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It’s Christian from Shred School.
The dreaded backside boardslide.
It seems we’re either slipping out on our heel edge, catching our toe edge, or just too scared to even try.
Today we’re going to break down one of the most requested trick tips, and teach you how to finally stop fearing the boardslide.
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What is a Snowboard
If the backside 360 is the workhorse of jump tricks, I think the backside boardslide is the workhorse of rail tricks. It’s kind of a warm up trick, and also a building block for almost all other tricks.
For beginners, this is going to be a lot harder than a 50-50, but only because it’s new. Once you get the hang of it, it’s maybe even easier, because you can lean side to side to stay balanced on the rail.
Now, before you step to the backside boardslide, you should learn how to ollie, bs 50-50, and frontside 180.
The bs 50-50 will teach you to approach a rail that is behind you, and the frontside 180 will get you used to feeling comfortable popping off your heels and turning into the boardslide, as this is the hardest part about this trick… it’s getting over the rail and not sliding out.
This starts with a proper ollie off the lip, and a weight adjustment in the air.
If you don’t know, a backside boardslide is when you approach a rail backside, meaning the rail is behind you, or on your heel edge, rather than toe edge, and you turn 90 degrees towards the rail.
As opposed to a backside lipslide, where you would turn away from the rail.
Or a frontside boardslide, where you would turn towards the rail that is on your toeside edge, or in front of you.
Or a frontside lipslide where you jump up and over the rail into a boardslide. This is often mistaken for a boardslide.
People get really confused, because you are technically spinning frontside 90 degrees into a backside boardslide.
You should just know that the terms frontside and backside don’t mean the same thing for rails and for spins, so just separate the two in your mind.
They’re not related, stop trying to make them mean the same thing. With rails, backside is any trick where the rail is behind you, on your heelside edge.
How to Backside Boardslide on a Snowboard
The easiest way to learn the backside boardslide is to first practice it on the flat ground. Simply do a heelside edge carve, and counter rotate your body so you’re looking down the hill, while your back turns up the hill at the same time.
If you’re regular that means the top of your body will turn to the right, and your legs will turn to the left.
You really have to twist, as you want your body to turn a full 90 degrees. I find that it sometimes helps to reach my front hand down the hill to get the full rotation.
You can see Jess doing this on a box right here. See her reaching for the end by taking her front arm across her body?
Once you can do this, try the same thing, but put your full body weight over your front foot, and then give a little pop back to regular. Now try the back foot.
By pressing into our foot, we can control our lock into the rail, and pop out much easier. We can also get used to shifting our balance while on the rail.
You can do a boardslide directly in the center of the board, but we still want to make sure we’re pressing evenly across the entire base so we don’t catch an edge or slip out.
Try this on a practice board if you can to get the hang of the motion before stepping to a box or rail on the slope. The more you practice off slope, the easier this will be on the mountain.
SnowboardBox and Rail Tutorial
Once you’ve mastered the boardslide on the ground, it’s time to step it up and take it to a box.
Pick an easy ride on box that’s low to the ground. After a couple warm up 50-50s, we’re just going to switch to a backside boardslide halfway across the box.
Do a little hop, twist your lower body a FULL 90 degrees and reach your front arm towards the end of the box.
If this feels good, it’s time to boardslide the whole thing.
Approach the box like you would a backside 50-50 at a slight angle pointing towards the rail, ollie straight up in the air, and just before you land on the box, turn your board 90 degrees and counter rotate your shoulders towards the end of the box.
This is going to be a Transfer of the weight from back foot, when you ollie, to the center of the board when you land on the box.
Make sure you actually complete an Ollie straight up in the air, and THEN turn after your nose has cleared the box or rail. Most amateurs won’t do this – they’ll do some weird 45 degree hop instead of separating the two motions.
If you don’t ollie first, you just try to turn right off the lip, you will wreck like Ben does here. And rob does here…. And Jess does here.
You can see how important it is to ollie straight up and THEN turn. Two separate motions.
You want to approach the rail just like you’re going to do a 50-50, and in the air turn at the last second after your nose is up and over the rail.
Press evenly across your base so the weight is spread across your entire width of your board. If you just turn and don’t press evenly across the base at the angle of the box or rail, you will likely slide out towards your heels. This is what most people do.
You want to angle your body weight and board at the same angle as the rail. That means, if it’s a down rail, you have to lean down the slope.
Snowboarding Fails and How to Avoid Them
Again, the biggest issue here is commitment, and that’s why most people slide out on their heels.
They’re just unwilling to commit to leaning down the hill.
Keep your board at the angle of the box, and pop off the end. Make sure to turn your board 90 degrees to ride straight out.
The other mistake people make is they lean too far down the hill, and catch an edge like Jess does here… Part of the problem here is that she didn’t turn a full 90 degrees, which makes it much easier to catch an edge. She also didn’t press evenly across the base, she was leaning too far forward.
If you bend your knees deeply it’s a lot easier to avoid all these mistakes.
Now, some people think this is a matter of shard edges, and I can tell you most of the time it’s not. I almost never detune edges unless I’m riding handrails. For park rails, if you’re using proper form, and your board is not completely new or freshly sharpened, you should be totally fine.
Something else that goes wrong with the boardslide is people give up the counter rotation and start to turn sideways with their shoulders. If this is the case, it’s ok, just keep your shoulders turning a full 180 and you can come out switch.
If you’ve practiced your FS 180s like I recommend, it won’t feel unfamiliar.
You might also struggle with falling off the inside of the rail, with your nose sliding off. If this is the case, you most likely need to put the mass of your upper body directly over the rail, Some people just stick their nose up there and keep their body off to the side because they’re scared to commit. The longer the rail, the more you’re going to need to commit to lock in.
You may also need to take a more extreme angle up to the rail if you’re having a hard time getting on top. Some people are completely parallel when they approach, and can’t get the momentum to get up top.
The Snowboarding BS Boardslide Trick
You can do this trick on a box, a rail, a down rail, a hand rail, anything you want.
You can do a boardslide to switch front board, or backside 270 into this trick.
You can also turn it into a blunt and 270 out, or keep it on the front foot and pretzel out.
It’s a building block for half the tricks out there, and well worth your time to learn. You will love this trick as soon as you get over the fear of leaning down the rail.
That’s the backside boardslide, also just called a “boardslide.” It’s when you approach a box or rail that is in behind you, on your heel edge, ollie up and turn a full 90 degrees towards the rail. Your front will be facing down the mountain. You can come out regular or to switch.
Go out there, give the backside boardslide a shot. Remember, press evenly across the base and lean at the same angle as the rail. Get your bodyweight directly over top of the tail, and practice locking in on both your front foot and your back foot.
That’s all for today…
Peace out shredder
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