For some the snowboard park is Holy Grail of snowboarding and being a good enough boarder to start using the rails, boxes and jumps is the whole reason for strapping the board to your feet in the first place.
For others it can be daunting and a little scary. But whatever your stance on the park, we can guarantee that with our instructor’s help you will get the most from it and learn a solid foundation of skills that will help you progress to bigger and more adventurous jumps and tricks.
In fact, at Chill Factore, we have the UK’s longest indoor real snow freestyle park and our instructors are itching to help you master it.
Learning to hit jumps is the foundation on which jumps and tricks in the park are built on. Start with a small jump that you feel comfortable with and where you feel confident that you will make the landing. It’s important to stay within your ability level and work up from small and easy to bigger and harder. Even the pros had to start somewhere, right?
When riding into the jump, check your speed with a few turns until you are happy with how fast you are going. Then ride flat and straight and head for the lip of the jump. When your front foot reaches the lip of the jump, pop your board into the air keeping the pop clean and level.
In the air, tuck your knees up to help with balance and make sure your back hand is over your tail and your shoulders are parallel to your board.
Spot your landing space from the air and bend your knees on landing to absorb the force of the board hitting the ground. When you land, your body and board should be at the same angle as the ground you are landing on and your touchdown should be with whole length of the board, not tip or tail first. Make sure you get balanced on your board again before turning.
The easiest way to start on rails or boxes is with the 50:50 grind which basically means riding straight down the rail or the box from the tip to the tail of the board. A lot of hitting the rail or the box is in the approach: set up for your speed sideways and then turn and face the rail. Try riding rails where you don’t need to jump on to them to start with and when you are on the rail keep flat, keep your eye on the end of the rail, and your centre of gravity over the board.
As you approach the end of the rail or the box do a nice clean Ollie and jump off. Compress the landing by bending your knees on impact to absorb the shock and try to land flat, keeping the board straight and not landing tail or tip down.
As you gain in confidence why not try a grab when you're mid air? Grabbing the board not only looks cool, but it helps with stability and it's a good skill to have for when you start doing spins and inversions.
When you get air and lift your knees, reach down and grab hold of the board. Be sure that you are bringing the board up to meet your hand and not leaning forward to grab the board as this will throw you completely off balance. You can experiment with grabbing different places on the board to see what feels comfortable and what is easy to achieve. The simplest grab is the frontside grab or the Indy where you grab the front edge of your board between the bindings.
Dying to give some of these a try? Then come down to Chill Factore and join us on the freestyle park. Chill Factore is open 7 days a week so there really is no excuse for not getting out on the snow and practising till you get it perfect.
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