Snowboard Spin Trick Definitions: What Do Names Like Cork & Cab Mean?

Thu Tran asked us a great question via our Facebook Page:

“…there are so many different terms and techniques that I just get lost as to what means what, such as cab 180. What the hell is a cab? It all looks the same as a 180. o_O”

Great question! Trick names can get somewhat complicated and confusing, especially once you get into spins that go upside down. So lets get into what all of these trick names mean.

The Basics

For normal snowboarding, you’ll already know that a regular footed rider is someone who rides with their left foot leading and a goofy footed rider is someone who rides with their right foot leading.

However, these names have another meaning when talking about tricks:

Regular:

Your normal direction of riding. This means your foot foot is leading. If a rider is performing a trick in his regular stance, we just call it by the trick name, without any extra words.

Example: Frontside 360

Fakie/Switch:

Your opposite direction of riding. This means you’re riding your un-natural stance with your back foot leading. If a rider is performing a trick in his fakie/switch stance, we add fakie or switch before the trick name.

Example: Switch Backside 360, Fakie Frontside 720

180/360/540/270 etc:

This refers to how much spin was involved in the trick.

For example: A 360 is 360 degrees of spin, so we can it a 360.

Also, it’s common for riders spinning off jumps and features to call their trick rotation by the first number.

For example: A 360 becomes a 3 and a 540 is called a 5.

Basic Spins:

Keep in mind that the photos below show regular footed riders, a goofy footed rider would obviously be facing a different direction, so his spins would be in the opposite direction as well.

Backside:

As you approach the jump, you’re spinning so that the back part of your body (your back, butt etc) faces down the hill first. You’ll sometimes see backside shortened to just ‘back’.

Example: ‘Backside 360’ is the same as saying ‘Back 3’

Snowboard Backside Spin

Frontside/Front:

As you approach the jump, you’re spinning so that the front of your body (your chest, belly etc) faces down the hill first. Frontside spins are often shortened to ‘front’.

Example: ‘Frontside 720’ is the same as ‘Front 7’.

Snowboard Frontside Spin

Switch Backside:

This means that you’re spinning backside, but while riding in your switch, un-natural stance with your rear foot leading.

Switch Frontside/Cab:

This means you’re spinning frontside, but while riding in your switch, un-natural stance. Switch Frontside spins are often called by the shorter name ‘Cab’.

For example: ‘Switch Frontside 540’ is the same as ‘Cab 540’

Basic Upside Down Type Spins:

Off-axis/upside down spins are spins which are not just frontside, backside or their switch variations, but involve some sort of additional element such as a backflip.

Cork/Corked:

This means that your spin rotates not just left or right but up/down as well.

For example: This is a Corked Backside 540

As you can see, while spinning my backside 540, I tilted slightly upside down. This means it’s a corked spin.

Double Cork:

These just mean that instead of dipping down once, you’ll tilt upside down twice during the spin. This usually requires more airtime and rotation and is commonly done as a 1080 or 1260

For example: Backside Double Cork 1080

Frontflip:

There’s some variation on frontflips, but for the most part they are performed similar to a cartwheel over your nose. Cartwheel style frontflips are often referred to as ‘Tamedog’.

Example: Tamedog Frontflip

Backflip:

There’s some variation on how these are performed as well, but they are usually performed cartwheel style flipping backwards over your tail.

Example:

Advanced Upside Down Spins:

There’s a lot of debate around these trick names and what exactly defines each trick, but for the most part, you can call them any of the names we mention and no one except teenagers on youtube will care what you call it.

Misty Flip:

These involve a frontflip with a backside rotation. The lowest Misty rotation starts at 540 because a backflip counts for 360 degrees of rotation.

For example: A Misty 720 is a frontflip with a backside 360. This is because a frontflip = 360 degrees of rotation so 360 + 360 = 720.

For an example of this, look at my corked 5 video above. It’s very close to a Misty, except I don’t quite go fully inverted which would make it a Misty. For the most part, snowboarders tend to include Misty Flips as a corked spin, so it’s not uncommon for a Misty 540 to just be called a Corked Back 5.

Underflip/Frontside Rodeo:

This is basically a backflip with a frontside rotation. These are usually performed as a frontflip with a 180, but you can increase the rotation.

For example: A Frontside Rodeo 540 is a backflip with a frontside 180 included. This is because a backflip counts for 360 degrees of rotation, so 360 + 180 = 540.

Some may argue that Underflips and Frontside Rodeos are performed slightly differently, but for the most part, they both involved a backflip with a frontside rotation.

Here’s what my friend Duncan, snowboard coach for High Five Camps, had to say on Underflips and Frontside Rodeos:

There is a difference. Frontside Rodeos aren’t as cool as Underflips.

Backside Rodeo:

These involve a backflip, but spinning backside while performing the backflip. They are usually performed with a 180 backside rotation but can be performed with any other number of rotations.

For example: A Backside Rodeo 720 is a backflip with a backside 360 included. This is because a backflip counts for 360 degrees of rotation, so 360 + 360 = 720.

A couple additional notes

Do note that Frontside and Backside are counted differently when we start talking about tricks on rails and boxes. I’ll have another guide up on rail trick definitions tomorrow.

I also have another guide on ski trick definitions in the works, but it’s taking slightly more time since skiers use A LOT more variations and technical names for their inverted/upside down spins.

Thanks again to Thu Tran for submitting this question!

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Comments

  1. I’ve always considered underflips to be when your lower half rotates downhill and your upper half rotates uphill, with rodeos being the opposite. So a frontside rodeo is really the same thing as a chicane, and a backside underflip would be a misty flip (which explains why you don’t hear those terms as much).

    Also, the cartwheel backflip is called a Wildcat (I think the term tamedog was derived as being the opposite of wildcat)

    • Honestly the line between different inverts get hazy when we start getting into alternative ways to spin off axis. This is why most boarders in the park just let the trick do-er name the trick.

      Last thing you want is to end up having one of those ridiculous youtube comment debates where 50 people fight over trying to name an inverted spin that could honestly be classified partly as 5 different tricks. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter anyway.

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