The Backside 360:
This trick is sometimes called "The Blindside 360", because your eyes will have already started to look away from your direction of travel before you leave the ground.
Even though you start out looking blind, backside 3's are easier for some people to land because they get to see their landing very early in the spin; and that can be comforting! The difficult part is developing comfort in your approach, a solid set up, and clean take off moves that will keep you out of the backseat.
Before you take this trick to the jumps, make sure that you know the speed to clear the jump (gained through repetition and feel). If your set up turns are too wide or you skid too much in your turns, don't worry—it's easy to slow down.
One key to remember is if you're going too fast, you will be more scared and less likely to make the right moves at the right time. When people get nervous, they tend to sit in the backseat and make their rotation and pop moves late. When you get in the backseat you get off axis and can even over your edge on your toes. This can lead to unsuccessful landings. Be sure to know the speed through feel before you try your spin—lots of straight airs will help!
Approach and Setup:
Take some time to work on your approach and set up turns. For a regular rider (left foot forward), try using a line that starts lined up with right side of the take off ramp. As you approach the base of the takeoff, transition turn slightly on your heels toward the center line of the ramp. Just before you reach the centerline of the ramp, change back to your toeside edge and hold it clean. Now, get set in a low stance with weight centered and prep your shoulders with a slight wind up.
**Be careful not to over turn on the ramp. You want your line running straight up the transition when you hit the lip.
When your front foot is about 2-3 feet from the lip, start to unwind your shoulders into your spin. Just before you pop you should feel like your shoulders are pushing your head into the spin (your eyes will start to look away from you direction of travel). Make sure your shoulders are in the lead before you get to the lip of the jump.
When you feel your nose pass through the lip, pop hard through your tail. Your hips will help you drive the shoulders deeper into the spin as you pop. Make sure that as your hips rotate into the spin your shoulders stay in the lead and totally connected to the hip rotation.
A good thought is that your shoulders start in the lead, and as you pop, your hips drive the shoulders and the head snaps into the lead of your shoulders. Now your head is leading the shoulders and the shoulders are leading the hips through the spin.
A quick reminder about staying upright…
If you are bending at your hips as you rotate, you will likely tip your upper body back over your tail. This will cause you to "cork" and an accidental cork is not a great thing... Try to keep your upper body almost completely upright and think about moving your body into your spin (forward) as you pop off the tail.
Practice spinning without your board while at home. Set a towel up on the ground and see if you can jump forward over the towel as you spin your Backside 3. Think about driving off your back foot into the spin, to help simulate a solid tail pop. This will help you feel what it's like to move into your spin before you take it to the snow.
In The Air:
Right after you pop, snap that head all the way around to see the landing. When you see the landing, lock your eyes on a target and keep looking there until it's time to stomp your legs down and ride out the spin.
If you are under-rotated and land on your heels (most likely, fall to your rear) then you know that you were too far back when you hit the takeoff and probably didn't have the shoulders in the lead when you popped. If you find yourself over-rotating, you probably popped a little more than you needed to. Pop will accelerate your spin; keep that in mind!
Good luck with your backside spins—check back with us for tips on going to the 540 later… :)
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