Learning how to go off a jump will add to your repertoire for snowboarding. The more you can do on a snowboard, the more fun you will have riding. Cruising down the mountain will always be exciting, but hitting a few jumps down the run adds a little adrenaline to the mix.
After you feel like you’ve mastered the 8 steps of snowboarding, you should feel very confident in your riding. You may want to start hitting jumps, doings 360’s, and grinding rails. It’s extremely hard to teach yourself how to do park terrain. Even reading up online and watching endless videos won’t prepare for what lies ahead. It’s important that you go slow and I personally recommend getting and instructor to teach you proper techniques. If you want to teach yourself, I suggest going to Northstar’s progression park and hitting there beginner jumps and rails for a whole season. After spending a whole season hitting there smaller jumps you should be ready to tackle Northstar’s stash, and intermediate park.
The first thing to start practicing is what snowboarders like to call, “popping” which is basically our version of jumping off the ground with your snowboard. Popping is basically what an ollie is in skateboarding,except you have both feet strapped to your board. You can practice popping by laying your snowboard on a flat surface, strapping both feet in, and springing up off the ground with both feet. You should be able to get a little bit of air then land back down. Once you feel comfortable doing this, you can try doing it when you’re going down the mountain. When you pop during your run, you should try slowing down on your edge, straightening your board, and then popping with both feet. Make sure you keep board straight, don’t try to turn. Then land flat on your board, and turn onto your edge. When you feel comfortable popping, try to jump over stuff. A few things you can jump over are sticks, rocks, and piles of snow. This will help you in jumping higher by compressing your knees to your chest and allowing you to pop higher.
After you feel that you’ve mastered “popping”, you can then try your first jump. Find a small jump at the park and try going off it without popping. You should practice turning on your edge, flattening your board, and hitting the jump perfectly straight. A lot of new riders will simply default to a heel side edge as they approach a jump and there is no need for this. If you go slow, you can simply slide of the jump and land back down. Practice sliding off the jump a few times, you should get a little bit of air and then touch back down. Once you feel comfortable doing this, then you can add a pop to your jump. As you approach the tip of the jump, simply spring up with both feet and you should pop off the jump. You should feel a lot more hang time in the air when you pop this time.
The important thing to remember when jumping, is to always keep your board straight. If your board is not straight, then you will land on your edge, and hurt yourself. Practice hitting these small jumps every time you go up the mountain.
This video below,brought to you by the SnowProfessor will demonstrate how to land your first jump and give you helpful tips in practicing your popping.
Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach you more about learning how to snowboard!