One of the main things I was interested in trying/developing whilst in Avoriaz was using my head/shoulders to help with the rotation on frontside 3s. I was quite sure that where I was looking whilst in the air was stopping the last part of the 360 rotation

But now I’m not sure that that’s the whole story. Sure, it’s important/necessary to use your shoulders and head to lead the spin, but I now think that part of my problem has been not spotting my landing.

So what do people mean when they say “spot your landing”? Well I’ve always thought that the concept is pretty simple: before you land, if you wanna land well, you’ve got to see the landing coming. Seeing the landing helps you prepare; think of the extreme case of hitting a kicker blind folded…

At the same time however, I’ve also assumed that this was something done more easily on bigger jumps, when you’ve got more time. And, that while I’ve been developing on smaller stuff it’s something that I don’t need to think about too much.

So perhaps it’s the case that I simply haven’t hit enough jumps? Maybe I haven’t been thinking about it when I should have been? Maybe writing more words than “dude, make sure you spot your landing” is over analysing the issue? I don’t know…

What I do know is that a couple of small adjustments in Avoriaz felt really promising. It all started when I was watching Jumping With Jussi, which by the way, I will be reviewing some time soon. I was keen to see what advice was given to “using your head/shoulders” during a frontside 3. I noticed that Jussi was often looking down, or down-and-back-a-little, in order to see the landing…

I’m not sure why, but I always thought that with a frontside 3 you needed to get your head all the way back round to forwards before “spotting the landing” came in to play. But I don’t think that’s true. You can see the landing much sooner than that.

Well, at least that’s what I started to feel when I was experimenting with this. I was approaching the kicker thinking look back over the left shoulder to lead the spin. As I did so I was like hey, I can see the ground coming. It wasn’t so bad committing to the spin and it became easier to put the board down straight.

This, I believe, is why I’ve always felt comfortable with frontside 180: you’re always looking forwards and you don’t need to consciously think about seeing the landing – it comes naturally.

In fact, I also think that this is where my aversion to spinning backsid has developed from. I got comfortable with the FS 180, first jibbing on the piste, then hitting little jumps on the piste and then hitting kickers. My comfort lies in the ability to “put the board down flat” – to stomp it. Building my way up, confidence came from success. The frontside 3 followed on from the 180, but to be honest, the fronside 180 is the only (non-straight) air that I really put down clean. The others are all a little sketchy (but hopefully improving!).

It seems kinda crazy when I think about it, but it seems that up until now, I haven’t really thought about looking in the right places to prepare for landing. Experimenting with spinning backside, little ollies on the piste and some more floaty stuff on the kicker, was really nice. It felt a lot easier to land flat based.

This is nothing ground-breaking; it’s pretty basic to be honest. And maybe I’m the only guy out there to not have given it due thought? But just in case, my advice is this: regardless of whether it’s a small or big jump, think about spotting your landing. I talked a little about how to manage different snowboard jump sizes here.

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