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Freeride Skiing by Jon, Andrew and Zac

We're freeride skiers. When we freeride, we do tricks in a half-pipe, where it's all about catching air! Good rotations are key to great tricks. We're awesome at our 540-degree rotations, but 360s are tougher because you land backwards. We wanted to know: How does arm position affect our 360-degree rotations?

What did we do?
We did our 360s with three different arm positions: arms out to the side (helicopter style), one arm straight while the other does a heel grab and both arms in. We judged each other's tricks and scored them on a scale of 1-6. We used a camera to record how we hit the landing for each jump. Our method: three guys, three arm positions, three times for each jump.

What did we find out?
With our arms in, we completed the 360 but we rotated too far and lost control on our landings. With one arm out straight and the other hand making a grab, our scores were a little better but the landings were the same. With both arms out like a helicopter, we made our best 360s! We rotated slowly, got good air and had time to look behind us to make a steady landing.

What can you do?
  • What arm position is best for doing a spin on rollerblades or ice skates? Try an investigation like the freeride guys did. Which arm position works best for you? Is it better to spin quickly or slowly when doing your tricks? Why?
  • If you ski, snowboard, skateboard or rollerblade in the half-pipe, design an investigation about how to get the most air. When should you bend your knees and straighten up again? At the bottom of the pipe, halfway up, or right before the top? Find your own method for determining how much air you get with each technique.
  • Learn about more freeride skiing tricks at http://www.Webdesk.com/freeride-skiing and develop your own investigations.
  • Use this sports investigation as a science fair project idea for your elementary or middle school science fair! Then tell us about it!
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