If you can already ride switch and ollie on a snowboard, the frontside 180 will be your first foundational terrain park trick. Completing a half circle in the air doesn’t sound too hard, right?
But the key to landing this initial trick clean is to follow a set up steps. Hucking yourself randomly, even if you do land the 180, is like learning to write while holding your pencil incorrectly. Your output will always be a little off, just like your mechanics.
So what’s good form? We’ll share a video, below, since it’s often easier to see a trick in action, but here are the basics:
Know your end goal.
Your goal with a frontside 180 is to take off with your board facing down the hill one way and land smoothly on the opposite end of the board, or switch, facing the opposite way. With the frontside, your landing is always in sight. A backside 180 is a progressive move, because it requires a blind landing.
Secure your stance.
If you’re regular (right foot forward), your whole torso will rotate counter-clockwise during the frontside 180. If you’re goofy (right foot forward), it’s the opposite—you move clockwise in the air. Make that maneuver in your living room first.
Start on flats.
Before you head to the terrain park, practice your frontside 180 basics on a flat section of snow. Once you’re comfortable with that, pick a gentle slope and work your way back and forth across the mountain, performing low-risk 180s, slowing your board as needed by pointing it slightly uphill.
Follow these steps for the core frontside 180 move:
1) Tilt to the heel side of your board.
2) Wind up by twisting your hips and shoulders away from direction you will be spinning.
3) Weight your back foot and bend your knees while keeping your back straight.
4) Now you have the power to launch your rotation (remember, clockwise for regular or counter-clockwise for goofy).
5) Keep the knees bent slightly to land smoothly.
6) Celebrate your accomplishment après-ski, beer in hand, Pardays on head.