13 of the Worst Snowboarding Slams

If you ain’t screwing up from time to time you ain’t trying hard enough.

The fateful slam; the biggest of bails, the most spine crunching scorpion, the most ragged rag-doll, the testicle-twistingest tomahawk, the knee crunching knuckle. This is a list of out least favourite things. 

There are few feelings worse than the moment of clarity you have when you realise it has all gone horribly wrong. The plummeting feeling in your stomach as you sail past the landing or the moment your whole body tenses as you career towards the knuckle.

Buckle in and prepare to say WTF?! a bunch…

Frederik Perry – Rail Impaler

If you’re slightly hungover, you might want to skip over this one. This is some medieval style slamming in all honesty – they say that snowboarding is a part of you, but this is a bit more of a commitment that we’d like to make it, to be honest.

Frederik Perry gets impaled by a rail and leaves some of his back behind. Pretty fucking horrendous if you ask us. That said, the RK1 edits are some of the best in snowboarding, so it brings a new meaning to ‘bleeding for your craft.’

Sarka Pancochova – Helmet Smasher

Ever considered not wearing a helmet when you ride? Yeah, you might want to reassess your life choices after watching this polyurethane-shattering slam from the Czech Republic’s Sarka Pancochova. Her slam in the Sochi Olympic Games saw a worldwide groan as she careered over the knuckle of the jump, to the icey depths below.

You can see Sarka going limp on impact, meaning she hit her head with enough force to knock herself unconscious. In short – you don’t want to come up a cropper on a cab 720 on a jump that big

Halldor Helgason – Dracula’s Taco

For some reason, the music from Dracula always plays in our heads when we watch this slam from Iceland’s Halldor Helgason.

The ‘taco’ is a fairly common occurrence in snowboarding where you slip off the rail, your legs go one side of the rail and your torso the other. What isn’t seen so often is the ‘reverse taco’, where you end up crucified on the rail on your back.

Luckily for us, Halldor was born bat-sht crazy, and didn’t need a trip to the physician for being violated by a rail. Come to think of it, Halldor probably has more of the gnarliest slams in his bag than any other snowboarder we can think of.

Brett Butcher – Frontside Air to 40ft Flat

What this slam lacks in amplitude from the take-off, sure as hell makes up for in sheer drop. In snowboarding, a hip is something to be revered, yet feared. Rarely do you ever get a ‘perfect’ hip, so when it’s on, it’s on.

The problem with hips is just how easy it is to mess them up, as our man here has learnt. If you choose the wrong line into the jump, you drift away from where you want to land, and end up compressing yourself like a jack in the box.

Genuinely horrible to watch.

Seb Toots – Big Kicker Overshoot

Another one of those slams that makes your rectum clench. French-Canadian snowboarder Sebastian Tootant, was the elected guinea pig at the Air and Style back in the 2009/10 season.

Now, the level of risk is ramped up a notch when it comes to stadium big air competitions, as there is little, to no room for error when it comes to getting the sweetspot.

Seb Toots is one of the elite when it comes to snowboarding, and it comes to show how easy you can get it wrong. Luckily Seb has recovered and continued to slay big air events, but we’re pretty sure he’s not guinea pigging kickers anymore…

Frederik Kalbermatten – Backcountry Kicker Bomb-Drop

Backcountry kickers are an interesting beast to tame; Luckily, there’s not as much consequence if you come up short, or too big (to a certain degree), but Fredi Kalbermatten decided to take it to a new level with this overshoot.

Like Seb, Fredi has over-cooked the speed on this one a little too much, leading to one of the biggest bomb drops we’ve ever seen. At least he’s got a few centimetres of fresh snow to pad the fall, but he was lucky to ride away from this one.

Ralph Backstrom – World’s Longest Bail

Newton’s laws of motion obvious don’t apply to this chap as he goes for his best ‘slinky down the stairs’ slam. Ragdolling looks tame, but it’s pretty horrible in all honesty. It’s basically like being stretched and then compacted with each tumble, putting your back under pressure it shouldn’t really have to take.

