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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you bada$$es do tricks in the air? Please TEACH ME!

How did you learn? My local terrain is limiting so this is why i never jump much. Just XC some small DH etc. Basic fast riding is what I was used to with technical rocky/rooty stuff etc.

I've have been riding for many years and I feel that I am very good at fast Downhill riding, my stance etc looks solid, I'm fast and smooth (usually lol) and I launch off dirt ramps and drops with proper form (weight shifted back, arms extended and it absorbs a lot of my ramping air ), but when doing that I lose height during my dirt jumps.

For control it is great but for "cool" factor it has none lol. My buddy fly's higher than me all the time and it's pissing me off! Sure i'll fly down a downhill course and probably beat every friend I know to the bottom of the hill but they are throwing in some good style along the jumps and I have 0 of that lol. I might get a little tail whip in thats 2 feet off the ground but that is about all I can do lol.

So what am I missing?

DO I just jack up on the handle bars when coming off a lip? Pre-Load coming into the lip then jack the bars up? I'm worried i'll pull up too hard and eat it on the landing because i'll coming down canted or something if I don't pull up evenly off the entry lip. I'm not scared to crash, I actually ate it hard 4 times in the past month worse than I ever have so that's not it.... or maybe it has something to do with it and it's siking me out? I just see video after video of riders who toss their bikes in the air like it is nothing. What do you do to get good like that, just go for it and HOPE it all works out lol?

Should I be pre-loading and pulling the bars UP and towards my hips to get more control of the bike, should I get on my bike and get back to the basics by riding around and bunny hopping my bike untill I get good at that "feel" of yanking it up with the use of my legs and hips more etc?

Launching high off a lip and Bike handling in the air is my nemesis right now, my jumps are not what I want them to be. Any tips/tricks to get better would really be appreciated.

Sorry for the rant, I am just eager to get better at big jumps. I could use all the help you bada$$ riders can give me. It's only 72 Days until our Colorado Trip to Trestler and Keystone.

I am riding a 2011 Giant Reign 1 (6" of Travel)
5-Ten Shoes
Diety Decoy Pedals
 

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Go faster - more speed gives more height.
Yanking up on the bars probably won't help, and it might even mess you up in the air.
Pump into the transition harder to load the suspension more.

Um, that's all I got.
 

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Don't yank the bars. That will throw you off. It's more about not sucking up the jump with your body, as you seem to be doing.

Use your legs to push into the ramp of the jump. (This is contrary to what it sounds like you are doing.) You will find the you will gain more height off the jump, and the bike will come up to you.
 

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someone mentioned practice on BMX to get your form.... i completely disagree.. my background was BMX and i used to huck BIG jumps. The technique is completely different going from a bike with no suspension to full suspension. When i tried jumping my DH rig for the first time over big sets, i used my same bmx technique and almost ENDOed twice.

on a bmx bike, you can 'pull up' on the lip to gain more height, using this technique on a MTB causing the rear to load and act like a pogo stick causing you to bounce forward.

my best advice.... start small... keep the body neutral on the bike. (itll feel like you're leaning slightly forward off the lip).. dont lift. if anything, preload the suspension down on the lip slightly to make sure both wheels are extending together. this will get you and your bike in the air evenly. i found this on the internet some time back, after almost wrecking several times, and this was the best thing i could find regarding jumping a MTB. the best thing you can do to get higher, speed....... if you are looking for more air, find a larger lip/jump to huck you higher. dont force air from a jump that throws you gap/distance wise, instead of height wise. thats a receipe for disaster.

Jumping technique with diagram here:
Lee Likes Bikes

...... oh and another thing.... stop comparing yourself to your buddies. if they have more experience, they will always make things seem easier and get more air etc. ;)
 

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I'll have to disagree about the speed thing... the faster you go, the less height (and more distance) you'll get - aka "racer style". In fact I'll slow down if I want to boost air because you need to have time to really pump the face of the jump. Whistler is a different story tho where the jump faces are long and mellow so it doesn't matter and then, yeah, speed helps. To pump a face you just crouch low (butt over rear tire) and explode upward as you move up the face. Pull the bike up into your center bending your arms and legs in the air (staying REALLY LOOSE). Another tip - never EVER try big tricks on small jumps. Big tricks need big jumps, trust me. Build up to it. Biggest beginner mistake is they stay too far back on the bike in DH attack mode like you were describing. That just absorbs the face and you don't get height, then most will stiffen up and be lucky to stay in control to save the landing. You can't get style if your bike is way out in front of you because there is no room to play the bike with your arms stretched out. Stay loose in the air and get more forward (centered on the bike). And above all...

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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same jump i almost endo'ed on that i was talking about.. haha. i remember that thread MotoDane. your videos were helpful for sure. Now im hittin 20ft+ no problem :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
THANKS GUYS!!!

I think I am understanding what I need to do Vs. What I WAS doing (absorbing the lip with my body in DH Attack Mode and staying back on the bike thus not getting much air but launching me long and low, with not much of any pump off the lip), when I need to be pumping off the lip and bringing the bars to my center while not yanking and bring my body more center over the bike.

