Crabbing, or Bunny Hopping, is a great trick to have up your sleeve. It’s one of the best ways of getting across a little flat section or even up a gentle slope – especially in the snow park where taking your bindings off all the time is a total ball ache. It’s so easy to learn and will instantly make you feel like a Finnish freestyle legend…
Find a nice flat section and get those pins of yours ready for some bouncing. For your first few attempts you’re best trying it when the snow is soft, as you may end up on your rump a few times.
The idea of bunny hopping is to use the flex of your board to propel you up and forward whilst bouncing from the tail to the nose.
It might be helpful to start off standing still and practice jumping from the nose to the tail of your board. This will help you with your balance and show you how the flex and energy of your board wants to propel you upwards.
When you’re confident with the bouncing and ready to move forwards it’s probably easier to begin on the tail. Lean over towards the tail of your board, bending more at the back knee and pulling the nose of your board off the ground with your other leg.
Using the energy and flex you’ve created, spring off the tail of your board, jumping forwards at the same time. You need to put slight pressure on your toe edge under your rear foot – this will give you a little more bite on take-off.
You should now land perfectly on the nose off your board. By bending at the front knee and absorbing the flex, do exactly what you did for the tail. Again, apply slight pressure on your toe edge to keep you moving forward.
Now it’s just a question of keeping this movement going. Try and get in a smooth rhythm and gather some momentum – if it helps, imagine pretend targets on the snow in front and try to hit them with your nose and tail – might help you cover the ground easier.
As with anything, bunny hopping just takes a bit of practice. At first you might feel like a crab that’s had one too many ciders down the pub but it won’t be long until you’re whipping across that snow with the grace of a Russian ballerina – or not!