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How to Build a Snowboard Jump

Three Parts:

A kicker is a jump built by snowboarders. Whether you are at a resort, in the backcountry, or in your own backyard, a snowboard jump can provide hours of fun and the opportunity to practice your aerial skills. The easiest jumps to build are step downs, which take advantage of the slope. With snow, shovel, and some hard work, you can build your own sweet kicker.


Choosing Your Location

  1. Build your kicker on a downward slope.Make sure there is enough room to gather speed for the jump. The slope will also make for an easier landing.If building in a flat area, you will need to also build a ramp to gather speed. You can use the same instructions as for the jump.
  2. Make sure you have plenty of snow.Choose an area with lots of powder. You’re going to be doing lot of shoveling, and it will be much easier if you don’t have to carry the snow very far.
  3. Check your landing zone before building.You’ll want an area with plenty of powder for soft landings. Make sure there are no rocks or boulders buried beneath the snow. Poke at it with your shovel to make sure.

Building the Jump

  1. Shovel snow into a pile the size you want your jump to be.A snow shovel works best for this. As the mound gets bigger, you can interlock two or more snowboards and use them as retaining walls for the sides and back of the jump. For really big jumps, you can make retaining walls from plywood sheets held in place with sticks.
  2. Stomp on the face of the jump or whack it with the shovel occasionally as you work.This will help to consolidate the snow and expose any weaknesses in the pile.
  3. Shape the pile.You can use your shovel or snowboard to shape the takeoff ramp. You’ll want an angle between 25 and 30 degrees. The sharper the lip at the end of the ramp, the more air you will get. A moderate lip is better for rotational jumps (360s and 540s). A radical lip (i.e. sharply sloped upward at the end) is better for corks and flips.
  4. Wait for the snow to solidify.If you ride on your jump before it has firmed up, it will crumble beneath you. The time it takes for your jump to solidify will depend on the moisture content of the snow. It might set up in only a few minutes, or in cold, dry areas, it might take all night.There are several ways to speed the process:
    • Occasionally sprinkle on calcium chloride (salt) as you build the ramp. This will help melt the snow so it holds together more solidly. Add just a little as you build: you don’t want your pile to melt. Add more at the end to create a hard surface for your ramp.
    • Make snow bricks and use them to strengthen the walls of the jump. You can use a mould for the bricks, or use your shovel to trim the sides and tops. As you build the walls, fill in any cracks between bricks with snow.

Grooming the Jump

  1. Smooth out your in-run.Start thirty to fifty feet up the slope and slipslide (slide down with your board perpendicular to the slope) several times until you have smooth, compacted path leading to the jump. A smooth in-run with few bumps will allow you to better set yourself up for the jump.
  2. Groom the takeoff ramp to get rid of any bumps.A grooming rake works best, but you can also use your board, a shovel, or even your hands.
  3. Add tiny bits of pine branch to the edges of the ramp.Especially in flat light, this will increase visibility and allow you to better judge the jump.


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Date: 01.12.2018, 18:29 / Views: 61552