The frontside 360 is a fairly advanced trick off a kicker, owing to the fact that the second half of the spin is blind (i.e. you’re turning away from the landing as you descend) so you will have to trust in your abilities to land with the board pointing forwards. Add in the indy grab and it gets complicated. But… do them right and you’ve got a bona fide snowboarding classic in your trick bag.
1. As with all of the spins, approach the kicker with a low centre of gravity and minimal movement to keep control. Your weight should be evenly balanced across both feet. Focus on the kicker’s lip, and ‘pre-wind’ the spin by pushing your leading shoulder slightly forwards and your trailing arm backwards, primed to unleash them in the opposite direction.
2. As you ride up the jump, try to keep a flat base with your weight slightly over your heels (just as with the backside 360, it might help to do a set-up turn – only this time the other way around, so you’re coming onto your heels as you hit the jump). You’re aiming to be travelling in a straight line right up to take-off, so resist the instinct to lean back and do a full-on heel edge carve! If you do, you’ll drift sideways in the air and go slightly inverted – not good. Stay straight and upright.
3. As your nose leaves the jump, throw your arms in a frontside direction and – at the same time – extend your legs so you’re popping off the lip. Timing is crucial. As you get airborne, your arms will be further into the spin than your board, but your lower body will then start to catch up. When throwing your arms into the spin, make sure your shoulders stay flat i.e. in line with each other and parallel to the ground. If you drop your rear shoulder/raise your leading one then you’ll cork the spin.
4. Now you’re in the air, suck your legs up towards your chest and look down at the ground between your bindings (like the backside 180). As your board approaches 180 degrees, go for the grab: reach down and hold on to your toe edge with your trailing hand, just in front of your rear foot. For extra style points, push your front foot out to ‘bone’ the indy.
5. Now comes the tricky part: you’re about to do the last 180 back to the landing, and you’ll be effectively travelling backwards. Keep looking downwards so you can see the ground moving, and use this to gauge your height and align your board correctly. This part of the trick is basically the same as a backside 180.
6. As you come down to land, extend your legs to meet the floor. It’s very, very difficult to land a frontside 360 absolutely perfectly straight, so aim to land a little more on your tail so if the board is a few degrees off it’ll right itself.7. As soon as you land, try and get the board on its edge just for a micro second, and use that stable point to re-align yourself and get back to your normal riding position. Most good riders try to do a little heel edge check there, but you can use your toe edge if you prefer, or if the angle of the landing deems that a better edge to use. Once settled, stand up straight and head to the next jump – you’ve just landed your first frontside 3 indy.
Frontside spins can be done off the toes or the heels. The version shown here is off the heels, but if you want to give it some old school flavour then set up your approach turn more like a backside 360, so you’re heading up the jump on your toe edge. Keep the board in a straight line and pre-wind your shoulders as above, then gently dig your toe edge into the kicker and pop hard into the spin, unleashing your arms. This extra toe edge grip gives you a great platform for the ollie and results in bigger airtime than the heel edge version. You’ll want to turn your head in the direction of the spin rather than looking down between the bindings. Check whitelines.com/frontside-toes for a classic example courtesy of John Jackson.