Feb 162006

After watching snowboarding in the X Games and Olympics, we figured you'd want to hit the slopes or the terrain parks in style (maybe get a head start for next year's Games). 1080s are probably out of the question, but you've got to start somewhere.

Here's how to learn the 360.

There's snow on the ground. Time to hit the backyard with your snowboard. According to eHow.com, ollies, jumps and 180 airs are prerequisites to the 360. Just practice on the ground first, getting acquainted with the spins.

When you think you're ready, take your newly learned skills to a jump. Wait, we're forgetting a helmet. OK, find a jump with a lot of powder on the landing.

According to16-year veteran skier/snowboarder and Snowrider's officer Cory Mankin, the first thing you need are "the cojones" to give it a shot. After accomplishing that daunting task, just go for it.

At this point there's no turning back. No speed checks, no bail-outs and no second guessing. Gather enough speed to carry you and your rotation, then follow these steps:

1. Keep the knees flexed but the body loose.

2. Rotate your upper body with your arms out.

3. When you hit the lip, start to swing your arms and jump, tucking your arms as you rise through the air.

4. Scope your landing at the 180-degree mark.

5. Resist what they call "rolling down the windows" (arm flailing).

6. Land with knees flexed (it may be helpful to have the back of the board hit the ground first to establish stability).

* Warning – Mankin advises none of these things be done if pregnant or under the influence.

Mankin's top 3 places for learning tricks (all in the back-country)

1. Loveland Pass

2. Cameron Pass

3. Vail Pass

-Scott Bondy

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