Snowboarding has come a long way in a very short time: 50 years ago, Sherman Popper’s Snurfer was released with a cute little rope for you to hold onto as you plummeted downhill, but snowboarding was considered so weird and dangerous it was only allowed off-piste. Today, about 30% of lift tickets in North America are used by snowboarders and the sport continues to evolve. It’s constantly being pushed forward by the reigning gods of the pipes, including Travis Rice, Shaun White and Mark McMorris — all of whom are trying to invent new snowboard tricks while making old ones even crazier.
We will NEVER agree on what the top five tricks are because there are so many good ones, and they’ll probably change again next season, so I’m just gonna lay out some of my current favorites, give you some videos to eyeball, and ask you to add your own in the comments.
Best Competition Trick: The hottest tricks in competition today are the insane multi-cork spins that weren’t even thought to be possible 10 years ago. People are spinning so much these days that it’s hard to even tell what’s happening. Here are a couple of awesome videos of riders throwing down huge tricks.
- The Frontside Double Cork 1260 – Shaun White is the only one to ever land a double cork 1260 in competition and when he did back in January, it helped to earn him a perfect score of 100 and the gold medal at the X Games in Aspen.
- The Triple Cork 1440 – Mark McMorris is the only one to land a triple cork 1440.
Best Street / Urban Shred Trick: 90’s skate style is the only way to go. Handplants, disasters, 270 front boards, 5-0s, front-blunts, crail grabs, laid out wildcats, chinese firecrackers and basically hitting anything you possibly can. No limits, guys. And, no one does it better than Jed Anderson. For our pick, skip to 3:35 for a stalefish shifty to front board. (Thanks to Taylor for insight on this one!)
Best Backcountry Trick: When you’re launching through trees and over huge gaps in the backcountry, it’s not necessary (or wise) to huck such incredibly technical tricks like the 1440. What you want is a calm, laid-back style while hitting features that would make your mom have an anxiety attack. That’s why our pick for best backcountry trick is the Backside Slow Spin – a calm backside 360/540/720 that says “Yeah, I’m launching myself 140 feet over one of the gnarliest gaps in the world, but I’m just thinking about the lasagna I’m making for dinner.” No one does this with as much style as Travis Rice. (Thanks to Shaun for his thoughts on this!)
Best Park Trick: The Rodeo Flip has been happening for years now, one of the coolest blends of spin and inversion. Not too long ago, however, Billy Morgan threw down the first triple rodeo, which gets our pick for best park trick.
THE NUMERO UNO GREATEST SNOWBOARD TRICK: The Method is such a classic maneuver; stylish, explosive, and timeless, it’s gotta be numero uno. It has been cemented into the snowboarding canon by such shred gods as Terje Håkonsen and Jamie Lynn, and even though it doesn’t seem as huge today, Ross Power’s 18-foot record-setting method in the 2002 Olympics made snowboarding look awesome to the world’s uninitiated.