…and how to nail them every time!
Are you heading out for a Chamonix winter break this year? Are you confident on the slopes and have already hit a few jumps or rails on your snowboard? Or are you looking to try out a few new tricks and take your snowboarding up to the next level?
Our friends at Red7SkiWear spoke with professional freerider, Angelica Sykes (@angelicasykesuk) and freestyler, Fiona Reid (@fionaevelynreid) for their top three starter tricks, perfect to try out on this year’s Chamonix winter break.
Beginner snowboard tricks
Snowboarding can be as easy or as hard as you make it. You can complain about it being painful, infuriating and slow or you can embrace it and learn how cool, empowering and friendly the sport is. Broadening your skills and repertoire is the best way to progress and feel like you’re making the most of your snowboarding holiday on your Chamonix winter break.
Whatever your level, there is always something new to learn, but if you are new to the sport and you want to broaden your snowboarding horizons, here are a few simple tricks to take your riding from safe to smooth as peanut butter!
#1 “The Ollie”
The Ollie is one of the most fundamental tricks on your snowboard. It’s a skill that you use to avoid obstacles, practising your flat jib techniques as well as a most basic skill that will help you to nail every jump in the park or off piste. Learning an Ollie will make you feel confident and super bad ass in front of your pals. It’s so simple, it’s almost criminal!
When snowboarding, start by reducing your speed to a level where you feel you are in fully in control; lean your weight ever so slightly forward, pressing onto your front foot. Then lift your front foot up and quickly swift your weight onto your back foot in a popping motion. So weight forward then pop and bring your weight back and centre again.
This motion is graduated when you are approaching a kicker on a jump. As your front foot leaves the kicker, bring the foot up and the weight back then as you land you shift your weight neutral once again. Simple, right? You got this!
#2 “Method grab”
The Method Grab is a slightly shifted form of the “Melon Grab”, where the rider grabs the heel side of the board between the bindings or at the front binding with the front hand (thanks wiki for providing us with a dictionary suitable definition!).
This is always my go-to panic grab. It seems to come so easily when you have done it once, on every roller, every raised snow mound at the side of the piste and every chance I get, I love to Method. It’s a pretty basic snowboard move but who cares when it’s such a good way to build your confidence?
I find when learning to jump off-piste, the Method Grab is a great way to test the water with what you can do when you don’t know the landing. It’s a move that you can do in a second or two.
#3 “Indy Grab”
Also known as an “Indy Air”, the Indy Grab is a trick where the rider grabs his / her back hand on the middle of his board, between his / her feet, on the side of the board where his / her toes are pointing. Unlike the Method, you use the other hand, and it does bring a new element to your move. In the air, led by your front foot, the front arm seems to want to react first. Learning to move the back hand first and keep the grab for as long as you can is a great skill.
It looks hella cool too and is a favourite with everyone from beginners to pros alike. The Indy is a great trick to get well acquainted with as when you start to learn rotations, you can add in the Indy grab for a new and exciting element.
Practice makes perfect
Some final top tips from our pro snowboarders to help point you in the right direction.
- If you are a seasonnaire, or just heading off on your next Chamonix winter break, why not make this your project with a trick a day?
- Take the time you need to get your confidence up.
- Breathe and enjoy – when you nail a trick for the first time, there is nothing quite like it.
- You will no doubt want a pic from every angle and your poor office bound friends at home will be inundated!
- Help us to share the Chamonix winter break experience with the uninitiated by tagging #welovechamonix.
Don’t forget, practice makes perfect, as always. Good luck and enjoy!
You’ll soon be ready to head to one of the snow parks around the Chamonix valley, all included on your ski pass. The newest snow park in the valley is located at Le Tour, and is one of the biggest in Europe. The course meets competition standards, but doesn’t just cater to advanced skiers – if you’re learning there are blue routes too, as well as a “Cool Zone” to chill out in and watch the pros.
Les Grands Montets also has two boardercross tracks with banked turns, whoops and jumps, as well as video recording and stopwatch timing. There is an airbag and some rails to try out at Le Brévent too, and even a couple of kids boardercross tracks at La Flégère and Les Houches!
Make the most of your Chamonix winter break by pre-ordering your ski passes via our Chamonix Resort Shop to get the best prices and free delivery when we meet you on arrival.
Need a new look for your Chamonix winter break?
Red7SkiWear is a UK-based ski / snow wear brand and their flagship product – the all-in-one suit – is available for pre-order on Kickstarter for up to 40% off the retail value: bit.ly/R7SWKick.
The Red7 ‘CG1’ all-in-one is the perfect outerwear for all your ski and snowboarding activities on a Chamonix winter break at any time of the season. The suit provides more stretch and warmth than its hardshell rivals, and avoids the bulk and discomfort of wearing padded suits. This is one suit, beautifully designed for comfort all season long.
Meticulously designed to allow you to layer up underneath in the cooler winter months, the CG1 suit features a 3-layer softshell fabric with a stretch TPU membrane, the suit is elastic, breathable, warm and water resistant, offering optimal temperature regulation for any strenuous activity, or milder conditions. All suits will be delivered in January 2017.
Finally, safety is always of upmost importance and one of our main priorities. Only attempt these tricks if you feel 100% confident, and always wear a helmet. You don’t want to bring your Chamonix winter break to a painful or embarrassing end!
Alternatively speak to the Chamonix All Year Resort Team about booking some snowboarding lessons while you’re on your Chamonix winter break, so you can improve your confidence and techniques. We can organise group lessons if you want to enjoy some camaraderie, or private lessons for targeted improvement tips.