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What up shredder?
It’s time to learn the easiest 360 there is.
Not a lot of people know this, but doing a straight air over a big jump, is actually pretty difficult.
It’s a lot easier to spin, once the jump gets to 40 feet or bigger. I almost NEVER straight air big jumps.
And there’s one trick that I always do when taking my first run through a set of big jumps, that’s safer than a straight air.
It’s My go to test trick. Now I don’t actually have that much footage of me doing this trick because it’s a throwaway, it’s a setup trick, a test trick, but I can tell you i’ve done thousands of them, and it’s one of my favorite tricks ever.
The trick you’re going to learn today is backside 360, the first 360 that I learned.
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What is a Backside 360?
When I was 11 years old I landed my first backside 360 off a side kicker, in front of a big group of older kids, and they freaked out. Then all rode up to me, stopped me and asked me how old I was. I remember I was 11.
Now, by today’s standard, that’s terrible. 11 years olds are doing double backflips, but this was pennsylvania in 1998. I had made it.
At the time, it was an initiation in to the world of snowboard tricks, and I was stoked.
Today, I want to teach you your first 360, the backside 360, the workhorse of jump tricks, and the prequisite to cab 540s and backside 720s.
Now some prerequisites for this trick are the ollie, backside 180, straight airs off jumps, and half cabs, at least on the ground.
Even though I said this is easier than a straight air over big jumps, i have to warn you, the backside 360 is significantly harder than a straight air if you’ve never done a spin before
And that’s mostly due to the blind takeoff. A backside 360 is one full spin, a 360 degree spin here the first 90 degrees of your spin you turn your back DOWN the mountain, hence the term backside.
The cool thing about this, is because we take off blind, we get to land open. That means for the majority of the trick, we can see our landing, and the exact reason it’s so easy over big jumps.
Well, that and it gives you something to do in the air, rather than just staring down at the ground, which is part of why straight airs are so hard, and why people flail so much. There’s too much time to contemplate what could happen.
Compare this trick to a FS 360 that has an open takeoff, but a blind landing. They are two completely different tricks, and they do not feel similar at all. Backside 360s are much easier to land, but a little harder on the takeoff.
So a backside 360 is effectively the combination of a backside 180 in to a half cab, or switch 180.
How to Land a Backside 360 on a Snowboard
For the takeoff, we want to use a heel to toe approach, approaching the jump on our heels on the right side (if we’re regular), and switching to our toes while we’re going up the ramp.
When we get close to the takeoff, we want to start spinning our head, shoulders and arms, backside to initiate the spin.
As soon as our head gets over our back shoulder, we’ll be able to see the landing, and float the rest of the trick.
Our head is basically going to be ahead of our board the whole time, which can sometimes look like a shifty on this trick, where our board is fighting to catch up in the air.
Now, I have the bad habit of bending over, touching the snow, pre-spinning and generally leaning in to the spin too hard.
With backside spins it’s ok to lean in a little more than most tricks, but if you do it too much, something like this will happen (digging in too hard off the mogul 360)
You want to make sure you stand up straight off the jump, keep your head high, and wait to spin your board, especailly off bigger jumps. Your board should be completely straight, and you only need a slight pressure on the toe edge. DOn’t dig in too hard.
Alex forgot to do that here, and he almost landed right on me. That’s because he leaned in to his toeside edge too hard and pulled it off the lip.
If you don’t go off straight, you’ll drift, which is also part of the reason Tara Dakides fell off the side of the Letterman ramp on a backside 360, that and not enough snow on the takeoff so when she turned her board, it threw her even more than usual.
You can use a little bit of windup, like a top with this trick, but the bigger the jump, the less windup is needed.
Now most people make the mistake of spinning on the same axis in which they took off, which causes you to land in the backseat.
The way to counteract this is to put the weight of your body over your back foot when you’re 180 degrees through the spin. At this point this foot will be in front, but this is your back foot when you land.
If we spin our weight over the back foot, and look down your back shoulder for the SECOND half of the 180 we’ll come around and land nice and even. Looking over our back shoulder is going to give us a perfect view of the landing.
If you find yourself landing in the backseat, try putting your weight over your right foot in the air in the second half of the spin (if you’re regular, and your left foot (if you’re goofy).
If you still can’t fix the backseat issue, practice your half cabs.
Chances are, if you can’t land the back 3, you aren’t very good at haflcabs. Again, it’s ok to cork the backside 360, you don’t have to flatten out the spin entirely, you just have to learn how to shift your weight to the landing gear. The easist way to learn that shift is practicing half cabs which simulate the landing of a backside 360.
Like most tricks, the spin is all in your shoulders on the takeoff.
After that, it’s just floating down to the ground, and since you can see the landing, it’s incredibly easy to land as long as you have the right weight. A lot of times, people will land on their heel edge, which is perfectly fine, but if you want to keep your speed up for the next jump, try to land as flat base as possible on this one.
I would never recommend that someone intentionally land on their heel edge.
But.. The other cool thing about the landing on this trick is, if you come up short, you can lean back on your heels and scrub around the rest of the trick. Just make sure that’ if you’re coming up 270 that you’re on your heels, and not your toes, otherwise you could faceplant like Ben here.
Backside 360 Tips and Variations
What are some variations of the trick?
You can do a backside 360 with some shiftys, a melon grab, Indy grab; I think mute is the easiest because it keeps your head turning. Stale fish,tail grab is also super easy and fun.
You can even do it on the flat ground, and over rollers. It’s a good idea to practice this trick on side hits and rollers first, but I actually find it a lot easier with more airtime.
If your’e out there learning for the first time, look for a side hit that naturally puts you on your toes, it will do some of the work for you.
This is also a great trick to do off of rails, over small jumps, off cliffs. To step it up, you can even do a backside 270 on to a rail, which is the same feeling as the back 3, but you REALLY need to get that weight right so you don’t slip out.
After you master the back 3, go try a backside 540, and a cab 5 as they both tie in nicely.
Final Notes on this Snowboard Backside 360 Tutorial
So the backside 360, one of the coolest, most floaty feeling snowboard tricks, one of the easiest to land, and my very first 360 on a snowboard. I’m in my 30’s now, and I’m still doing bs 360s. That’s over 20 years of backside 360s.
Remember, keep that head up on the takeoff, be patient and don’t start spinning your board until you’re off the lip. shift your weight halfway through at 180 over your back foot, and send it as big as you want on this one. Float to the landing, and go high five your crew.
We want to know, do you like the backside 360 or frontside 360 better? Leave it in the comments, and until next time.
Peace out shredder