Basic Snowboard Jump

In this episode we discuss how to master teeny jumps in the terrain park. We’ll cover the basics of popping, approach and landing your first small feature. If it’s your first time in the terrain park, be sure to check out Smart Style and always start small.

Although “Jump” means “acting to put ones self in the air,” many assume the feature will make them air-born without any extra work. While you will probably go in the air, you’ll have more control, style and height if you add a little pop. It’s a little like jumping on the bed. Just because the bed is bouncy, doesn’t mean that you will automatically fly in the air.

Step 1: Practice the pop standing still
A pop is a jump with equal weight on both feet. Try in on the flats. Get nice and low, like you are squatting, and quickly spring up. Both feet should come up off the snow at the same time. Add more height by bringing your knees to your chest in the air. Keep your arms quiet to prevent getting all scrambled up in the air.

Step 2: Practice the pop while riding
On a green run, go straight for a second, get nice and low, then spring up off a flat base. Try popping off your toe and heel edge. You don’t need very much edge…think of playing basketball, you don’t jump flat footed, you jump off the balls of your feet. By doing this, you may find you prefer one edge more than the other.

Step 3: Pop or ollie over stuff
Pop over stuff: piles of snow, sticks, pop off rollers—whatever you can find. Not only will you improve your popping, but you are practicing landing as well. If you’re this good at getting in the air without a jump, it’ll be that much easier when you’ve got a jump to help you.

Step 4: Find a small jump and inspect the park
Head to the beginner park and look for a jump with a take-off that is 6-18 inches high with little or no gap to the landing. Have a look at it, just to make sure the landing isn’t too icy.

Step 5: Learn the speed
Watch a few people hit the jump to get an idea of how fast you need to go. You want enough speed to make it to the landing; but not so much that you shoot over it. Take a run to gauge speed. Go the right speed but don’t hit the jump, turn off to the side instead. Once you know the right speed, go for it.

Step 6: Hit the jump

  • Crouch lower as you go up the take-off; keep your shoulders parallel to your board and your arms quiet.
  • Pop as your front foot reaches the lip of the jump to put yourself in the air.
  • Bring your knees up to your chest mid-air to add more height and style.
  • When you land, your board and body should be at the same angle as the landing. Touch down with the whole length of your board.
  • Get stable before you try to turn.

Often new riders get nervous approaching the jump and default to a heelside turn mid-way up the take-off. If you find yourself turning to face downhill in the air, or landing on your heel side edge, try taking off on your toe edge instead. This will help you stay balanced and calm.

I hope we’ve shown you the thrill of jumping, and that you don’t need massive jumps or professional parks to get air born. Like anything else, start small and work your way up.

Next step: Introduction to the Halfpipe, Snowboard Grab (coming soon)

12 Responses to First snowboard jump
  1. Josh
    June 3, 2013 | 7:13 pm

    I want to get a board for just starting to do jumps but still be able to be stable enough to go down runs.
    Would a all-mountain board be the way to go?

    • Rick
      June 4, 2013 | 1:50 pm


      Either an all mountain or a freestyle/park board should work just fine. A park board might be a little easier to learn on though.

  2. Jay
    January 29, 2013 | 11:24 pm

    These videos help out sooo much. All my snowboarder friends say is “oh just jump and that’s it” which doesn’t often translate well. Thanks for what y’all do and keep the vids coming 🙂

  3. Ben
    January 23, 2013 | 6:28 am

    You guys honestly deserve medals or something, your vids are such a Godsend and i truly dont know how i would have learned to snowboard so quickly if it wasn’t for the time you have all put in to breaking the steps down so that newbies like me can understand how to do these awesome things!!
    i am now jumping and little by little am getting a bit more air on straight runs, ive done a few jumps from small snow ramps, but am wondering when i go for the jumps, should i be spotting my landing or simply making sure i am perpendicuar to the ground for when i land??
    thanks for all your help, i now aim to improve my 180’s (i normally start off on the run with my right foot forward, then jump and switch to my left leg forward)
    kind regards,
    Ben ‘forever in your debt’ Gibson

  4. Jeremy C
    November 12, 2012 | 11:35 pm

    Hey guys, I want to begin by thanking you again for helping me as I posted here 2 years ago!!!

    Ok so.. Whenever I ride a bunch of small continuous bumps, I usually end up getting airborne after the first 2-3 bumps.

    Besides reducing speed, how I can ride these without getting airborne?

    There were some small side ramps on hills last year but there were numerous bumps before the approach. If I slow down on the bumps, I won’t be able to get off the ramp nice! And since I can’t ride the bumps properly I either wipeout or hit the ramp at a slow pace. Any suggestions would be great!


    • Jill
      November 17, 2012 | 3:28 pm

      Hi Jeremy! Thanks for the support over 2 years.

      For riding over bumps or any other cruddy terrain, you need soft knees. Keep you knees bent and flexible so they can absorb bumps.

      I’m loading a new episode right now for moguls. That has some more tips at keeping balanced in bumps.

      • Jeremy
        November 19, 2012 | 4:36 pm

        Thanks a lot Jill! You guys have been extremely vital to my snowboarding progression. I never took lessons and I learned pretty quick due to these videos! Thanks for the help again!

        Looking forward to the new vids!
        – Jeremy

  5. Anonymous
    February 10, 2012 | 6:40 am

    […] […]

  6. Jman
    August 26, 2011 | 6:24 am

    Hi Guys

    Thanks so much for your awesome videos! I managed to do my first jump this week at Mt Ruapehu here in New Zealand. The jump was uber small but so exciting!

    Thanks for the great instructions.


  7. Antonio
    July 7, 2011 | 12:31 pm

    Hello Guys !!
    You are the best snowboard instructors in the internet. Believe me !!
    I just want to say thanks for you Classes, Tips and Method .. It is helping me a lot.
    Obrigado !!
    Mahalo !!
    Thanks !!
    Antonio (from Brazil)

  8. Anka
    March 17, 2011 | 12:36 pm

    Hello guys,
    You definitely do a good job!

    I started snowboarding last year, but I am doing it well and now I’d like to try park.
    But the problem is that I don’t really get how to do an ollie.

    Can you help me with that?


    • Jill
      March 19, 2011 | 9:35 pm

      Hi Anka! For an ollie, try leaning over your back leg so your board flexes and the tip lifts off the snow. Then spring up off the tail of your snowboard, letting the flex of your board propel you into the air. Try this a few times on a flat area until it is comfortable, then trying it going straight on a gentle slope. Hope this helps!

Follow SnowProfessor: