The frontside 180 melonchollie (or ‘melon’ to give it its shorter title) is a beautiful, classic trick. The grab is perfectly suited to fronstide 180s because it enables the rider to style the spin. The more you can bone this trick out, the more style points you’ll collect from your mates.
1. As you approach your jump, stay relaxed and focus on the lip of the kicker. Keep your body nice and low, your base flat and your weight evenly spaced over your board.
2. The golden rule to a nice smooth spin is to do all the work on take off: you initiate the movement of the frontside 180 by opening your shoulders as your board leaves the lip.
3. How hard you need to initiate the spin is determined by the size of the jump. On a relatively big kicker like this then a 180 is a very slow rotation, so you don’t need to give it too much wang (if you do, you’ll over-rotate). With your board still flat based and pointing straight, then, start to put your weight slightly over your heel edge and, as the nose hits the lip, bring your shoulders gently around in an anti-clockwise direction (or if you’re goofy, clockwise) opening your body to the landing.
4. As soon as you’ve got into the air, reach down with your leading hand and grab your heel edge between your bindings. Because you’re not throwing this front arm around any more (it’s gone for the grab), you’ll need to throw your back arm extra hard to keep that spin going. Your back arm should therefore end up somewhere over your face.
5. The aim is that at the top of your air you’ll be 90 degrees around, so break this jump into two parts – the air up to the apex, and the air after the apex. Now you’ve got the grab and spun 90 degrees (i.e. you’re horizontal to the landing) it’s time to push that front leg out straight. This is a tough move (practice it without the board if it helps) but makes the trick look very stylish.
6. As you’re coming down, keep your eyes on the landing (the great thing about a frontside 180 is that you can see your landing all the way through). At tha same time, release the grab and let the board keep spinning until it’s completed the 180.
7. Extend your legs to meet the ground, compressing if necessary, and land as flat based as possible to avoid washing out. Ride off switch looking for something to half cab off.