Learning and understanding all the various snowboard tricks can almost feel like a impossible task to most, myself included.
Countless different tricks exist. Some won’t be obtainable for most but that doesn’t mean you can’t understand them a bit more, to make watching events like X games, Olympics, or video parts easier and more enjoyable.
Below I will do my absolute best to break down and give a definition for almost every trick I can think of. I have tried to break them into specific categories, to make things a bit easier.
Spin Tricks, Flips, and Inverted Rotations
Almost all of these trick require some sort or lip, jump, or natural air feature to perform. Their difficulty ranges from quite learnable to only a pro can attempt to try this safely.
Throughout the years some of these tricks have received name changes, so some may sound unfamiliar at first but I can assure you they are still the same.
- 180 – Essentially half a spin or a 180 degree spin were you go from goofy-regular or regular-goofy
- 270 – More of a park specific trick as you can’t really land like this on groomed snow it requires you to spin three quarters of the way around which is commonly done on rails, pipes, boxes etc.
- 360 – A spin that requires you to basically spin in a circle landing the same direction you took off from
- 450 – Much like the 270 but instead requires you to spin one and a quarter of a rotation again only really possible on park features
- 540 – Requires you to spin around once and a half landing the opposite way you took off from
- 720 – Spinning in two full circles taking off and landing with the same foot forward
- 900 – two and a half spins is required taking off one direction and landing the opposite
- 1080 – Rotating in three full circles until you are lined up the same way you took off
- 1260 – Half a spin more than a 1080 which leaves you landing on the opposite foot to which you took off from
- 1440 – Four full rotations landing with the same foot in front of you after the rotation
- 1620 – You will have to spin around four and a half times to achieve this either taking off or landing switch
- 1800 – Achievable if you manage to spin five full rotations
- 1980 – Tack on another 180 degrees making it five and a half rotations to complete
- 2160 – Dizzy yet? us to the final spin rotation has only been accomplished by a handful of top tier riders but it has been done the 2160 will require you to spin 6 full rotations which is hard to comprehend to most.
- Alley Oop – Commonly done in halfpipe,quarter pipe, or walls it is done when one rotates 180 degrees in a uphill direction. You have to either be rotating backside on a frontside wall or frontside on a backside wall.
- Backflip – Quite a common trick it involves one rotating over the vernicle axis backwards
- Backside – Involves rotating over the horizontal axis essentially meaning after take-off your back will be to front to further break it down if you ride regular the rotation would be to the right and for goofy the left
- Cab – Not specifically its own spin the term “Cab” (in snowboard terms) essentially refers to any switch-frontside spin not matter what the rotation is or what feature it is performed on jumps, halfpipes, and rails etc.
- Cork – A off axis rotation that can be performed on jumps, side hits, and halfpipes here is a video of a cork 540 to give you an idea of what they look like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5ZI-d-eHsI
- Crippler – An inverted 540 degree spin that is performed on the frontside wall of a halfpipe.
- Doublecork – When a rider goes off-axis twice in one trick for example like a dubcork 1080 or a dubcork 1260
- Frontside – Just like for backside you do one rotation over the horizontal axis after take off and the front of your body will be to the front for example if you ride regular the rotation would be to the left and goofy would be to the right
- Haakon Flip – Predominantly done in halfpipes
- Hardway – A backside rotation taken from a backside approach (taken off heel edge)
- Lando-Roll – A frontside cork 540 or 720 with a method thrown in originally done by Mark Landvik
- Mctwist – Rider does a forward flipping backside 540 in features such as halfpipes, quarter pipes, or similar features it can also be noted that the rotating can be larger than a 540.
- Misty – This trick commonly gets mistaken for a frontside or backside rodeo but it is different in that the rider uses more of a frontflip motion upon initiating the trick. A frontside Misty can only be done off of the toe edge meaning the rider spins frontside followed by snapping their trailing shoulder towards their lead foot. You then release the lead shoulder towards the sky as you unwind at takeoff release. In general most riders will grab indy and follow the lead shoulder through the rotation to either a 540, 720, and even 900. If this still sounds confusing here is a video to give you a better idea https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH60g_09lY0
- Ninety Roll – Performed by doing a backflip towards the landing of a jump with a 180 degree rotation on your backside (i.e spin 90 degrees backside-backflip-spin 90 degrees) which in turn means you land switch or fakie.
- Pretzel – Involves concluding a slide trick with a 270 degree spin opposite the direction in which you did a rotation during the tricks initiation.
- Rodeo – Its a invert done when riding fakie or forward and rotates either frontside or backside while flipping. Can be done with a variety of rotations such as 540, 720, 900, and 1080.