Then throw into the fact that you might end up careering into a rock, down a cliff, into a tree or down a crevasee; and the stakes are raised somewhat.

Luckily, our man managed to ride away from this one. Our favourite bit is where he almost gets his shit together at 0:12, but then just keeps on going.

Physics, bitch!

Unknown – Flying Over the Rainbow

Whilst some of these slams are probably out of the realms of slams that your everyday snowboarder can take, this is one that should send chills down the spine of the 99% . He’s well and truly over-cooked the speed into this. Actually, in this metaphor, he hasn’t so much as over-cooked it as he has charred it, and set it on fire.

It’s the ‘bum first flying through the sky whilst winding down the windows’ style of this slam that makes it such a horrible one. It looks damn icy to us as well, which makes it about 10x worse as well. If there’s one thing you should take from this, it’s the importance of hitting features at the right speed.

You’ve been warned.

Unkown Djude – Backie to Bombshell

This. This right here is why it’s super important to not hang around in the landing of the jump. Even if you’ve taken a bail, get the hell out of the landing before someone backflip to decapitates you.

There are some people on the internet who have said that this slam is the snowboarders fault, but in the ‘rules’ of snowboarding, the kids are definitely at fault here.

Either way, it would make a damn good ‘wasted’ video.

Darrah Reid-McLean – Frontside Boardslide Car Collision

Basically, there really, really, really should have been someone watching the road in this bail. If you’re hitting a rail that leads into the road, it’s pretty much the most important thing to have, apart from actual snow.

Whilst frontside boardslide to car collision sounds cool, it’s probably not the kind of hammer footage you’re looking for.

Luckily Darrah was OK, and has been ripping since. Hell yeahh!

Random Djude – Winding Down the Windows

It wouldn’t be a good crash compilation without the addition of a crazy guy in red pants. The story goes that this djude, rocked up to a spot that was built for a French-Canadian crew, and insisted on hitting it.

Purely from looks, you can tell that this kicker has a pretty steep lip. Steep lip = a lot of air, and a lot of force throwing you off your centre of balance.

It’s the midair sound of the wailing that does it for us though. It’s the realisation of ‘shit, this was a really bad idea’.

Random Djude Part Two – Dead Man’s Click

We have a term in snowboarding called ‘dead mans click’; it’s where your jumping onto a rail, and you hear the click of your board hitting the side of the rail, which is usually followed by a severe change of course towards the ground. Hard.

This is a fantastic example of dead mans click, although he’s gone one step further and managed to land squarely on the rail. Who needs ribs anyway?

Jussi Oksanen – Standing Sideways

A bail that goes to show, that even if you land it, you’re not in the clear yet.

This frankly terrfying bail is a result of Finnish snowboarder Jussi Oksanen’s, huge 900 into the vast powder field below. The problem is, is that with all that force from his speed, gravity and the velocity of the jump, has ruptured the snowpark. A pretty sizable avalanche follows.

You can see he’s clocked it, and tries to jump over the bottom fracture line, but for some reason, he can’t quite get the nose of his stick over the snow. Not only does he take a spine cracking ragdoll down the face, he then has to look helplessly as the blocks of snow and ice hurtle towards his head.

Luckily, Jussi made it out unscathed, but it’s the kind of slam you won’t be forgetting in a while…

Terje Håkonsen – The One That Got Away

In the spirit of averting crisis, or at least cheering you up from this genuinely painful to watch collection of slams; here’s one that would have gone badly, but turned out alright.

Terje Håkonsen has the nickname ‘the Sprocking Cat’ for his ability to land anything. This comes from decades of experience, knowing exactly what his snowboard is doing beneath him, and a healthy serving of aerial awareness.

You can see Terje has managed to drift over the lip of the quarter, and is coming in for a hard impact. Somehow, Terje manages to work out that he throws his body into a frontflip, it’ll bring him into the landing, rather than getting bucked out and taking an express descent to flat. Madness.


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