As a snowboarder, it’s essential to understand different snowboarding tricks and techniques, and one of the most exciting manoeuvres is the kicker. A kicker is a steep jump that is usually constructed on a snow slope or a terrain park. These jumps enable snowboarding enthusiasts to land impressive tricks and stunts, showcasing their skill, style, and creativity. With that said, here’s an in-depth look at all you need to know about kickers in snowboarding.
What is a kicker in snowboarding?
A kicker is a ramp or a jump that snowboarders use to propel themselves into the air, allowing them to perform tricks and stunts. Kickers are typically constructed in terrain parks by resort staff and are made from snow. They range in size and steepness, with some jumps reaching as high as 60ft in height. Their construction typically involves packing and shaping snow into a steep bank, which allows snowboarders to gain speed and launch themselves into the air.
What is the purpose of a kicker in snowboarding?
Kick jumps are designed to help snowboarders perform aerial manoeuvres. Snowboarders use the jump’s momentum to launch themselves into the air, allowing them to showcase an array of tricks and stunts. The main reason why most people use kickers is to enhance their overall snowboarding experience. Not only do they offer a thrilling experience, but they also help snowboarders display their creativity and style.
How do you approach a kicker in snowboarding?
Approaching a kicker requires speed, balance, and control. Before hitting the jump, it’s recommended to assess its size and steepness. Snowboarders should begin by riding parallel to the jump’s direction and with their knees slightly bent. As they approach the jump, they should shift their weight to their back foot to increase their speed. Once they are at the bottom of the jump’s downward slope, they should shift their weight back to their front foot while compressing their legs. This technique is known as a “pre-load,” and it helps snowboarders generate even more momentum as they approach the jump.
What are some popular snowboarding tricks performed on kickers?
There are numerous tricks that snowboarders can perform on kickers, ranging from basic spins to complex flips. Here are some popular tricks:
– Straight air: This is the simplest trick; it involves launching yourself into the air and landing straight.
– 360: This is where the snowboarder rotates 360 degrees around their central axis while in the air.
– Backside and Frontside spins: This is where the snowboarder spins in the direction of their respective heel or toe edge, respectively.
– Grabs: Grabs are moves where the snowboarder grabs onto the edge of the snowboard while flying in the air.
– Flips: These are more complex tricks involving the flipping of the board and body in the air. The most common flips are the backflip and front flip.
What safety precautions should you take while using a kicker in snowboarding?
Using a kicker can be exhilarating, but it can also be dangerous if proper safety measures aren’t taken. Here are some safety precautions:
– Wear protective gear, including a helmet, goggles, and appropriate clothing.
– Assess the conditions and terrain before attempting to use a kicker.
– Always start with lower and more comfortable jumps before progressing.
– Make sure other snowboarders are aware of your intended jump and take turns using the kicker.
– Learn from an experienced instructor.
What should you do if you get injured while using a kicker in snowboarding?
In case of an injury, it’s crucial to receive medical attention immediately. The severity of the injury will determine the course of action that you need to take. Some minor injuries such as bruises or cuts can be treated with basic first aid, whereas severe injuries like broken bones or head injury require immediate medical attention. It’s always best to have a first aid kit close by and to call for help if needed.
In conclusion, kickers in snowboarding are an essential aspect of the snowboarding experience. They provide a thrilling opportunity for snowboarders to showcase their skills and creativity. However, it’s essential to take proper safety precautions and understand the proper techniques before attempting to use them. Always begin with lower jumps and progress to more challenging ones slowly. With the right mindset, knowledge, and skill, a kicker can offer a rewarding experience for any snowboarding enthusiast.