Today I thought I’d try something new. So many random snowboard edits get posted online, so what I’m going to do in this blog is grab a random video, analyse what the rider is doing wrong in their progression, and what they should be doing instead.
So today I was browsing the forums and saw this video of a snowboarder trying his first double flip:
Not a bad first attempt, although it looked kind of scary because it seemed the guy was just hucking his body and hoping for the best… not really what I’d recommend anyone doing, especially when it’s onto a flat landing like this.
Anyhow, to get more context on the rider, I investigated further. What I found scared me more because I found this video of the same rider from the same season:
Okay, so now that we have two videos to look at, what’s this rider doing wrong?
1) Flip to ‘win’
This guy has fallen into the trap of using inverts/flips to compensate for lack of spin technique. If you watch the second video you’ll see all of his 360s and 540s are barely in control, with horrible style and he always looks like he’s lost in the spin. Yet he’s trying double flips and spins corked spins all day.
The secret this guy has discovered is this: Flips are easier to initiate than flat spins. You don’t have to edge, you don’t have to worry about pop and there’s no carving involved. You just huck your head/shoulders one way and tuck and you flip into some sort of spin.
This is why a backflip is actually way easier to learn than a solid, smooth 360 spin (it just takes a little more balls and a soft landing to learn).
Here’s the problem though… when I see anyone go down this path, the rest of their freestyle suffers. Notice how ugly his spins on/off rails are? That’s because his spin technique is horrible. He can’t spin properly outside of hucking his shoulders into an inverted flip.
Flip to win is only good until you realize that a huge majority of freestyle involves spin technique and how good you can spin will affect far more than just spinning off jumps.
2) Uneven progression
Look, there’s nothing wrong with learning to play with flips and corked spins. They’re insanely fun and corked 540s are my favourite trick. However, when you start working on hucking double flips (which by the way I don’t suggest doing them the way he’s trying them), before you can even spin smooth 360s… your progression is getting way too out of balance.
The problem is the further behind the rest of your skills get, the more unlikely you are to want to go back and work on them later. When your progression gets un-even, important skills (like spinning) get left behind and it gets harder for you to go back and bring them up to the same level as the rest of your freestyle skills.
Outside of his backflip (which honestly had a rough landing as well), the rest of his tricks were very lacking in the smoothness/stylishness department. From his videos it looks like he’s prioritising rotation amount and flip number over actually locking down his skills with good style.
The truth of the matter is you can rush progression and forget about style, but then you end up with a bag full of ugly tricks and flailing hands. I’d have much rather seen some smooth 360s with grabs than 99% of the tricks the guy was doing/trying to do.
Doing a trick with style is just as important as being able to do the trick (if not more important). Big tricks don’t mean anything if they aren’t done with style.