Today’s reader question:
I have a problem doing 180s off a box. For a normal spin off a jump I use my edges, but I cannot engage my edges while on the box without my legs flying into the air. How do I spin off a box?
Okay so firstly, the golden rule of boxes is you never use your edges. Even if you’re trying to spin off it, don’t try to edge when you’re on a box or you’re going to slide out and crash.
Next, as far as doing a 180 off a box without using your edge, you have 3 main ways to do it:
1) Rotate your upper body and let your lower body follow
One way to create rotation is while you’re on the box, you can actually start rotating part of your 180 without rotating your lower body.
Your upper body starts turning into that rotation while keeping your lower body flat and against the box (remember – no edging). This way you’re basically halfway through a 180 rotation by the time you pop off the box and you only need a fraction of momentum from your pop to complete that 180 rotation.
Here’s a diagram some of you may recall from our members only Snowboard Trick Secrets freestyle training course which shows spin release and pop:
Now if you’re on a box you don’t need to do the first photo (which is pre-wind), but notice the second photo. Look at how far released I am before popping into that spin.
That’s what you can do while you’re on the box and you don’t need edging to do that. You can rotate your body almost through a 180 while keeping your lower body flat and straight just like in that second photo.
This way it’s only a matter of a simple pop off both feet at the end of that release motion to hop your lower body into that 180 as you ride off the box.
2) Counter-rotating into a 180
The other way to create that 180 rotation off a box is counter-rotation. Basically you know when people are beginner snowboarders and instead of turning with their edges they throw their arms one way to force their lower body to swing the other way?
You were taught that was bad… and it is when you’re turning, but in this case it’s okay to use that counter-rotation movement by swinging your upper body one way to force your lower body to counter-rotate the other way into a 180 and land.
If you were spinning more than a 180 you can’t use just counter-rotation like that (unless you disconnect your spine somehow), but for 180s off boxes it’s fine to use counter-rotation (just watch those hands – try to keep them down and in-control for style points).
3) Mix 1 and 2
The last way to create that 180 rotation is to combine both points 1 and 2. So you’re using normal spin rotation with no edging to start rotating that 180 and also using counter-rotation at the end to get that last bit of spin around.
Sometimes you may find you didn’t quite get your rotation technique down right and you need to use a little counter-rotation to help get that rotation around. That’s fine, just as long as you know what you’re doing and you’re doing it on purpose with style.
One more thing…
You might also want to try doing a 180 onto the box and 180-ing off it.
It’s typically easier to spin off a box after spinning onto it because you have some extra momentum from spinning onto it already, so your body is already spinning in that direction so you’re just continuing that momentum as you pop off the end and spin another 180 off the box.
ps: We’ll soon be re-opening our members only online tutorial: ‘Snowboard Trick Secrets – Learn Tricks In Half The Time’. If you’re interested in checking it out (and getting some free trick tip lessons) sign up for the wait-list here.