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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm not a youngun anymore and have never had a problem getting air when I was a kid or when I was riding MX but am now getting back into it and am really struggling with jumps. I can kill tech trails but can't seem to get even a tiny bit of air without getting squirly. Got a SC Nomad a while ago and love it but am having trouble with my jump technique. Everytime I try to jump i end up leaning hard to one side in the air and washing out the front end when I land. I'm pulling up at the lip and I guess not pulling evenly. Crashed HARD in Auburn a couple months ago and am now a little gun shy to commit when I roll up to a jump. I am hoping to go to Northstar soon and want to get as much airtime as possibly. Help me learn to jump. I know this sounds basic but I'm at a loss. On big jump trails do you pull up going off the lip....compress the suspension at the base and just let the bike fly off the lip....what ???
I hate to sound stupid....but how the he!! do you jump a full suspension bike.

Thanks for the advice and try not to hate on the noob question to hard.
 

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Sounds like you need to "Losen up" a little when you jump....

Also maybe try messing around with your rebound on your shox.

hope that helps a little...:thumbsup:
 

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Don't worry give it some practice and you'll have it down in no time. Just loosen up like balfa said and don't "pull up" so much coming out of the lip. Instead, preload hard into the jump and release and unweight the bike right before you get to the lip.

Watch the Fluidride jumping tutorial for more in depth technique tips.

http://declinemagazine.com/visuals/fluidride/fluidride_vol2_jumps.htm
 

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Pivotal figure
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I'm going with the suspension setup tip since you obviously have experience with jumps. One of my friends was having the same problem so I tried his bike on an easy jump; nearly ate it hard due to the rebound being way too fast and the suspension too soft. After a few adjustments it was much more controllable.
 

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I had a similar problem when I started riding doubles. Best suggestion I have is to make sure your elbows are level when you preload, and leave the lip of the jump. Any height difference will cause you to turn in the air in the direction of the lower elbow.
 

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dirt visionary
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Yeah loosen up....Drink a few beers it has helped me in the past.. and pretty much what the other guys have said . Keep elbows even, preload but resist the pull up and practice.

Also other things like wrong bike size, wrong stem size can throw one off as I had that problem last year with having the wrong frame size.I got the same frame again but smaller and it changed everything.
 

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scars

i look at it like this. its DH... ur going to get hurt. no matter what you do its gunna happen, you just dont know when. i had the same problem. i was fine when i first started no problems. but i tried hiting this one jump, and went over the bars when i landed. got back up did it again, and front tire washed out and i slid 5 feet on my leg. i got it the third time (this was all in a row) because i new my pride was at stake. but to this day i have fear in me from that jump. even on all the small jumps that i know i can do. its there you just have to know how to control that fear and not let it get to you. i even have scars on my legs that look like a tiger clawed all down my legs. hoppe that helps :thumbsup:
 

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Now with More Wood
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More speed, and pull up with less violence (or even not at all). I find that I get unbalanced and squirrely when I try to pump the bike too hard, usually because I lack speed to get to the other side....as others said, compress the bike into the jump, then look up and ahead while trying to relax your body to let the bike get you airborne - try to feel it come up underneath you in a level way. Keep your legs bent and allow the bike to come up under you to avoid getting bucked OTB. A good trick to try is to relax your grip on the handlebars and keep your elbows bent (and level) at take off. I find this usually helps me fly straight (although it may not get you far enough, so start off on a table). Just don't forget to hold on again for the landing...

As dowst said, if you can unload the bike JUST before going off the lip, it will take some of the violence off the first part of the flight path and allow you to get the feel for the balance again. Then as you build a better feeling for it, you can allow the bike's suspension to pop you off the lip more and more.

Practicing bunny hops a lot will also help with the general flight path feeling of the bike (getting the bike to come up into you, and pushing the handlebars forward to level out etc...) and will help you avoid getting squirrely IF you have to pull up a bit harder.
 

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Just another FOC'er
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Here are some things that I think will help: Push into the face of the kicker with FS. Stay neutral/forward on the bike. Find a nice jump and session it for hours so you get it totally wired. I think this is critical because you should get very comfortable on it and that'll give you lots of confidence on other jumps.

And try throwing some simple tricks because it'll force you to stay loose in the air.
 

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Well, being an old guy myself (currently 47 and aging fast). I think I can help you out here some.

Being a former owner of a Nomad myself, I can assure you it is a great jumper. I couldn't recommend a better AM bike to learn on.

Plenty of good advice so far. BUT FOR NOW, you need to ignore most of it. It is correct, but will only muck up the waters at you current stage of development. You'll eventually need to learn it, but that is more to compensate for poorly designed jumps or adding "style" to your jumping.

The fact that you are tilting mid flight is proof that you're fighting the bike. Believe me when I say, your bike wants to fly upright. When it doesn't, it is because it is being carried along by an object with greater mass (i.e. You).

