The Frontslide Boardslide
In the previous edition of '10 Stock Tricks Every Snowboarder Needs' we explored the aerial pursuits of the backside 180 and its influence on riders throughout snowboarding's diverse history. Now cometh the time of the frontside boardslide.
Arguably, the frontside boardslide is the jibbing equivalent of the backside 180. Minute precision and body position lock you onto the rail - over-cook it and the pot will bubble over and you come swivelling off the rail in blind madness, and if you fail to rise to the commitment needed, you come kerplunking off the rail with a pathetic thud.
Whether on the streets or in the park, the frontside boardslide is the litmus test of style. Keep those arms over the rail, the weight on the front-foot and look for the light at the end of the landing.
JP Walker to jibbing is what Howard Hughes was to aviation. Sure, some people had been doing it prior, but JP was seminal to the progression of jibbing and still influences it to this day. Whilst he might not have the technical legitimacy of the new school of jibbing like the Yawgoons crew, but their skills take heed of JP Walker and the faculty of other first wave rail slayers.
JP's segment in Mack Dawg Production's 2003 film 'Shakedown' begins with the hallmark JP voiceover, before launching into a frontside boardslide through the kink and riding away into an era defining segment.
Jed Anderson's career reads somewhat of the same sheet as a whole host of professional snowboarders past, present and no doubt future. A competitive rider earmarked for great things, he turned his back on judges and WST points to forge his own path within snowboarding. Within a few years, he was a blacksmith in his own right on the jib scene, a master of metal, showing his own brand of snowboarding through video parts.
His super-technical and all-round proficiencies in the street converged in his part in Nike Snowboarding's 'Never Not Part 1' which dropped in 2013. The three resounding dings of his frontside boardslide are like a hammer, attaching his name to the wall of snowboarding fame.
Alex Tank's rise to prominence in the European rail scene began in the Bavarian heartlands: Allgäu, Germany. Unlike a lot of the continents rail riders, Alex actually grew up riding rails rather than going through the 'park + compete = burnout' method of many riders of his generation. He honed his skills on the infamously jib-orientated park of his home resort where local riders would destroy the take-offs onto rails to keep it street like.
His part in Isenseven's 'Don't Panic' cemented his place in the film scene with his ender segment. Although it may not be on the most technical or scary rail, this frontside boardslide oozes finesse. The board making connection inches past the take-off, barely wobbling underfoot as he glides to the end of the rail.
Halldor Helgason is perhaps a relation of the Norse God Freyr - who's written about in mythology as the God that brought peace and pleasure through royalty and sexuality. Through films such as 'Sexual Snowboarding' and 'DTF', Halldor's attitude and encompassing ability to tackle terrain in snowboarding has influenced a generation of riders. Crews in the farthest flung corners of the world now film all season and upload their YouTube edits in the hope of being features on his and his brother's website helgasons.com.
His part in Nike Snowboarding's 'Never Not Part 2' is debatably one of the finest of the 2013/14 season, including the now infamous roof-gap backflip. However, his rollercoaster frontside boardslide to drop is one of the hidden gems of the edit. It's sublimely controlled, and you'd need a protractor to measure anyone contesting the angle of his board.
Dylan Thompson's composed riding style is the stalwart of the Technine team. His burly drops, gaps and transfers are seemingly fluid as his body contorts into motion before unleashing into whatever monstrosity of a trick he has planned. His 2014 full-part which you can check out here, breaches on 5 minutes long had the masses picking their jaws from floor after viewing when it dropped last week.
For this frontside boardslide, we visit Transworld Snowboarding's 'Nation', released early last season. Dylan's frontside boardslide down a 33-step double kink was the opening trick of the part and the final reminder we needed of his expertise.