With Higher Learning, SNOWBOARDER will showcase an array of uncommon tricks that all have the distinction of appealing harder to do than they actually are. This month’s move, the air-to-fakie, is no different. In the early nineties, Chris Roach, Andy Hetzel, Noah Salasnek, and the other New Kids on the Twock tweakers coined the term “skate style” to describe their affinity for skate-inspired shreddin’, The air-to-fakie became their signature pipe trick as they poked, and even triple-poked ’em sky-high in defiance of the spin-to-win tendencies of the day.
“The air-to-fakie is like a backside 180-Everybody loves how they feel. Riders like Terje, Daniel Frank, and Trevor Andrew made them look as good as they feel.” TJ Schneider –
Few pro riders are as multidimensional as TJ Schneider. In addition to his on-hill achievement, which include everything from Mack Dawg video parts to being invited to participate in David Benedek’s Gap Session, TJ is an artist, product designer, and the producer/filmer/editor/star of the widely-circulated Snowboard Realms video blog series. Here the Winner of the 2009 Grenade Game halfpipe event explains the finer points of the air-to-fakie…
TJ Schneider is proudly supported by Capita Super Company, Union Bindings, Bond, Airblaster, Deeluxe, The Source, and The Lifetime Collective.
– Pat Bridges
1. The first key to an air-to-fakie is the drop-in—you'll need to learn how to pump a transition really well so you don't have to go super fast. You should also know how to carry your speed through the flatbottom and up the next wall.
2. With an air-to-fakie, a common mistake is leaning a little too far forward coming up to the wall, so make sure you stay centered and not too front-foot heavy. Don't go up the wall completely straight—leave a little angle so you drift a bit down the pipe.
3. When you leave the lip, don't pop too hard. If you do, you're going to end up landing flat, which is pretty much the most common mistake that happens with an air-to-fakie, so just stay nice and mellow coming off the lip. I like to grab indy when I do them and poke it back uphill, because it's fun and steezy.
4. Once in the air, when you look down and see the lip you should be able to tell if you're going to go flat or onto the deck. If you're going to go onto the deck, just turn your board a little bit so you don't hang up and you'll come back inside the pipe. If you're going flat, just brace for an impact that is not going to feel good!
5. When you're landing, try to come down flat-based or a little on your toe
edge, because landing on your heel edge is a little weird. Then, ride away! Air-to-fakies are really fun tricks that feel great when you do them well, so do them, have fun, and enjoy.
This content was originally published in SNOWBOARDER’s September 2009 issue.