How to do your first frontside 180 on a snowboard Ridstore magazine

Doing tricks on a snowboard is a sure-fire way to impress your friends, and is a great route to growing your confidence on the board. A frontside 180 on a snowboard is one of the easiest tricks to start with, and once you have nailed it, it is also a jumping-off point (excuse the pun) to add more tricks to the trick list. Read this article on how to do your first frontside 180 on a snowboard and mistakes to avoid to ensure you look like a laid-back pro in the park.  

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What is a frontside 180 on a snowboard?

What is a frontside 180 on a snowboard?

A frontside 180 is one of the easiest tricks to start with on a snowboard. It will lay the foundations for a great technique that you can build upon when you learn more advanced tricks. 

A frontside or backside spin is, quite simply, the way your body initiates the spin. Think of it like opening a door and closing a door. Your front arm will rotate over the nose of your board from your front to your back for a frontside, and from the back to the front for a backside.

The 180 part of this trick is the degree of rotation your board (and body) does during the trick. Therefore, you will start the trick with your body facing one way, and you will be facing the opposite direction once you have completed it.

Preparing for your first frontside 180

Preparing for your first frontside 180

Before you go hurtling into your first frontside 180, there are a few skills we recommend you feel confident performing on the snowboard, to ensure that your first frontside 180 will be a success.

Riding switch

As you land a frontside 180, you’ll be in your switch stance. As such, you should feel comfortable riding in switch before even thinking about a 180. Switch is where your body is facing in the opposite direction to your normal snowboard stance and you’re leading with what is usually your back foot.

Know how to do an ollie

An ollie is one of the foundations of snowboarding and teaches you about weight distribution and balance, which is essential for doing a frontside 180.

Practice on a flat

You can begin by jumping a frontside 180 in your living room, without the board. Or hop on your board on flat ground to practice. This will help you experience doing this in motion.

A step-by-step guide for your first frontside 180

A step-by-step guide for your first frontside 180

Here is the breakdown and step-by-step of how to initiate a frontside 180 and land the trick.

Step 1

Start by finding a gentle slope, e.g. a green or gentle blue in Europe. This will give enough momentum to initiate the turn but stay in control. Traverse the slope, rather than head straight down.

Step 2

Shift onto your heel edge, and twist your hips and shoulders towards the tail of your board 'wind up' for the spin.

Step 3

Bend your knees and bring your weight to your back leg, so your back leg is more bent than the front leg (as you would for an ollie).

Step 4

Now you’re fully wound up, you’re ready to execute. Ollie and unwind your body at the same time, using your front hand to guide the rotation. Focus on getting it facing your riding line behind you, and allow the natural tension in your body to bring the board around.

Step 5

When you land, there are two main tips for really dialling in your 180s. Firstly, if you took off on your heel edge, you want to be landing on your toe edge. Secondly, you want to have your head pointing behind you so that it’ll feel like you’re riding backwards. Landing like this will allow the turn to come around fully, and once you’ve landed, turn your head to face front again.

5 common mistakes to avoid when doing a frontside 180

5 common mistakes to avoid when doing a frontside 180

Learning how to do your first 180 on a snowboard may not be simple, but there are a few things to avoid to ensure that it goes as smooth as possible.

Back arm blocking the rotation

Your back arm needs to pull your shoulders around, so should follow your torso. People often forget about the back arm to pull you around.

Too much speed

This can cause you to lose balance, over-rotate and not be able to control the landing, or not give yourself enough time to perform each step.

Landing on your heel edge

You take off on your heel edge for the jump, but for better balance on your landing, you should aim to land more on your toe edge.

Trying a frontside 180 jump too soon

Make sure to nail the frontside 180 on flat ground first before trying a jump and in motion.

Giving up

You may not perform the perfect frontside 180 the first time, but keep practising and learning from your mistakes.

Wrapping up

There you have it, a quickfire guide on how to do your first frontside 180 on a snowboard with confidence and knowledge. Understanding the theory behind balance, landing, and momentum will allow you to hit the slopes with a solid foundation. Your first frontside 180, no matter how ugly or beautiful, will be the first of many snowboard tricks to come, so start small and aim high. See you out there!

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