Rock This Terrain-based
TEXT BY GREG FATIGATE; PHOTOS BY ROB PIROG
With roots in skateboarding, a rock to fakie
can be used as a single trick or a maneuver
that sets up another trick. Skaters commonly
perform it at the coping of a quarterpipe or
halfpipe by rolling up the ramp, placing the
front wheels over the coping to stall, and
then lifting the wheels back up and rolling
back down the ramp fakie. On a snowboard,
it’s performed with a fore-aft movement
by which the rider heads up a quarterpipe-like feature and shifts the nose of the board
out ahead of them by shortening the rear
leg while lengthening the front leg, stalling
at the coping, and returning to a centered
stance on the way back down.
This move can be used in intermediate
and advanced zones in all-mountain jibbing,
pumping in a halfpipe, or as a pressure
control movement in a dynamic turn. In a
beginner zone, however, it makes for a great
terrain-based technique for learning pressure
Locate a gentle downward slope that flows
into a gradual rise. Bonus points if you
find a gradual rise you can rest a piece of
bamboo across to represent the coping
and act as a target spot. If your resort does
not provide a terrain-based learning area,
a waist-high pile of snow will do just fine.
Encourage your students to strap both
feet in and adopt a stance in which their
shoulders are in line with the board, knees
are over their toes, and center of mass is
between their feet. Challenge them to
shift their board under their core, fore and
aft. That in itself is the rock-to-fakie move,
and it will be the most important part
of the rock-to-fakie quarterpipe session
they’re about to have (photo 1).
They might be tempted to shift fore
and aft rapidly, but encourage a long,
You’ve heard a lot about terrain-based learning this eason and are eager to incorporate it into your lessons... but how? Since the basic goal is to help beginner students develop fundamental skills on
non-intimidating terrain that helps guide their movements,
how about starting with an easy task like the rock to fakie?
gradual shift. Ask them to try the same
move looking over both their left shoulder
and their right shoulder.
If you’re using a feature that gradually
rises in the runout, call it a quarterpipe.
This will help create a more session-like
atmosphere. Now have your students do
a nose press or a tail press while straight
gliding their approach to the quarterpipe.
Try to keep their focus to one or two long
exaggerated nose or tail presses.
By now they may be able to collapse or
bend down the knee that is closest to the
part of the board that is being pressed. As
they travel up the quarterpipe, encourage
them to cease the shifting and just turn
their head over their back shoulder
(photos 2, 3). This will allow students to
relax into the fakie or switch glide back
down the quarterpipe.
Here’s where the piece of bamboo
comes into play – the coping at the top
of the quarterpipe. As your students
get comfortable with their glide, ask
them to aim for the coping or top of
the quarterpipe. As they get closer to
it, encourage them to tap it with their
In photo 1, Greg Fatigate shifts his board under his core, fore and aft. In photos 2 and 3, he illustrates
traveling up a quarterpipe, then relaxing into the fakie as he comes back down.
PHOTO 1 PHOTO 2 PHOTO 3