The fifty fifty is the most fundamental box or trail trick you can do on your snowboard. It will help make you comfortable on boxes or rails before you begin to do boardslides and other rail tricks. Before attempting a 50-50, be comfortable riding and carving in general. No other freestyle skills or tricks are really necessary to learn this. You will begin on a ride-on feature, where you don’t have to ollie, or jump, to get onto the feaure. Once you begin doing 50-50s onto urban-on features (features where you do have to ollie onto), you will need to know how to ollie off the lip as well.
Finding the Right Feature to Slide
Findind a mellow ride-on feature for your first fifty fifty is important. A box is the easiest to learn on since it’s a bit wider of a platform. There are a lot of variations of boxes, from dance pads (very wide) to down boxes and more. I would recommend a nice flat box that is around 10 feet long when first learning. There should not be any rise from the snow to the start of the box – you should be able to ride right onto it. Now that you’ve found the right feature, let’s learn a 5050.
Your First Fifty Fifty
Approach the feature with a reasonable amount of speed. You want to be sure to have plenty of speed to slide the entire box, but do not need to nuke into it your first hit. As you approach the box, you’ll likely be on edge. As you leave the snow and ride onto the box, be sure you transition to be completely flat based. This is where a lot of people struggle when first learning to slide a box or rail. On the snow, you’re almost always on an edge. When jibbing, you always want to be flat based. If you ride onto the feature on edge, you will almost immediately slide out. Simply put your base flat onto the feature and keep your body square over your board. Ride the box all the way through and ride away like a champ! It’s pretty simply, but a little scary at first.
Learning to Slide Bigger Features
Once you can slide a ride-on box, there is still so much to learn. Transition from a ride-on box to a ride-on rail. The rail will be a little skinnier and will require more balance. From there, you can begin to learn how to do urban-on 50-50s. This will require you to know how to ollie as mentioned above. I personally believe frontside 50-50s are easier than backside 50-50s, so I would recommend starting frontside. This means you will approach the ride-on feature facing it, but to the side. On a ride-on feature, you approach the box or rail straight on. On an urban-on feautre, you approach the feature from either side. Frontside means you approach with your face to the rail, and backside means you approach with your back to the rail.
Start with something small – just a 2 or 3 inch pop required. Ride up from the side and ollie onto the rail. It’s important to get your entire board over and onto the rail, or you will hang up and fall. It’s also important to focus on simply jumping over and keeping your momentum going forward. If you jump at an angle, you will slide off the other side of the rail prematurely. It just takes practice! Remember to keep that base flat always. Best of luck with this trick!