Warning: If you aren’t interested in learning the mechanics of cork spin tricks – this is a blog you might want to skip because it gets a little technical.
Okay so yesterday I did a cork 540 vs regular 540 snowboard video tutorial, but you may have noticed I focused a lot on explaining the differences in corked and regular spins while ignoring a lot of things to do with doing actual cork tricks.
Why I didn’t go in-depth with explaining corks and how to cork:
I did this because yesterday’s video wasn’t so much a ‘cork tutorial’ as it was a way for me to show you the difference your shoulders can make in spinning and to show you the importance of not dipping your shoulders when learning basic spins tricks like 360s.
I tend to believe most really advanced tutorials (eg – how to rodeo 720, how to hardway 270 onto a street rail) aren’t that useful because let’s face it, the average beginner is aiming to just learn 360s and do them smoothly every time.
It’s not about corked tricks or advanced inverted spins or super crazy rail tricks. They just want to learn basic tricks and get that mastered.
That’s why my cork video tutorial focuses on the side of talking about the differences in spins and how your shoulders affect a spin because that’s what’s going to actually help most snowboarders improve even if they aren’t doing cork spins.
However… I do believe in understanding how things work even if you won’t be doing it, so here are some answers to common cork spin questions that I didn’t talk about in yesterday’s video.
1) What is a cork exactly?
Any spin that is off axis. It doesn’t have to be a flip and you don’t even have to go upside down. As long as you’re not spinning flat/horizontal, that’s a corked trick.
You can cork really hard and go completely upside down or you can cork a little and spin slightly off-axis. Both spins will count as corks (although obviously corking more off-axis tends to look more impressive).
So when someone says they did a corked trick, it just means they did some sort of rotation that was off-axis.
2) How do you cork & is it different for each corked trick?
It depends on the cork trick you’re trying to do. As I mentioned in the video, corks are executed by throwing your shoulders off-axis (up/down) so you don’t spin completely flat.
In the video I was doing backside corked 540s by throwing my shoulder down and towards my back leg. However, if I were to spin a corked frontside 540, I’d be throwing my shoulders in the reverse direction (upwards and away from my back leg).
You can cork hard by throwing your shoulders really vertical (up or down) or you can cork just a little by slightly dropping a shoulder downwards as you spin (ps – this is how accidental corks usually happen).
You also don’t need to carve as much in a corked trick because you’re relying on a lot more throwing your shoulder into that rotation instead of creating rotation using a carve and pop.
Notice in the 3rd person view of my corked 540, I’m not really carving into the jump, instead I’m just riding in on a toe edge:
3) What about double corks?
Double corks just mean you’re doing one cork, coming back facing upright again, then dipping into a second off-axis/inverted rotation.
So for example, the general way people learn most double corks is by thinking of it as one corked tricked into a second corked tricked. Using this example, a backside double corked 1080 is usually thrown as if the rider was doing a backside corked 540 into a switch frontside corked 540.
That said, once you get into double corks it can get very complicated. Some people will do a double cork by doing it as if they were doing a corked 720 into a corked 540 or some other mix of corked tricks.
That’s why you can watch X-Games and watch 10 people do double corks spins the same direction while being different in execution.
4) What about naming corks? Which cork is called what?
Naming corked tricks is a huge headache that I like to leave to YouTube trolls who fight over the name of every corked trick they see on video.
If you’ve been on YouTube, check the comments on a lot of corked trick videos and see 50 people debating about whether it was a cork or rodeo or misty or underflip or superman pulsator thrust flip (if I ever invent a trick it will be called this).
Typically here’s how it goes for most snowboarders:
Just call it a corked spin if it’s any spin that’s off-axis, no matter how big or small you cork it, no matter whether you go fully upside down or only dip your shoulders a little.
If your body spins 540 degrees and you weren’t spinning ‘flat’ then it’s a corked 540. Simple.
If the corked spin is performed with a very inverted ‘flip’ like rotation, you start to cross into backflip, rodeo, underflip, misty and all the 5000 other variations of flip tricks, but honestly that becomes very technical and confusing and not worth the headache to name.
For example, my corked backside 540s can be called misty 540s because I do them very similar to a frontflip + 180 rotation, but technically it’s still a corked 540 because I spun off-axis while my board spun 540 degrees.
So yeah… confusing and not worth the headache. Don’t get to worried about name confusion, if it’s off-axis/inverted, it’s a corked rotation of some sort.
5) The ‘golden’ rotation for corks
There’s a reason most people start off with a cork 540 as their first corked spin. This is because 540 is just the perfect rotation that requires very little body-adjustment to come back upright as you exit the cork after spinning 540 degrees.
I’ve done corked 540s during my learning stage where I didn’t know where I was in the air but somehow landed magically on my feet at the end of the 540. For whatever reason, 540 spins are just the perfect rotation to dip off-axis and come back out of the cork at the end of the 540 rotation.
This is why most people learn their first double cork 1080 as if they were doing 2 540 corks in a row. It’s just easy to land on your feet when it comes to 540 corked rotations.
That said, you still have to spot the landing because that’s how you adjust your rotation and cork amount to fit with the trick you’re doing.
Okay so I know all of that was kind of technical and probably a little confusing for some readers, but it’s there for those of you who want the nitty gritty details on corked tricks and like understanding the mechanics of snowboarding.