Don’t know an Ollie from a Nollie? Wondered why everyone was talking about a Melon in last week’s freestyle session?! Don’t worry, all is explained below…
Freestyle Snowboard Jargon
Frontside and backside
For tricks on obstacles such as rails, in snowboarding, frontside and backside is the direction from which the snowboarder approaches the obstacle, as well as the direction of rotation.
Switch-stance and fakie
‘Switch’ refers to any trick that a snowboarder performs while moving backwards, or the reverse of his/her normal stance (left leg or right leg forward). Alternatively, known as fakie, which is a term that comes from skateboarding.
A simple trick in which the snowboarder springs off the tail of the board and into the air.
A simple trick in which the snowboarder springs off the nose of the board and into the air.
When a snowboarder grabs the heel edge between the bindings with the leading hand, while the front leg is boned forward.
A fundamental snowboard trick to get down! Performed by bending the knees to lift the board behind the rider's back, and grabbing the heel edge of the snowboard with the leading hand.
When the snowboarders front hand grabs the nose of the board, a basic trick, great for trying on jumps!
When a snowboarder’s trailing hand grabs the tail of the board. Variations include straightening, or 'boning' the front leg, or 'tweaking' the board slightly frontside or backside.
A spin itself is simply the rotation of a snowboard from the moment of take off until landing, normally performed on jumps or onto or off rails. Spins are typically named in 180° increments. Even in cases where spins are performed on unusual obstacles, the rotation is considered as the nearest increment of 180°. A spin attempted on a rail is the only time a spin can be referred to in a 90 degree increment, examples: 270 (between a 180 and 360 degree spin) or 450 (between a 360 and 540 degree spin). These spins can be frontside, backside, or switch-backside just like any other spins.
When a snowboarder rides straight along a rail or other obstacle. This trick originated in skateboarding, but is a starting point for anyone hitting their first rail or box on a snowboard!
When a snowboarder slides down a rail with the rail passing beneath the centre of the snowboard, between the bindings. The trick can be performed frontside or backside. When performing a frontside boardslide, the snowboarder is facing uphill. When performing a backside boardslide, the snowboarder is facing downhill. This is often confusing, because during a frontside boardslide you are actually moving backwards down the rail.
A simply stylish trick performed by traveling straight along an obstacle, with pressure being put on the nose of the board, so that the tail of the board is raised in the air.
A trick performed in the air, where a snowboarder twists their body, rotating his/her board 90° and then returning it to its original position before landing. This trick can be done frontside or backside, and also in variation with other tricks and spins.
Any grab where both the legs are boned-out (straightened as much as possible). Typically performed as a variation of a frontside grab.
Frontside and backside
When ‘switching up’ or spinning off rails on skis, frontside is when your front faces downhill first and backside your back faces downhill first.
A spin itself normally refers to the rotation of the skis from the moment of take-off from the snow, until landing, usually performed on jumps or onto or off rails. Spins are typically named in 180° increments. Even in cases where spins are performed on unusual obstacles, the rotation is considered as the nearest increment of 180°. A spin attempted on a rail is the only time a spin can be referred to in a 90 degree increment, examples: 270 (between a 180 and 360 degree spin) or 450 (between a 360 and 540 degree spin). These spins can be frontside, backside, or switch-backside just like any other spins.
To spin off the end of a rail in the opposite direction to which you spun on. (The same for both skiing and snowboarding).
Does what it says on the tin, the safest grab! An excellent go to for beginner freeskiers as it's easy, but still looks good. Simply grab under your foot, left hand to left foot or right hand to right foot.
A grab performed in the air by grabbing just in front of the boot on one ski with the opposite hand, whilst at the same time pulling the toe across to cross the skis.
To perform a butter when spinning onto a rail or off of a jump, leave the noses or tails of your skis in contact with the snow (noses when spinning forward and tails when spinning switch) for the first 180.
Is the act of styling out a trick on landing, often making landings look heavy. Think about leaning back a bit on your skis, stiff legs and a heavy head.
A switch up on your skis is when you perform a 180 spin half way down a rail to land with the other foot forward. This can be done in either direction.
Perform a switch up on your skis and then keep spinning 270 off the end of the rail in the same direction. K-fed is frontside and B-fed is backside.