Riding School
Donovan Skelton
June 28th, 2019
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How to Sideflip – Riding Tip with Caleb Kesterke

Starting out last season, I knew I wanted to do something beyond my normal focus on tree riding. It was time to progress in the air.

I wanted to land a sideflip. Every ride was like a mental game, playing features out in my head and trying to put together different ramp-to-landing scenarios. Finally, I had a good mental image of what I wanted, and I started shovelling ramps. For this particular move, I found that shovelling a sidehill trench into a pillow worked best.

It took several weekends of failed attempts and trying different rotations until actually landing a satisfying sideflip. You definitely have to think outside the box on this one.

How to Sideflip

1. Approach

Your in-run and ramp should be well-packed, to the point that you can run across it without sinking in deeper than your ankles. The main focus here should be coming into the in-run as fast and as smooth as possible, with 100% commitment. You’ll want a forward and aggressive stance, ready to soak up the g-forces of the ramp. Remember, always keep a tight grip on the bars and one finger on the brake!

How to Sideflip w Caleb Kesterke

2. Take-off

You should already be fully-pinned as you reach the lip; now look over your uphill shoulder and pull backwards twice as hard as you think you should. You don’t need to consciously think about pulling the sled sideways because looking over your shoulder and pulling back on the bars will automatically do that for you.

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3. Rotation

By this point, you’ve already initiated every essential part of the flip. Now you need to let the gyroscopic force of the track do its job to rotate the sled around.

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4. Inverted

Grip the tunnel with your feet and the seat with your knees to stay tightly linked with the sled in the air.

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5. Spot your landing

While maintaining a neutral stance on your sled, you should now begin to spot your landing. Start to mentally picture where the sled will be when it touches down, and what rider input will be required to ride away.

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6. Prepare for Impact

Since you still have your finger on the brake, you are now ready to slow your track speed from wide-open to roughly the same speed you are traveling. This will slow your rotation down and also save your chain from excessive abuse on landing.

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7. Touchdown

Knees and elbows must be slightly bent, and your body braced to absorb all the excess impact your suspension can’t handle. The skis should be pointed in the direction of travel and your feet properly placed on the running boards, directly under your body.

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8. Ride away

Landing and riding away is the most satisfying part. It generally calls for abnormal amounts of excited shouting and rogue wheelies wherever possible. Now that you are safely back on the ground, you may celebrate your success with a round of high-fives, a frozen candy bar and whatever is left of your Mountain Dew slushy.

 

– Caleb

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