As most riders will find out, the hardest part of a 360 air is getting the board to come all the wayaround-rotation tends to stop a little past halfway and painfully short of a successful landing. A 360 shouldnot be your first attempt at a spinning trick. Build up to it by doing 180s-this requires landing and ridingfakie- both frontside (rotating down the slope) and backside (turning your body up the slope, also calledblindside).
After you’ve mastered 180s, try spinning a backside 360 first (to the right for regular-footers, leftfor goofs) off a relatively flat jump with a steep and powdery landing. Jumps with abrupt take-off ramps canthrow you off-kilter or inverted during a spin. The most surefire way to get your board to come around inthe air is to begin your spin while still on the snow. During your approach to the jump, tip the board onto itstoeside edge as if you were going to carve a turn-the board will bend into an arc and be loaded withpotential turning (spinning) energy.
At the last moment of contact with the snow, extend your legs and push off the edge, looking and turning your body toward the slope (the way you’re going to spin). Upon leaving the snow, the pressure that was applied to the board will be released, springing your board in the directionof the spin. Get an added head start on the spin by entering the jump with your board on edge and at anangle, pointed slightly in the direction you plan to turn in the air. You’ll be cheating by 40 or 50 degrees,actually only spinning a 315 or so, but the advantage might be enough to get you through the learning phasesa little less scathed. -Kurt Hoy Kurt is Snowboard Life’s contributing editor; he lives in Colorado.