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What up shredder? 

There are subtle differences in the way  someone snowboards that make an  incredible difference in how good their riding looks.

What I mean is, the easiest possible trick can be done in a way that it looks pretty boring, or completely awesome.

Today we’re going to cover what is in my opinion, the easiest grab in snowboarding.

It’s the first grab you should learn, and also one that can take you years to truly master.

It’s the indy grab, and whether you’re hitting your first jump, or working on double corks, you can learn to add more style to your indy grabs by the end of this post.

If you want to learn ALL the pre-requisites, this week we’ve got 50% Off Shred School:

What is an Indy Grab?

How to Indy Grab

Like most snowboard tricks, the indy grab, or indy air was invented on a skateboard. 

The Indy air was originally called the Gunnair, which was invented by Gunnar Haugo in 1977.

By 1980, the trick was renamed the Indy air, which was popularized by Duane Peters, named after imdependent trucks.  The trick involves doing a backside air while gripping one’s board on the toe side, between the feet with the trailing hand.

If the board is grabbed during a frontside air, the trick is simply called a “frontside air”, as opposed to a frontside Ollie, in which there is no grab.

On a snowboard, we call everything where your trailing hand grabs between your bindings an indy grab. 

Now, People say “no technically that’s a frontside air. There’s no such thing as an indy if it’s not backside.” 

Or they’ll say, “Indy grab is a frontside grab when turning backside so technically a straight indy grab doesn’t exist.”

This is so dumb, they’re just seeking status.

It’s like saying that an iPhone isn’t a phone because it’s not plugged in to the wall.

Language changes, and anyone who  doesn’t get that, doesn’t understand language. 

Remember that all words are made up, their point is to communicate a concept, and what is generally accepted becomes a word.

So yes, in snowboarding, especially outside of the halfpipe, I will use the term “indy grab” to refer to any grab where my trailing hand grabs the toe edge of my snowboard in between my bidnings. 

And no, I’m not “wrong.” Maybe you shouldn’t be so pretentious Doug Smith.

But Here’s a “frontside air” to appease you.

Ollie Indy Grab

Ok, let’s cover some prerequisites.

Before you learn an indy grab it’s important that you learn how to ollie, and pop off very small jumps.

Once you can do that, all we need to do is add the grab.

Ride up to the jump like you would for a regular ollie, and when you snap off the lip, pull your knees in to your  chest, reaching your back hand between your bindings on the toe edge of your snowboard.

You can be patient here, and wait until you’re almost at the peak of your  airtime.  Trying to grab too  quickly will send you out of control, or cause you to hop instead of ollie off the jump. 

Notice that we didn’t bend over to reach the board, we brought the board to us while standing up straight. 

If you’ve practiced sucking up your back leg like we teach in the how to ollie video, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Note that we also grab in between our bindings. Grabbing outside would make this a “tindy grab” and that is a faux paus in snowboarding.

Meaning, it’s frowned upon. It’s a no grab zone.

Once you’ve grabbed the board, you  can let go, slightly extend your legs, and look for your landing.

Ride away just like you did an ollie. 

Indy Grab vs Stink Bug

Now here’s where things get a little more compicated.  

If all you do is  pull your board up and grab it, that’s technically called a Stinkbug 

Now look, you should definitely learn the stunkbug before you learn other grabs, but you don’t want to stick with it forever.

Almost all indy grabs are going to use some element of style, to avoid the dreaded stinkbug.

Lucky for you, indy grab is one of the easiest to tweak.

There are two main variations that I love, the indy nosebone and the crail grab. 

An Indy nosebone occurs when you straighten or “poke” your front leg, usually at a slight backside angle

You can have your arm go inside your knee, or outside your knee, but keep your hand in between the bindings. Personally, I like the arm inside the knee. 

To really get the poke on a nosebone, it helps to throw your front arm up in the air, sometimes called “The Burton arm” 

A variation that works well outside the knee is called a tuck knee, where you drop your back knee towards the top sheet of your  board and pull back. 

My go to grab for staying stable in  the air is The crail grab. This is where you grab indy near your front binding and tweak it frontside by pushing out your back leg instead of your front leg like on the indy nosebone. 

Just bring the board up to your hand, and once you get a hold of it, push that back leg out  hard, while holding on to the snowboard. 

Lastly there is the Backside crail grab which requires a bit of flexibility – This is the same as the frontside crail grab but you turn your board backside, and often grab outside the binding and straighten your legs.  I wouldn’t suggest giving this a go until you’ve masterd the other three variations…. And warmed up with some yoga. 

Indy Grab Fails

So What commonly goes wrong?

If you’re having trouble reaching  your baord, first lay on your back and get the feeling for grabbing indy and poking out your grabs 

Second, you can practice tapping your board with your  back hand before really going for the grab. If that’s still not working, you need to forget about the indy grab and practice and master your ollies before going for the grab. If you’re losing your balance in the air, chances are you haven’t practiced ollies yet. Remember, every snowboard trick is  built on the foundation of another trick, Don’t skip ahead until you’ve mastered the prerequisites.

Types of Indy Grabs

What are some variations or features? 

Frontside air in the halfpipe. (technically not an indy)

Backside air (Indy Grab) 

Frontside spins, i like the fs 540 indy,  backside spins, and backflips, rodeos and cripplers + handplants. 

That’s the indy grab, one of the most verstile grabs on a snowboard, that can be done a half dozen different ways. Remember the indy grab is when you grab your toe side edge in between your bindings with your trailing hand.

Go out there, poke out your indy grab, give it some style, avoid the tindy and the stinkbug, and let us see what your indy looks like. 

That’s all for today, see you on the next one. 


Peace out shredder

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