This is an excerpt from Mastering Snowboarding by Hannah Teter & Tawnya Schultz.
Now that you can jump and have begun to spin, it's time for you to learn how to put some style into it. You don't want to be flailing all over while you're up in the air. Establishing control and making what you're doing look cool and natural identifies you as a solid snowboarder. Grabs let you demonstrate your skills and change up a trick to give it some oomph. Being able to do them properly will also help you maintain control when you start attempting more technical spins. Every grab has an endless number of variations. A rider can perform a grab along any part of the board, toe or heel-side, nose or tail and can grab with one or even both hands in endless positions. Riders add grabs to personalize a trick and add more style. Nail down the basic grabs presented in this section, then tweak them on your own. Always remember to stay bent when attempting any grab, and for a clean grab, wrap your hand around the edge of the board.
You can also do a double grab. The double has many variations, but it's any grab (front, back, toe, or heel) performed with both hands. Both hands will be grabbing the edge of the board, whether it's both grabbing the nose, both grabbing the tail, one grabbing either, or even crossing your arms and grabbing (if you are skilled); there are many ways to get creative with a double grab. Grabbing with the leading hand in between the back bindings on the heel-side edge and the back hand between the frontside toe-side edge is a common double grab. You can add in a spin once you get your grabs dialed, although performing double nose or tail grabs is more advanced, since positioning your body in that way may feel strange and can throw off your rotation. Pick a style and try it out for yourself.
The indy grab consists of grabbing the middle of your board with your back hand on the toe-side edge in between your feet. Practice on flat ground by bending your knees and reaching down with your front hand directly between your legs. When you're ready to try it in the air, grab in between your feet at your toes with your back hand as you start to peak in the air, right off the lip. Hold the grab until you start to come down from your jump. There are a number of things you can do with your other arm, but most riders throw it in the air during the grab, either naturally to help with balance or for style.
Indy Grab Instructions
- Ride toward a small jump, staying low and bending your knees.
- As you approach the lip, pop an ollie in the air.
- The more deeply bent you are the better. As you peak in the air, reach down (but don't look down; it should be a natural motion) with your back hand in between your feet on the toe-side edge of your board, keeping your grabbing arm bent.
- As you descend, let go and land with your back foot flat on the snow, followed by your front.
- Ride away and try it again.