Get stezzy with the tail butter-360 |

Get stezzy with the tail butter-360

Kelly Coffey
Photo compilation by Matt IndenKelly Coffey performs a tail butter-360 on Vail Mountain.

The tail butter-360 is just one of the many possibilities branching off butters. It lets you harness the energy of a flexed ski and spring into the air. This trick turns a molehill into a mountain, allowing you to use a roller or small bump to set up a cool-looking trick. Aside from impressing your friends, this move is a stepping stone to buttering onto rails, a creative way to get onto rails when basic methods have gone stale.

The tail butter-360 consists of a tail butter (where you spin 180 degrees with your tails on the ground) followed by a pop where you spin another 180 degrees in the air. You start switch, do a tail butter so that you’re facing forward with your ski tips off the snow, pop into the air and continue the rotation while the skis are completely off the snow, and finish by landing in the switch position.

Start by warming up with some tail butters. Make sure you keep your knees bent, pushing your hips more down than back so that you don’t put too much strain on your knees.

Ollies are a good way to get the feel for the pop. Standing still, lever back on your tails, then practice popping up and rotating the skis a few degrees. Try to increase the rotation more and more.

While slowly moving backwards, throw a tail butter and continue it with a pop into a hockey stop. Once you’ve got that down, shoot for the full tail butter-360.

Make sure that your tips don’t touch the snow between the tail butter and the pop, otherwise you loose the energy of the flexed ski. This can be the hardest part of learning the move. You can do this on a flat slope, but doing it off a roller will increase both the air time and sick factor.

For those of you who’ve conquered the tail butter-360, you can go for the tail butter-540 (a tail butter followed by a 360-degree spin in the air), a much-more committing trick that requires faster speeds and more airtime. Not for the faint of heart.

Next week: 180s

Kelly Coffey is a freestyle trainer and instructor for the Vail Ski and Snowboard School. He is PSIA advanced-freestyle-accredited and level-III-certified. He appeared in Warren Miller’s film “Impact.” He also does freestyle tips segments for PlumTV.

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