If you’ve been practising your snowboarding skills, and you’ve got the basics pretty much perfected – you’re probably looking to expand your list of skills and tricks. A basic snowboard jump is the first trick you’ll likely learn, and it doesn’t have to be a big or intimidating event.
A snowboard jump is best approached with confidence and courage – it might be a little nerve wracking the first time you try it, but as long as you’re confident on your board and you know the basics of snowboarding and basic principles of weight distribution and balance – you should be fine.
When looking for a place to start practising your snowboarding jumps, we recommend finding somewhere that is quiet, and not crowded. Having advanced snowboarders zooming past you on their boards might be a little distracting, and you could end up getting in their way and putting people at risk. You should expect to make mistakes when you first start learning a trick – so finding a quiet area to begin the process is good, as it means you’re out of everyone’s way and you can take your time when learning all the different elements to the trick.
To Start – The Drop In
First things first, sideslip to a place you feel comfortable and happy straight lining from. This is important as you want to feel confident right from the start. If you don’t feel confident straight lining it from very high, then come down a little so the distance is reduced. There’s no point in dropping in, if you’re going to end up doing a bunch of turns on the way – so find your sweet spot and commit to it. The best thing to do here, is to pick the distance you’re comfortable with.
Once you drop in, you’ll want to focus on hitting the jump straight on, with a flat base. You’ll want to have a relaxed stance during this part of the trick, with your knees bent and your back straight. You don’t need to do anything else when you hit the jump, just keep your relaxed stance and let the jump take you up into the air. Don’t stiffen up or try to manoeuvre the jump at this stage – we want to focus on simply landing it correctly.
As you hit the ground, keep those knees bent and relaxed. This is going to be key to landing properly and letting the impact of the landing flow through out, without knocking you over. Once you’ve landed, ride out the landing for as long as you want, and then turn sideways to stop yourself or slow down. It’s that simple!