JP Walker. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

Handling Handplants

Learn how to do an Andrecht with living legend JP Walker.

With so many varieties of handplants, every snowboarder should have at least one in their satchel of stunts. Andrechts are probably the best plants to learn first. Like all inverts, they are more about finesse and timing than brute strength.  That said, riders of smaller statures or less-than-impressive bicep circumferences have no excuses for not learning how to put a hand down. It’s not that hard and will make you feel infinitely cooler.  Read the words, study the sequence, and plant hands this winter. —L.G.

1. Handplants are easiest to learn on a quarterpipe because you can come at the lip flat-based, as opposed to a pipe where you’re bound to be on an edge. So find a well-built quarter and get to work.

2. Come at the quarter with enough speed to do a small backside air. As you approach the lip, start transferring your weight onto your back foot, and as you leave the lip pop a little and put your hand down where your board just left the snow.

3. As you leave the lip, pop and look down into the tranny while you’re planting your hand. If you’re looking at the deck, you’ll probably end up flopping onto it, so concentrate on staring down the transition.

4. Keep your knees tucked up to your chest while you’re inverted and go for a grab. Melon is probably the easiest. Getting a good grab will make it a lot easier to bring your handplant back into the quarterpipe.

5. Stay compact until your board is back on the snow. Stomp it square on both feet and ride away. Hike back up and do it all day every day you go riding, because the handplant can take a lifetime to perfect.

“The mistake people make is they lunge forward and reach out for the deck or the coping. You want to do a kind of reverse cartwheel and put your hand down right where you took off or as close to your tail as possible.”

PHOTOS: Chris Wellhausen

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