Wheelies are an old trick that goes back at least as far as roller skating does and most likely much further. It seems that any time any body has a vehicle with four wheels they need to find a way to make it run on just two wheels for a while. The list of examples can vary from muscle cars to skateboards to quads and motor bikes.
Wheelies are not a trick limited to vehicles with more than one tire. The definition of a wheelie has now extended to include things such as snowboards. While a snowboard does not have any wheels on it, the principal of how a wheelie works is the exact same.
When it comes to snowboarding, a wheelie is a simple matter of balance. Your goal is to learn how to balance your weight on nothing but the tail of your snowboard while going down a slope. As with most skills, this ability also increases your skills required for other tricks.
The exact technique required for you to wheelie will very depending upon your riding style. Of course the first step is to be riding down a gentle slope that you are very comfortable with. The first wheelie to practice is the tail wheelie where you will be raising the nose of your snowboard off the ground and riding on just the tail.
To raise the nose off the ground you need to stiffen your front leg, as it will act as the fulcrum for you. As you stiffen your front leg slightly bend your rear leg and begin to raise your front leg up into the air while leaning backwards. An important thing to keep in mind is that your spine must also bend in a gentle curve to help you arc the nose of your snowboard off the ground. Once you get the nose of your snowboard off the ground it is only a matter of learning to feel the flex in your snowboard and thus learning what it needs to get your wheelie higher off the ground and for longer periods of time.
One important thing to keep in mind is that a wheelie will exert a lot more pressure on your snowboard than what you normally would. This means that if you have a defective or damaged snowboard there is a very good chance that you will snap it when practicing. You can reduce the risk of snowboard failure by placing less weight on the ends and not raising your snowboard as high off the ground.
Wheelies are a fun trick that is not reserved just for rides with wheels. With some practice you will be able to wheelie like a pro on your snowboard and will soon develop the skills to do other wheelie related tricks.