Jumping is one of the first tricks most people new to snowboarding want to learn. Getting air looks impressive, and it's great fun. It's also the foundation of several other snowboarding tricks, like spins and flips. You're probably a long way from those advanced tricks, but you've got to start somewhere. Read on to learn how to do a jump on your snowboard.
How Can a Beginner Do a Jump on a Snowboard?
Jumping on a snowboard is much easier than you might think. Once you strap your feet into your snowboard, it will always come with you when you jump. That means you don't need the same kind of coordination to perform snowboard jumps as you do when you're jumping with a skateboard, for example.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Perform the Jump
Like most snowboard tricks, jumping is easiest when you break it down into simple steps. Understanding all that goes into snowboard jumping can help you execute this popular trick.
As you practice jumps on your snowboard, it's also good to have something to aspire you. Check out “The Art of Jump Building” and “Hippie Jump,” two of the exciting snowboard jumping videos free to view on Red Bull TV.
Get Your Body into the Right Position
Your body's position is incredibly important for balance through the jump. You should maintain a relaxed stance, with your knees comfortably bent, your head up, and your back straight. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your back and front foot. It's a good idea to put one arm forward and one arm backward. Your front hand should be over your board's nose and the back one over the tail. This stance aids your balance and encourages you to keep your shoulders straight and parallel with the board.
Remember to maintain your body position throughout the jump. If you turn your shoulders, your board will turn with them. If you lean backward or too far forward, you will lose your balance.
Straight Line the Jump at a Moderate Speed
Straight line the jump at a moderate speed, paying attention to how you're holding your body. Straight lining gives you more opportunity to adjust your stance and makes sure you're in complete control when coming into a jump from a turn. Avoid speed checking as you approach the jump, as this could put you off balance.
Approaching a jump at speed might be a bit scary, but tricks are always easier when you've got some pace behind you. If you are traveling too slowly when you approach the jump's lip, you may not jump high enough to clear it. If you land on the flat part of a jump rather than on the landing, you're much more likely to get hurt. If you go too fast, though, you might overshoot your landing. A moderate speed is always best. You may need to experiment a little to find the right speed for your jumps. Once you hit the jump, it should feel smooth.
Pop When You Near the Jump's Lip
As you near the jump's lip, you'll need to pop to get the most hang time. Prepare to pop by bending your knees a little more than usual. As you approach the lip, extend your legs until you're nearly in a normal standing position. This will push your feet against the board, just like you press against the ground when you're jumping without a board. Popping like this will send you up into the air.
How to Land Properly After the Jump
Jumping feels like flying but don't let it distract you from the landing. As you start nearing the ground, angle your snowboard so it's parallel to the landing. This will help you land smoothly.
Bend your knees as you land to absorb the impact, then let momentum take you forward. Once you've traveled forward for a while, turn to the side and slow yourself down.
Many beginners try to turn and stop as soon as they land. This is where many people come unstuck. Let your board do what it naturally wants to do and enjoy the ride.
How to Practice Snowboard Jumps
It might be tempting to start hitting jumps immediately, but try working on the basic steps before putting everything together. Practicing your jumps on flat ground can help you get used to the technique.
You might like to start simply practicing the popping and landing motion without a board, then adding the board and doing the same thing. Once you feel comfortable popping and landing, try boarding down a very gentle slope for a little bit, then jumping and sticking that landing. Once you feel confident with your body position and action, you can hit park jumps.
Hit the Snow Parks
Most snow parks have a range of different jumps. Start with the smallest jump and practice it for a little while before taking on a larger jump. The first time you might want to coast over a jump rather than popping off a jump. This can get you used to the sensation of being in the air. You won't get the hang time you will when you pop, though, so make sure you add this final step once you feel confident.
Beginner jumps aren't just smaller. They also have long, straight inruns and landings, so they give you plenty of time to set up your jump and regain control when you land. It's much better to stay with these jumps until you feel so confident you don't need that extra preparation and recovery time.