Grabbing hold of a board’s edge isn’t essential to jumping-the board won’t fall off the rider’sfeet-but it can be a functional and stylish complement to an air. In most cases, the grab is what differentiatesone trick from another, creating technical challenges and imaginative riding. Grabs are defined by where onthe board they are done, and with which hand, front or back. Practice grabbing your board before you try itin the air. Work out the positions while sitting on the snow or at home with your board on, bouncing up anddown on a trampoline (cover the board’s edges with tape so they don’t rip it) or your bed. A grab should bedone by bringing the board up to your hand-flexing your knees toward your chest-and extending your armdownward.
The easiest grab will probably be with your back hand (right hand for regular-foot riders, lefthand for goofies) placed on the toeside edge between your bindings. It’s best to grab off a jump thatlaunches you upward (a “kicker,” rather than a catwalk or cornice) so that the board will naturally cometoward your hand as it leaves the ramp. Grab the rail of the board while on your way up, and hold onto itthrough the climax of the jump. Release your grab well before landing so that you have time to extend yourlegs and absorb the impact of touchdown. Although a well-executed grab can help stabilize you in the air, itremains, for the most part, a simple stylistic maneuver that can add variety to a jump. -Kurt Hoy Kurt is acontributing editor for Snowboard Life, and lives in Colorado.