How To Butter - 21 Flatground Tricks to Learn - Onboard Magazine

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Snowboarding Tricks

How To Butter – 21 Flatground Tricks to Learn

Let’s be honest: buttering – essentially pressing your snowboard on the snow in a bunch of different ways – is something that most of us will have had a dabble with at some point over our progression as snowboarders. It’s fun, it looks good if done right, and it’s relatively easy to learn.

Ryan Knapton is an American snowboarder out of Breckenridge who has managed to amass a pretty huge following on Youtube with his butter-based tutorials and trick videos (one of them has over 700,000 views!).

We’ve pulled together all of his buttering trick-tip videos into one place to check out. How many of these can you get on lock this winter?

First up, the basic frontside nose-rolls…

Frontside Nose-rolls

Pretty straight forward stuff here, a bit of upper body rotation and a solid press. Look at how fast he does ’em though!

Ryan’s tip: “The heelside constantly has pressure on it, even when it’s just at the tip of the board – that’s how you’ll avoid catching an edge.”

Frontside Nose-rolls with Nollies and Ollies

Get all MFM by adding an ollie or nollie into the mix.

Ryan’s tip: “Once pressing and turning the board, when it feels right, load up the nose of the board and go through the notions of a switch ollie.”

Frontside Nose-roll Nollie 360s

These one’s are super fun to do. And look, he can do front 7s off a 5 foot jump! WTF!

Ryan’s tip: “Be able to visualize it in your mind before doing it (the edge control and upper body motion), and it’ll really help.”


The essential piss-about trick. 

Ryan’s tip: “Make a big toeside carve going up the hill. As you’re running out of speed, put your weight on your back foot. When you completely stop, transfer your weight to your front foot and gently place the hands down on the ground.”

Backside Nose-rolls

These are pretty gangster for sure!

Ryan’s tip: “Focusing on toe-side to toe-side edge control will make it safe and give you confidence to really press into the snow and even ride a bit on just the end of the nose and tail while your body is facing uphill.”


An essential trick to get on lock that will open up many more variations. It’s a useful one for rail riding too!

Ryan’s tip: “The motion of taking off on your front foot and springing off the nose of your board really is completely different than taking off with a regular ollie.”

Nollie Backside 180s

Nollie backside 180s aren’t really a butter trick as such, but will be a useful step for learning some of the more technical tricks. Plus, they feel awesome.

Ryan’s tip: “Be in a slight toeside carve, and as you push the nose of the board in to nollie, maintain pressure on the toeside edge. When you come around you want to land still on your toeside edge to prevent you from catching an edge.”

Backside Nose-roll 360s

Now we’re starting to get tech! 

Ryan’s tip: “You’ll be going from a toeside carve, switching over to your heelside, and landing and riding away in a heelside carve.”

Nollie Backside 360s

This one combines the nollie with the backside nose-roll 360 to give you a pretty rad looking trick. 

Ryan’s tip: “As you’re jumping off your front foot, driving the nose of the board in, you’ll need to twist quite a bit more than a 360 and that will help you bring the board around.”

Backside Tail-rolls

Backside tail-rolls feel so good. If there’s only one trick in this list that you should make a point of learning next time you’re on the hill, this one would definitely not be a bad shout.

Ryan’s tip: “This trick takes a little more force with the board, so doing it at high speeds is actually easier and makes it way smoother.”

Frontside Tail-rolls

We’ve already covered frontside nose-rolls, so here’s the tail version!

Ryan’s tip: “You might actually find the switch version a little easier, because the noses of boards are quite often softer and this press takes a lot more effort than a frontside or backside noseroll.

Frontside Nose Press Nollies

This one is the basis for a bunch of pretzel variations. 

Ryan’s tip: “This is a fun one at high speeds on knolls and rolls on the hill. Keep your heels down and good luck.”

Frontside Tail-roll 360s

Basically a frontside 360 that doesn’t quite leave the snow…

Ryan’s tip: Really drive the toes down to avoid catching the heelside edge after the 180

Backside 540 Nose-rolls

Don’t get dizzy!

Ryan’s tip: “Once you’ve got both edge transfers on the 180s, you can do as many spins as you like!”

Combo #1 (half-Cab roll to frontside nose-roll nollie 360)

Combos for days!

Ryan’s tip: “One of the reasons I get good pop from these frontside nose-roll nollie tricks, is that i’m doing them from a carve. Thus, there’s a bunch of pressure built up on the heelside edge, which I transfer into the nose of the board, which then springs off the snow nicely.”

Slasher Bombs!

This is hands down one of the funnest things you can do on a snowboard. Kicking up a big-ass cloud of snow rules, and this is how to do it right.

Ryan’s tip: “It’s really just an extension of spraying just a little snow on a toeside turn”

Frontside Pretzels

Pretzels are essentially when you spin in the opposite direction to the initial rotation and is a concept that can be taken to rails once you’ve got them locked in on the snow. 

Ryan’s tip: “Most likely, you’ll have to hip-whip the board around to complete the 270 fully”

Combo for Continous Toeside Carves By Backside Nose-rolls

Everyone knows that carving on your toeside edge feels way better than doing it on your heels. Here’s how you can make them last forever!

Ryan’s tip: “Start with making them big and doing long carves across the hill to give yourself time to set up for the next one. And then tighten those up with small carves in between to make them feel extra buttery.”

Frontside Nose-rolls Revisited

Some extra tips for mastering the basic frontside nose-roll

Ryan’s tip: “Going slow, you’re not going to be able to hold the motion for very long, but as you do them at higher and higher speeds, you’ll find that you” be able to drive more pressure into the nose and hold the position longer”

Frontside Nose-roll 540s

We’ve already seen the backside version, so here’s the frontside nose-roll 540.

Ryan’s tip: “From a slight heelside carve you’ll press into the nose of the board on the heelside and then switch over to the toeside by pointing the toes at the 180 point and then back to the heelside again at the 360 point.”

Nollie 720

No tips on this one, as it’s definitely pretty advanced. Looks pretty sick though!

Bonus: Ultimate Buttering / Flatland 2014

All of Ryan’s best buttering tricks in one video. This one has over 700,000 views!


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