For intermediate freestyle snowboarders, an even bigger hurdle is going from a 180 spin to a 360 spin, then from a 360 spin to a 540 spin, and so on.
Nowadays, it's not uncommon in slope style competitions to go into the 1620 and Triple Cork territory.
With all this happening right before your eyes, you probably get an even stronger desire to want to spin.
So, how can you spin an extra 180 degrees? I'll tell you the first secret right now.
“SPIN YOUR ARMS”
I can hear the voices of a lot of people saying, “Ok, I got that much!” However, it's not just about putting force into your arms. When you have a solid understanding of that, you'll be able to spin more effectively.
This method of spinning your arms is a natural movement for human beings. Just by seeing it visually with your own eyes, you can understand it. So, let me introduce this rotating movement from a more formal, physical stand point.
L = Angular momentum (strength of the rotation)
m = Mass (weight)
r = Radius (distance from the center of the rotation)
ω(Omega) = Shows the amount of physical acceleration, object, material point's rotation speed (angular velocity)
It's an extremely difficult formula, but basically...
You could say that the “difficulty in stopping the rotation” shows the force of the rotation in that object or matter. This time, we'll just leave it as “speed.”
When you write it even simpler, it looks like this!
Let's summarize it.
You understand that beginning to rotate with your arms open, is more difficult (heavier) than beginning to spin with your arms contracted.
It's easier to begin to rotate your arms when they are closer to your body and you can also understand why they feel lighter as well.
So, why do we spread our arms out?
The reason for that is the rotating movement that you gain from your arms being spread out also has the disposition to make it more difficult to stop.
What I mean by “difficult to stop” is that since you need a lot of power in order to stop, it means that there is strong rotational force.
This is due to “the size of the radius in which the hands spin.”
It is 2 fold when calculated in terms of the formula.
The fact that this part plays such a big role, simply means that it is a way in which you can gain a more effective ability to rotate (angular momentum).
Even if your body is light, if your arms are long, it's advantageous.
When calculating it formally,
It shows that the bigger these are, the bigger the force of the spin. So, when you do something like hold a heavy object in your hands, it explains why it’s more difficult to stop the rotation.
For example, even if you spin your arms at the same acceleration with nothing in one hand a heavy rock in the other, the hand that is holding the rock is harder to stop.
Furthermore, no matter whether it's from the outside to the inside of the circle of the rotating object, or from the inside to the outside, the amount of movement (rotating force) is said to be maintained. For example, for ice skaters, by pulling their open hands toward themselves, it appears that they are suddenly accelerating their rotation speed.
Conversely, try to extend your arms and legs in this spinning state.
When you do this, your rotation speed will slow down. In ice skating, even if this is repeated, the force of the rotation does not change.
Now, let's try to check this with the formula we saw just a little bit ago...
On left side of the formula, given that you do not change the “power of rotation,” the numbers in the right side of the formula, in response, will have to change.
In the event that “the weight of the arms” do not change, as the “rotation radius” gets smaller, the “arms' rotation speed” will increase.
Thinking about it simply, when you begin to spin, expand toward the outside and spin as quickly as possible.
Next, fold your arms inward. When you do this, the “upper body” gains the power of rotation.
But!!! If you do not follow through with the power of the spin in the lower body, eventually, the upper body's ability to spin will also die out. Do you remember?
Creating spin force in the lower body creates a lot of weight.
With your arms folded, you will gain more speed, but in place of that, you will lose the weight that was created.
On the contrary, due to this “heaviness” in the lower body, there is also the possibility of going back in the opposite direction.
However, if you open your arms in advance, the upper body will not go back, and you will be able follow through with the power of rotation in the lower body.
On that same note, with your arms spread out, rotation speed will not increase.
This is why in the end, you'll want to fold your arms inward.
That timing, when the lower body has followed through with the upper body, is basically when the power of rotation has been sufficiently conveyed to the lower body.
Since it's only natural that you can't do something like this while thinking about it, first, try it and then analyze how you are using your arms.
Actually, just doing this is not enough.
There are still other secrets to gaining a greater ability to spin.
That will be for next time!