Most Snowboard Trick Tips Suck & What Really Works

We’ve all seen them, every snowboard/ski magazine loves having that section devoted to telling you “How to spin backside 720s” or “How to frontside 360”.

I hate most trick tips. They seem as if they were written just to trick people into thinking that learning a trick just requires doing exactly what the crappy trick tip tells you to do.

I’m going to focus on spin trick tips today, because they generally seem to be the most useless.

Those trick tips suck. Here’s why:Snowboarder falling

  • How to backside 720! – Can you backside 540? Learning bs 720s isn’t an option if you don’t learn 540s first.
  • If you can bs 540, you already understand the dynamics of spinning. There’s nothing in that trick tip that you don’t already know.

The trick tip shouldn’t be teaching a set spin rotation but rather how you can learn and apply the same spinning techniques to achieve any spin rotation that you want. A 360 and 540 use 90% of the same technique as a 720 or 900.

That’s not to say that all trick tips suck. Some are actually quite good but they are hidden by the 5000 useless ones.

How do I tell if a spin trick tip is good?

1) The majority of the trick tip is teaching ‘set up’ technique

Set up is the part of the trick before you reach the jump and up until you leave the edge of the jump (often referred to as the ‘lip’ of the jump). This is the most important part of the trick.

Once you’ve left the lip, you lose most control over your spin. Most tricks are made or failed as soon as they leave the lip of the jump.

2) They teach you how to edge, create pressure and release pressure to spin

To launch your spin, you need to create a platform to spin from. This is typically done by using edge control and the right set up carve to create a platform that you are able to spin from. This is a key dynamic of spinning.

3) Timing. Timing. Timing.

The part that makes any trick work is putting good technique together with good timing. Your amazing edge control and set up technique means nothing if you time it wrong. Good timing comes with practice and a good trick tip will explain how to get your timing right.

4) Landing Technique

This is the one area that even bad trick tips will actually mention. However, let’s not forget that landing technique doesn’t help you if you don’t know the proper set up, execution and timing.

Most spins with the exception of inverted tricks (corks, rodeos, backflips etc) will either have you spotting your landing or landing blind (looking back up to hill to land).

For example: A frontside 360 means you’ll want to look up the mountain to land. This stops your rotation and helps you not to over rotate your spin.

What’s an example of a good trick tip?

Personally, I’m a fan of Snowboard Addiction trick tips videos.

They are created by a friend of mine, Nev Lapwood, who is a CASI (Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors) examinator as well as the lead instructor for his own snowboard training camps. Speaking as someone who has been taught by A LOT of different coaches, he’s one of the best at explaining spin techniques and other trick tips.

Here’s a sample video from his freestyle training videos:

I’m here to help!

I’m always happy to give help & advice or answer any questions for anyone who’s just beginning freestyle or even after some more advanced trick advice.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below or at our twitter/facebook wall.

Happy Riding!

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  1. Hello 🙂

    Is there anything I can do to make myself more balanced on my board when I am hitting boxes and kickers as I feel comfortable when I am riding but I tend to end up too much on my edges when I'm attempting freestyle. When I am on a box I either end up wiping out or doing a really bad backslide and when I hit a kicker I land on my toe edge normally or sometimes on my heel edge which I then go flying!!! Thanks loads for any advice you can give, I 'm lovin the cute little ninjas btw!! Much love Kelly xxx

    • Hey Kelly! I'm going to assume you're doing straight airs (no spinning) and 50/50s (riding straight down the box), correct me if I'm wrong.

      1) When you're on a box you need to be in what's called the 'balanced body position' or bbp as I call it. This means that you need to have all your weight centered in the middle of your board with your knees flexed in a relaxed position, as if you were just standing on flat ground and not moving.
      2) As you approach and hop onto the box, look at the end of the box. This will keep you in in line with the box so you can make it to the end.
      3) No edging on the box. You don't want to use any edges or try to turn or change your direction of travel while you're on the box. If you feel like you're going to come off the box early then it's okay, just go with it, because trying to edge or adjust your direction while on the box will make you crash.
      4) For jumps it's the same deal as boxes with the balanced body position. Stay centered, keep your weight in the middle and try not to be pushing on your toe or heel edge as you leave the jump.

      Hope that helps! And yes, ninjas are awesome!
      PS – We'll be planning to run a competition in the next month sometime to give away a few free snowboard addiction freestyle training downloads so stay tuned for that!

  2. 100% agree. hate those videos always saying this trick is easy at the beginning, from 180 to 900, every trick is simply and easy, you can get it just like the pro. snowboad addiction no doubt is the best and thats why i paid.

  3. Any good pointers in how to effectively preform a wildcat? Would it make more sense to attempt a backflip first. My son can front flip, but the wildcat is difficult for him to get down. It’s making him crazy! Any good insight? Thank you!

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