Hitting A Hip
Hips are sweet for all levels, from beginners to pro-caliber shreds. A hip is usually the mellowest feature in a snowboard park because there’s no knuckle you need to clear. You can go as slow as you want to and just creep off the takeoff or “send it” to the end once you gain confidence.
1. Choose your approach from a ways up the hill. This vantage point allows you to view both the takeoff and the landing at once. If you leave the lip from too far left, you may land on the gaper standing on the deck. Too far right, and you’ll boost into the flatter section-without a gaper to cushion the blow. Lock the intended line into your hard drive for safekeeping.
2. Set up lower down toward the hip and get ready to drop-you won’t be able to see the landing anymore. Pick a straight line from memory that will throw you into the sweet spot of the hip’s transition. This is a bit of a guessing game the first time, so roll toward it easy style to feel out the hip trajectory.
3. Stay completely flat-based with knees bent approaching the transition. Stay focused on the lip at the end of the takeoff, when you reach the lip, ollie just like you would for any tabletop.
4. Now you’re in the air, grab the board, because that’s what you do-and it helps in staying balanced.
5. You’re going to see where you’re landing now, for better or for worse. Prepare for impact by bending slightly at the knees. Hips are generally pretty flat, so be sure to land centered and “on it” or it could hurt.
6. Touch down flat-based, centered over your board, and with your board and body entering at the same angle as the transition. The last part sounds complicated, but it happens naturally as long as you eyeball the landing. Stomp it and prepare to be shot out sideways, hauling ass across the run. Congratulations.
“Hips are cool because you can make mistakes and still not kill yourself-unless you go huge.”-Chad Otterstrom