Spring Snowboarding Progression
@hail_sods gets the most out of some sunny rails.
Words: Jenna Kuklinski
Snowboarding through endless open powder fields is every snowboarders daily fantasy- it’s fluffy, it’s fun and makes you feel like a pro who has no limit to their potential. But what about when spring rolls around and the snowboarding feels less like power hour and more like mashed potato dinner? Don’t pack up your gear just because your insulated jacket has become too stuffy- bust out the windbreakers and get ready for the season’s second progression session: Spring Riding.
Spring is for the people. The hard-charging winter is over and everyone who’s still out riding is on the slopes simply to have fun. It’s the time to learn weird grabs, floppy flat-land tricks and master the quarter-pipe. You get the same forgiving riding conditions of a powder day without the guilt of knowing there are fresh powder-loaded cornices you should be dropping.
Here are three tricks to master in the slushy spring-time (in no particular order):
Do you know how many times you fall on your face when learning how to handplant? A lot. You have to go fast, you have to get your feet above your head and then get them back below yourself again. It’s tough. Always use your core- that’s why you have abs. Guaranteed, one of the best days you’ll ever have is sessioning a quarter-pipe with your friends and taking turns trying to plant your hand on top of the lip. People will be penguin-sliding left and right, but- no harm, no foul. You’ll find yourself unstrapping and hiking back up to try again in no time at all.
Backside 180’s (or for those who already have that and their 360’s down– back 500. It’s basically the same thing, as show by Eero Ettala and Heikki Sorsa in this throwback Transworld Trick Tips clip).
If you don’t have the back 180 down yet, spring time is the right time to get it dialed. We get it- you’re spinning blind and terrified of catching your back edge. But you know what makes that better? Knowing that catching your back edge won’t be all that bad (because let’s face it- it will happen. many times). Push yourself beyond your comfort level. If you aren’t falling, you’re not learning.
Got your tail grab down? Great, now double it up. Two hands are better than one, and a double-tail grab looks even sicker than a single. The most difficult part of this trick is going to be landing both hands on the back of your board at the same time (duh), so keep doing it until you have it on lock. Pop off the lip of the jump, grab the tail with your back hand and stick your front hand back there too. You’ll be twisting more than a normal-handed grab, so be ready to adjust accordingly for when you land. Think: Pop, grab, land- don’t try to do everything off the jump at once.
Sure, it can take a while to master these tricks, but you’ll be rolling through the snow laughing at yours (or your friend’s) latest attempt and forgetting about the fact you ever thought they were, “intimidating” to begin with. That’s what snowboarding is all about anyway, right? Having a good time.
Do you have any favorite spring-riding tricks to master? Share in the comments- we’d love to hear about them.