Published in Onboard Magazine Issue 119, January 2011
IF YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED ANY SORT OF GRINDER THEN THE FRONT BOARD IS AN ESSENTIAL TOOL IN YOUR BAG. YOU SHOULD HAVE BOARDSLIDES AND 50-50S ON LOCK BEFORE PROGRESSING TO THE FRONT BOARD.
Ride towards the box or rail with it on your frontside – remember speed is your friend; maybe take a run at the rail using the kicker but without getting on the rail to test your speed. You are going to come in with a flfl at base and initiate a very slight toe turn to take you onto the rail. Be nice a squat with bent knees and pop off both feet enough to take you up onto the rail. Don’t over pop.
ON THE RAIL
Once in the air counter rotate your upper body positioning your butt downhill with your upper body twisted forwards; your arms will now be turned to the nose of your board. Land gently on the rail with a flfl at base and your putting pressure on your front foot. Now hold that pose and look to the end of the rail.
You will be coming to the end of the rail still with your upper body counterrotated and your butt pointing down hill. Leaving the rail bring your legs back under you and unwind your upper body. Now all that is left to do is suck up the landing and own it.
SWITCH FRONT BOARD TO 270 OUT
OK, so you got your front boards down and hopefully your switch frontboards – or at least you should have for this little puppy. You are going to be riding into the rail switch with your chest open to the rail. Get a nice even pop onto the rail. Unlike the frontboard though you won’t need your arms setup as you will be sliding and getting ready for your rotation.
ON THE RAIL
Here Hans Kestilä blocks himself onto the rail: blocking is the root to rail ballet. Now you’re sliding backwards down the rail, with your board dead flfl at and your weight centered, you are going to rotate your upper body into the frontboard position, leaving your butt pointing downhill; this will set you up for your 270 out. Remember to look over your shoulder as you near the end to help the rotation out and keep you orientated.
With your body now in the front board position leaving the rail you are going to continue the rotation of your upper body using your arms to pull you through the 270. You will be looking straight at the your landing and your legs will come underneath you to land switch and ride away like you own the place. Bang! You are guaranteed a beer post-session, or at least a high-five in the liftline.