Turn Tricks

In a Bar, You'd Get Slapped: 360 Tail-Grab from Kent Kreitler

Kent Kreitler     Photo: courtesy TGR

U.S. Extreme Skiing champ Kent Kreitler has done hundreds of 360 Tail-Grabs in his 33 years on Earth. With few exceptions, he sticks them like a fly in honey. Warm up, find a steep slope and amedium-sized kicker, and listen to what this veteran of seven TGR films has to say. (Watch the video)

Before You Try: It's important that you get the right amount of air, otherwise you'll end up either over-rotated or digging your tips into the ground—both resulting in face-first yard sales. Do a few straight airs first to gauge the height and distance you'll need to do the trick. "Your mind will register how long you were in the air, and automatically help to set up the rotation when you throw the trick," Kreitler says.

Approach: Head downslope in a neutral position, hitting the jump head-on, skis flat, like you would on any kicker. Arms should be out to the side slightly for balance. "More than anything, stay focused on the point of takeoff," says Krietler.

Takeoff: It's all about the "pop." Take it from Kreitler: "If I'm going slower than I should be, I'll pop harder. If I'm going too fast, I'll pop less." For a spin to the left, let your right hand trail your body, and when hitting the lip, push your right shoulder toward your heart. "Don't wind up like you're going for a triple lutz; this is a casual jump," he says.

Airborne: Tuck your legs underneath your butt, so that the back ends of your skis are near your hands. "Now they're right there—grab 'em!" Kreitler enthuses. You can cross your skis or leave them straight. Turn your head in the direction of the spin, looking over your shoulder, until you're facing down the mountain again. Spy your landing spot underneath your left armpit.

Landing: Keep your eyes pinned to your landing spot, and flatten out those boards for touchdown. Give at the knees and hips as you make contact with the ground. Now do it 200 more times, pick up some sponsors, and sign a movie contract of your own.

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