There are many tricks you can do on a snowboard, but few of them are more sought after than the backflip. Many riders dream of being able to land the exciting flourish. Not only is it impressive, but there’s something fun and magical about flipping through the air and landing safely back on the ground. However, it’s an extremely advanced maneuver that many riders will never even attempt. Even so, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
A backflip may seem daunting, but it can be done with the right steps. Whether you are at a point in your snowboarding development where you want to take things to the next level or you’re simply putting a new goal on your list for the season, this guide will break down the steps involved to help you land the trick.
Before You Backflip, Read This
This is a disclaimer of sorts. In this article, I’ll highlight how to perform the maneuver. However, reading this does not mean you’ll be able to do the trick. You should make sure you’re comfortable and confident in your skills before even attempting a backflip on a snowboard. You can read about a new skill all day long, but the only way to perfect it is to practice in real-world situations.
Safety is also quite important when learning how to backflip. You need to be safe anytime you snowboard. That goes double when you get big air and also get inverted. Always wear a helmet and make sure the jump you’re hitting has a safe landing area free of other riders or obstacles. Never attempt a new trick that you’re not ready for. You can get seriously hurt that way.
Required Skills Needed to Backflip
Now that we have the basic safety disclaimer out of the way, it’s time to learn how to backflip. There are several important skills you need to know before you will be able to perform such a high-level trick. Make sure you have mastered the following:
- You must be comfortable with going off decent size jumps. You don’t need to be going absolutely huge every time or hitting the largest jumps in the park, but you do need to know how to take off and land on medium jumps before attempting any inverted aerials.
- You should know how to backflip in other situations other than on a snowboard. Learn how to backflip on a trampoline or off of a diving board before you attempt it on the snow. This will give you the basic feel for how to complete the maneuver. If you can’t backflip on a trampoline or into the pool, there’s no way you are going to be able to do it on a board.
- You need to be confident and ready to go for it. If you feel unsure about being able to do a backflip, you are not ready to attempt it. You must fully commit. If you bail mid-flip you’re going to land on your head or back. That can then lead to injury. Confidence is a huge factor and I would consider it an essential skill in your pursuit of the backflip.
How to Backflip on a Snowboard
Once you have the skills mentioned above in the bag, it’s time to try a backflip. Pick a good jump with a steep takeoff where you will naturally be able to get inverted. In addition, find a nice landing spot with a natural slope that will ease your impact when you land. Also make sure you have some other friends or spotters nearby in case something goes wrong.
1. Hit the Jump a Few Times
Before you try a backflip, go off of the jump normally a few times. That will give you a good idea of how much speed you’ll need and what the takeoff/landing will be like. It’s never a good idea to do a backflip off of a jump cold turkey. Get a feel for the area first.
2. Stay Balance, Pop Off the Lip
As you approach the jump, stay equally balanced from side-to-side on your board. When you get near the top of the jump, pop off of it just like you would with any other jump.
3. Get Lift Before You Flip
When you’re first learning how to flip, you will have an urge to throw your head back and begin the rotation right away. You want to resist that. Rather, let the jump throw you up into the air a bit before you start to flip. That will give you enough air to easily complete the rotation.
Once you are in the air, it’s time to commit. Look straight back behind you and your body will naturally begin to rotate. It’s important to look directly behind you so you don’t twist your body over one shoulder or another. This will get you almost halfway through the flip. Keep looking back until you see the snow beneath you.
5. Tuck Your Knees
Once you are halfway through the backflip, it’s time to tuck your knees to complete the rotation. The tighter you tuck your knees, the faster you will spin. Once you get a feel for this, you can match your rotation to your air time or for the type of rotation you want.
6. Stop the Landing
After you tuck your knees and complete the rotation, the next step is to land back on the snow. You might not land your first attempt. That’s ok. If you make it all the way around, it’s a success. Bend your knees and hips to brace for impact and land just as you would off of any other jump.
Once you learn how to backflip, you’ll realize that it’s a pretty natural movement that isn’t extremely difficult once you know how to make it happen. One of the biggest obstacles is fully committing to the flip. Make sure you know how to do so on a trampoline or in the pool before you go big on your board. If you think you have the skills and are feeling confident, go ahead and try a backflip. You might be surprised how quickly you can pick it up.
Do you know how to backflip on a snowboard? How did you learn? Let us know in the comments below!