What is Jibbing in Snowboarding?


There are a lot of terms used in snowboarding, and many of them may be confusing to those who aren’t totally familiar with the sport.

If you’re just starting out, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the new skills you need to learn, let alone lingo you’ve never heard before. That is where this guide comes in.

Though there are many, many snowboarding words that newcomers may not know, one of the strangest is jibbing.

My name is Lorraine, and I’m a certified snowboard instructor. In the following sections, I will break down the term and explain how it relates to snowboarding.

Quick Answer

Jibbing is a term that describes the maneuver of sliding, jumping, grinding, or riding on or over an obstacle.

A common jib that you’re probably familiar with is hitting a rail in the terrain park. Jibbing can happen on all sorts of features in addition to rails, including boxes, barrels, and even trees.

It’s a snowboarding trick that’s heavily influenced by skateboarding.

Is Jibbing Common?

Not every snowboarder knows how to jib. In fact, most will never have to learn the skill depending on how and where they ride.

It is only important if you like to ride freestyle and want to learn new tricks or expand your arsenal.

When you learn how to jib, a feature in the park can take on a whole new life. That is because jibbing gives you many new ways to hit it. Remember, creativity is key.

If you don’t like exploring the terrain park or doing tricks, you might never learn how to jib. That’s totally ok.

Everyone has their own preferences and style on the mountain. Part of what makes snowboarding so great is the fact that there are so many ways to ride.

Learning How to Jib

Jibbing isn’t instinctual for a lot of riders. Even if you’re pretty skilled on your board, the techniques needed to jib can take some getting used to.

First and foremost, you need to keep the base of your board flat. Avoid using edges, as that will most likely cause you to catch an edge and wipe out. It takes balance alongside trial and error to learn how to do this.

A good place to start when learning how to jib is to try it on a box in the terrain park.

All you need to do is make a slow approach heading straight towards the feature and then slide right on over the top. This is a very basic form of jibbing, but it’s a good place to start. A box will be pretty wide, so it’s not that difficult to jib when hitting it straight on.

Once you feel comfortable with the box, you can try the same technique on a rail.

Rails can be a lot more intimidating because they are narrow, but as long as you approach the same way as you did on the box, you’ll be ok. Start slowly and just go for it.

After you’ve figured out the basic jib maneuver, you can then start to try it sideways. The key here is to keep a flat base so you don’t catch an edge and fall. Again, start on a box and try to go sideways.

Once you feel comfortable with this you can start to hit rails and other features in the park.

A key aspect of keeping your board flat and not catching an edge is to stay neutrally balanced. Try not to lean too much towards your toes or heels. That may seem easy, but it can take some getting used to.

In addition, speed also makes jibbing easier. If you go too slow on your approach, you might not have enough momentum to effectively slide on the feature.

Advanced Jibbing

At the advanced level, jibbing can get quite creative.

A lot of riders will use random features on the mountain such as a log or a bent-over tree. Some even take to urban settings and hit rails on stairwells or other ski town structures.

Check out this video for some really creative and innovative jobbing.

If you want to learn how to perfect some of these advanced techniques, you need to get in the park and out on the snow.

Practice makes perfect. There’s no better way to improve than to try to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

It might take you a few seasons to see a lot of improvement, especially on more advanced jibbing tricks, but everything worth learning takes hard work.

Another tip to help you improve your jibbing tricks is to try them on snow before you attempt on a rail or other feature. This is known as ‘buttering’ and it is a less intimidating method than simply diving straight into a new maneuver on a big rail.

Check out this video to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Also Read: Freestyle vs Freeride Snowboarding

Final Thoughts

Now that you have a better understanding of what jibbing is, you can get out on the snow and try it for yourself. Even if you don’t quite get the hang of it at first, every time you try, you will see a little improvement.

Learning how to jib adds a lot of creativity to your riding and opens up more features on the mountain. Plus, it looks quite cool.

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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