Part 2 of How to Ski Park, below are some more intermediate tricks and skills that build upon the tricks learnt in Part 1.
Trick #1: Nosebutter 360
Nosebutters rely on your dins holding up. Make sure your dins are tight before trying this trick. It also helps to have a softer more flexible ski when you are learning.
Start off by getting really comfortable with nollies. A nollie is when you pop of off your tips.
Once you are comfortable with nollieing, try some nosebutter 180’s. To set a nosebutter, you need to use your upper body to set the rotation, shoulders and hips. Set the spin by twisting your upper body in the direction you wish to spin and at the same time leaning heavily forward on your tips as you would in the first part of a nollie. You should feel a lot of shin pressure and your heels lifting inside your boot slightly. Start on some flat ground and then take them to a roller on a mellow slope.
To do a nollie 360, you just have to set a little harder. To add style and to make the second part easier, add a pop at the 180 stage and spin the second 180 in the air. Make sure you keep your body following the rotation and just as with spins, don’t lock your rotation with your arms.
It may surprise you the first few times how hard you have to throw forward to get up onto your tips. It is really important that you really commit to the movement. Think of throwing your trailing shoulder (right shoulder if you spin left) towards your opposite ski tip as hard as you can.
Once you reach the 180 point, it is important to keep your skis parallel and keep your feet together, if you attempt to separate or splay your feet, you may catch an edge.
Again, these are best learnt on a roller on a mellow slope. I don't advise learning them in the park on the jump rollers. Once you are super comfortable with them outside the park, then you can take them into the park.
Common Mistakes: Not leaning forward enough. Not setting hard enough. Catching edge at 180 due to splaying your feet.
Trick #2: Hand Drag / Lazy Boy 360
To do a handrag or lazyboy 360, it is best to find a small/medium jump in the park that you are super comfortable spinning clean 360’s on. A hand drag is a relatively low risk trick as you will mainly land on your side if you get it wrong and so I think that a smaller jump is better as you can really giv’er.
Start by warming up a few 360s and get comfortable with the jump size and takeoff/ landing.
To do a lazyboy, you need to sit on the back of your skis/bindings as you approach the jump. This is why it is good to be comfortable going fast into the jump as it is very hard to turn/ slowdown in this position. Once you hit the transition, reach out with your hand and ‘drag’ the snow on the side you wish to spin.
Once you hit the lip of the jump, pop and set your spin by twisting your upper body as you would for a 360. You will probably find that you end up a little off axis and this is normal. Once you become comfortable with the trick it can be used to help learn corked 360’s. Try to think about looking over your shoulder as you would for a regular 360.
It is also normal for people to land very backseat/ backslap when learning this trick and this is caused by coming off axis. To correct this, make sure you are looking up over your shoulder when you spin. and try to keep your shoulder level when you set. If you want to go off axis and get these corked, look at the Cork 360 below.
Common Mistakes: Not setting hard enough and so only spinning 90 or 180 degrees. Not popping on the lip (with speed you can get away with it and it can look really stylish to just float off the jump but I recommend learning with a pop and then adding style once you are more comfortable).
Trick #3: 540
Find a medium sized jump to learn on that you are comfortable doing 360’s on. Start by spinning a few 360’s to warm up.
To spin a 540, set your 360 a little harder and maintain your separation once you reach 360. Don’t forget your pop. Alternatively, you can use counter rotation to add a 180 to your 360. The real key to a 540 is to just spin faster than you normally do on your 360 and intentionally over rotate.
Make sure you keep your shoulders level and look over your shoulder, ensuring you land in the middle of your skis. Don’t try to spot the landing too early. Although you should set harder, you don’t want to rush the rotation as this can lead to getting off axis.
Try to keep your skis flat as you spin so that if you do come up short, you will land on a flat ski and avoid catching an edge, this will allow you to scrub into a 540.
Common Mistakes: Chucking it without setting properly. Not popping properly leading to coming up short.
Trick #4: Cork 360
I would advise you to learn this trick on a trampoline first if you have access to one. I would also advise that you learn a lazyboy first as it will help you get comfortable with coming off axis.
A cork 360 is simply a 360 on which you are off axis. This means that you spin on a constantly changing axis like the twirl on a corkscrew.
To set a cork, think about kicking your foot up and over your opposite shoulder. It helps to grab as it will aid the rotation. I recommend learning with a safety grab. Try to kick your foot up and as it reaches head level, grab safety and push the ski round. Keep this leg up until you complete 360. If you release the force, you will slow your spin.
It can be hard to visualise. If you have access to a trampoline, try using a wall beside the tramp to practice. If you have access to a trampoline park, most parks will have a wall ride. Think about jumping from the tramp onto the wall and landing on one foot in an almost horizontal position, leaning backwards. Then, kick your other leg around across your body to bring you around 360. If you don’t have access to a tramp, you can still visualise this movement.
Another thing that will help is to try to keep your other leg dead straight and pointing down to the ground the whole time.
Common Mistakes: Trying to set like a backflip or leaning backwards too much. This can put you on axis or will lead to more of a flatspin. Not kicking your leg hard enough. You really have to kick hard!
Trick #5: Backflip
To learn a backflip, find a jump that is a t least a medium size and that gives you plenty of air time. I highly recommend learning on a trampoline first. Once you can do them on a trampoline, it is sensible to try your first snow backflip on a powder jump in the side country. This will obviously minimise risks.
A backflip relies on a very strong solid pop. Make sure you are comfortable popping hard undoing clean straight airs on the jump first. Do a few straight airs right before you attempt your first flip. Try to visualise yourself flipping as you hit the jump to gauge how much airtime you have and how fast you need to spin.
To set a backflip, pop hard and straight up. Do not lean backwards! As you pop, drive your hips straight up towards the sky. You should push your hips out in front of you in a thrusting motion. As you thrust, tilt your head back and look straight up at the sky. You will end up in a horizontal position in the air with your hips being the highest point of your body. When you are learning it can also help to throw your arms up above your head too.
Once you reach horizontal, drive your knees up towards your chest into a tuck position. Keep your knees apart to avoid kneeing yourself in the face. hold the tuck until you see the landing, then release the tuck. A tuck will speed up your spin and laying it out will slow your spin.
To add style, try laying out the flip for longer before tucking. The main things to think about are: strong pop and thrusting your hips up towards the sky.
Common Mistakes: Simply throwing yourself backwards without a pop, this will lead to an uncontrolled spin. Not driving your hips but trying to tuck too early.
As with all other tricks, a pop is key for all the tricks above. Go at your own pace, find a safe learning environment and be sure to follow all of your resort and park rules and regulations.