Steps: Freestyle masters spill the beans

Technical Facilities

Freestyle masters spill the beans.

Inverted tricks.

You need to know your body, how it reacts, and how fast your reflexes are to pull off upside-down moves. Try new tricks on jumps you're familiar with so there're no surprises or problems with speed. Always know where the ground is, and try to spot the landing as early as possible in the trick. If you can see the landing, it's easier to come down on your feet board.

You'll inevitably fall on your head a few times, so train in powder and start with simple rotations–like a backflip, for example. A backflip is easier than a 360, it just takes more commitment. Don't do a trick you're not 100-percent sure of when it's icy.

Before a hard inverted trick, I always try to visualize the whole movement and repeat it in my mind so it's imprinted–then I can focus on sticking it.–David Pitschi


First you should practice keeping your weight centered. The best way is on a skateboard mini ramp or on a short, flatground handrail with your skate or your snowboard. Keep it short so that when you fall, you won't land on the rail.

As you get more confident you can take your skills to longer rails and rails going down stairs. It also helps to have an old, trashed board; you can make it your rail and jib board. To boost your confidence, dull the edges with a file or something–I usually rub mine on the pavement or on the handrail itself. This gives you one less thing to worry about catching the edge.

The most important thing is commitment. You have to commit. Don't even think about any make-it-or-die rails if you're not committed. Live the moment in your head before you do it. Be confident! It's important to work your way up slowly. Peace out to everyone. Jib Nation, keeping it real!–Joni Malmi

Speed in the pipe.

Don't try to go straight up the pipe! Set yourself at about a 25-degree angle down the pipe. Every pipe is different, but knowing just how far down the pipe to cut takes experience. It's a personal thing– you'll figure it out.

Stay on the base of your board across the flatbottom! Putting too much pressure on your edge is the same as speed-checking braking, which is for chickens. Let it ride, wait 'til you get to the top of the pipe to jump.

You'll only go as high as you can imagine yourself going, so think big!–Kyla Duffy


Always remember that the body follows the head, so whatever trick or spin you do, turn your head that way first. Then look for your landing, and your body will hopefully stop spinning and land the trick for you.

If you want to corkscrew a spin, use your shoulders. For instance, if you want to corkscrew a backside three 360 or five 540, throw your front shoulder down when you come off the jump. That'll help you get corked.

The key to not getting thrown off-balance is to come off the jump right. Jump around all the time so you get used to being in the air. Repetition is key.–Marc Frank Montoya

Landing switch.

I usually try to put all my weight on my toes when landing switch so I don't butt-check. If you find yourself constantly landing on your butt or spinning around forward after landing, try leaning on your toes and bending your legs like Jamie Lynn. The biggest thing is practice.

Another trick to getting the weight differential right is making sure you're on a long enough board and have a good stance-width. I ride about a 21-inch stance, and I'm just about centered. This makes it easier to land backward and forward. I hope this will help all the future stompers.–Andrew Crawford