Freestyle snowboarding is a type of snowboarding in which riders perform a variety of tricks, jumps and flips on various snowboarding features in a terrain park. These features can include rails, boxes, jumps, half-pipes, quarter-pipes and more. Freestyle snowboarding is all about creativity, style and individuality, and it’s become one of the most popular forms of winter sports in the world.
If you’re looking to learn more about freestyle snowboarding, keep reading. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of the sport, the types of tricks and jumps you can do, the equipment you need, and how you can get started.
Basics of Freestyle Snowboarding
Freestyle snowboarding is all about creativity and self-expression, but there are a few key elements that you should know about. Here are the basics:
Terrain Park: A terrain park is a specific section of a ski resort that is designed with various obstacles and features for freestyle snowboarders to ride on. These features can range from beginner-friendly boxes and rails to more advanced jumps and half-pipes.
Jumps: A jump is one of the most common features found in a terrain park. Jump sizes can vary from small, gentle tabletops to large, intimidating kickers. Jumping is all about technique and control. It takes practice to master the timing, speed and trajectory of your jump.
Rails: A rail is a long, skinny metal feature that is designed for riders to slide or grind across. Rails can be straight, curved, or have different variations like kinks, jumps, or gaps.
Boxes: A box is a wider, flatter feature that is also designed for riders to slide or grind across. Boxes are often found in the beginner sections of a terrain park, but they can also be very advanced and have various shapes such as rainbow, battleship, and S-box.
Half-Pipes: A half-pipe is a large U-shaped feature that allows riders to gain speed and launch into the air. Riders typically perform aerial tricks or flips in a half-pipe.
Types of Tricks and Jumps
Freestyle snowboarding is all about creativity and individuality, so the types of tricks and jumps that you can do are endless. Here are some basic ones you can start with:
Grabs: A grab is when a rider reaches down and grabs the snowboard with their hand while in the air. There are a variety of grabs you can do, like Indy, Mute, Stalefish, and more.
Rotations: A rotation is when a rider spins while in the air. The number of spins a rider can do varies, but the most common are 180, 360, 540, 720, and 1080.
Flips: A flip is when a rider does a mid-air somersault. Flips can be frontside or backside, and they can be done in various directions, like cab or alley-oop.
Slides and Grinds: A slide is when a rider slides across an obstacle, like a rail or box, while a grind is when a rider grinds on an obstacle using the edges of their board. Some common slides and grinds include boardslide, 50-50, nose slide, and tail slide.
Equipment You Need
To start your freestyle snowboarding journey, there are a few essential pieces of equipment you will need:
Snowboard: You’ll need a snowboard that’s designed for freestyle snowboarding. These boards typically have a twin-tip shape, meaning the nose and tail are designed to be the same, making it easier to ride switch (backwards).
Bindings: Bindings are the parts that secure your feet to the snowboard. You’ll want bindings that provide enough support for your ankles while still allowing you to move freely.
Boots: Snowboard boots are designed to keep your feet warm and comfortable while providing enough support for your ankles.
Helmet: A helmet is a must-have when participating in any snowboarding activity. Look for one that’s specifically designed for snowboarding and fits comfortably on your head.
Goggles: Goggles are essential for protecting your eyes from the wind, snow, and UV rays.
How to Get Started
Now that you know the basics of freestyle snowboarding, you’re probably wondering how you can get started. Here are some tips to help you get out on the mountain:
Take Lessons: If you’re a beginner, taking lessons is an excellent way to learn the basics of freestyle snowboarding, as well as the safety rules of the terrain park.
Start Small: Start with basic tricks and features and work your way up to more advanced ones. Remember, cautious progression is key.
Watch and Learn: Watching other freestyle snowboarders can help you learn new tricks and understand the mechanics of each move.
Have Fun: Most importantly, remember to have fun! Freestyle snowboarding is all about expressing your creativity and enjoying the sport.
Freestyle snowboarding is a thrilling and high-energy sport that offers endless possibilities for self-expression. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, there’s always something new to learn and try. By following the tips and information outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a freestyle snowboarding pro.