This post will show you the step by step process for how to do a 180 on a snowboard.
The purpose of this post is to show you a basic off the ground frontside 180. You can later build on this basic technique to perform more complex tricks.
What is a 180?
A 180 is essentially spinning your snowboard, in the air, 180 degrees. You will start out facing one way down the mountain and end up facing the other way.
Before learning how to do a 180 you should already be comfortable with ollies and with riding switch.
- You will need to be able to get airborne to perform this trick (so you need to be able to ollie)
- You will be either setting up in or landing in switch (so you need to be able to ride switch relatively comfortably)
I have also seen this particular 180 being called an ‘air to fakie’ (I’m guessing because you start out by getting airborne and then land in switch (a.k.a. fakie)).
What is a frontside 180?
The reason this post is going to show you a frontside 180 is that it is easier than a backside and most people are a lot more comfortable performing a frontside rather than backside 180.
Frontside simply means that you are going to be rotating so that your torso twists in the direction you are facing. This means that you will be facing down the mountain the whole time so you will be always have your landing site in focus.
A back side on the other hand means that your torso will rotate up the mountain which means that your back faces down the mountain and your head moves around so that your focus is taking briefly away from where you are going.
Said another way (if that was too confusing):
- For a regular stance rider (left foot forward): You will be rotating your torso counter-clockwise
- For a goofy rider (right foot forward): You will be rotating your torso clockwise
The Frontside Flatland 180: Step by Step Process
Step 1: Practicing in Your Living Room
Before you even start get yourself familiar with the way you are going to be spinning. Don’t even get into your snowboard yet – you don’t even need to be on a mountain.
Simply stand in your living room/bedroom etc and jump and spin so that you are spinning “frontside”.
Step 2: Practicing on the Flat
Now you want to practice strapped into your snowboard on the snow – but still on the flat ground for now.
- Start by setting up on your heel edge (you would set up on your toe edge for backside 180s)
- Start the movement by twisting your hips and shoulders on the opposite direction to the direction of your spin (this builds the energy for the rotation). This is the wind up.
- Crouch down with your weight on your back foot as you would do for an ollie. Keep your back straight – so bend at the knees
- Now rotate yourself around in the direction you want to go and lift your board in the air like you would for an ollie
- Land on both feet with knees bent
Keep practicing this until it becomes easy.
Check out this video for a visual representation.
Step 3: Practicing across a slope
Now that you’ve mastered the standstill 180 let’s get into the fun stuff!
- Find a gentle slope and start moving slowly across the slope (i.e. not straight down it).
- Set yourself up on your heel edge and just before doing your 180 start to head slightly back up the slope (mostly to slow yourself down a bit just before performing the trick).
- Perform your 180 and land in your switch riding position.
- Spin back into your normal stance and repeat going the other way across the slope
Practice this until you are confident. Check out a visual representation below.
Step 4: From Switch to Regular
Now that you’ve got the hang of going from your normal stance and landing in switch you can now learn how to go from your switch stance and landing in your normal stance. Some people will find this easier and others harder.
- Repeat steps 1-3 above except spinning from switch to normal. Remember that you should still be doing a frontside 180
Step 5: Practice both at once
Once you are confident doing these 180s both from normal to switch and switch to normal practice riding so that you do a 180 from normal to switch and, instead of spinning back into your normal position, do a 180 from switch to normal to get back into your riding stance – and repeat.
Step 6: Backside 180s
Once you are comfortable doing the frontside 180s you can then move onto back side 180s.
Beyond flatland 180s
Of course there is a lot to learn here and could even keep you busy an entire season depending on how often you ride. Remember in total here you are learning a 2 frontside 180s – 1 from switch to normal and the other from normal to switch – and 2 backside 180s.
But once you have mastered these 180s off the ground there is the whole new world of 180s off jumps. But we’ll leave that for another time – there’s more than enough to practice and learn here.
Make sure you practice with good form/technique. You might be able to get away with doing these with slightly bad form now but if you don’t learn proper technique then you are going to have real problems when trying more complex tricks later on.
If in doubt about your technique always see a professional instructor.
Over to You
Thanks for reading and I hope you now have more knowledge about performing 180s on a snowboard.
Check out the link below to learn some more easy snowboarding tricks.
Note: I am not in any way a certified snowboard instructor and for best, fastest and safest results you should get lessons from a certified instructor.