In snowboarding, it's all about the cork

Olympic broadcaster Craig McMorris breaks down some big air moves you might see at the snowboard World Cup event in Pyeongchang, site of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
A view of a snowboard jump during a practice session for the FIS Snowboard World Cup big air event taking place this weekend in Pyeongchang. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

Be honest, do you truly understand when analysts try to explain big air events? If the answer is no, and let's be real it probably is, then we have you covered.

Big air will be making its debut at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics, and this weekend, the World Cup competition at the Alpensia venue will also double as a test event for the snowboarders.

With the help of CBC analyst Craig McMorris, we explain the tricks riders will be using, along with some helpful examples.

Backside triple cork 1440

First up is the backside triple cork 1440. Simple right?

Try again. When performing this trick the rider starts the rotation backside (that's turning backwards off the take off) then, does four full rotations, which is where the 1440 part comes in (360 degrees times four rotations). Then to make it a triple, you have to add three off-axis dips.

That isn't all.  There is one more piece to this beautiful puzzle called the grab, or where you hold the board. The most common grab performed with this rotation is a mute grab (front hand between the bindings on the toe edge of the board).

If they want to up the anti and make the trick more difficult, riders will perform different grabs like an indy grab (back hand in between the bindings on the toe edge of the board), or nose grab (front hand on the nose of the board).

Watch below as Canadian Olympic star Mark McMorris lands the first-ever backside triple cork 1440.


Switch backside triple cork 1440

Next up is a switch backside triple cork 1440.

This trick is almost the exact same as the first, except, the rider is taking off switch (their unnatural foot forward) making it more difficult than the regular backside triple. 

This example is being performed by Torstein Horgmo at the X-Games. 

Click here to watch Horgmo throw a switch backside triple cork 1440

If you want to get a little crazy you can really push it and add an extra half rotation, making it a 1620. Here is Yuki Kadono landing the trick at Air + Style LA.

Click here to watch Kadono throw the elusive 1620!

Frontside triple cork 1440

Tired yet? Just one last trick to go, and it's the frontside triple cork 1440.

What makes this trick different is the take off, with this variation of the triple cork the rider takes off frontside, (going forwards off the jump) then hits the four full rotations and three dips. This trick is very commonly done with a mute grab (front hand in between the binding on the toe edge of the board).

Mark McMorris lands a sold version of this trick to grab the top of the podium.  


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