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It’s Christian from Shred School.
There’s something about landing blind that’s just so fun.
It’s a full body commitment to whatever comes next.
A complete leap of faith into the unknown.
Today, we’re talking about one of the most blind tricks that exists. And also one of the coolest tricks, both the way it looks and the way it feels, to ever be done on a snowboard.
We’re talking about the backside 180, also called a “back 1”
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The Snowboard BS 180
I remember one Vail pow day morning I eagerly headed up the gondola, excited to shred the white fluffy stuff that had fallen overnight. I bounded out of the Gondola, strapped in, and launched a backside 180 off the next cat track I found into a great wide open slope below.
Only I had made a huge mistake. Really, it had only snowed about 4 inches on the front of the mountain, which was just enough to hide the massive mogul field on the slope below. Since I was doing a backside 180, even as I flew through the air, I had no idea what awaited me. When I landed, it’s like my body was in a washing machine, having hit a mogul going backwards, and catapulted through the air, tumbling over moguls, and basically ruining my day.
That’s probably the least fun backside 180 I've ever done, because it turns out that when you KNOW what is in the landing, backside 180’s are very, very fun. I just recommend you do it on a jump where you know what comes next.
A backside 180 is a 180 degree spin where you take off regular, and land switch, spinning with your back facing down the mountain.
As opposed to a frontside 180, which your front would turn down the mountain, and you would be able to see the landing the whole time.
It’s this blind landing that makes the backside 180 a bit harder than open tricks, but also one of my absolute top 3 favorite tricks on a snowboard.
How to Backside 180 on a Snowboard
Now, there are some prerequisites to this trick.
The first is that you can ride, and ollie at least on the flat ground, as this is technically an “ollie backside 180”
That’s important, because in order to use proper form, we need to actually ollie on this trick.
Next, you should be able to ride switch. So many people try to learn tricks with a switch landing before they can actually ride switch, and it’s just a huge mistake. Take the time to practice your switch riding first, and this is going to be so much easier.
Now that you have the basics, it’s time to practice.
Snowboard Backside 180 Tutorial
The first thing we want to do is just ride across the fall line on our tow edge, our front facing up the mountain, and do a backside revert on the ground, coming to a stop on our switch heelside edge. Make sure when you spin, you transition from the toeside to the heelside edge, or else you’ll catch your toe edge and fall face first down the mountain.
This is good practice, because once we take this to the air, we want to avoid catching a toeside edge on the landing.
To make the turn, simply turn your shoulders backside 180 degrees, and push out your back foot to get your feet to follow. You can wind up a little bit with your shoulders if needed, but the bigger the jump, the less wind up is needed. It’s only 180 after all.
Remember, the shoulders always turn first. Don’t try to do the 180 with only your legs.
It helps to stare straight down at your feet on this trick, and actually get around 180 before looking up at the slope.
After you can do this on the ground, try the same exact movement with a slight ollie. You can even do this off a mogul, or a bump in the snow while cutting across the slope.
Once you’re comfortable on the ground, it’s time to take it to a jump.
The easiest jump to learn on is a toeside side hit, which will naturally throw you backside into the main run.
We’re going to do the same motion, but with an ollie this time. Come in on your toes, and as you’re taking off, pop an ollie, and turn your shoulders backside.
Your board should naturally follow. Stare down at your front foot, with your body weight slightly over the back of the board.
If you keep your weight over the front foot in the air, you might slide out when you land.
That being said, I like to land slightly nose heavy over the front of my board, with my weight falling towards the back and on a very slight toe edge though I prefer to land completely flat base off of big jumps as I think it’s safer at higher speeds.
While coming down, Stare at the ground until you’ve made contact, and THEN look up and see where you’re going. If you look up too soon, you risk catching the toeside edge when you land.
Ride away switch, and afterbang the trick. Claim it, you’re steezy.
Advanced Backside 180 Snowboarding
As we get more advanced, it helps to use almost a frontside shifty on this trick. That means our legs stay straight for the majority of the trick, while our shoulders go backside 180.
This ensures we have a proper ollie. If you’ve done this trick on a skateboard, you’ll know this is really the only way it will work. Late backside 180
Doing this also allows you to do backside 180’s over obstacles like this cone. Notice how straight my board stays until I clear the cone.
Straight ollie, turned shoulders, then bring the feet around.
Once you’re ready for a park jump, approach the jump with a mellow heel to toe approach, coming in on the right side of the jump on your heels, if you’re regular, and switching to your toes as you go up the lip. Start to turn your shoulders, pop, grab, and stare straight down at your feet for the landing.
If you have to wreck on the landing, try to wash out on your heels like this, rather than wrecking towards your toes. The chances of getting hurt are much lower.
Make sure you carry enough speed, because if you do knuckle on a bs 180, it tends to be a bit of a surprise, which is no fun.
Once you have the backside 180 dialed, get creative, and try some butters and grabs.
This is one trick that really works well with any grab. Some cool ones are Japan and indy nosebone.
Snowboard Backside 180 Rails
You can also do this trick on to rails and boxes, off side hits, down gaps and over the biggest of jumps. I just wouldn’t recommend it for your first hit on something… you know, in case there’s a mogul field below or something.
That’s the backside 180. It’s a toeside takeoff, ollie straight with your legs while your shoulders spin backside, stare straight down at your front foot until you land, and look up to see where you’re going.
The backside 180, one of the coolest tricks to ever exist. GO give it a shot, that’s all for today.
Peace out shredder