For the majority of us mere mortals, tricks like the double backside rodeo, backside 900 off the heels and the cab 1440 are in a completely different realm of skill to the one that we're in. Not that we're hating, we imagine sending a double backside rodeo over a Nike swoosh the size of a small African country à la Peetu Piiroinen would be scary as fuck, but mega fun; but quite frankly, we value our lives and know our limits.
There's the old saying that the best rider on the mountain is the one having the most fun. Whilst we agree with that statement to a certain extent, there's nothing quite like the feeling that you're gonna have to go buy yourself a new set of pants before trying a new trick. It's the feeling we all dread, but love with the same zest; it's why we ride.
That said, we understand that not everyone wants to be touching cloth 24/7, so in that vein, we've had a good ol' brainstorm here at Onboard HQ to come up with what we would consider to be 12 simple, but super fun tricks to do in the park no matter your ability level.
Backside 360 Double Hand Drag
Demonstrated here by the surprisingly lanky Len Roald Jorgensen, the backside 360 double hand drag is pretty high up on our list of simple, but fun tricks to do in the park.
This trick is especially handy if you're scared of heights/jumps, although on second thoughts, if you're scared of heights you might want to take up a slightly more suitable hobby like snakes and ladders, or maybe tiddlywinks.
The bigger the knuckle, the better for this one. Trying to do this on a short and steep knuckle is like trying to thread a needle whilst pissed and wearing oven mitts. Do yourself a favour and head over to the big booters for this one. Also comes with the added bonus that you can claim to be 'injured' which is why you're not actually hitting the jumps...
Frontside 360 Nose Bonk
The frontside 360 nose bonk is a fun, yet simple trick to do for a variety of reasons. First off, it looks badass. It just does. We have no idea why, but giving a feature a smack that would make 50 Shades of Grey look like a kids' book is a hella satisfying feeling.
We have a theory that the reason the Russian Doll was on the Sochi slopestyle course was so that spectators around the world could choose a mate depending on how hard the resounding thump of a successful frontside 360 nose bonk sounded. Judging by the Instagram followers of Sven Thorgren and Jamie Anderson, we reckon its a fairly solid hypothesis.
The best thing about 360 nose bonks is that it teaches you how to whip around the last 180 of the rotation once you've made the connection with the bonkable surface/object. This is a super useful skill to have in your repertoire when it comes to bigger rotations that you under rotate and need to whip around to ensure you don't have an abrupt meeting of your face with the bombproof landing of a kicker.
Big Ol' Nollie Off the Knuckle
Another trick to add to the list of the faux injury claim is a big ol' nollie off the knuckle. The nollie is definitely one of the most fun, but simple tricks on the market - especially whilst cruising the mountain and looking like an OG badass.
The art of the nollie is being able to load enough pop into your nose, whilst keeping your body straight to ensure you don't end up just driving your head into the ground when you release the pop.
The irrefutable King of the Nollie is MFM. MFM rules the nollie, and you'd better respect that.
Switch Backside 180 Method
Now this sounds like a particularly hard trick, and we're not going to lie, it does take some practice; but it is surprisingly fun, but simple. Chrizzy P is the newly crowned Queen of the trick in our opinion, but there are some sterling efforts from a roster of different riders out there.
Our top tip for the backside 180 section of the trick is to basically forget everything you've ever been told about hitting kickers. Instead of keeping your legs underneath you, you kick 'em out behind you like you did when you first hit a kicker for the first time, or like you want to grab suitcase.
Then you spot your board over your leading shoulder and grab above the binding, then when you poke the back leg out for the tweak, that helps you bring the rotation round (in our opinion). Stomp it, claim it, love it.
Roast Beef on a Hip
The roast beef grab is the elder and edgier brother of the Stalefish grab. It's your trailing hand to your heelside edge, but instead of reaching straight back, you weave it in-between your legs. Young Sven Thorgren, is probably the nearest to royalty we have in terms of the roast beef grab, bearing in mind he's stomping backside 1260 roast beefs more regularly than a British pub.
There's no real inside scoop on this trick. Just make sure you poke it so you don't offend the Gods of grabs. Enjoy the view you fucking badass.
*We spent ages looking for a video of a roast beef on a hip with no joy. One of the Onboard team then revealed he'd never seen a roast beef on a hip before. We're not sure if we find this fun, or in actual fact we just suck at grabbing roast beef.
Straight airs - there's nothing quite like them. Taking the time to enjoy the view, breath the rarified air normally reserved for birds, planes, Superman and Felix Baumgartner is one of life's greatest pleasures.
Throw a little jazz into your straight air with the pencil air. Keep your body stiffer than a cadaver on a Sunday night and hope for the best. It's surprisingly difficult.
See also the stoney baloney/pencil 50-50.
Tail Tap Backside 180 Out
In a more family friendly version of the Akon classic of 2009, tapping stuff is a sure fire way to put a grin on your face across the mountain. Piste poles, signs, trees and even your friends are all there for the tapping game.
Once you've got the tap on lock, it's time to give it a little more welly so that it counter rotates you into a backside 180. It's a little tricky to gauge the gas to give the tap to send you into the rotation, but once you've worked it out, it's time to send it down the mountain like the Tasmanian devil.
Our top tip is to give the pole a little love with your trailing forearm, we think it looks sick. However, remember your arm doesn't have the same density of your toeside edge, and will actually bruise/break if you do it too hard. We actually ended up with an arm that resembles a 1920's zeppelin from giving it a bit too much love from the forearm...you have been warned.
Frontside 360 Off the Toes
Spinning frontside off the toes makes frontside spins look better in our opinion. There's something about the opposing angles of rotation, the torsional flex you get in the board for the grab, and the slower rotation that just tickles us in the right way.
Obviously the best way to get into toeside spins is with the humble 180. Frontside 180s off the toes can be done pretty much anywhere, so it's best to try and pop some off some rollers on the piste first, or practice switch airs taking off on your toes first.
Remember you'll have to use your upper body more in the rotation as you can't really carve into the rotation like you can on your heels for a regular frontside spin.
Ollie Over Slow Signs and Fences
Personally, we see slow signs as more of a challenge than an order. There's few greater joys than seeing a slow sign drooping pathetically in the wind, ripe for the taking with a perfectly timed ollie.
Our top tip is to keep the nose of your board super high throughout the ollie, this means if you don't have enough pop to clear the sign, hopefully your nose will clear it and you can ride it out. Apart from the shuffle of shame, there's few things more humiliating than trying to ollie over a slow sign and stacking it.
Layback Under Slow Signs
If your mountain crew are more adept at putting up slow signs than a nonchalant French man, there's still fun to be had with them. When they're taut and high, there's ample room to squeeze underneath and break the proverbial law.
We find on laybacks, we keep our weight propped up on our trailing arms forearm like a Vitelli carve, that way, once you're home and dry, you can push back up on it to get you back to your feet. Ride away top the adorning stares of your admirers. Chicks/dudes love a badman/badwoman.
Frontside 180 Switch Tailpress Switch Backside 180 Out
The frontside 180 switch tailpress switch backside 180 out is an all-time trick. Useful for powder slashing, cliff dropping, roller ripping and flatland flattery. Next time you roll through the park, give one a boost off the knuckle and feel like a boss.
Another trick to add to the faux-injury list.
Let Halldor be your spirit animal...