‘Popping’ is one of the most important pieces of proper snowboard jump technique, so let’s talk about what it is and how to pop correctly.
What is ‘popping’ or a ‘pop’?
In simple speak, popping is basically pushing with both feet as you leave the lip of a freestyle jump. Similar to a hopping motion while strapped into your snowboard.
Why do you need to pop?
You need to pop because it balances you in the air. You don’t want to be flailing your arms everywhere or ending up landing on your head. In addition, popping is a key part of setting yourself up to spin properly as you start mastering rotation and spin techniques.
How do I pop correctly?
Alright, first let’s break the jump up into sections to make this easier to understand.
I’ve divided the jump into 3 sections. The area before the upwards slope is the run in, the area that slopes upwards is the transition and the end of the jump is the lip.
To pop correctly, you want to have your knees bent and your lower body compressed as you approach the transition. Think of it as if you’re getting ready to jump with both feet.
Once you reach the transition and as you continue riding up towards the lip, you need to start extending your legs, pushing upwards against the jump. Between the start and end of the transition area, you want to go from having your knees bent to fully extending your legs by the time you reach the lip of the jump. So, ideally, you’d have your legs fully extended just as you reach the lip of the jump.
At the end of the jump, as you leave the lip, you want to finish extending your legs and continue the motion by pushing against the jump and hopping with both feet into the air. This is what we call the ‘pop’. Ideally, you should aim to finish extending your legs and ‘pop’ when your snowboard is 50% off the lip of the jump.
So, ideally, this is when you should be popping:
The key to all of this: You want to do everything above in one continuous motion, including the ‘pop’ at the end. It’s all about getting your timing down. It should be a smooth motion of extending your legs as you go up the transition and ending with the ‘pop’ as you leave the jump.
For example: Think of it as if you were standing in your house and jumping off both feet. You don’t bend your legs, then fully extend your legs, then stand around for a second before you hop off both feet. Jumping / hopping is all one motion, so popping should be one motion as well.
Hope this helps you out with your jumping! If you need me to clarify anything, just let me know in the comments below 😉