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Thoughts on learning to do spins, 360's and the like

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My son seems to be having problems doing 360's or even some less complicated spins off rails or jumps....has anyone considered or has done a gymnastics like course or other with bungee cords to get the feeling of spins? How best to do without beating oneself up on the slopes?
post #2 of 20
Can't speak to the rails (After my time) but to practice this stuff on jumps, we used to wear our boots & skis on the trampoline. Really helped the confidence level...
post #3 of 20
I tried this the other( didn't workout to well) and in my opinion and experience from doing this on trampolines and diving boards, the most important thing is learning to commit. This means not being afraid to fall. I have found that my biggest crashes come from a failure to commit to the move. This results in a partial aborted spin that can place you in a very bad position for landing.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post
How best to do without beating oneself up on the slopes?
Prep drills:
Flat spins on snow, 180's then 360s
Static jumps on flat snow, 90, 180, 270, 360 (or as close as possible)
Static ollies/nollies on flat snow
Flat snow tail/nose press + spin (90,180, 270 ...)

Find a jump where you can get a good 2-3 seconds of slow speed air without being required to pop to get extra time. The bottom end of a half pipe where the wall starts transitioning back to the slope is the best spot (exit the pipe for the jump). The sides of many features in terrain parks are also good spots (but beware of normal jump traffic). A mogul run that borders groomed snow will somtimes have a bump that can be used similarly. You're looking for something will kick you up steeply into the air and give you a good stall before dropping back down. If you have too much forward speed, you won't feel the stall. Do 180s off these jumps and focus on the extra time waiting for the landing after the spin. Once those are comfortable with at least 1/2 second of wait, then increase approach speed, add a little prewind before take off and/or add a little pop to the take off to add another 1-2 seconds of hang time. Once you've got a full second of wait after the 1/2 spin, you've got plenty of time to complete the second 1/2 spin. Once you're comfortable with low speed jump spins, you're ready to do spins over normal jumps at speed.
post #5 of 20
Yup, I agree with both of you. You gotta really want it, be willing to fall, and keep working at it - but have him do it in his own time - as he's ready - and start with small stuff then work your way up as that small stuff becomes automatic.

Not sure how old he is, but if he gets slammed enough and is young, he is likely to loose the desire for a LONG time.
post #6 of 20
Also, check at your local hill to see if they have a park & pipe coach. Back in my freestyle days we used to have a comp & non-comp team and we would do a lot of preseason stuff to prepare us physically and mentally for the snow.
post #7 of 20

Spins

Quote:
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post
My son seems to be having problems doing 360's or even some less complicated spins off rails or jumps....has anyone considered or has done a gymnastics like course or other with bungee cords to get the feeling of spins? How best to do without beating oneself up on the slopes?
Swiss,

trampoline training is great for spins and airs/grabs in general. It's a 'safe' way to practice technique and committment w/o the hard slams you might get out in the park. Skills transfer very well from the tramp to the snow. We do 2 tramp clinics every pre-season for our school staff and it's definitely a fun and valuable event.

As far as learning the moves or transferring the moves onto the snow, i'll agree with some of the comments so far that committment means alot in terms of the success of the moves, but slams are not a required part of the learning process. A good freestyle coach will be able to take your son through a progression to build up skills and gradually work up to flying over and off features. If done correctly it becomes a safe and confidence inspiring session without slams.

Case in point: about 3 weeks ago I had someone who wanted to learn and dial in frontside 3's and had gone the route of just trying to huck them and make it happen w/o appropriate coaching. The result of their effort (w/ some help from their peers) was several slams and zero complete 360's accomplished. They were very frustrated and unahppy.

I led this individual through a simple progression gradually building skills and gradually amping up the level of the feature we used. There was plenty of practice and feedback throughout the session. The end result was no slams and 2 (they might say 3) successful frontside 3's over a small kicker in the park.

I guess you could say that's a vote for going out and taking a few lesson sessions w/ a qualified/experienced freestyle coach.

Jb
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibster View Post
Swiss,

trampoline training is great for spins and airs/grabs in general. It's a 'safe' way to practice technique and committment w/o the hard slams you might get out in the park. Skills transfer very well from the tramp to the snow. We do 2 tramp clinics every pre-season for our school staff and it's definitely a fun and valuable event.

