Been snowboarding for a few years? Keen to learn some new skills? We asked a Thredbo snowboarding expert to spill the tea on the easiest snowboarding tricks to learn.
You can try them for yourself with the instructions below. Or use the technical terms to tell your snowboarding instructor what you want to learn.
1. Powder slash
This one does admittedly depend on the existence of powder snow. And given that we are stuck in Australia and New Zealand for the ski season, we’re all praying to the snow gods for a great 2021 season.
A powder slash is that epic spray of powder from the board as your turn. It should look like this:
This move is similar to surfing, our Thredbo snowboarding expert tells us.
“You want to be looking forward down the mountain and then turn your arm in like a 180-degree motion, then your feet will follow with that,” he said.
“As you’re turning 180 degrees, or about halfway through the turn, you want to put some pressure on your back foot – that’s what is going to kick up the powder and it’s going to create that pattern, similar to when you’re in a barrel, in the surf.”
An ollie is jumping your snowboard on the flat ground. It’s the same trick that you would perform on a skateboard.
“Bend down as close as you can and then you want to eject out of your board.”
“You lead with your front foot, which gets the front of the board up and then the back foot once you reach the mid axis in the air you want to use your back foot to really bone it out and hold you up in the air for as long as possible.”
A Nollie is similar to an ollie, but you do this skateboarding trick on the nose of your board, not the tail of the board.
It’s essentially the reverse order of an ollie.
“A nollie is really a skateboarding trick that snowboarding took on over time.”
“You want to lean down low on your front foot. When you pop you want to lift your back foot up first. Then that initiates the pop. You are popping from the nose of your board. When you land you want to land tail first and the nose will then follow.”
“It’s way harder. It’s not a trick that is done regularly in snowboarding, but if you are a beginner and you are riding on the flat, it’s kind of fun to learn.”
A pop is an ollie but coming off a jump.
“You need to approach the jump with the right amount of speed and make sure your knees are bent so when you leave the ground you have a bit of time and awareness to either extend your body a little bit or crouch down in order to get the sweet spot for landing.”
5. Hand plant
To pull off a hand plant you are going to need to find a quarter pipe, a half-pipe or something that has a bit of transition to it. The best place to find these is in the terrain park, but you could also use a steep bank of snow on the edge of a run.
Approach the bank leaning on the toe edge of your snowboard.
“As you reach the point of transition you want to put your hand down on the pipe, but you still initiate the turn,” our Thredbo snowboarding expert said.
“You need to come in with a fair bit of confidence because essentially what you are doing is letting your board take off, and you’re using your hand to have a bit of stability while your board is in the air.”
Once your hand is down, our expert says you have two options.
“You can either grab the board with the other hand and that kind of holds you up there for a little bit.
“Or you don’t grab it and you can do a little 180 motion.”
6. Indy grab
An Indy Grab is one of the easiest tricks to perfect while you are snowboarding this winter.
It’s basically grabbing in between the middle of your board with your back hand.
“What you want to do is get some air and when you pop you want to give it a second. Once you are at the highest point in the air, you bend down.
“You want to make sure that you don’t bend down and make it look like you are doing a poo – you want to have a bit of composure.”
Straighten your back and when you hold the board, you can create a little bit of tension on the grab and poke it out a little bit and make it look cool.”
“Once you feel like your about to land on the snow you want to give yourself a little bit of time to let go and slide away.
“It’s definitely one for the photographs on the jumps, it looks very cool.”
A method is similar to and Indie but you grab the board with your front hand.
“You can grab it wherever feels comfortable, that may be in between the binding or a little bit above your front foot and the boot.”
“You leave the jump and you want to make sure your shoulders are nice and broad, lift the board up with your toe edge.”
“That pulls your back edge up, you grab your board and you kick out your back foot, which enables you to tweak it out.”
These new airless bike tyres never go flat
“You want to make sure your back hand is nice and stable in the air because when you let go everything is going to unravel except your back hand.
“That’s what is going to enable you to keep your shoulders nice and composed so that you can land cleanly.”
This snowboarding trick gets you riding down the mountain on the tail of your board. It’s probably the easiest snowboarding trick to learn if you are a beginner.
“What do you want to do is you want to lean back and you want to feel the right amount of pressure on your board, balance, and you’re going to leave it up in the air,” our Thredbo expert said.
A manual is easy once you get the hang of it, but you have to be careful not to catch your edge and fall over onto your bum.
A butter is similar to a manual, but instead of pulling up the nose of your snowboard, you’re going to pull up the back. It’s going to require a lot of balance to not catch the front and spill over onto your face. But it looks cool if you can master it.
“It’s about leaning far enough forward that your tail winds up in the air and you’re balancing, using the pressure on the nose of the board to hold that position.”
“I’d recommend learning the manual first and then trying the butter and then you can try going from one to the other.”
“And then you can do a 180 and land in the butter position.”
To do a tripod, you’re going to need to be brave enough to hurtle down the mountain backwards.
“When you do a tripod, you go down the snow backwards with half your board in the air and your hands in the snow to keep your balance,” our Thredbo snowboarding expert said.
“To do it, you want to do a 180 and then as the 180 comes around to the 180 positions you put your hands on the snow and you lean on the nose of your board.”
“What that does is that it puts you in the tripod position where the board is the centrepiece of the triangle and your hands on either side are balancing you out.”
The biggest tip our expert has for learning snowboarding tricks is to “take lessons”.
The snowboarding instructors at Thredbo will help you to learn some of the tricks if you show you’re keen.