Jumping Over Snowboarding Jibs

What Is Jibbing?

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The jib is both a noun and a verb, with the definition changing depending on usage. As a noun, a jib is an object or obstacle used by a snowboarder to jump upon or over while the verb form of the word is the physical act of jumping on or over the object.

Jibs can be made from almost anything, natural or man-made including trees, logs, stumps, handrails, barrels, tires, vehicles, walls, and people — which are not recommended but totally possible. Essentially, anything a freestyle snowboarder can use to do a trick off of while sliding down the slope can be considered a jib.

However, jibbing can also damage a snowboard if the jib is made of organic material. A snowboard that is specifically used for jibbing is often referred to as a jib stick.

What to Avoid

If you're planning on freestyling down a mountain slope, especially one of an intermediate or expert level, you should probably avoid certain pitfalls of novice snowboarders, especially when it comes to jibbing.

For instance, although a large fallen tree covered in snow may appear to be the perfect jumping point for your next trick to impress your friends, there may be hidden branches under the snow that could catch your snowboard or even a hollow hole under the snow that your weight would collapse if you landed wrong.

Another important thing to note are hidden cliffs on the other side of large objects. Although you may think you can see the next path, depth perception gets tricky when you're racing through trees and making difficult jumps off of them. Always be sure to know where you're going, but don't be afraid to take a few risks!

Learning to Jib

If you're coming from a skateboarding background, jibbing is literally the same thing as grinding in skateboarding: the goal is to slide the board along a surface or use it as a jumping off point. Really, the best way to learn how to do this is practice, first by mastering jumping with a snowboard, then by mastering balancing the landing as you use inertia to move you down or along the surface, you're jibbing.

Still, there are a few helpful tricks to making jibbing an easier experience. First, it's important that the edges of your board not be tuned and sharp, which is why most freestyle snowboarders have a specific board for jibbing.

Starting with an easy rail like one at the base of a small hill that follows the same angle as the hill will be the easiest way to overcome the fear of your first jump and start sticking those landings. It's important to master the very art of staying on the rail all the way down it before moving along to more advanced tricks to combine with the basic jib.