Staying really loose is what I need to work on, i'm sure I get a bit tense as I start to fly lol. So I definitely need to work on that too.

I will also check out more videos to study the form etc, that jump MotoDane250 linked was awesome!!!!! I wish I was close so I could try to hit that jump and watch some of you higher skilled guys hit that stuff!

In regards to comparing myself to my buddy, we are similar skilled riders so I should be on Par with him, I'm just not as good with big air as he is right now but that is going to change!! My confidence on big air is what is holding me back and the lack of proper technique. He's got the technique down and I'm flailing around like an idiot crashing because I yank the bars etc lol or flying low and fast through stuff he flys up and over lol. I need to be right up there so we can get some good footage and roll out hitting some serious air. 71 Days to get better! I'll get there....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My advice is to study videos of other people jumping. Notice body position and technique. Look for small things you may be overlooking. I posted these videos in a jumping technique thread before. May be helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf7tyaDqdp8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq3S12Xhr98
Man these guys make it look EASY. I am looking at them but I don't even see them pre-loading off the lip, or maybe they are and I cannot see it lol. I guess my thing is I'm crouching and they are more so standing up as they go up and over the lip?
 

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20+ ft...impressive!!, dang I wish I could do that now.

Thanks! it all comes with time, patience, and confidence. i'll tell ya... the bigger hits, although scary, once you feel comfortable, they are still super smooth... these DH bikes can make for nice landings. Love having all that travel :)

report back. let us know how you're doing next time you ride.
 

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Man these guys make it look EASY. I am looking at them but I don't even see them pre-loading off the lip, or maybe they are and I cannot see it lol. I guess my thing is I'm crouching and they are more so standing up as they go up and over the lip?
It's a typical park step-up jump and actually not a great example because you really don't even need to preload much if any on that jump. That's the thing about parks - they're jumps are made "fool proof" so you really just have to have enough speed and "hold on" to clean it. Steep lipped jumps in the back-country are a different animal.

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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All good points, mostly..

Like many have said, start small, get confidence and go with it. Be smart and safe and it will come in time. 5 years ago, I couldn't jump anything, now I have no problem with the bigger jumps (Dwayne Johnson last fall) although I still have no style :)
 

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look for the fluidride dvd's by si lawton theres lots of great info in them about the mtb fundamentals. it could even be worth having a lesson from a qualified skils coach, and learn the propper correct techniques,
basically jumping comes down to setting up, compressing the bikes suspension into the lip with your hips/legs and arms, staying in a neutral position on the bike. how how you compress depends on how high you go, basically popping the bike off the lip.
if you dont want to go big or high, then you suck up the lip by letting the bike move up into your body, absorbing it, kind of like you would if you were going over a kerb or obstacle like a branch or somthing on the trail,
speed is also important. as speed gives you distance to clear jumps.
as the other guys have said, you dont really want to be pulling up on the bars to much as this will cause you to go unsatble in the air, most likley resulting in an accident,
you need to keep you elbows at the same height, if one is lower than the other, this is when you bike get uneven in the air.
also like the others said, start small and build up, remember crawl first before you can walk, then learn to jog before running. dont try to sprint first, ha ha, it's all down to cofidence skill and technique. heres a link to some vids on youtube for jumping techniques, i havnt seen any so not sure if they good or bad, like i said before. si lawtons fluidride vids are well worth a purchase, and are full of great info,
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+jump+on+a+mountain+bike
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the advice and help so far fellas. I have been riding locally but we do not have any actual dirt jumps that I could find anywhere close to me. However I just found a place today that is a BMX dirt jump hang out, looks like they have a few mounds I can hit and try to improve my HORRIBLE dirt jump skills on, most stuff is WAY outta my league. I will take some video and post it up so you all can make fun of me for not knowing how to jump properly. I watched quite a few more videos and it seems that I am most definitely "SQUASHING THE JUMP" and I cannot seem to get out of that mindset/habit.

So since we talked last I have made 0 progressing but hopefully I can change that tomorrow morning. I've really been frustrated because until today I could not find a place to build or a place that already had dirt jumps so it was impossible to progress and well.... I hate that feeling of not being able to get better at something I am lacking in. So tomorrow is the day. lol Thanks again guys, i'm re-reading all your tips and suggestions again before I go.

I'll report back, one thing I know is i MUST get better before Colorado or it;s going to F with my confidence. 48 Days until Trestle and Keystone!
 

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Like the others said you got to start off small and work your way up. Find a medium sized table top, and practice boosting off that, you don't need to hit it faster just try and pump the transition, in fact you can start out jumping it slow and landing on the top of the table just so you can really concentrate on popping off the lip. I would also suggest you master the Bunny Hop.
 

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Jumping technique with diagram here:
Lee Likes Bikes
Thank you so much for posting this! The "wrong" diagram was exactly what I was doing, and the explanations and diagram were exactly what I needed. Yesterday was the first time I ever really felt right on a jump, and not surprisingly the first time I ever really enjoyed a jump line. It's kind of amazing to me how much easier it looks (and is) just being a little farther forward.
 
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