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How To Back Surface Switch Up

If one simple move shows pure style and control, it's gotta be this one, the Back Surface Switch up! Dialling this skill in is the ultimate way to add to your bag of tricks and bring endless rail combinations together.

No snow in sight for you yet? No problem, simply strap into your Tramp Skis, jump onto your Jib Bar and get this trick locked in!


(Narrating/Riding: @SkiManGuy - Magnus Granér. Filming/Editing: @SkiManGuy - Magnus Granér.)

What Is it?

The Back Surface Switch up is very similar to a back swap, in that your spin rotation on the rail is still in your blind direction. The difference here however is that while a back swap involves a pop, the Back Surface is a pivot whereby the skis never leave contact with the rail.

How To Back Surface
Going backwards can be tricky at first.

What Should I Master First?

There are a couple key skills that this trick builds upon and therefore it's essential that you are first able to get these down with ease. Most obviously is the ability to throw blind 270's off the end of the rail. Why is this important? The Back Surface is pretty much the same as these except the 270 is completed before the end of the rail.

Next up, you should be feeling comfortable with regular Front and Back Swaps on rails and boxes. The Back Surface is a one up to the Back Swap and therefore, knowing the feeling of getting this rotation while maintaining balance on the rail will help you to master this so much faster!

How To Back Surface
A Back Swap involves a pop when switching up.

Let's Get Started

So where to start? Begin by hunting through the park in the search of the easiest and widest box feature that also has a ride on or kicker. The reason for this is that as you go onto the box, you want to aim to land in a 90 but still have enough rotational momentum in the tank to carry you all the way around to complete a full 360. 

As you eventually progress onto rails, you'll find that this rotation will come through a combination between the rotational momentum from the kicker along with the ability to pedal or lock your skis while on the rail.

How To Back Surface
Get spinny while riding boxes!

Stance Is Everything

Just before you spin your back surface when you're still sliding sideways, you'll want to maintain your legs in a nice wide stance.

However, as you begin to bring yourself around and enter the switch up, squeeze your legs tightly together. Failing to do this, or not holding together strong enough may deliver you an unwelcome slap to the sack or crack!

How To Back Surface
Left Picture = Correct. Right Picture = Painful.

Got it? Sweet, let's keep the progression going. As you may have already guessed, the most obvious progression from this point is to move onto skinnier boxes to practice the same motions on. 

Still too easy? Maybe you're ready for the tubes. On the biggest tube possible, practice the Back Surface on repeat until it totally feels like second nature to you. Constantly think to yourself with spinning this, 'are my legs together solidly?'

How To Back Surface
Tubes are the natural step between boxes and rails.

Back Surface On A Rail

Here we are in the end game, the Back Surface on a rail. You've now practiced this so many times on all the boxes and tubes that you're jibbing in your sleep and have dialled in.

When doing a Back Surface on a rail, most of the motions remain the same with the exception of one key point, unweighting yourself. To relieve pressure and friction from the rails, it's important to unweight yourself as you pivot around into the B Surface. 

How To Back Surface
Notice how those knees are extended to help with unweighting.

How do you unweight as you pivot I hear you say? To achieve this, you'll want to imagine throwing a small pop through extending your legs and pushing your weight up slightly but without having your skis leave the rail at any point. You'll know once you have this down as your pivot will will start to feel super smooth without any clunky landing feel from skis coming off the rail.

Now it's time to get creative with it! Is Jibbing where your passion on two planks lives? If so, be sure to check out our entire Library of Jib Tutorials!

Ollie Barbour
Ski Addiction
Helping You Ski Better

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