- Tamedog – Exactly the same as a Wildcat but instead of a backflip its a frontflip on a axis rotation flipping in a cartwheel like fashion over the nose of the snowboard.
- Underflip – A backflip with a frontside 180 on the y axis
- Wildcat – A famous trick for many reasons a wildcat involves performing a backflip on a straight jump with an axis of rotation in which the snowboard flips in a backwards, cartwheel-like fashion.
There’s a lot of grab variations on a snowboard and some of them can be difficult to spot due to the rider spinning at the same time – or even doing multiple grabs in a quick succession. So, let’s take a look at the most common grabs and their unique names.
- A B – A trick in which the riders rear hand grabs the heel side of the board in front of the bindings.
- Beef Carpaccio – It’s a combination of roast beef and chicken salad were your hands essentially cross between your legs (or bindings) at the same time
- Beef Curtains – A cross between the Grosman and Roast beef grab again in-between your legs at the same time it is also commonly referred to as the “The King” or “Steak Tar Tar”
- Bloody Dracula – This trick involves using both of your hands to grab the tail of the board. You take your first hand and do a basic tail grab and then blindly reaches behind there back with the other arm.
- Canadian Bacon – The riders rear hand reaches behind their rear leg and grabs toe edge between the bindings while your rear leg is also boned
- Cannonball – A trick which involves grabbing the nose and tail of the board simultaneously.
- Chicken Salad – Once again your rear hand reaches between your legs but this time you grab the heel edge between the bindings and this time your front leg is boned out and your wrist rotates inward to fully complete the grab. Here is a video to give you a better idea of the grab https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTgeY_XCvkQ
- China Air – What many consider a easier version of the “Japan Air” your front hand grabs your toe side in front of your front boot while both knees are bent.
- Crail – Your rear hand grabs the toe edge in front of the front foot while the rear leg is boned. Others consider any rear handed grab in front of your front foot on the toeside a crail grab, nose crail, or real crail just to make it a bit more confusing.
- Cross-Rocket – A more advanced variation of a rocket air essentially because you cross your arms thus grabbing opposite sides of the nose of the snowboard while your rear leg is boned and front leg gets tucked up.
- Drunk Driver – Similar to a truck driver but its a stalefish grab mixed with mute grab at the same time.
- Fresh Fish – Just a backside version of a Stale Fish
- Frontside Grab/Indy – One of the most common tricks which is performed when the rider grabs the toe edge between the bindings with the trail hand
- Gorilla – Both riders hands will grab between the bindings
- Japan Air – The front hands grab the toe edge in between the feet while the front knee is pulled in towards the board
- Lien Air – When performing a frontside air or transition the snowboarder grabs heelside in front of or behind the leading binding with their lead hand, and in order for it to be a true Lien the board has to be kept flat the whole way through.
- Korean Bacon – Also known as a KB its when your lead arm reaches between the legs from behind and grab the toe edge at the front foot while also bending your knees pulling the board to the back (tweaked)
- Melon – Riders front hand reaches behind their front leg and grabs the heel edge in-between the bindings while their front leg is boned.
- Method – Probably the most debated grab is snowboard history hence why there are multiple versions which include the power method, cross bone, or Palmer method to name a few. To some it can be difficult to tell the minor differences but to others it’s a bigger deal. So rather than me explaining all of them here’s a video to break them all down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxUQunZw2ds
- Mindy/Super – Both of the riders hands reach and grab toeside on the outside of the bindings.
- Nosegrab – Your front hand grabs the nose of the snowboard.
- Nuclear – Rear hand reaches across the front of the body grabbing the heel edge in front of your front foot.
- One-Two – Involves the rider using their front hand to grab the heel edge behind the back of their back foot.
- Pickpocket – The front hand reaches behind your back and grabbing the toe side of the board in front of your back foot and tweak it back.
- Perfect – Front hand grabs the tail of the board.
- Roast Beef – Riders rear hand reaches in-between their legs and grabs the heel edge of the snowboard between the bindings while the rear leg is boned.
- Rocket Air – Achieved when rider takes both hands and grabs the nose of the snowboard.
- Rusty Trombone – Combination of a roast beef and nose grab done at the same time.
- Sad – Quite similar to a nosebone but you grab with the front hand and on the heelside while the nose of the board points towards the ground.
- Seatbelt – Riders front hand reaches across their body and grabs the tail of the snowboard while the front leg is boned.
- Slob Air – Board has to be parallel to the ground while the back leg is boned and the front hand grabs weddle.
