Leading vs. Trailing Grabs In 360s

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Understanding the terminology for trick names is half the battle when it comes to learning and progressing in the world of freestyle skiing. Do not fear, Ski Addiction is here to help break down the language of skiing! In this tutorial, we will give you the ability to easily distinguish between leading and trailing grabs, then teach you how you can use them to add technicality and variety to your tricks.

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(Narrating/Rider: Kalissa Lolos. Film/Edit: Adison MacDonald)

What Is A Leading Grab? So Then What's A Trailing Grab?

Leading and trailing grabs essentially differentiate between which hand completes the grab, depending on which way you have spun.

The 360

The easiest way to understand this trick is by imaging a simple 360. Naturally, one arm will be leading the spin while the other follows, regardless of which way you spin. Typically, most grabs are executed with the follow hand and are known as trailing grabs. This type of grab is most common because it allows you to set your spin with your leading arm, then execute the grab with the trailing arm. 

Trailing Mute GrabThis is the base for most grabs but is not commonly referred to as a trailing grab, but rather the regular name of the trick.

The 360 Mute

Now let's apply the concept of leading vs. trailing grabs to a 360 Mute. 

Tweak It!Remember to always tweak it.

Set the 360 first, then bring the cross away from the spin direction. So, if you were to tweak the grab, it would pull the cross behind the spin thus slowing the rotation.

Trailing GrabsNotice how Kalissa is grabbing with her right hand which in this instance, is the trailing hand. This is what slightly slows her rotation down.

Leading Grabs

When grabbing with the lead hand is when the discrepancy is made with these tricks, commonly referred to as Leading [Insert Grab Name]. These grabs are more complicated to execute because your leading arm is doing double the work; it is having to set the spin AND execute the grab.

Leading Mute Grab

Using your lead hand, you're going to set the 360 then bring the cross towards the spin. So, if you were to tweak the grab, you would manipulate the ski cross in front of the spin, thus increasing the rotation speed. 

Leading GrabThis terminology is applied to all off axis and regular spin tricks, which is why it is so important to learn the language.

Leading vs. Trailing Grabs

With all that combined, it leaves you with 4 variations of grabs per 2 spinning directions and is why it is important to practice all grabs both ways, because there are so many variations to dial! Remember though, most people classify trailing grabs as the base name of the grab and only distinguish when it is a leading grab. E.G.

  • Trailing Grab Trick Name: 360 Mute
  • Leading Grab Trick Name: 360 Leading Mute

Being confident with lead and trail grabs will set you apart from the rest and give you a more acute technical knowledge to take your skills to the next level. In the end, if you want to ski the ski, you need to talk the talk.

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Alex McCann
Ski Addiction
Helping You Ski Better

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