Now that the powder has well and truly arrived in Euoroland, it's time to start shaping a few powder booters, and what could be better for learning to get upside down than two foot of fresh? Once you've mastered the backside 180 and had a go a chucking a few backflips you might want to progress a little further and start chucking one of the all time best tricks in snowboarding: the backside rodeo.
In technical terms, it's known as the backside rodeo 540 as it combines one full flip (counted as 360 degrees) plus a back 180 - but now double, triple and quad corks are a thing this method of addition can become confusing - just stick to calling it a rodeo and pedantic internet trolls might just leave you alone.
Originally invented by the one and only Peter Line, he himself decreed that you spin whilst flipping and a true rodeo doesn't go completely inverted (just look at the video above, only one of Jamie Trinder's feet goes above his head, so it's technically a cork rather than a flip), though today a barrel roll with a late 180 still counts in our book. Variety is the spice of life after all, especially in snowboarding!
There are few fellows we know that have rodeos as perfect or as on lock as Jamie Trinder, so 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 Rodeo 540
It might be a harder trick but you should take the run in and transition in exactly the same way as a backside 180 and 360,setting up with your weight centred, your board flat and a little pressure on your toe edge.
Now for the fun part! As you reach the lip you want pop like you would for a backside 540 so that you’re certain of getting enough rotation to come around. Whilst popping, though, you’re going to have to throw your head over your trailing shoulder and look backwards in order to initiate the off-axis element of the trick.
You really do need to bring the board up to you if you’re going to grab this trick. If you were to even try to reach down for your grab you’re in a world of trouble and will most likely land on your neck! Not much fun and a right hassle for ski patrol scraping you off the slope. In this shot Jamie grabs melon – probably the easiest grab to help bring the rotation around – but again, if you find other grabs easier with straight backflips and 540’s then give them a go.
Keep holding the grab for as long as you can, but on this trick we’d say it’s even more important to do so, as opening up will stop the rotation and you may well under rotate which won’t be pretty.
Because you’re coming around on a strange axis you can see your landing a long way off which does help. The only hard part is that you’re landing blind just like you would on a backside 180 or 540, so all the same landing rules apply: look between your bindings at the ground, spot your landing and plant both feet down at the same time –with a little pressure on the toe edge to kill the rotation.
It’s all too easy to revert right away if you’re not careful and that toe edge pressure is key to stopping it. Having made sure you’ve done all that you should be able to ride off switch, just in time for last call!