Backy Academy: 10 backflip professors dish their tips on getting inverted

Backy Academy: 10 backflip professors dish their tips on getting inverted

Floating a perfect backflip off a lofty cliff or other natural feature is one of the best feelings in the world. Mustering the courage to attempt such a maneuver is difficult, obviously, but we’re here to tell you: You got this. Once you stomp your first backy, things will never be the same; rainbows and butterflies will perpetually surround you. To help you pull it off successfully and to achieve this dream-like state of being, we’ve tapped 10 of the very best backflippers in the skiing realm. Let their words serve as your guide, then spend as much time as possible up-side-down this season.

Disclaimer: Badass as they are, backflips are dangerous, especially when launched off of natural terrain. Attempt at your own risk.

Sam Schwartz sending a picture-perfect backy in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Photo: Carson Meyer

1. Sam Schwartz

“Simply charge the run-in with confidence, jump up with your whole body and puff your tits out. Then, watch for the landing and bring your feet around to stomp.”

A video posted by Sam Schwartz (@skifreejh) on


2. Owen Leeper

“As you drop in, visualize stomping the trick and skiing away. If you can’t visualize it, you won’t land it. Know before you drop what you’re going to do in each step of the trick—never just huck and hope. Don’t flip before the end of the jump. Pop up and tilt your head slightly back until you spot your landing, then pull your feet around and stomp ‘em down hard like you’re crushing cardboard boxes.”


3. Rory Bushfield

“Backflips are the best-feeling trick you can do on skis. It doesn’t matter how big or small, they all feel good. Look at the landing as you take off, but don’t let that stall the flip. If the take-off is pointing downhill like most cliffs then you have got to set pretty hard after that look. If the take off has some pop you don’t need to set very hard at all. Backflips come right around.”


4. Cody Townsend

“As the legendary Chubbs says to Happy Gilmore, ‘It’s all in the hips,’ and the same applies to backflips. If you initiate your backflip with your head, arms or legs, you will not have any control over the speed of rotation once in the air. If you pop and drive with your hips, it’ll allow you to speed up or slow down your rotation for that perfect buttery landing.”

"Dagnabit, I think I forgot to close the garage door." Pondering life at @micaheli. @salomonfreeski 📸: @chrisrubens

A photo posted by Cody Townsend (@codytownsend) on


5. Stan Rey

“The first thing you’ll want to do is go to the supermarket and buy yourself a set of big cojones. Once that’s done you’re all ready to go. Set your flip by leaning back and spotting your landing as soon as possible. As you get closer to the ground, pull your feet in underneath you and put the landing gear down. Once the first one is out of the way the rest are easy.”


6. Tatum Monod

“Backflips are all about commitment; it’s not a trick you want to back out of last-second. Visualize yourself doing it 10 times before you drop in, go into it with confidence and you will succeed.”

A photo posted by Tatum Monod (@tatummonod) on


7. Parker White

“Basically, what you’re gonna want to do on this one, is exactly what you think is right. There’s really only one way to go on ‘em which is straight back. My advice for a first-timer is to find a nice big cliff and go for the double right off the bat. Not only is it gonna be a great icebreaker for you but it will also be far more impressive for your friends to watch. Once you’ve mastered doing two, one is gonna be no problem.”

Zinger filming with @level1 4 years ago in Les Arcs. 🎥 compliments of @freedlecoty

A video posted by Parker White (@white_parker) on


8. Tanner Rainville

“Step 1: Watch clips of Seth Morrison, he’s probably done more backflips off massive cliffs than anyone. Step 2: Find a more mellow cliff, preferably with a powder landing, and give ‘er. Step 3: Try, and try again until you’ve got it down and always remember, backflips are a crowd pleaser.”

I love airtime! @skierscup #SC16 BC Slopestyle @grandvalira

A video posted by Seth Morrison (@sethmorrison36) on


9. Sammy Carlson

“Stay calm, it’s only a backflip. You’ve got to let your hair down a bit. As you approach the lip, get your feet under you. Wait for the pop then snap your hips forward and your upper body back. Winding up with your arms may help at first. Look with your head and you’ll see the whole world from a new perspective. Don’t forget to float it out.”

Laying one out for the boys here in Japan! 🙌🏼🙏🏼🇯🇵 #penguinflip 📸: @danielronnback

A photo posted by Sammy Carlson (@sammycarlson1) on


10. Lexi duPont

“In order to perform a backflip in the backcountry it is important to be really comfortable with backflips. Do them everywhere and off everything. The second step is to find a feature with enough pop to initiate your rotation. Doing flips off of something flat or downward-sloping is super challenging… trust me. Once you find that nice little Wu-Tang love nugget make sure it has a steep and deep landing. If it all comes together, remember speed is your friend and the pop is everything. Whenever I hit a backcountry feature I always take three more steps up the in-run. Go big.”


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