Rails & Jibbing

How to Frontside Boardslide with Jamie Nicholls

Jibbing moves go in and out of fashion, but the frontside boardslide has firmly passed the test of time. There’s just something iconic about the sight of a rider sliding backwards down a rail, with their upper body twisted around to face the landing and their arms outstretched. In a nutshell, they look ace. And they feel even better, so here’s how to learn them:

1. Head towards the kicker with the rail ever so slightly on one side (if you’re goofy it should be slightly on your left, for regular riders just on your right). Keep a flat base, with your weight low and centred over the board.

2. As you near the kicker, shift your weight slightly over your toes.

3. Pop off your tail, suck your legs up and turn your board across the rail, committing to its angle. Like the backside boardslide, you’re going to need to lean into the rail at the exact same angle that it is on the hill, so you’re landing on the metal with a totally flat base. Because you’re going to slide down the rail backwards, this takes quite some getting used to (your brain will be telling you that you’ll catch your heel edge – ignore it). If you don’t commit to the rail, you’ll end up sliding face first into it!

4. At the same time as you’re popping over the rail, you should also be twisting your upper body so you can look straight down it. Do this by turning your shoulders in the opposite direction to your board. This not only allows you to see where you’re going, but also provides the spring you need to unwind back into your regular stance at the end of the trick.

5. Try to ‘lock in’ to the slide, maintaining this stylish position all the way down the rail. Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the end of the rail and use your arms for balance.

6. At the end, drop off the rail and twist your legs back around to your normal riding position, extending them to meet the ground.

7. Land with your board pointing down the fall line, ideally on a flat base, and ride out straight until you’ve gained enough control to turn.

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