The backside 180 is an iconic snowboard trick. It feels great and always looks stylish when performed well. However, a number of things can go wrong, as this trick is often attempted without the key foundation riding skills.
In a previous blog I helped iron out some of those common issues, but if you’re up for building the right skills progressively then this is the place to start.
Performing a static backside 180 will give you a true feeling of the movement and your body alignment in preparation for your piste and kicker work.
A Backside 180 is a blind rotation so the level of trust and confidence to understand where you are in the air and how best to land does need to be built up over time. The priority with this static task is to tighten your core and initiate the rotation with an even weight pop and a slight opening of the back shoulder.
Aim to take off with your shoulders aligned over your toes, then land again on your toes and sink down maintaining the shoulders over the toes posture to allow effective balance and control on the landing. The head can often block the rotation so move it with your shoulders or follow your front foot as you rotate. That will allow you to view the landing and track where you are in the air.
Key Check Points
Shoulders over toes on initiation and landing
Pop to create the height required for the rotation
Move your head with the rotation
This is an important start towards building strength in your carve to enable you to land the Backside 180 confidently and in control. Don’t underestimate how difficult this movement might be. Take your time and focus on achieving the right results before adding speed.
Your aim is to travel across the piste maintaining a clean and sharp carved line on your toe edge. Once you’re slicing through the snow initiate a few small pops as you’re travelling. When you land, control the board so the back edge does not drop into the snow.
This is an extension of the toe edge traverse pop task. Now that you have a solid popped platform you can start to combine the static backside 180 skills you’ve developed. This task develops rotation initiation, landing strength and control. You’re not going to land a Backside 180 first try. You’re going to under rotate. This is where this task helps as it will build your edge control on landing.
Traverse across the piste and initiate a Backside 90 and aim to land in the fall line (downhill). Look to stay on your toe edge for a brief movement when travelling down the piste. Look to keep your shoulders over your toes as you land to avoid over rotation and loosing balance.
Holding a suitable approach line for spinning a backside 180 off a jump can be tough. Riders struggle with holding a clean carved edge and timing the rotation at the lip. Building up your skills and confidence by completing a backside 180 off the side of a feature or bank of snow is a great way to start towards that kicker move. Choose a feature that doesn't land you in dangerous terrain or open you up to being hit by other piste users.