- Stalefish – Riders back hand grabs the heel edge of the snowboard between the feet around the outside of the riders knee.
- Stiffy – Grab indy in between the bindings and bone both legs 90 degrees to the body.
- Squirrel – A trick in which the riders front hand grabs the heel edge of the snowboard in front of the front foot while their rear hand grabs the heel edge as well but behind the rear foot.
- Suitcase – A method in which your knees are bent so that the front hand is able to grab the toe edge thus holding the board like a “Suitcase”.
- Swiss Cheese Air – You take your rear hand and reach between the legs and grab heel edge in front of the front foot while the back leg is boned.
- Tai Pan Air – Back hand grabs the toe edge just in front of the riders rear foot but to do it properly you must go around the outside of your knee, you then pull the board behind the rider aka (tweaked)
- Tailfish – Riders trailing hand grabs the heel edge between the rear binding and the tail.
- Tailgrab – The rear hand grabs the tail of the snowboard but their are a variety of variations such as “boning” the front leg or “tweaking” the board slightly frontside or backside.
- Tindy – Trailing hand grabs between the rear binding and tail on the toe side edge.
- Truck Driver – When both hands grab indy and melon
- Watermelon – A melon grab grab where the rider bones their front leg and turns the board on a 45 degree angle.
- Weddle – Front hand grabs the toe edge either between the toes or in front of your front foot. It does have some other variations like straightening both legs at the same time as the grab or some snowboarders will grab weddle and rotate the board frontside 90 degrees.
Butter’s, Inverts, and Stalls
Unique tricks not always done at major competitions but many of them are loved for their simplicity but also their level of difficulty.
- Andrecht – Is a rear handed backside handplant with a front-handed grab
- Blunt-stall – Performed by stalling on a object with the tail of the board or the nose of the board different from a nose or tail stall because in those most of the snowboard is positioned over the object vs a blunt stall where its just the nose or the tail of the board.
- Board Stall aka Disaster – A trick that is performed when the rider stalls on a object with their snowboard with the point of contact being between both bindings. The disaster variation comes from skateboarding and involves performing a frontside or backside 180 before stalling on the lip or obstacle, followed by re-entering. Here is a video of Jake blauvelt doing a backside one for reference https://www.snowboarder.com/videos/trick-tip-backside-disaster-with-jake-blauvelt/
- Elguerial – An invert in a halfpipe wall where the wall is approached fakie. The riders rear hand gets planted while a 360 degree backside rotation is made with the rider lands going forward.
- Eggplant – One-handed 180 degree invert where the front hand gets planted on the lip of a wall while the rotation is backside.
- Eggflip – An eggplant were the rider chooses to flip over into the pipe instead of rotating 180 degrees. You can perform this trick forward to fakie or switch (fakie to forward)
- Fresh – Front handed invert but the backflip is boned without any grab.
- HoHo – Both hands get planted at the top of a halfpipe
- J-Tear – An inverted frontside 540 with a hand plant in the middle
- Killer Stand – You make an invert but you also take your back/rear hand on the front hand’s elbow.
- McEgg – It’s a invert where the rider plants their front hand on the wall, rotating 540 degrees in a backside direction and landing forward
- Layback – A non-introverted handplant in which the riders lead hand is planted during a slide. The rider literally lays back hence its name.
- Millerflip – A frontside 360 rotation that you handplant and then ride out fakie. Here is a visual reference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCFkNIaL7yM
- Nollie – A trick in which the rider springs off the nose of their snowboard and into the air.
- Nose-pick – Involves stalling on an object with the nose of the snowboard while grabbing frontside then followed up by jumping back off the object and into the jump you came off of.
- Nose stall – Pretty similar to a board-stall but this variation involves stalling on the nose of the snowboard at the top of a transition or obstacle.
- Nose Block – Similar to a tail-block but performed by standing on the nose while grabbing the tail of the snowboard.
- Nosepress – A more technical version of a 50-50 where the rider leans forward putting pressure on the nose of the snowboard lifting up the rear foot so it isn’t in contact with the snow, rail, box etc..
- Ollie – Involves the rider springing off the tail of the snowboard and into the air.
- Tail Block – Typically performed at the peak of a transition or object and involves the snowboarder springing up and standing on just the tail of the snowboard while grabbing the nose of the board with one or both hands.
- Tail Stall – Opposite of a nose-stall this variation involves stalling on the nose of the snowboard at the top of a transition or obstacle.
I hope this list helps you understand or learn a trick you have heard of or seen and never been able to put together or figure out.
Many of these tricks take time to learn or even work up to skill wise but that doesn’t mean you can’t understand them for future reference.