The 10 Best Snowboard Tricks Of 2016

Until we live in a world where we can all gather round the TV at 3pm on Christmas Day to hear Her Maj’s take on the previous year’s shred – “One enjoyed the exploits of young William Morgan” – it’s up to us to pick our own highlights.

It’s been another banner year, with plenty of NBDs as well as fresh takes on classics – so much so that narrowing it down to just ten has been a Herculean task.

With so many bangers to choose from, there’s bound to be one or two of your favourites that didn’t make the cut. If so, let us know in the comments below.

For now, though, here’s our Top 10 Tricks of 2016 – and the reasons why we loved them.

10) Eiki Helgason – 5050, Island Born

Both Helgasons had their own thing brewing in 2016, and Eiki‘s doc Island Born saw the elder of the brothers tame this multi-kinked monster.

The fierceness of the angles means he’s got to crawl down the rail, making balance even more difficult than usual. Even so, Eiki keeps his head in the game, and his board on the metal. His ‘no big deal’ shrug at the end seals it.

Watch Island Born here

9) Scott Stevens – Natas Spin, Stronger

If there’s anyone looking forward to the day that Scott Stevens finally runs out of new tricks to do and powers down, they’ll be waiting a while yet.

The Union team movie was full of stuff we’d never seen from Sleepy, including this gem. His skate credentials are on full display here, as he makes the bastard-hard look like routine.

Fun fact: Reverse the letters in the words ‘natas spin’ and you get ‘Satan nips’.

Read our review of Stronger here

8) Bode Merrill – Fastplant Frontflip, Reckless Abandon

A nine-minute, three-song video part with barely a moment of filler doesn’t come along very often, so if you haven’t checked out Bode Merrill‘s showstopping section in Reckless Abandon (his own project), then don’t wait another minute.

It’s got everything: massive double corks, next-level rail tricks, and more one-footers than you can shake an unstrapped leg at. If we have to pick a favourite, it’s this ridiculous combination of finesse and brute force – and with a pow landing, too.

Watch Bode Merrill’s full part from Reckless Abandon here


7) Halldor Helgason – 5050 To Hardway 270 To Boardslide, DAYUMM!

Halldor Helgason‘s been killing it for so long that it’s sometimes easy to forget just how good he is. Fortunately he puts out movies like DAYUMM!, his winning collaboration with Sage Kotsenburg, and everybody remembers.

This trick is a deserved ender for his latest part – straight from another rail, he takes a blind leap of faith between two urban features with epic results. Dayumm! indeed…

Watch Halldor Helgason’s full part from Dayumm! here

6) Sami Luhtanen – Water Slide Transfer, Street Part 2016

Released only a couple of days ago, Sami Luhtanen‘s swimming pool slide is the icing on the cake of his 2016 part.

After taking some heavy slams, the Finnish jib machine nails one of the barmiest things ever attempted on a snowboard. He’s visibly chuffed as he makes it to the end in one piece – no wonder, when you think of how wrong this might have gone had he messed up that first transfer.

A late entry, but a damn fine one.

5) Torstein Horgmo – Backside 540 Tailgrab, Ozzie

This footage would have been shot in 2015 for Shredtopia, but we’re counting it due to its inclusion in the Shredbots Aussie round-up that dropped in August.

Head ‘bot Torstein Horgmo clears a monster hip with an absolutely heart-stopping back 5. He seems to hang in the air forever, with nary a twitch of the arms, let alone the kind of full-blown panic-flap that any normal human would probably be doing. Sublime.

Watch Ozzie here

4) Jesse Paul – 360 Swivel, Reckless Abandon

This is the strongest proof yet that we are indeed living in The Matrix.

Jesse “The One” Paul has always had a knack for seeing possibilities where others don’t, and the kind of expert board control required to pull it off.

Both are in full effect here as he perfectly executes something that, even just a few years ago, we would have said was impossible.

Watch Jesse Paul’s full part from Reckless Abandon here

3) Ulrik Badertscher – Double Backside Rodeo 1260 Mute, Laax Open Slopestyle

Clean? Far from it. Bonkers? Abs-Ulrikin’-lutely.

The Norwegian powerhouse that is Ulrik Badertscher unleased this mind-melting double during the semi-finals of the Laax Open slopestyle, prompting us to leap out of our seats and reach for the replay button.

It’s the landing that does it for us. OK, so he releases the grab a little early, but wouldn’t you?

Max Parrot landed an ever-so-slightly tidier new double rodeo later in the year, even adding another 180, but we’ve got to give it to Ulrik – not least for dropping it in the middle of a contest.

Check out our gallery from the Laax Open 2016 here

2) Markus Kleveland – Backside 540 Shifty, Air + Style Beijing

There was much grumbling after the first Air + Style event of the season that it focused way too much on the former, and not enough on the latter. Plus ça change.

However, among the flurry of triple corks was this slice of absolutely bewildering skill from Markus Kleveland. What looks like a fairly standard back 7 becomes what David Benedek – himself no stranger to shiftying his way to victory at A+S – called “‘the most technical snowboard trick ever done”.

One or two of these thrown into the mix at each Big Air contest is sure to silence even the most curmudgeonly keyboard commentator – keep it up MK!

Watch more highlights from the Beijing Air + Style 2016 here


1) Christian Haller – Backside Air, Nine Knights

It’s not often that anyone breaks a record in snowboarding – as sports go, it’s never really been about being the one to go the furthest/fastest/highest (although some people didn’t get the memo).

Leave it to Hitsch Haller to shake things up, though. The Swiss master went absolutely MASSIVE at the Nine Knights comp, literally raising the bar for all of snowboarding.

There may have been a wobble on the way down, but to the 11.3m-high apex and beyond he’s flawless. Criticising that little window-wind would be like having a go at Michelangelo for not properly cleaning his paintbrushes.

Roy Castle and Cheryl Baker would have lost their minds – congrats Hitsch, you stomped our Trick Of The Year.

Watch more highlights from Nine Knights 2016 here

Any we missed? Let us know in the comments below

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