How to do a Method on a snowboard

A method is as iconic as it gets on a snowboard, but it does take a bit of getting used to as it’s not the easiest trick to just bust out. What you really want to do it break it down into a few different elements.

If you can work a series of tricks that build into the method then you’ll go from a punter to a pro in no time and you’ll also develop a ton of other useful skills on the way that will build a much better foundation for your freestyle riding.

Stage 1 — Melon Grab

This is where you bring the board up for a typical grab but this time you grab between your bindings on your heel edge with your front hand whilst still trying to keep the board flat. This will work the required grab for the Method.

Stage 2 — Tourist Method

This is what a lot of people consider to be a Method. I call it a Tourist Method. It’s close, but without the required tweak where your board faces downhill it doesn’t really count. Your aim is to combine the grab from the Melon with the lift of the legs required for the Method.

You can add a bit more flavour to this move by grabbing the toe edge in front of your front foot or even better between your bindings and tweaking it back the same way. Check out this how to on Transworld. With that grab you can pull the board under you more and it does feel cool.

Stage 3 — Backside Shifty

Working on separation is a key skill in snowboarding. You want the ability to move the board in all directions underneath you without adversely effecting your balance and upper body positioning. A backside shifty is a great skill to work on as it transfers through to other tricks beyond the Method. The most important being a Frontside Boardslide and Front Blunt.

Backside Shifty Skill Transfer

With the Backside Shifty you’re aiming for your shoulders to remain pretty much pointing down the slope as you twist your hips so your lower half is facing down the slope. The more you relax and keep your shoulders in line with the fall line the more twist you’ll be able to achieve. The more your upper body faces down the slope the less lower body twist you’ll be able to achieve. Look at the excessive torso twist in this article for more of an idea.

To get a proper idea of the movement think about kicking a football behind you. Pay attention to how your back arm moves to assist kicking your back foot backwards. They move in opposite directions. Think about that movement on a board. In essence your back arm/hand is by your back pocket and as your hips rotate your hand goes to your front knee. It might take a bit of time to get your head around it.

Try and remain compact when you try this. You can see in my picture that my legs are up and if I wanted I could grab the board. This will keep your centre of mass over the board and you’ll feel more stable and in control. Some guys try to shifty with straight legs and end up throwing their legs around and not being balanced. It will also make it easier to grab the method in the next stage.

Stage 4 — Blend them for a Method

It seems obvious but then you have to try and blend the movements together. I focus more on my hip rotation than my upper body. The process for me is:

1 — Toe edge pop
2 — Rotate my hips and bring the board up
3 — Grab the board
4 — Tweak for extra style and to lock the trick in

Grab and Tweak Options

I find if you grab the nose of the board it will be more of a Palm Air and you will not get the board as flat. I find if you aim to grab between the feet the board ends up looking better, but this is open to debate.

You can also over tweak. Will Gilmore is sick at doing these, as shown below.

Another example from Dan Fremantle on this years summer camp in Les Deux Alpes.

Have fun with this trick. It is wicked once you get it.

James Streater is the head coach and owner of Maverix Snow Ltd, providing year round snowboard instruction, coaching and personal development. He is part of a select group of professionals who hold the worlds highest snowsport qualification ISTD. Follow him on Instagram @maverixsnow

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