Stomp the take-off, air time and landing with tips from our freeski master-of-spins
This is hands down my favourite switch trick. Most of the time if it’s not grabbed it doesn’t count! Here I like to make an exception, as with some tricks a deliberate ‘no grab’ is just plain cool; there is something about the simplicity of it that is super satisfying. With a switch 360 you can pretty much see your landing from the moment you take off, giving you loads of control over the speed. Plus, with a ‘no grab’, you can bring your legs up and delay the last 180 for as long as you want to, making the trick seem to last for longer. As long as you’re happy taking off, and landing, switch there is no reason not to give it a go. Sometimes the simplest of tricks are the most fun!
1. SPEED CHECK
As with all tricks, your speed is crucial. So, first things first, do a simple straight air off the jump to get a feel for the transition and how much speed you need to clear it comfortably. Many people go slower when trying a trick for the first time, don’t! Try to carry the same or slightly more speed than you did for the straight air.
2. THE RUN-UP AND POP
As you approach the jump bend your knees, then as you rise up the lip extend your legs, or ‘pop’, with a slight set in the direction you intend to rotate. Don’t throw it too hard! You’ll be surprised with how little set you need, even on bigger jumps.
3. AND SPIN…
Lead the rotation with your head and let your body slowly follow until you start to see the landing. Keep your arms as still as possible. At this point I change the rotation by keeping my vision on the landing and letting my skis overtake my head and the rest of my body.
4. STOMP IT
Stay focused on the landing and make sure your skis have gone all the way around to 360 as you touch down on the snow. Take the shock through your ankles, knees and hips – flexing all three – but make sure you keep a strong back so not to fold at the waist too much.
5. EASY DOES IT…
Now cruise your way back to the lift (still skiing switch, naturally), hop on the chair, head back up and give it another go. Practice makes perfect after all!
MEET THE TALENT
Name: Andy Bennett
Sponsors: Ellis Brigham, Faction Skis
Number of years riding: 28
Exciting stuff: Andy’s ski career began at the age of four, when he joined the local dry ski slope race club. Aged 10, he entered his first mogul competition. Despite coming last and crashing in front of the judges, Andy fell in love with mogul skiing and stuck at it, representing Great Britain for several years. Andy soon swapped his bump skis for twin tips and drifted into the emerging freestyle ski scene. He competed at World Cup Halfpipe for several years and managed to break into the top 16 worldwide during his peak.
Today, Andy spends most of his time coaching, working with many national team members, often on an individual basis. He also models for the Ellis Brigham White Book catalogue each winter, and he recently became a dad, “which means I have to make sure I go upside-down on skis at least once every year to keep my ‘rad dad’ status!”