So you got the basics of snowboarding down & now you wanna do some tricks, eh? Learn how to do a 360 on your board & start tearing up the terrain park.
You can strap in, ride the lift, and shred some of the intermediate terrain on your local mountain without taking a gnarly spill. You know what the term carving means, and you do it well without sliding out or catching an edge.
If you are lucky, you can even keep up with some of your friends who have been riding for years.
Chances are, you are hungry for more.
Snowboarding is a lot of fun, and you have been watching some of those same friends land spins and grabs in the terrain park like nobody’s business. Now it is your turn.
The 5 Steps to Doing a 360
To smoothly land a 360, first you have to learn the basics of jumping. I suggest small lips on open runs or little jumps in the terrain park. You need to build confidence before you try anything big, so you don’t end up eating snow and seeing stars.
Approach the small lip or jump with a flat base (not carving on either edge) and load your body as if preparing to jump (just as you would standing in your sneakers). Once you reach the lip (top) of the jump, pop your board by lifting and pushing off your front foot and then pushing off with your back foot to get into the air. Maintain a stable body and stomp the landing by pressing both feet into the snow with your knees bent.
Try this until you feel comfortable going off of jumps and landing them without catching an edge or wobbling drastically in the air.
Once you have jumping down, you are ready to start spinning.
Personally, I learned to do a 180 before a 360, but that is only because I was very good at riding switch (riding with the opposite foot forward). If you can ride switch, practice small spins off of little lips by jumping and rotating your arms and shoulders in the direction of your spin.
Rotate your head and upper body and your legs will follow, stomping your landing after rotating 180 degrees.
If you don’t ride switch, don’t worry about it. You will land a 360 in the same position you started the jump.
As you ride towards the jump, keep enough speed so that you can clear the jump and spin a full 360 degrees. Before you reach the top of the jump, you want to load your body to pop and spin at the same time. Do this by loading your shoulders slightly in the opposite direction of the way you want to spin, all while bending your knees in preparation to pop.
Make sure that as you load up for takeoff you don’t start your spin before your board leaves the snow. Rather, get low and comfortable with your arms and head, ready to throw confidently in the direction you’re attempting to spin.
As the front of your board reaches the top of the lip, pop just as you would with a normal jump, except this time you want to turn your head and throw your shoulders and arms in the direction you are spinning. There is no need to be over-dramatic here, because if you throw your body too hard, you will fly wildly out of control and end up falling hard.
When taking off, do not keep looking downhill or you will never complete the entire spin. Look over the shoulder you are spinning with while maintaining balance in the air.
Do not worry so much about your hips as rotating your upper body. If your head is turning, your shoulders and body will follow. Keep your knees bent to stay more compact and aerodynamic in the air.
As your head starts to come back around towards the downhill, pinpoint your landing with your eyes. Have confidence that your momentum will take you all the way around, and see yourself rotating parallel to the downhill slope.
As you come down, make any adjustments with your hips to straighten your board, and just like when you landed your first jump, stomp the board into the snow and reduce impact by bending your knees.
Maintain control and look at what’s ahead of you as you ride off, proud of yourself for having the courage to push your limits.