A beginner’s dictionary to Slopestyle tricks
© Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool
There's a lot of confusing jargon used on the MTB slopestyle scene – read our quick and simple guide so you can stop pretending to know what everyone's talking about!
You see them flying through the air, spinning bike and body in multiple directions, and hear the commentators excitedly shouting, “Look at that backflip double barspin to tuck no hander!” or “That’s a world first cash roll tailwhip!” – and you have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
Well, things are about to change…
We list some of the most common tricks used in Slopestyle so that you can become a pro in MTB tricks.
A backflip in Slopestyle is like any other backflip, but with a bike. The rider throws bike and body backwards in a full rotation until facing the original direction again.
Cam Zink's Red Bull Rampage backflip
A barspin is pretty much what it sounds like – a spin of the bars. The rider throws the handlebars a full rotation (360 degrees) before catching them again. This can be done one, two, three, four or even five(!!) times, as Emil Johansson showed us in 2017 as he landed the world’s first backflip quint barspin at Audi Nines.
For an X-up the rider turns the handlebars 180 degrees before turning them back straight again, without ever letting go of the bars.
A trick where the rider kicks the back end of the bike in a full rotation around the handlebars. This can be done multiple times, and would then be called a double, or triple tailwhip.
A bit like the dance move, but on a bike. A can-can is when the rider takes one foot off the pedal and kicks the leg over the top tube. Brandon Semenuk is the king of the One-Footed Can. This trick's usually used in combination with other tricks, including backflips. You can also do a no-foot can when you take both feet off the pedals so that both legs are on one side of the bike.
Like a backflip but forwards. The ride throws bike and body forwards in a full rotation until facing the original direction again.
The name really gives this one away; the rider does a full 360-degree rotation to one side.
A trick where the rider removes both feet and stretches out behind the bike, preferably until the body is straight and parallel to the ground, to imitate Superman’s flying technique.
TUCK NO HANDER
The rider tucks the handlebars into his/her lap, leaning into the bike so that the shoulders are slightly over the bars, and then letting go of both arms – reaching out as far as possible. Abit like a bird.
A cork is an off-axis rotation. The rider and bike rotate a full 360 degrees but instead of doing it straight backward, it is done off-axis. This can of course be done with more rotations than one. Also, a cork is only done backwards, if its a forward rotation it is called a misty.
A trick made famous on mountain bikes by Nicolai Rogatkin and is almost as hard to grasp as it is to explain, but basically it is doing a 180 to backflip to 180.
Doing a trick opposite means just that - the rider does a trick in the opposite direction to what he is comfortable with. For example, the rider spins the bike to the left, rather than to the right when doing a tailwhip.
A Martin Söderströmspecial. Turn the bars like you're doing a whip and then take your front foot of the pedal and push it behind the rear wheel whilst in the air.
This is not only a trick for the big slopestyle stars, this is actually a bike park favourite for many riders. Basically you try to get the bike as flat as possible in the air, like a table. The rider brings the bike to one side of the body by turning the bars and angling it towards the stomach/shoulder, whilst bending the knees.
The unturndown is kind of like a table, but, well, completely different. You still want to get the bike as flat as possible to your body, but you do it by angling the bike and turning the handlebars to the opposite side (compared to a table), and you push your front foot forward and keep both legs straight whilst doing it.
A rider grabs the seat with one hand and turns the bars through 90° while leaning back.
What do you get when you add a 360 spin with a barspin? A truck driver of course. So next time you hear the commentators shout “Emil Johansson just did a truckdriver to opposite tailwhip” you know not to look for someone driving a truck down the course.
Again, not looking for an actual vehicle here, a windshield wiper is in fact a tail whip to opposite tail whip, which requires the rider to change direction of the bike mid-air.
This is another crazy trick that can also be called 720 frontflip or off-axis 1080. Another Nicholi Rogatkin special that he named after being the first to land it back in 2016. Basically it is an off-axis 1080 spin and yes, it’s as mental and mind-blowing as it sounds.