What Are The Hardest Snowboarding Tricks in the World?

by Ben

Every year, some young buck rips down the hill, flies off a jump and attempts something no snowboarder has ever done before (I’m looking at you Marcus Kleveland).

If they don’t land on their butt, they put pressure on the next guy or gal to up the ante. And as the years go on, it’s clearer which tricks stand above the rest.

So I thought we should take a look at the hardest snowboarding tricks in the world today. 

Here are 11 of the hardest snowboarding tricks in the world:

  1. Backside quad 1980
  2. Quad cork 1800
  3. Half-cab quadruple backflip
  4. YOLO flip
  5. Backside 1260 off-the-heels
  6. Backside 540 rewind
  7. Double McTwist
  8. Chuck Taylor
  9. Rail tricks
  10. Butter tricks
  11. Method

I’m sure you’re already raising an eyebrow at some of the tricks on the list. Are they really the hardest snowboarding tricks out there? Well, you’ll have to keep reading to find out…

1. Backside Quad 1980

There’s something special inside every big-time snowboarder’s brain. I guess you might call it ‘a loose screw’ or ‘the crazy gene.’ Whatever it is, Yuki Kadono’s got it!

To take the top spot on this list, the then-21-year-old spun 4 times on his vertical axis while completing a 540 horizontally. In total, he rotated 1980 degrees, doing something nobody had accomplished up to that point.

Breaking News: Since writing this article, Hiroto Ogiwara has landed the worlds first 2160!!

I felt obligated to include it on the list for you guys. It’s not only one of the hardest snowboarding tricks ever landed, it’s also a prime example of the young guns disrupting the snowboarding scene. Congrats Hiroto!

2. Quad Cork 1800

It might seem like cheating to put multiple quad corks at the top of this list, but it’s only fair given that it’s one of the most challenging tricks to get right. It requires almost a hybrid skill set of gymnast-snowboarder-super hero.

Famously, Shaun White temporarily abandoned the triple cork in 2013, saying, “It wasn’t worth the risk.” So, it would be crazy not to reward the fellas that managed to one-up a trick that the GOAT put to bed.

The first documented quad cork 1800 was by British boarder Billy Morgan; and, perhaps unsurprisingly, he just so happens to have gymnastics on his resume!

3. Half-cab Quadruple Backflip

Max Parrot, the Canadian snowboarding daredevil, supposedly nailed this one on the same day as Billy Morgon did his Quad 1800.

It’s a move that required a massive amount of air to squeeze in the 4 backflips, and as if that wasn’t enough, he spun off the jump-riding switch. Madness!

4. The YOLO Flip

Remember this one? This was invented by Russian boarder Iouri Podladtchikov (I-POD). It’s yet another cork move with a front side takeoff but ‘only’ a double with a total of 1440 degrees of rotation.

This move is tricky because it’s in switch, meaning that the rider is going into the jump on their weak side. For example, someone who naturally has their right foot leading would take off with the left foot in front, and vice versa.

5. Backside 1260 Off-The-Heels

To understand this one, you really have to put your boots in the bindings.

When going for a backside spin, the easiest way to get the revolutions necessary is to leave the jump on your toes so that your edge does the work. Going ‘off the heels’ means that all of the power has to be generated from your core, making it more about strength.

You’re also risking a vicious edge-catch, making it even more gnarly!

6. Backside 540 Rewind

Compared to the first couple of tricks on this list, number 6 won’t make you quite as dizzy. But that shouldn’t take away from what a feat it is. Though Marcus Kleveland is rotating less, he’s still managing to do something technically challenging.

The ingredients in this one involve completing a full 540 and, while still in the air, ‘rewinding’ 180 degrees. It takes an incredible amount of control over your body to generate the torque necessary to stop the spin and reverse direction. You’ll definitely be needing a six-pack for this one!

Here’s Halldor Helgason’s take on the Backside 540 Rewind: 

7. Double McTwist

When you think of the McTwist, skateboarding might be the first thing that comes to mind… but it’s every bit as much of a snowboarding move.

The single consists of one backflip along with a 540-degree spin. The double adds – you guessed it – another flip for a total of 1260 degrees of rotation.

The McTwist was invented by skateboarder Mike McGill back in 1984, and the snowboarding double was made famous by none other than Shaun White.

8. Chuck Taylor

Also known as a double Michalchuk, this trick is similar to the double McTwist as it’s essentially a double backflip with a horizontal spin. The single version was popularized by Canadian snowboarder Michael Michalchuk, but the double was made famous by American Taylor Gold.

It’s different from a cork in that the horizontal spins come after the backflips are complete. Many snowboarders find it much safer because you can spot your landing all the way through.

9. Rail Tricks

Experienced rail riders may laugh at this item on the list. But for us mere mortals, rails represent one of the scariest and hardest trick lists to master. 

I’ve lumped rail tricks into one category, mainly because the various trick breakdowns can be highly complicated. 

hardest snowboarding tricks in the world - rails

However, whether we’re talking boxes leading into rainbow rails or jumps leading into flat sections, rails are undoubtedly a prime opportunity for some of the hardest snowboarding tricks in the world. 

Urban settings where the rider is gliding down a set of stairs also make for great videos, no matter how hard I may cringe at the potential spills.

10. Butter Tricks

This is an add-on more than anything, as the rider basically uses the flex on his board to pop himself up for any number of tricks. It’s a way to add a creative spin – sometimes literally – to an existing move.

Take a look at a Marcus Kleveland highlight reel and tell me that the moves he’s pulling off don’t look incredibly tough. They’re also some of the flashiest around.

If you’re looking to master buttering, I highly recommend one of these snowboards for buttering

11. Method

To round out this list, I decided to go with a classic. It’s the last move on this list because it’s by far the easiest, but as far as pure grabs go, I would rank the Method as one of the toughest. It’s also the most stylish by far.

This one requires the rider to kick up behind him in mid-air and grab the backside of the board between the front binding and the nose. Nothing looks better than a nice long Method.

As the saying goes, any rider can do a Method, but few riders will every truly master it. 

Here’s Christian Haller with an outrageously huge Method Grab:

Final Thoughts

Those were some of the hardest snowboarding tricks in the world. 

Obviously trick difficulty is slightly subjective. I was also joking slightly with some of them. However, I challenge you to find a harder trick than the ones topping the list!

But what do you think is the hardest snowboarding trick?

Let me know in the comments below!

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