Doing a 360 air in a half pipe is very similar to doing a 360 air off a jump. The main difference is the timing of your spin. When launching from a jump you have a few options as to when you start your spin and a little more grace when you land. When doing a 360 air in the half pipe you must be fast and accurate or you will bail when you land.
The key to performing a 360 air is the build up of potential energy in your body and being able to control the release of the energy. This is easier to do than it sounds thanks to the physics of the human body. In order to build up the required energy for the spin you need to pre-load or twist certain points of your body. If you fail to pre-load your body it is unlikely that you will ever be able to complete a 360 air.
The first step to a 360 air is the launch and your skill. You must be able to do a 180-degree spin before trying a 360 air. You must also be able to get enough air and be fast enough that you can do a 180-degree spin before you hit the apex of your air. Being able to do a 180-degree spin before the apex of your air will ensure that you have enough time to do a full 360 air.
As you race towards your launch point you will want to do a pre-flight check. You should be crouched down, ready to do a Bunny hop and your body pre-loading for the spin. There is some debate as to when and where you should begin your spin. Many people feel that you should start to spin before you launch into the air while other people feel that you should spin once you are in the air. For a 360 air the debate is not all that important especially if you can do a 180-degree spin before the apex, but it does become much more important when you try to do more than a 360 air.
The reason why I suggest pre-loading your body and then spinning in the air is due to the drag that can occur during the launch. If you begin to spin while you are still in contact with the ramp you will loose some of your momentum and this will reduce your speed and thus amount of air and increase the odds of your not being able to complete the 360 air. If you have already begun the spin you do not need as much air to complete it but I feel it is better to get as much air as possible and spin within that constraint.
Once you are in the air you can release all of your energy in to the spin. This is easy to do as long as you are looking where you want to go. As you are looking your shoulders, hips and snowboard will also spin to follow. You can stop your spin by looking at a single point on the ground.
A 360 air in a half pipe isn’t hard to do nor is it much different from a regular 360 air. If you are able to do a 180-degree spin before the apex of your air you can do a 360 air. A 360 air is an eye-pleasing trick that everyone will pay attention to and is the base for many more tricks and variations.