Whether you’re just going to pop them on the piste, boost them over booters or try and drop fifty-foot cliffs with them, there is no doubt that the backside 18o is one of the best feeling – and best looking – tricks around. They have an infinite amount of variations: you can float them slowly around or you can stall them mid way, and they’re the perfect piste trick to throw off little bumps when you’re riding with your mates. Which is how we’re going to start you off…
1. Whilst you can ollie backside 180s on the flat, they’re a touch harder than frontside 180 ollies, so it’s best to find a small bump or kicker to give you some extra lift. Preferably find one that you’ll be approaching on your toe edge, with a nice flat area afterwards since you’ll be landing backwards and likely increasing in speed.
2. The key to the frontside 180 was to initiate all the spin just prior to the take off, and the backside 180 is virtually the same, but the other way around. As you crouch in readiness for the ollie, get ready to unleash your body and twist in the backside direction.
3. Here’s the commitment part: ollie hard off the bump and, as you leave the ground, turn your back to the slope so you can’t see where you’re going. This is one of the most counter-intuitive things you can do on a snowboard and will take some practice!
4. Don’t crane your head around trying to peer at the landing, just keep your eyes looking down at the snow between your bindings. You should be able to gauge how far you are through the rotation. It’s a trippy feeling at first but you’ll grow to love it!
5. All that remains is to suck up your knees so that you’re 90-degrees through the spin by the time you reach the apex of your air.
6. You can’t see your landing, so you’re just going to have to keep your eye on the moving snow between your feet and ‘feel’ your way through. But don’t despair, because landing the backside 180 ollie is actually quite easy. As you approach the ground, try to put down your front foot and the nose of the board first. This way, if you’re a few degrees off, the board can re-align itself to the direction its travelling when it hits the snow.
7. Try to avoid going in too heavy on your heel edge or you will slide out onto your arse – the classic beginner mistake. Instead, try to land on your toe edge to kill the rotation. It’s basically better to under-rotate than over-rotate this trick, so remember you really don’t need to turn too hard on the take-off.
8. As you land, gently turn your head back to face down the slope so that you can see where you’re going. Then ride out switch, keeping nice and low and looking for something to do a cab 180 off…
To do ‘gangsta’ backside 180, try to delay the spin until the right after you’ve popped the ollie, then try to land the board heavily on the nose at about 90 degrees, spinning it around the rest of the 180 as you complete the landing. There’s a high chance you’ll catch an edge (so don’t learn these at high speed at first) but if you get it right it’s a great-looking trick.