Rather then pulling up on the bars, pushing into the face of jumps or any other techniques, at this point you really need to just learn to FLOW off of WELL DESIGNED jumps & drops, using proper body postion and slight weight shifts.

All the other stuff can come later after you've got some basic air time and built your confidence.

First off, make sure your rebound isn't to fast. If anything make it a little slow. Fast rebound will give you better "pop" but it will punish you more for a mistake in technique.

LOWER YOUR SEAT.

Drops are generally easier then ramp type jumps. Make sure they got a clean run up and landing. Start out as large as your confidence allows and practice, practice, practice. No exaggerated movements. Just jump off racer style. Pushing the bike slightly out in front of you and getting over the rear tire. The bigger the drop the farther back you need to get (within reason of course).

Here is a pic of me on a drop at Palmer Park. Nothing fancy, just flowing off with no exaggerated movements.


Ramp jumps. BUILD YOURSELF ONE. Start out about a foot high and don't make it to short. At least 4 or 5 feet long. Longer ramps won't buck you like a shorter ramp. Get out and practice on it. Let the neighbors laugh all they want, but practice.

Again, a ramp jump will need slightly different technique then a drop. But for now just get you weight slightly back of centered, body slightly crouched, and FLOW off the jump. Don't try pushing into the face, but don't try to suck it up either, don't pull up hard on the bars, just flow off using proper body position to keep in all in line. Techniquely this could be considered a "Dead Sailor", but it isn't until you start going big, that you have to worry about compensating for slight errors mid flight. So for now just learn to flow, the rest can come later.

Here is a sequence shot of me. Notice I am not doing anything fancy. Look at my legs and body position at take off and mid flight. It doesn't change much. I am SLIGHTLY more extended at take off then at mid flight. Weight slightly back at take off and then a VERY slight shift of weight forward mid flight. NO EXAGGERATED MOVEMENTS. Do it right and the bike will arch nicely thru the entire flight.




Fast smooth jumps, you can just hit racer style. Similar to doing a drop, just push the bike out in front of you and get low and over the rear tire. Here is a pic of me in classic "racer style" at the Crested Butte race in 2007. Note body position. Nothing fancy, just flowing, like water down a hill. Get your position right and physics does all the work. Nice.


REMEMBER, both your body and your bike WANT to stay upright. Usually when thing go wrong, it is you fighting the laws of physics. One of the best pieces of advice came from one of the other posters, and was absolutely Gospel. RELAAAAAAX!!! Look at all the pic's. They have a common denominator. I am relax, elbow, knees slightly bent. Slightly crouched, upper and lower body loose. I'm relaxed and I have accepted my emanate death (just kidding).:D But seriously relaxed and loose, but not floppy, still in control.

Final word. Once you start going bigger. COMMIT. This cannot be over stressed. Never go off of anything you're not willing to do without hesitation. If you do, you're asking for a trip to the emergency room.

Hope this helps. And don't listen to anyone who trys to tell you, "you're to old". Thats a cop out.:thumbsup:
 

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most of the jumps at auburn are pretty piss poor in terms of their shape - i assume you're speaking of tunnel trail/confluence. They're fun to hit if you're comfortable with air time, but they're just squirrly jumps by nature. Theres a couple of big ones that are pretty smooth, but from the sounds of it the big ones aren't your thing yet - the small ones are short and steep. Northstar has much better formed jumps. Practice livewire and just plan on landing on top of the jump at first. Then work your way into landing on the downside slope, but just get comfortable with the jump lobbing you, and not trying to get pop or take pop away.
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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u r pulling up to hard that is why u lean to the side

everybody looks for short cuts but you have to start small and build up to it
 

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American Icon
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Been there...

The "lean" happens to me now and again... almost always from trying to pull up too much when leaving the lip of the jump. I know it sounds funny, but a bit more speed off the jump almost always prevents that for me, and I flow off the lip smoother.

My first day a few years ago at Whistler had me running A-line and DM over and over again... building speed, and getting comfortable in the air. Once you learn to let the bike loft over the lip and not force it (by pulling up hard on the bars), things tend to go smoothly. The only crash I had was on the third day trying to get fancy (x-up) off the jump. Front tire didn't get back on-line 100% and I slid out on landing. Oh well!

Since few of my local trails have great jumps to session, I tend to head to a bike park early in summer and spend the first day getting comfortable in the air again. By the middle of the first day, all is well.

I would also shadow the rebound tips mentioned earlier. I tend to like fast rebound on my shocks, and slowing it down 2-3 clicks has helped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the fantastic advice fellers!!
You guys really stepped up on this one and I appreciate it big time. I'll take all the tips and see if I can get my old form back. I think if I can get 1 good jump and see how that feels then all will be good.
You guys rule!!
 
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