Snowboard backflip is an advanced snowboard move. For advanced players who have practiced it extensively, doing a backflip is no big deal. But for beginners who have only mastered the basics of snowboarding yet, backflip can appear very scary and difficult, and with good reason. If you end up trying the backflip without sufficient practice and skill, you may end up landing on your head and your face in the ice, which isn’t exactly the kind of landing any boarder wants.
That being said, there is the right way to do a backflip and then there are many wrong ways of attempting it. Before we discuss the right way, let’s see the many ways in which you shouldn’t do a backflip.
Not on a flat Run-Up
Doing a snowboard backflip on a flat run-up is an exercise in futility. This is because when doing an actual backflip, you will always need a fairly steep run-up. On a relatively flat run-up, you are not going to get the kind of lift that is incredibly important for a good backflip. With a very little lift, you simply won’t have enough space and airtime to do a backflip. A steep run-up slope also means a steep landing, which means that you will also have plenty of time to land on a steeper landing. On a flat run-up with a flat landing, you’d have landed before you know it.
Don’t be Too Slow
When it’s your first time, you will be quite anticipative and perhaps a little intimidated when doing a backflip. That is alright. What’s not alright is to do it very slow, or you will be sure to fail. It is important to find a good speed where you can briskly ride up the run-up slope and gather enough momentum to gain a significant airtime. This is important because all the actual action of a snowboard backflip is going to take place in this brief airtime. If you move in and ride up the run-up slope too slowly, you will barely gather enough momentum to get enough lift and airtime. As a result, you won’t be able to do a backflip well.
Don’t be Too Stiff
Again, we understand that when doing your snowboard backflip for the first time, you will be tensed and this often tends to make the snowboarder a tad bit stiff-bodied. However, it is critically important that you stay relaxed during the run-up to the backflip. The backflip requires you to do a significant maneuver mid-air which means that you will have to almost go upside down and then back again. Even more importantly, you will be using your legs to make the invert and coordinate it with your bent body, both of which have to stay relaxed to do the backflip right.
Don’t Spring Too Early
As discussed above, a snowboard backflip requires a significant airtime in which you can go upside down and then back again, just in time for the landing. If you spring too soon, this will diminish your momentum and take out a lot of the kick out of your jump. Consequently, it will give you too little airtime to do the backflip. So it is important to be able to spring at the right time when doing a backflip.
Ideally, you should spring just at the edge of the kicker. This will ensure that you are able to carry the maximum amount of your run-up momentum into the jump while also making sure that you have enough airtime to do the backflip before landing back on the ice.
The Right Way to do a snowboard backflip
Now that you’ve gone through so many ways of how not to do a snowboard backflip, it is time to discuss the right way to do it. The basic maneuver in a backflip is simply that just as you reach the edge of the kicker and launch yourself into the air, you lean back so that right after the launch, the snowboard is high above your head and you are virtually upside down. Then the next instant, you bring the snowboard back down under you and land back on the landing slope.
All of this takes place very quickly. Starting with the basics, the most important preliminary to a backflip is that you should have adequate speed and momentum. Only a slope that is steep enough to offer that is good for a backflip. You should approach the run-up slope with a good speed and a stable drift. The backflip maneuver, as described above, requires a movement that needs some time. A good approaching speed and then a spring at the right time are able to offer that. The timing of the spring is ideally just when you reach the edge of the kicker and no later.
Just when you are about to spring, your body should be relaxed and while your feet do the spring, your body should start bending backwards at the same time. As a result, although the spring launches you into the air, the feet which are the pivot of the spring will rise above, effectively making you upside down. The same pivot will again rotate back in position and bring you back in head-up position the very next instant. The key to this entire movement is that you keep your body relaxed and approach the kicker with full commitment and confidence.
A great way to practice the backflip is doing them on a trampoline first. Although not exactly similar to an actual snowboard backflip, it will give you an idea of the physics involved. You will get to know how it feels to be upside down and how your body goes upside down and then back in normal position during a backflip. Once you are comfortable with trampoline backflips, it will be much easier for you to try your hands on a real backflip in the snow. And remember that even if you fail the first time, that’s okay.