Like the backside 180 and the frontside 360 - the cork 540 is a true staple in any rider's trick bag if they're truly worth their salt. Like with all the great tricks, everyone chucks it differently: some can wang it round with just a dip of the head, whilst others can float it, hanging on upside down for what feels like an eternity.
It's so similar to its sister trick the backside 540, so it helps if you have that dialled first, but with just a dip of the shoulder you can transform that already impressive feat into the stuff of dreams!
One snowboarder who's definitely got them on lock is young Scotsman Matt McCormick. During our pre-season mission with the GB Park & Pipe team to Stubai in the Austrian Tirol, we trained our super-slow-motion camera on him as he floated a few round.
How To Backside Cork 540
After you’ve mastered the backside 540, the next step is to get your trailing shoulder dipped to turn that flatspin into a true cork - remember it doesn't have to be a full invert, but to claim it as legit your head should dip below at least one of your legs whilst in the air. It may seem a step too far – and yes, going upside down whilst you’re already completing a full rotation and a half is a bit scary at first – but break it down into bite-sized chunks and it’s easier than you’d think.
Find a jump that you’re really comfortable throwing backside 360s and 540s off. When you feel ready, head back to the top of the run-in and prepare yourself for your first corked 540. Mental commitment is essential – you don’t want to be less than 100% sure what trick you’re going for as you hit the kicker.
As with all backside spins, you should be on your toes as you head up the lip of the jump, the difference here is that when you pop you should drive your back shoulder down towards your tail as your front shoulder initiates the spin as with a normal back five. As always, commitment is key: keep your shoulder and head dipped all the way through the spin - you're much more likely to do yourself some damage if you chicken out halfway through!
As soon as you’re airborne, bring your legs up and reach down for your grab (in this case, indy). The grab will help keep you tucked up and rotating, so hold on! As you come around, you should catch a glimpse of the landing. Keep looking at it as you’re still going higher.
At the apex of your air, your board should be halfway through the spin. At this point, keep turning your head and shoulders – and hold onto that grab just a little longer.
The second part of the air is the descent. Let go of the grab and start to open up your body, looking down at the snow between your bindings to gauge your height and angle of approach. Extend your legs to meet the ground, and aim to put your nose down a fraction early, so if you’re not landing exactly straight the board will right itself. You should also set your toe edge down first; this will give you the necessary grip to kill the rotation (if you land on your heels you’re likely to wash out onto your arse).
As the board meets the snow, absorb any compression by bending low, then straighten up, and continue to ride out switch until you’re completely back in control.