“How about trying a 540 next time?” – Were the words of Jorg after tonight’s training session. Although I didn’t see myself doing that any time soon, after overturning the 360 jumps just now I saw the potential of that actually happening pretty soon.

Big Kicker: Indy and Melon grabs
Earlier we (Marieke, Jorg and I) headed out to our training grounds (Montana Snowcenter) and got up the slope finding out that the had re-shaped the last section. The small kicker at the bottom had now been replaced by an upslope box. I started the training by hitting the boxes and give the upslope one a test run as well. All felt well and after a few warm-up runs I prepared for the big kicker and pop over it to get some air-time going on. But as the kicker take-off was slightly diagonal, made it harder to pop of horizontally – resulting in off balance jumps. So I decided to stay with the coasting over and that seemed to work out fine. Time to get the grabs going and after the succesful Indy from last time, I tried the Melon grab which worked out good. Yet again it needs styling and more practice in getting comfortable making the grabs by hitting the kicker again and again and again and…

Set-up jump: 360’s frontside and backside
Besides the big kicker I still wanted to train other jumps from last time as well, including the 360 jump. We had been practicing the correct execution on the slope by slightly riding uphill and then jump the 360 from there. This had proven usefull when putting it to practice over a setup jump for the box. Although I initially set off with the wrong sided turn I actually pulled the front side 360 trick. After re-thinking what I was doing I copied the movement from the practice runs onto the setup jump and voila everything fell into place. The Backside 360 was a fact without a problem and a clean landing.

So my next thought was to practice, practice & practice, but as I practiced more I felt that I wasn’t cleanly landing the jump anymore. I figured I didn’t spin enough so I put a little more effort in there, but it turned out that I was overspinning the 360 already and thus landing halfway a 540. I’ll have to figure out the right spinning speed for the air time over certain jumps. Honestly not a bad thing to be experiencing, as this brings me closer to more rotations a lot sooner than I had hoped for.

Upslope box feature: 180’s frontside and backside
The rest of the training was focussed on the upslope box and jump both frontside and backside 180’s off the end. Frontside didn’t pose a problem, but the backside didn’t feel all to natural. So I hit the slope without a box and jumped a few backside 180’s and I remembered I had to use the looking backwards landing technique. With that in mind I hit the upslope box again and this time there was success!

Yet again a valuable training session with a few hard knockdowns but certainly lessons learned.

Next time I’ll be trying out the 540 jump over the setup jump and I will help my girlfriend taking it to the skies with her 180 backside over the same setup jump. Additionally I’m going to put some time into riding the toe- & heel edge towards different setup jumps to try 180’s backsided and frontsided, eventually and hopefully resulting in fs and bs 360’s.