Snowboarding Trick Terminology – Jumps

Well, I’m writing this mostly for my mom and dad, but also for myself, as I haven’t wrote about anything in a while that’s not for my writing class, so a bit of freewriting would be good.

There’s a lot of weirdly named and abbreviated tricks in snowboarding, whether you’re doing a switch-front-board-270-out on a rail, or a hard way cab-5-melon on a jump. I decided to list some of the basic (and when I say basic, I mean basic. There are so many more terms I have yet to learn, and I’ll link a couple I didn’t mention here at the end) terminology of tricks, so here I go.

Riding Switch – Riding switch means that you are snowboarding with your other foot forward, instead of your natural foot forward. The foot forward you are using to ride switch with varies depending on if you are goofy (right foot forward) or regular (obviously, left foot forward)


Spins are usually done in increments of 180 degree spins, starting with a 180 and going up to (the world record) 1800. On rails, spins can be done in increments of 90 degree spins, landing perpendicular on a rail. These can range from a 90 (which is a basic boardslide, as I’ll write about later), to a 990. Spins are usually shortened to the first number of the spin, so a 360 would be shortened to 3, 1080 would be shortened to a 10, etc.

Backside and Frontside:

Spins are done either backside or frontside, unless you’re flipping, then it’s (obviously) a backflip or frontflip. A backside spin is done (usually) off the toe edge of the board, so if you’re regular, you’re spinning clockwise to the right, and if you’re goofy, backside is counterclockwise to the left. A frontside spin is just the opposite. Usually done off the heel edge of the board, but also done off the toe edge (which is called hard way), for regular riders it’s a counterclockwise spin to the left, and for goofy riders it is the opposite. Frontside and backside are usually just referred to as front and back, and that’s why you’ll hear more commonly someone say a front 3, rather than a frontside 360.

Cab and Switch spins

Spins are often done switch, and the term “cab” refers to a switch frontside spin. The backside variant is referred to as a “switch backside” spin, shortened to “switch back” or just “switch”. A cab spin is always frontside, a switch is always backside. A cab (as a trick) is a switch frontside 360. A half cab is a switch frontside 180 (which is my go-to trick when I’m testing out a jump for the first time). Above that, you say the spin, instead of just the amount of cab (the amount of cab? What am I saying..? :P). For example, you would say a Cab 540, instead of a 1 1/2 Cab.

Hard Way

Hard way spins are spins (frontside or backside) done from the opposite edge of the natural spinning edge for the spin, depending on if it is frontside or backside. For example, a hard way front spin is a frontside spin done off the toe edge of your board. You’re still spinning the same way, but you’re setting up in opposite direction.


There are a ton of different grabs, and to save myself the time, I’m going to use a diagram from another website.

Green = Front Hand, Yellow = Back Hand

Grabs are most always put into spins off jumps, so a cab 5 indy would be a switch frontside 540 with an indy grab. Here’s a list of some with pictures from Transworld for reference.


I’ll write the next part on rails, boxes, jibs and abbreviations tomorrow, and explain what a hard way 270 to front boardslide to back 270 out on a DFD rail is.


Published by Gabe Dalrymple

I am a young entrepreneur that snowboards, runs, backpacks, hikes, and plays tennis. I've traveled around the US with my family, and had some amazing experiences. I grew up in Austin, Texas and Breckenridge, CO, where I graduated high school in 2020. I started my own business in 2020, Gabe Media, and help clients with Google Ads, YouTube marketing, and video editing.

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