Switch 720 with Charley Ager

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Park tricks on icy jumps are fun, but the Holy Grail is landing those big airs into soft, forgiving powder— and riding away to make the claim. We’ve enlisted the help of backcountry slayer Charley Ager to get you stomping in the fresh stuff. After a ground-breaking segment in this year’s Poor Boyz flick Revolver in which he took switch takeoffs and landings to every hit he could find, no one’s better equipped to help you get your landing gear down when the going gets deep.

Dan Carr Photography

Dan Carr Photo

Before attempting a switch 720 in the backcountry, you should already be comfortable rotating up to that degree. While not everyone will be throwing 7s, the tips for switch takeoffs and landings are completely relevant for smaller rotations. If you’ve already stomped some 5s and switch 3s off of some cliffs, you’re definitely ready to get yourself a switch 720 on your next pow day.

The best thing about this trick is that you can pull it off in lots of different terrain. in this shot I found a cliff with a steep enough landing, and a flat takeoff that I could ski off of switch looking over my left shoulder, allowing me to aim for the best part of the landing.

Once I’ve scoped out the speed, my main focus on the in-run is to aim in the right direction. When I’m approaching the takeoff, I make sure that I have a very solid switch stance and am ready to pop and set the spin at the right moment.

When entering the air I’m looking over my shoulder and it’s pretty blind. The only thing going through my mind at this point is grabbing, and making sure everything feels good. If something feels wrong, there’s still time to set-up for a gnarly crash and focus only on that.

As soon as it all feels good I start coming around enough to spot my landing at switch 450. There’s still time at this point to slowly float in and set-up for the landing. This trick is good for spotting, allowing you to get ready for that switch stomp.

The best way to land switch in powder is a fine balance point, a good prediction of what the snow will be like, and how much it might bounce you. My weight is very centered on my best switch landings, but i have also flipped over backwards many times trying to land like that. Rockered skis help tremendously with landing in a forgiving way.

Skiing out of the landing switch can be tricky depending on how much speed you may have. The best thing to do is gain lots of experience and time on your skis going backwards everywhere you can think of. I have been trying to ski switch in powder for almost 10 years. The more practice and powder days the better.

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ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN SBC SKIER MAGAZINE - TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE IN ALL IT'S GLORY, HEAD OVER TO WWW.SBCSKIER.COM | PHOTO: DAN CARR | ISSUE 10.4

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