Side Hit Tips for Skiers and Snowboarders

You can still explore the mountain while testing your freestyle skills outside of the terrain park thanks to our side hits tips.

What are side hits?

Side hits are small jumps that either naturally form or are carved out by other skiers and snowboarders hitting them over and over. They’re also a blast, so the ASO Mammoth team has put together a list of side hit tips to help you make the most of them.

Read them below, then visit ASO Mammoth for the best ski and snowboard rentals in Mammoth Lakes!

Scope Out the Approach and Landing First

Confidence is key for hitting a side hit. Often the entrance and landing to a side hit aren’t nearly as smooth as a jump in the terrain park, so to be confident you need to take a run to simply test them out.

Check for bumps, walls, and other obstacles that you’ll have to ski or snowboard around to hit the jump cleanly before you completely commit.

Stay in Control, but Not Too Slow

Even with a perfect approach and ollie off the lip, you won’t make it very far from the jump if you don’t have enough speed.

If you’re going to have a hit that you’re proud of then you’ll need speed, so make sure you’re not doing too many speed checks on your approach. Not only will you carve out the approach, but you’ll also risk landing in a flat if you don’t make it far enough away from the jump.

Ollie Off the Lip

A simple ollie off the lip of a side hit will give you extra air and stability.

Although being in the air can be scary at first, it also gives you a chance to spot your landing and prepare to hit it. Getting enough air also means you have time to stabilize yourself in the air after the hit, so practice loading up your ollie and popping right off the lip of side hits. 

Tuck Your Knees Up to Avoid Flailing

One of the most common mistakes people make when they hit a side hit is flailing their arms or legs in the air. Not only does swinging your arms look like you’re out of control, but it can also make it hard to stick your landing.

One easy way to avoid waving or flailing your arms off a jump is by tucking your knees towards your chest. If you’ve ever done a grab, then you know that bringing your knees up centers you while in the air, but even if you’re not doing a grab a simple tuck will make your jump more stable and styled.

Check for Other People Near the Landing

Lastly, make sure you’re not going to collide with another skier or snowboarder while riding away from a side hit.

Sometimes side hits are to the side of trails with their landings on the slope so that uphill skiers can’t see riders coming. If that’s the case, then wait until you know there will be no one near or downhill from the landing before committing to it.