As far as learning the moves or transferring the moves onto the snow, i'll agree with some of the comments so far that committment means alot in terms of the success of the moves, but slams are not a required part of the learning process. A good freestyle coach will be able to take your son through a progression to build up skills and gradually work up to flying over and off features. If done correctly it becomes a safe and confidence inspiring session without slams.

Case in point: about 3 weeks ago I had someone who wanted to learn and dial in frontside 3's and had gone the route of just trying to huck them and make it happen w/o appropriate coaching. The result of their effort (w/ some help from their peers) was several slams and zero complete 360's accomplished. They were very frustrated and unahppy.

I led this individual through a simple progression gradually building skills and gradually amping up the level of the feature we used. There was plenty of practice and feedback throughout the session. The end result was no slams and 2 (they might say 3) successful frontside 3's over a small kicker in the park.

I guess you could say that's a vote for going out and taking a few lesson sessions w/ a qualified/experienced freestyle coach.

Jb
JB:

Unfortunately, he opted out of the trampoline session...tough for me to get a 12 yr old boy who's concerned about his snowbaording image to what he considered a gymnastics class! I tried every trick I knew how, but he would not budge and I didn't want to force the issue.

This Sat is a slopestyle competition so we'll see how he does with that. He states that he wants to learn it on his own, so I have to back off on trying to help him through it and let him do it himself.

I'm always looking for quick answers to get him safely to the next level...he seems hellbent on doing it on his own with help from his coaches. My concern is that its a relatively big group of kids and most times he doesn't ask for help and classic case of squeeky wheel getting the oil.
post #9 of 20
Good health insurance.
post #10 of 20

Spin to win

Understood. It's always tough with a big group to get the attenion you need. Don't know if you board yourself, but you can also do this easy progression on skis too:

-1- practice the wind up, pop and unwind on flat terrain just standing in one spot (keys are keeping upper body fairly upright during all phases of the moves and bringing your legs up underneath you while in the air and finishing with extending them back down to absorb the landing as well as committing to the unwind movement for the entire desired rotation amount)
- get comforatble w/ the moves and effort needed to effectively produce the spin (it will help to start your move from the core - hips - and only try to spin 90 degrees at first, then 180, then 270, then 360 - as your spin effort increases you'll end up using more rotary help from the upper torso, but still begin the unwind from the core - hips - landing on both feet in balance is also important)
-2- Next step is to ride down a mellow slope and practice your moves while keeping the board on the ground (flatspins)
- the line you take into the jump is important, but not the focus at this point of the progression - just ride down the fall line and get used to the feeling and timing of the moves as well as being 'blind' to your landing for a moment or two
-3- Line up/wind up practice is next: the goal is to mimic the line or approach you'd be taking into the jump and hold the line and pre-wind for way longer than you will on the kicker. I'll assume you're son is regular for this example and w/ a frontside spin that he'll be taking off on the heel edge. Ride in a relatively straight line on the toe edge on the left side of a very mellow run. After about 20 feet start to engage the toe edge to a higher degree so you'll be making a slight right hand turn (about another 10 feet of travel down the run with maybe 10 feet across). Make a smooth edge change to the heel edge and at the same time use this transition to set the pre-wind for the spin. This next part is where this drill is challenging. Continue on the heel edge riding in a relatively straight line for as long as possible while still holding the pre-wind. Unwind into the flatspin moves you practiced in the previous step when you can't ride that straight any more or you've travelled around 15-25 feet in the prewind arrangement.
- There's alot going on at this step. The rider gets used to the timing of the approach and gains a huge level of comfort with being pre-wound while still riding on a slightly carved edge. A big problem for 1st timers is that they often don't pre-wind enough or unwind way too soon. You'll develop a strong sense of control and patience at this step - note that you can ad a hop to the mix here letting the rider actually get some air (even though their not hitting a feature yet) to get more realistic practice.
-4- Now it's time to take all the skills from steps 1-3 and start riding over real features. A series of small to medium rollers works best here. The goal at this step is to follow the appropriate approach line, make the edge change/pre-wind set up (at the right time), pop/unwind into a flatspin near the top of the roller, spin your 360 and ride away and get set for the next roller to do it all again. Sounds simple and it is, but use a ton of practice time here.
- if the rider is successful the first one or two times through start to add some variation to keep this step challneging so they can get some more practice time - have them add the hop that was used in step 3 to get some air under their own power and start to feel the float while spinning over the top of the roller. they may actually do a complete 360 at this level under their own effort.
-5- It's time to hit the Wu-Tang kicker of death! Just kidding. It is time to go to a small kicker and repeat step 4, except that the move over the roller will be substituted for a move in the air off the kicker.
- watch their fatigue level in the last few steps as they've done a ton of work so far. you don't want to go hit the kicker the first time if they're completely wiped out as it won't go so well.

