Last weekend was a success: snowboarding on Friday night and then the Metro Ski & Snowboard show on Saturday. It was a tough schedule but it worked out.

The jibbing at Xscape was nice. I wanted to try some frontside shifties which is something I’ve never done before; not sure why, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. They turned out to be easy enough, though I’m not sure how smoothe they looked. What was more difficult was trying to grab stalefish… this needs some more work. Check out Absinthe’s new film, More (review coming), for a perfect frontside shifty stalefish by Nicolas Muller.

I then hooked up with Martin and started hitting the rail/box line, which consisted of a flat-down, a long flat rail, the long box and a rainbow box. I tried quite a few new things, some were successful, others weren’t… Either way, it’s always easier when you’re riding with someone else.

50-50 to switch 50-50
So I wanted to try hitting the flat-down 50-50 and then frontside (FS) 180 to switch 50-50. With the rail being kinda short I figured hitting the down part after a 180 wouldn’t be too bad: if I got it wrong there would be no rail left for to fall and land on.

Well I was right about that bit – I didn’t fall and land on the rail once. But the FS 180 in the middle wasn’t happening – I just wan’t committing to it, I kept landing in a boardslide, or not landing at all. I should probably start practicing hitting the rails switch 50-50 first…

Boardslide on the flat and down
Pretty basic, but up until now I’ve only gone either 50-50 the whole way or 50-50 to boardslide. So boardslide on the flat and then down was a step forward, albeit a small one. I also managed to tweak it a little, pressing the first part of the trick a little on the back foot and then popping onto the down so that the boardslide was more on the front foot. It felt pretty sweet, but I’ve got to confess that the first time it kinda happened by accident; after that it was by design.

Boardslide to frontside boardslide
Boardslide on the flat and then front boardslide on the down. It’s worth pointing out that I struggle with front boardslides, so this wasn’t anything spectacular. A little pop off the flat and then touch the down rail in FS boardslide. With the down part of the rail being short this wasn’t too bad at all, and it gave me a feeling for hitting the rail frontside.

5-0 on the rail, 180 out
Long flat rail. Again, beginner stuff. This rail is pretty long but you can ride on. So here I’m kinda riding on, starting to 5-0 and then beginning to rotate ready to 180 out, frontside. I’m gald I tried this because trying to hold the position for the length of the rail was fun. I got one or two that felt good. More practice, stop riding on…

Nose press on the rail
Nose pressing the long, wide and flat box is ok, but the rail is much narrower. The ride on is perfect for practicing, but I didn’t really get this. I’m pretty certain that the one time that I made it to the end of the rail the tail of the board was like 1mm in the air. But still, it felt like trying new stuff was progressive and the learning part is fun.

180 to nose press on the box
This wasn’t happening. Simple as that. However Martin was pulling some sick 180 to 5-0s. Sweet.

Frontside tailslide to frontside noseslide
Hmm, I don’t know how to describe this trick at all. In fact, I think the majority of my rail definitions are sketchy, so if anyone can correct errors just leave a comment. Anyway, here’s what I was trying to do: hit the box regular into a frontside tailslide. Pop out of that, spinning frontside into a noseslide, at which point I’ve got my back to the end of the box.

It wasn’t really going anywhere, although I was at least getting some practice at popping from one tip to another. I reckon there are easier rotations to try first.

I also found out that my snowboard size is wrong… which won’t have helped!

So, mixed results. But some of the new stuff I tried felt really nice which was enough to give a big sense of achievement! Like I said before, feel free to correct any bong rail terms… I can’t wait to ride again.

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