog I helped iron out some of those common issues, but if you’re up for building the right skills progressively then this is the place to start.

Stage 1 — Static Backside 180 Task

Performing a static backside 180 will give you a true feeling of the movement and your body alignment in preparation for your piste and kicker work.

A Backside 180 is a blind rotation so the level of trust and confidence to understand where you are in the air and how best to land does need to be built up over time. The priority with this static task is to tighten your core and initiate the rotation with an even weight pop and a slight opening of the back shoulder.

Aim to take off with your shoulders aligned over your toes, then land again on your toes and sink down maintaining the shoulders over the toes posture to allow effective balance and control on the landing. The head can often block the rotation so move it with your shoulders or follow your front foot as you rotate. That will allow you to view the landing and track where you are in the air.

Goofy Task

Regular Task

Key Check Points

Shoulders over toes on initiation and landing

Pop to create the height required for the rotation

Move your head with the rotation

Stage 2 — Toe Edge Traverse Pop Task

This is an important start towards building strength in your carve to enable you to land the Backside 180 confidently and in control. Don’t underestimate how difficult this movement might be. Take your time and focus on achieving the right results before adding speed.

Your aim is to travel across the piste maintaining a clean and sharp carved line on your toe edge. Once you’re slicing through the snow initiate a few small pops as you’re travelling. When you land, control the board so the back edge does not drop into the snow.

Task Overview

Key Check Points
Maintain even weight between both feet

Keep your shoulders over your toes during the pop

Maintain a smooth carved line during the task

Stage 3 — Traverse Backside 90 Task

This is an extension of the toe edge traverse pop task. Now that you have a solid popped platform you can start to combine the static backside 180 skills you’ve developed. This task develops rotation initiation, landing strength and control. You’re not going to land a Backside 180 first try. You’re going to under rotate. This is where this task helps as it will build your edge control on landing.

Traverse across the piste and initiate a Backside 90 and aim to land in the fall line (downhill). Look to stay on your toe edge for a brief movement when travelling down the piste. Look to keep your shoulders over your toes as you land to avoid over rotation and loosing balance.

Goofy Task Overview

Regular Task Overview

Key Check Points
Pop to create snowboard lift

Aim to hold a toe edge carve briefly on landing

Open back shoulder to initiate rotation

Stage 4 — Traverse Side Hit Backside 180 Task

Holding a suitable approach line for spinning a backside 180 off a jump can be tough. Riders struggle with holding a clean carved edge and timing the rotation at the lip. Building up your skills and confidence by completing a backside 180 off the side of a feature or bank of snow is a great way to start towards that kicker move. Choose a feature that doesn't land you in dangerous terrain or open you up to being hit by other piste users.

Choose a bank of snow thats not too steep as it will throw you off balance as you ride up and take off. Look to pre-wind to assist in the rotation. You may feel that following your take off point with your head as you leave the lip will help bring the board round more fluidly.

Goofy Approach

Regular Approach

Key Check Points
Choose a safe and suitable bank of snow that allows some run off

Pre-wind and un-wind to assist the rotation

Look back at your takeoff point to assist rotation

Stage 5 — Kicker Backside 180 Task

Now’s the time to bring everything together. You’ll want to review the key elements within the structure of the ATTL methodology. Choose a jump that you’re comfortable completing a straight air on remembering that you’re most likely not going to land this trick first time, so factor that into your choice of kicker.

Approach Overview

Use the classic counter carve approach line with appropriate timing to bring you onto your toe edge just as you travel up the kicker. You’ll most likely start rotating as soon as you transfer onto your toe edge so factor that into the timing of your last turn.

Goofy Approach

Regular Approach

Takeoff

Aim to leave a clean carved line directly off the kicker that enables a solid initiation of the trick. Pop just as your front foot reaches the lip of the kicker.

Goofy Takeoff

Regular Takeoff

Trick

The backside 180 is not an aggressive rotation so don't over power the initiation of the spin. Keep your shoulders primarily over your toes and initiate the rotation with a slight opening up of the back shoulder. Look back at the kicker or down at your front foot to assist the rotation.

Goofy Trick

Regular Trick

Landing

Look to very slightly under rotate the 180 so you can land on your toes and lock in that edge to ride away briefly in switch. Once you look up you’ll rotate around to your normal riding stance.

Goofy Landing

Regular Landing

Key Check Points
Your approach line will be crucial to help the rotation. Study the approach line and focus on the timing for the last toe edge engagement.

Go with the flow of the rotation. Do not be tempted to keep looking down hill.

Hold a strong toe edge on landing so you do not catch your heel edge if you under rotate.

That covers everything to help build up your skills and confidence to complete a solid Backside 180. Good luck and enjoy one of the best tricks in snowboarding. 

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