Backflips. Yes I’ve done them, we’ve all done them. But I’ve also taken my own clothes out of the wardrobe, put them in a bathtub, and had a shit on them too (tequila, it does odd things to my mind). Do I get a badge for that too? No of course not. For a start, what would the emblem be?
My point is, the backflip isn’t even that hard to do. You throw your head and arms back, try to grab your knees, and think of England as the ground fast-approaches and you brace yourself for a massive shock. It’s less of a trick and more of a list of instructions. A list that also works for giving birth, ‘what to do if you’re imprisoned in Russia’ and ‘how to stop swallowing your tongue if you’re electrocuted’. In short, it is not a sophisticated move.
“So where did it come from, this filthy, filthy trick?”
And the difficult thing to accept is that there’s never been more of them. Blame GoPro wearers, blame the Freeride World Tour, blame Candide Thovex, I don’t care, I just need to see fewer people doing what a dog can do if it fucks up catching a frisbee.
So where did it come from, this filthy, filthy trick? Well, around three-million years ago an ancestor to what looked like a chimp fell out of the tree, knocked his head slightly on the way down and managed to flip over backwards. The rest of his troop were amused and bared their teeth in approval.
The ape had a headache, and was confused as to why his level of status within the group had raised, but nonetheless he profited by being able to mate at a high frequency rate with the females, thus ensuring his genes – including this crucial ‘accidental stuntman’ gene – were passed down to further generations.
“IT’S ATTENTION GRABBING FUCKWITTERY THAT THE LEAST-AMOUNT OF PRACTICE-TIME WILL ALLOW”
Fast forward to modern man: the headache is long gone, but the gene is alive and kicking. And what easier way to impress his fellow university ski group than to chuck one off the nearest, flattest jump within eyesight?
And for those of us who’ve spent far too much of our lives learning the intricacies of snowboarding – tweaking our methods with a protractor; studying how Nicolas Müller controls his powder butters with his trailing arm; watching Torgier Bergrem put outrageous tweaks into his modern-off-axis spins – it’s just plain annoying. It’s the snowboard equivalent of streaking onto the Ryder Cup course with ‘19th Hole’ written in marker pen pointing at your arse. It’s attention grabbing fuckwittery that the least-amount of practice-time will allow.