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It’s (Christian) from Shred School.
You know I recently heard someone describe the frontside boardslide as “the method grab of jibs, the one trick that has more style than any other” and I quite liked it.
Also known as a “front board” or fsbs the frontside boardslide is feared by beginner and intermediate riders, and revered by park rats, skateboarders turned snowboarders, and pros alike.
Today we’re going to break down what at first seems like an intimidating trick, but really isn't’ so bad once you get the hang of it.
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When I first started to learn front boards, I mostly did them to fakie. This was back in the early 2000’s when it was more popular, but frontside boardslides back to regular quickly took over. It was the sign of a true shredder to be able to bring it back to regular.
Doing a frontside boardslide to fakie is kinda like just doing a backside 180 while landing on a rail in the middle. It’s pretty out of control.
When you bring this trick back around to regular it shows more control, and allows you to actually see where you’re going.
Now, before you step to the frontside boardslide, you should learn how to ollie, fs 50-50, and backside 180.
The fs 50-50 will teach you the approach, and the backside 180 will get you used to feeling comfortable with your back facing down the mountain, as this is the hardest part about this trick… it’s not that it’s hard, you just have to let yourself relax.
A frontside boardslide is when you approach a rail frontside, meaning the rail is in front of you, or towards your toe, rather than heel edge, and you turn 90 degrees towards the rail.
As opposed to a frontside lipslide, where you would turn away from the rail.
Or a backside boardslide, where you would turn towards the rail that is on your heelside edge, or behind you.
People get really confused, because you are technically spinning backside 90 degrees into a frontside 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, frontside is any trick where the rail is in front of your toeside edge.
How to Frontside Boardslide on a Snowboard
The easiest way to learn the frontside boardslide is to first practice it on the flat ground. Simply do a toeside edge carve, and counter rotate your body so you’re looking down the hill, while your back turns down the hill at the same time.
If you’re regular that means the top of your body will turn to the left, and your legs will turn to the right.
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 back hand towards my nose to get the full rotation.
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.
By pressing into our front foot, we can control our lock into the rail, and pop out much easier.
It’s almost like a small nollie out of a frontside boardslide.
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.
You can also try the fsbs to fakie on the ground.
Take the exact same motion, but when you’re ready to pop out, turn your shoulders backside and let your legs follow. Remember to stay looking down at your feet rather than trying to figure out where you’re going.
This will help because you will inevitably get turned around backwards trying this trick on a rail, and it’s best if you don’t panic.
It will also train you to survive if you fall off the rail early and need to come out fakie, or switch.
Once you’ve mastered the fsbs on the ground, it’s time to step it up and take it to a box.
SnowboardBox and Rail Tutorial
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 frontside boardslide halfway across the box.
Do a little hop, counter rotate, kick out the back foot and reach your back hand for your nose. Keep your eyes on the end of the box and do a little nollie off the end.
If this feels good, it’s time to front board the whole thing.
Approach the box like you would a fs 50-50, ollie straight up in the air, and just before you land on the box, turn your board 90 degrees and counter rotate your shoulders. Look under your front armpit to see the end of the rail, and try to keep your eyes locked in.
This is going to be a Transfer of the weight from back foot, when you ollie, to front foot 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.
You want to approach just like you’re going to do a 50-50, and in the air turn at the last second.
Press evenly into your front foot so the weight is spread across your entire foot. If you just turn and don’t press into your foot, you will likely slide out towards your toes. This is what most people do. You have to really commit to turning your board a full 90 degrees and getting all of your weight directly over the rail.
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 toes.
They’re just unwilling to commit to leaning down the hill.
If you do slide out towards your toes, just reach a hand down towards the rail so you don’t smash your chest.
Keep your board at the angle of the box, and pop off the end. Make sure to turn your board 90 degrees to ruide straight out, even if your shoulders haven’t rotated back. THat’s ok, just get that board around. Sometimes your head is still looking up at the rail like Ben here.
I like to practice these on the end of a rail too, coming from the side and olling up for the very last bit of the rail. That way if I catch an edge or slide out, I'm already at the end of the rail or box.
The other mistake people make is they lean too far down the hill, and catch an edge like I do here… in all fairness this board was brand new with sharp edges. This really doesn’t happen that often, it’s much more common to slide out on towards the toes.
Unless you’re on a kink rail, then it’s another story.
Just remember, you want your weight evenly spread across your whole base. Just because you’re leaning down hill doesn’t mean you should lean into an edge.
I will say that if you don’t fully commit to the 90 degrees, you do a halfway front board at 45 degrees, you’re much more likely to catch your edge.
I see people with straight legs turning 45 degrees all the time.
If you bend your knees deeply it’s a lot easier to get the full 90.
Something else that goes wrong is people give up the counter rotation and turn their eyes uphill towards the rail.
This is totally fine. If you’re practicing your backside 180’s like i’ve recommended, it won’t feel all too unfamiliar. THe key is not to panic, stare straight down at the rail, but keep the pressure the whole way across your foot so you don’t slip out. When you see the end of the rail, turn your board the rest of the way and ride out fakie.
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 FSBS
You can do this trick on a box, a rail, a down rail, a hand rail, anything you want.
You can do a switch board to front board, or cab 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 turning your back down the mountain.
That’s the frontside boardslide, also called a “front board” or “fsbs” It’s when you approach a box or rail that is in front of your toe edge, ollie up and turn a full 90 degrees towards the rail. Your back will be facing down the mountain. You can come out regular or to switch.
Peace out shredder