Safety/Etiquette notes: understand that some of the exercises will be done out of the park and some in the park. when outside the park, be conscious of the flow of traffic and look before attempting any of the steps as you'll be riding in a way that's not 'normal' to the other folks on the slope. when practicing in the park be away of the Smart Style info and general pace and etiquette of the park. Check this link for more info:

http://www.terrainparksafety.org/index.asp

If you're not a boarder, you can still use this progression to practice spins as a skier. My thought is if you use this exercise progression and learn to throw 3's yourself, before your son can, he may start to ask for help

Cheers,

Jb
post #11 of 20

To spin off of rails I don't think that there is an easy way to learn, flat ground spins do help but the feeling off of a jump or rail is different and sometimes doesn't take as much effort.  Make sure that he sets up the spin with his back arm and shoulder.  Film always help me learn how to improve my riding.

post #12 of 20

I'd be concerned about the long-term effects of repeated small concussions from falling.

 

I took up ice skating to practice jumps and spins, which I later translated to rollerblades. This in turn gave me an advantage when I bought twin tips and started skiing switch. I've succeeded in doing a few 180s off of a rail, nailed the landing, but messed up a few seconds later and spun out without falling.

(I have the same problem jibbing and skiing switch that I have doing bumps; something causes me to panic, my legs lock up, and I spin out, barely in control, as my whole body freezes).

 

Useless info, since a kid who's too proud to take a gymnastics class isn't going to ice skate.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quick update...son now 13 has agreed to do dryland trampoline training and has been doing so for the past 2-3 months. That's the good news...the bad news is that it has not really translated as of yet to the snow, meaning he can easily now do 360's and the like on the trampoline but does not yet feel confident about doing the same on the snow.

Any suggestions?
post #14 of 20
Depending on how many days he's had on snow this year and what the park conditions have been, some hesitation is natural. Trampolines give the basic spinning mechanics but not the "s-turn" edging feel (this is a slight turn before hitting the lip of the jump, used in many cases), have slightly different balance, and obviously involve a different surface.

Rusty and Jibster gave good progressions.  For some people a big focus on popping lots of 180s while freeriding, including lots of switch 180s, helps get them more comfortable.  For some who feel like they freeze, different visualization tricks help, especially zeroing in on where they'll be when they hit 270 and focussing on getting there.  Also, while it may seem obvious, picking a day when the park's not too firm can make things less intimidating. 
post #15 of 20
have you used any of the previously posted progressions for learning and developing the skills involved w/ 360's yet? 

that would be my first suggestion.

one day's worth of on snow effort there would solve any issue.
post #16 of 20
Woodward Kicker

Good place to start, come to copper....wink wink
post #17 of 20
aasi rider rally, can't wait to hit it it!  hopefully i'll be able to swing the trip.  looks like fun.

Jb
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Looks very cool and actually asked my son a year ago if he had an interest, but he blew me off...he did do the Woodward skateboard camp in Pennsylvania that had a focus on snowboarding but he said it was a dud...doesn't look anything like the pics here though:)...perhaps I can give it another shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cphillips View Post

Woodward Kicker

Good place to start, come to copper....wink wink
 
post #19 of 20
What is the difference in instruction when compare to Windells?
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Update on my son....he is now EASILY doing 360's and a batch of other tricks in competitions. I contribute a good deal of it due to increased confidence complements of doing gymnastics and him really dedicating himself to getting it right.

In his last competition he took a 3rd out of some of the top kids in our area and some 25-30 kids competing but did not do as well on rails. In my view fixing his issues on the rails will be easier than dealing w jumps.

VERY proud to see how far he's come this season and he absolutely loves his sport! Thanks for all the suggestions:)
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