Backside 180s With Jordan Mendenhall

Jordan Mendenhall. Photo: Ian Ruhter

Floating Backside 180s

Jordan Mendenhall shows you how to slowly rotate your way through one of snowboarding's simplest and sweetest tricks.

Backside 180s might just be the best trick in the book. Sure, they aren't the toughest trick to execute, but once you blast one and feel what it's like to float blindly through the air, you'll know what we're talking about. Jordan Mendenhall is into them and does a damn good job making the back one look easy and oh-so-stylish. Read up, study the sequence, and try to float a few like Mr. Mendenhall this winter.--L.G.

1. As you roll into the jump, make a heelside carve, and then transfer your weight onto your toes as you head up the jump. Make sure you go straight off the lip--too aggressive of an angle and you could end up drifting into a 270.

2. Don't initiate a spin, just ollie and look uphill over your trailing shoulder. Turning your head will turn your body, and the rotation in the backside 180 is so minimal that it's easy to over rotate, so just keep it simple and spin slowly.

3. Grab Indy, stalefish, or tail--or nose if you can reach it. Or just keep your arms hanging by your side gorilla-style, because it seems the back 180 is one trick that can look just as cool without a grab.

4. Once you've turned about 90 degrees, start looking for the landing. It's easiest just to look down at your feet. You should see the landing starting to creep up, stare it down, and keep your knees sucked up.

5. As you come around to fakie, extend your legs to land, but be careful not to straighten 'em too much. Level your board so you can land flat-based and put it down, staying compact throughout the landing.

6. Ride away fakie--don't butter out. Smile big and be stoked that you now know how to do one of the best tricks in snowboarding.

"It's easier when I'm coming around 90 to look at the landing and just stare at it until I land and then look up. That's always been how I do it."

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