The method was dreamed up by skateboarder Neil Blender – a vert-riding legend who entered a highest air contest in California in 1985 with rules stating that the air would be measured from the lowest point of the rider’s body or board. So Neil grabbed his board and arched his back to squeeze as much height out of the trick as he could. He reckoned that this was his ‘method’ for winning the contest, and the name stuck.
They’re not super easy to do – especially with real style – but practice them and you’ll have an absolute classic move in your back pocket. And don’t forget, the method has outlasted every fashion and looks set to be the definitive snowboarding trick for many more years to come. Best get learning then…
- Like many grabs, you can practice the method without your board by standing on one leg and initiating all of the above moves. It’s a great way of learning how counter-rotating with your upper body affects your balance and style.
- Methods are a backside trick, so any kicker that is slightly hipped (i.e. has a landing that is a bit off straight) will help massively when learning. It will enable you to turn naturally into the move on your toeside, making it easier to bring your board around and style it out.
The three most famous methods ever grabbed were performed by:
1. Sweden's Ingemar Backman, whose 1996 quarterpipe air got the front cover of at least six magazines around the world.
2. Finland's Heikki Sorsa, who set an official world record at the 2001 Arctic Challenge with an incredible 9.3m air.
3. Norway's Terje Haakonsen, who pushed the world record up to 9.8-metres at the 2007 Arctic Challenge. This does point to Scandinavia being the home of the humble backscratcher, but it's actually an American-invented trick