3 Snowboarding Tricks to Practice on a Box

Are you just getting started in the park? Investing time in riding boxes and rails? If so, here are a few things you could enjoy trying out once you've mastered the fundamentals...

I'm talking about 50-50s and boardslides here. The 50-50 is very definitely the first trick you'll try on a box - simply riding straight on and sliding off the end. The next phase is the boardslide, which seems more like a 'trick' than the 50-50 since you have to turn your body and is less dangerous than the frontside-boardslide.

 3 Snowboarding Tricks to Practice on a Box

The three suggestions presented here are only that: suggestions. It's not that there's a set order in which to try/learn new tricks; rather, these tricks are within reach once you can boardslide, and they offer some concepts that will keep you moving forward. Counter-rotation is something I talk about a lot in this section. If you're unfamiliar with it, consider reading this post explaining why counter-rotation is vital.

180 to 50-50

In the box, try switching frontside 180 (or 'half-cab') to 50-50. Doing a 'trick on' before your standard 50-50 is an enjoyable bonus to the ordinary 50-50. Furthermore, when approaching the switch, you are doing the 50-50 in your typical direction, so being on the box should not seem too different.

This move is an excellent way to include a counter-rotated 180 into your riding. After you 180 on, you can utilize counter-rotation to prevent further rotation once you're on the box.

This is where I discovered the difficulty. I had a lot of fun just trying to finish the rotation with a straight 50-50. I'd sometimes over-rotated my upper body after executing the 180, with my shoulders open to the end of the box. Consider yourself in the 50-50 position, with your shoulders towards the end of the box - my unconscious, natural reaction was to return to square, and this movement caused further rotation on the box.

I'd perform a great frontside 180 to 50-50 when I got it right. If I had over-rotated my upper body, rotating my shoulders back in the backside direction would result in a backside 180. It was all part of the fun of playing with this approach, and it made adding a 180-out a breeze.

Frontside boardslide

Without a doubt, frontside boardslides are the way to go. These simply look cool. If you're already doing 50-50s and boardslides, progressing to a frontside boardslide is a decent next step. 

I struggled with the frontside boardslide for a long time before mastering the fundamentals of this move. I believe there were two causes behind this. 

First, I couldn't get my body into the proper position. I'd never considered counter-rotation, which is required to get your upper and lower bodies in the proper posture so that you can look where you're going and your lower body stays locked in place. I'd occasionally get the front board going, but it'd keep sliding about and dropping the switch.

Second, I was terrible at getting the board's base flat. This was difficult for me to grasp because I had no issues with ordinary boardslides and was perfectly content committing to a tail-slide where I'd be pressing over my back foot (sliding backwards down the box).

Again, this is most likely due to not being in the proper, counter-rotated posture. I have no doubt that employing a balance rail assisted with this. 

A lot. If you don't know what a balance rail is, see how to create one and some instances of how I use one. They're fantastic for practicing getting into the proper position - arms, legs, head, everything.

Boardslide 270 out

Do you drop off in your typical direction or switch when you do a boardslide? And are you doing this on purpose, or does it just happen? I did state at the start that I'd talk a lot about counter-rotation...

 If you wish to drop off in the typical direction, you'll need to use counter-rotation both on and off the box. If you want to drop off and ride away switch,'regular' rotation will maintain your 90 degree on and 90 degree off going in the same direction, effectively doing a 180 with the box in the middle, so you end up switch...

If you're used to going off the box in your typical direction, increasing to a 270-out is as simple as preparing your upper body for a bit more counter-rotation (plus some practice). As you near the end of the box, turn your shoulders a little more to gain additional leverage and enhance the 90-out to a 270-out.

I recommended the 270-out for two reasons. First and foremost, it's a solid, manageable addition to the standard boardslide, which you can probably accomplish. Second, it's the next thing I'll try when I finally get back on a board...

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