Switch Backside 180′s With Iikka Backstrom

Learning to land in pow is tough—you can expect to ragdoll. Iikka’s got it pretty damn well figured out, though. He headed out to the Sierra-at-Tahoe backcountry to show you how to jump right into it with a switch back one. 

From the April 2010 Issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding

20 Tricks: Volume 3

Iikka Backstrom. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

 

1. Find a good jump zone that has a mellow run-in, a good spot for a takeoff, and a steep landing. Try looking out of bounds if your local resort has a backcountry gate.

2. Build a jump that doesn’t have too much pop. You don’t want to make things harder on yourself by putting up a jump that will send you into orbit and off-axis, so build it with a long mellow tranny.

3. Check your speed a few times, and get a feeling for riding in switch. Then, when you feel good and ready, hike back up and convince yourself to commit. Drop in and point it. No speed checks. Just send it.

4. As you leave the lip, suck your knees up and go for the grab. Switch melon or Indy should feel natural. Now look back uphill, keeping your eyes over your shoulder and slowly rotate that 180. Hold your grab as long as you can and look for the landing.

5. Once you’ve rotated around, let go of your grab and open up so you stop rotating. Get ready to put it down. And remember, you’ll want to land just a little in the backseat so you can ride out of the pow. Stomp it, unstrap, hike back up, and give it another go.

“I always look for the landing underneath my armpit. And then I just keep my eyes on the landing the whole time.”—Iikka Bäckström