We’re living in the era of the double and triple corks right now. Trick progression has gotten to the point where even the lower tier competitors are able to spin double cork 1080s. Tricks that were X-Game winning runs 5 years ago are now a standard tricks for many local park riders.
But where does style fit into the insane progression of snowboarding?
Style after progression?
Whether it’s the way a person handles himself in the air, his mellow trick execution, or even just his general riding stance, style can refer to a wide variety of things. However, does it come before or after progression?
I think that style is something that comes with time. You build up your own style and it slowly leaks into all areas of your riding.
A large majority of us look horrible when we’re learning new techniques. It’s rare that any rider is able to learn a completely new technique and make it look stylish right away (although it does happen from time to time). I think your own personal style gets overridden by panic and arm flaying and all the other things that go with learning a new trick.
How do you build up and show your style
Just keep riding. Whether you have a mellow style like Mikkel Bang or a raw style like Travis Rice, I think it’s something that exists in the background and comes through as you become more comfortable with new tricks and techniques.
Style comes with composure. The more composed and in control you feel, the more your personal style is able to leak into your riding.
If you look back at the first 1260s being thrown in competitions, they were ugly. It was messy and there were arms everywhere. It took awhile before we starting seeing clean, smooth 1260s being thrown in competition by guys like Mikkel Bang and Torstein Horgmo.
Stop putting progression over style
It’s very common for people starting in the freestyle world to become obsessed with the number of rotations. Stop it! What’s the point of being able to spin a 720 if every one of your rotations past 180 looks ugly.
I realize that you do need to push yourself sometimes, but do that after you really finish learning a trick. Don’t just learn a messy 540 and move on to 720s right away. Polish it up!
I like to think that style goes hand in hand with progression. You learn something new, it looks un-stylish, but you become better at it and your personal style starts showing in the execution of the trick.
Learn new tricks, but don’t sacrifice your style for the sake of progression. What’s your opinion on style vs. progression?