One of the best ways to show you’ve got style when snowboarding is to get massive air and tweak a grab. Tweaking a grab is relatively easy to do, but it adds a ton of emphasis to your maneuver and makes you look like a pro without having to pull off crazy spins and flips.
Although the concept of tweaking is simple, you’ll need to practice your airs and grabs often to get comfortable enough in the air before you start to tweak it out. Once you’ve mastered getting air and performing different grabs, you can add a tweak to just about any grab in the book.
Time Required: 30 minutes, or a few trial jumps after you feel comfortable getting air and grabbing your board
How To Tweak a Grab
- Practice your grab before you get off the ground. Strap into your board and feel for the grab you’re planning to pull when you hit the jump. For instance, if you’re going to tweak a method, reach, with your front hand, for the spot behind your front binding on the heelside edge of your board to get comfortable with the motion.
- Practice tweaking the grab on the ground. Another way to perfect your tweak is by strapping into your board and laying on your back at the ground. This is something you can do at home (or on the mountain if you’re not too embarrassed).
Practice extending the grab farther than normal. A tweak almost always involves fully bending or fully straightening your legs or arms. To tweak a method (as shown in the picture above), you want to bend your legs and pull the nose of the board toward the front of your body with your arm extended.
- Take a ride past the jump before you hit it to gauge your speed. Check the landing to see how soft or icy it is, and make sure there are no obstacles in the way.
- Hit the jump once without a grab. This may seem like a waste of a run, but this will help you gauge your air time and imagine the point at which you’ll reach for your board so that you can perform your grab much more smoothly on your next try.
- Adjust your speed on the inrun. Add speed if you fell short on the test run, or speed check if you overshot the landing. Ollie when you reach the end of the ramp to improve your air time and control your take off.
- Bring your legs toward your body to perform the grab. You don’t want to be reaching into thin air for your board, so bringing your knees toward your body is essential to performing a stylish grab.
- Once you have a firm grip on your board, fully extend your legs or arms to tweak the grab. It may take you a few attempts to perform the tweak in a smooth motion.
- Release the grab, move the board back under you, make sure your knees are bent, and center your weight over the board for a smooth, injury-free, landing.
- It’s helpful to have someone video tape you when practicing a style-based maneuver like tweaking a grab. At the very least, have a friend tell you how your tweak looked, so you can gauge if you need to extend it farther or make any adjustments.
- Wear a helmet whenever you’re hitting jumps or attempting new maneuvers.