The backside 180 is a unique trick on a snowboard, as it’s an essential stepping stone to learning bigger tricks, but also one of the most stylish low-rotation tricks there is. The backside 180 and the method are staples in snowboarding, and the bigger you can do one the better. Before learning the backside 180, be sure you’re comfortable hitting jumps on your snowboard. You should also be able to ride switch at least a little bit, as you will be landing switch. You don’t need to be great at it, but you do need to be able to carve both heelside and toeside switch. Find a small to medium sized jump to get started.
Performing the Backside 180
The backside 180 is considered difficult by many because the landing is blind. Personally, I think backside 180s are very predictable to put down clean. Although you can’t see the landing, you can see exactly how far you’ve rotated based on what you see uphill. Approach the jump slightly on your toe edge. This trick does not require a heavy S-carve. Although you’ll be on your toe edge, be sure to leave the jump straight and not at an angle. As you leave the jump, pop as you would on a normal straight air. Take your head and leading shoulder and softly turn them uphill towards your takeoff.
Once in the air, it should feel like you’re floating backwards with a slow rotation. Keep your knees bent and your body loose and controlled. As you lose sight of what’s uphill from you, you are close to landing. Be prepared to put your toe edge down first. If you complete the rotation and land on your heel edge, you are likely to wash out on the snow instead of riding away clean. If you underrotate and land on your heel edge, you are going to have a bad time. Your heel edge will catch on the snow and you will be tossed backwards. This is what many people are scared of on backside 180s, but don’t let it get to you. It’s not difficult to tell if you have not spun a full 180 – it’s not a huge rotation so it’s not that tough to feel. You can also pivot your feet at the end of the rotation if you need a little bit more.
Backside 180 Tips and Progression
Overall, be confident when trying this trick. Make sure you have the proper speed when trying this trick by straight airing the jump a handful of times first. Since backside 180s are blind, one of the dangers of this trick is overshooting or undershooting a jump. If you do either, you won’t know it until it’s far too late to try and compensate.
Once you’re comfortable with this trick on small jumps, you can start adding grabs and taking it to larger features. It’s also a great trick to do off of rails, and once you get super good at it you can do it onto rails as well. The backside 180 japan is a classic high-style trick, as well as a shifty back 180. Work on getting comfortable with the trick and then your possibilities are endless.