Shifties are interesting tricks that look like a 180-degree turn. Since you are not doing a 180-degree turn a Shifty can be considered an optical illusion. When doing a Shifty you are creating the look that you did a 180-degree turn and then reversed it to land it.
Twisting your body in opposite directions while in the air creates the optical illusion. While the technique requires a little bit to get used to it isn’t as hard as it sounds and may be easier to do than a 180-degree turn. As is true with an aerial trick, timing is the key.
The first step is to get some air off the half pipe. This is easy to do with a little pumping of the ramp. To pump the ramp and increase your speed and airtime crouch down low and rise up quickly as you hit the transitions. This release of energy will push you into the transition and force your snowboard ahead faster and harder.
Once you have left the ground you can begin to twist the upper and lower portions of your body in opposite directions. The technique for twisting your lower body is much the same as doing a 180. Push your forward foot to the side that you wish it to spin while keeping your rear foot basically planted so as to act as a virtual pivot point. An important thing to bear in mind is to not twist your hips.
Twisting your upper body may be a little easier. The easiest way to twist is to simply point your head the way you want your body to turn and the rest of you will naturally follow. Once again be careful not to twist your hips, as they are the anchor points for your body. If you do twist your hips you may find that you turn too far and thus have trouble giving the impression of having turned 180-degrees or landing your trick smoothly.
Landing a Shifty in a half pipe can be a little harder than landing a 180-degree turn as you will be landing Fakie. The solution to this is easy, practice getting and landing, Air-to-Fakie, a few times before trying the Shifty. The other key to landing the Shifty is getting yourself aligned before you hit the ramp. You must make sure that your snowboard is straight, your head is pointing forward and your hips are aligned. Of course your snowboard must be level with the surface you are about to land on or you will have one end dig in or wheelie when you land.
The Shifty is a simple and easy trick that looks great. The skills that you learn while doing it will greatly aid you in learning how to do 180-degree turns and progress on to other tricks in the half pipe.