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How To Backflip

Posted by Ski Addiction . on

Getting upside down is one of the funnest things you can do on your skis and pulling a Backflip will always turn heads and get you dates. Even though they look difficult, they're really easy once you get the hang of it. In this tutorial, we're going to teach you all of the necessary steps to throw a Backy. 

(Narrating/Riders: Dave Weale & Brendan Reed)

Progression

Before you start getting upside down, make sure are super comfortable spinning 5’s and 7’s off large park jumps. Though the skills required to stomp a backflip are quite different, you need to be super comfortable in the air.

Before any flip, you'll want your body to know what it’s doing before you try it on skis, ultimately increasing your chances of sticking it. There are a bunch of places you can practice the backflip in a safe way before you hit the snow, but the trampoline or a pool are the best places to learn.

Step 1: Trampoline 

The best way to learn would be going to a gymnastic/trampoline facility and having a certified instructor to teach you. They have the knowledge and skills to teach you safely.

Get comfortable jumping and do some seat drops, back drops, knee drops and front drops. Try doing a back drop and rolling over backwards to your feet. Next, instead of rolling over backwards, try bouncing off your back into it. The key is to look straight back, looking directly over your shoulders.

BackflipPractice on the tramp to get it dialled.

For the full flip, start by trying it with a single bounce. The most important thing is to bounce straight up, you do not want to be throwing your head back on take off. Once you're in the air, start your rotation by driving your knees to your chest and looking up. Once you can see the tramp again, put your legs out to land, trying to land in the same spot you took off from. Make sure you have these dialled in before you even think about trying them on your skis.

Step 2: Diving Board 

Another great place to learn is the diving board at your local pool and is sick because you won’t get hurt if you land on your face! It might sting a little but nothing major will happen. The steps for practicing in a pool are pretty much the same as the trampoline. Except you will have to go straight for it instead of working your way up to it.

First do a couple straight airs, dives and spins to get used to the flex of the diving board. Stand at the end of the board with your back towards the water and your heels on the board, not off. The key again is to bounce straight up and then bring your knees to your chest while looking up. Once you see the water, you can either keep your knees tucked or open up to control your rotation, landing square on your feet.

Into a poolPracticing into a pool is awesome because it has little to no consequence.

If your pool has higher boards or platforms you can try the backy off of those too. Higher boards and platforms may be scarier at first, but they actually allow you more time to get the flip around. 

Step 3: Airbag

Now that you understand how it feels to flip your body around it's time to take it to the snow. The safest place to learn on your skis are on a water ramp or airbag. Most people don't have these available to them, so if you are one of these lucky souls, take advantage of it! Whether you're on the airbag and water jump, the steps are the same.

Do a couple straight airs and spins to get used to the jump. These jumps will probably be a lot more poppy than what you are used to in the park. Poppy jumps actually make it easier to learn flips though.

AirbagTake it to an airbag to get to get comfortable hitting a jump on snow.

Again, focus on popping straight up first, bringing your knees to your chest while looking up trying to spot your landing. Once you spot the landing you can judge whether to keep your knees tucked, or open up to slow down your rotation. 

Step 4: Powder / Soft Snow

If there is no actual powder around, you can throw a bunch of soft snow in the landing area or use a shovel to chop up the landing to make it softer. Find build or hijack a a jump that is fairly poppy. Hit the jumps a couple times to get used to it, visualizing how it will feel to land a backflip and ride away.

PowderIf there's no powder available, use a shovel to soften up the landing.

At this point you have practiced enough on tramps, into pools and on airbags so your body knows what it’s doing. Just remember to jump straight up, bringing your knees to your chest while looking up. Keep looking up and back until you spot the landing. Once you see the landing , decide whether to stay tucked or open up to land at the right time.

As you land, keep your arms up absorbing the impact with your ankles, knees and hips while keeping your core nice and tight. Don’t worry if you fall on your first few attempts, that’s why you're doing it into soft snow. Just get up and try again till you're stomping them every time.

Step 5: Park Jump

Finally, the moment you've been waiting for. All that practice is about to pay off as you get ready to show off for your friends in the park.

Find a jump that has a fairly steep take off and measures about 20 to 30 feet long. One thing to keep in mind is that park jumps won’t be quite as poppy as the jumps you’ve been hitting to learn the Backy. This means that the jump won’t help you out with the rotation so it’s important that you have a strong pop.

Get used to the jump with some straight airs and spins. Once you're ready to attempt the Backflip, focus on the same steps. Pop up first, drive your knees to your chest, look up then spot your landing and put it down!

Park JumpTake it to the park and show off for the chairlift.

Continue practicing and then try them on all sorts of jumps. Once you get comfortable you can add some grabs and lay them out for style.

Summary

Once you get comfortable with them you can do it off park jumps, or take it to big mountain riding and pull one off of a cliff. The Backflip is a super impressive trick and is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Once you’ve mastered the Backy, you can start trying Rodeos and Corked Spins.

Jordan Harrington
Ski Addiction
Our Goal Is To Improve Your Skiing

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