Kicker tricks are getting pretty crazy these days with Marcus Cleveland just landing the third ever quad cork on a snowboard, and he’s 16! With all this progression comes a whole load of tricks and we’re going to explain all the different types of rotation on kickers. These spins and flips can be combined with Grabbing your Snowboard to add more style and help your spin.
The Flat Spins
First off we will talk about flat spins, this is where you keep your board underneath you all the time and spin to the left or right.
There are 4 different ways you can spin on a snowboard.
They are measured in degrees, so a 180 is half a spin, meaning yo would land the opposite way to where to took off. A 360 is a full rotation so you would land the same way as you took off. A 540 is 1 and a half spins, a 720 is 2 spins and so on through 900, 1080, 1260 etc..
A frontside spin is when you turn your toe edge to the landing, You carve up the kicker on your heel edge and spin the same direction. So a frontside 180 is a nice easy trick to learn as you can see the landing the whole way through the trick. A frontside 360 is the same but you keep spinning till you are back the same way again.
The important thing is that a frontside spin is where you take off of your heels and start by turning your chest to the landing.
Switch Frontside also called Cab is where you spin frontside but you come into it riding switch(backwards). Although it is switch a cab 360 is a great first 360 to learn just on the piste, its easier than you think, give it a go!
The Backside spin is where you turn your back to the landing. You carve up the kicker on your toe edge and spin with your carve, effectively going off the kicker backwards. The backside 180 is one of the most fun and stylish kicker tricks, but because you are basically flying through the air backwards it is harder to judge the landing than a frontside 180.
Switch backside is the same as backside but you ride switch into the kicker and once again turn your hack to the landing. much harder doing it switch but a great thing to learn.
Hardway spins are the next step up in spinning. It is where you come up the kicker on the opposite edge that you would normally do for that spin. For instance a hardway backside 540, you would come up the kicker on your heels like a frontside spin and then spin the opposite way, backside. It is called a hardway because you are pop off the opposite edge to the direction you are spinning making it extremely hard not to catch an edge on the kicker.
You can do hard way for all 4 spins.
With the rise of Double, Triple and Quad corks. More and more people are hearing about them but few actually understand how corks are named. We will explain it all.
A corked spin is just a flat spin that is off axis, its the grey area between spins and flips and there is some overlap, which is why it is often confusing. Instead of spinning flat off the kicker and keeping the board underneath, you dip your shoulder into the rotation causing you to spin at an off axis angle.
They are tricky to learn because you need to complete the spin and get your feet back underneath you at the same time to land.
The way a cork is measured is by how much the body spins in any direction. We are going to take one of the easiest and nicest corks as an example, A Corked backside 540(cork bs 5, for short).
Here is an example of what is actually a really nice cork 5
<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/u75_tp61HaI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
You see how he dips his shoulder and grabs his board as he takes off. This initiates the flipping part of the rotation while turning his shoulders initiates the spin.
For a Cork 5 you flip 360 degrees and spin 180 degrees(hence landing switch), this makes it a cork 540(360+180 = 540).
This is the basis of all corks, basically it is the amount of body rotation you do rather than just the amount of spinning. A corked backside 7 would be the same as a cork 5 but with an added 180, you would do 360 degrees or flipping and 360 degrees of spinning meaning you land the same way as you took off. A cork 1080 is one flip and two spins. Make sense?
Any rotation that involves you going off axis twice while spinning is a double cork. It can be frontside, backside, switch or whatever.
A double cork 1080 is two flips and one spin and a double cork 1260 is two flips plus one and a half spins. The smallest amount of rotation you can do in a double cork is a double cork 900 because you are doing two flips and half a spin, any less spin and it would simply be a double flip.
So really we are just adding up all the degrees of spin in the rotation to make the trick. A flip is 360 degrees and a full spin is 360 degree.
Triple and Quad corks
Getting into the insane territory now. Triples and quads are measured in exactly the same way as singles and doubles but with more flips comes more rotation.
A triple 1440 is three flips and one full spin. (1080 + 360 = 1440)
Once you get your head round it, it’s really quite simple.
Flips are where you go straight over your head, completely inverting yourself, great fun and not as hard as they are scary.
A backflip on a snowboard is actually a little controversial in what it is. In reality though a backflip is where you jump back over your heels. You approach the kicker with a flat base and then throw yourself backwards. Some people open up their shoulder to the kicker and turn 90 degrees, by bringing it back at the end to land straight it will still count as a backflip. Most riders have a preference of which way they prefer
A must learn trick for those of you keen, Super fun and can be done all over the mountain off little rollers and drops. It is where you go straight over the nose of your snowboard, staying inline with your direction of travel and flipping back round to your feet.
Best to learn by riding off the piste into fresh powder.
A wildcat is the opposite to a frontflip and often confused with a backflip. It is where you go straight over the tail of your snowboard, keeping inline with your direction of travel.
An underflip is a backflip with a frontside spin. A regular underflip has a 180 but it is also is possible to do underflip 720’s and 900’s. What makes this different to a cork is that your spin doesn’t affect your axis and you still go completely inverted. A really easy flip to learn and great fun. Some people find this easier switch so you land straight.
This is basically a backside 540/720/900 etc.. while flipping backwards. Or a backflip with a backside 180/360/540etc… Whichever way you want to look at it.
You can also do a Frontside Rodeo where you do a frontside spin and flip forwards.
So next time you are watching x games you can now call out what all the pros are doing, Don’t forget to learn your Grabs too.