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  1. #1
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    Hucks and Drops; How big?

    I'm pretty new to this discipline of MTBing(been mainly xc since I started), and I was wondering how big of a drop(not jump) is big for you guys and how big is too big. Like I said, I'm pretty new at hucking and dropping, only been seriosly working on it for lees thank 2 weeks, and a 3 footer is getting kinda big for me. I was also wondering how long it took you guys to get decent going bigger than 3 feet?

    Thanks, any input is greatly appriciated

  2. #2
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    It kinda depends on the take off and landing zones for me. I'm not too good so anymore 3' flat to flat is about my skill level too. Anything more than that and I'm relying too much on the suspension and not enough on actual skill . I had more ballz back when I was in HS and I'd do 5's on a rigid bike (usually with a downward sloping landing though). I think the less you think about it the better, the skill set doesn't change much as the drops get bigger. It's all about body control, muscle memory, and practice.

  3. #3
    Wzl
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    I personally don't like going too big but it really does depend on the take off and landing. I ride with a couple of very huck-savy riders and I have learned a great deal from them. I have two issues that I am dealing with.

    1. I like to be able to see the landing zone before I take off. This means that I prefer take off's that have slightly downhill slopes to them. If I can't see where I am going then I get nervous and yank the bike in all the wrong directions. See next point.

    2. I have the tendancy to yank the bars or do something goofy with my feet when I get nervous. This is bad because it puts the bike and you in something other than a vertical postiion with the wheels parallel to the ground. Ideally the rider should just give a slight push forward on the bars along with a slight motion of ones rear end rearward. Effecting these "slight" motions help me to keep the bike straight instead of me yanking the bars to one side. Once this is mastered you can work on pushing down the rear wheel as well which I think makes for more controlled landings in more technical terrain.

    There are certainly many other techniques but if you can get to where you are smooth on the smaller stuff then you can go bigger and also work on more technical take off's and landings.

    My 2 cents...........

  4. #4
    Hard as nails
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    I agree with what the others have stated...

    I have been Mtb riding for about 5 years (a lil jitter bug compared to some bikers). I had a background in BMX while living in Cali for tens years during my youth. With that said, it became very natural when it was time to launch off something.

    I agree with Wzl, I like to see my landing zone - but that is not always available. I rely on this thought, 'for the most part, the tecnique is the same if I were taking a 3 ft drop or a 15ft drop. (Small upward/rearward tug at the bars to allow tiem for the rear wheel to take flight - to prevent the devesatating ENDO)

    I make sure my weight is at the rear of the bike (saddle sometimes in near my belly) As I approach the landing I make slight adjustments to trajectory (sp) to match the landing zone. (i.e. slight push down on the bars if my front end is too high)

    Speed is the other curcial element to dropping. Completely trusting the fact that momentum is my friend was another issue. Too slow, the rear wheel does not make it off the launch zone in time and the front end takes you for a Superman like journey. Too fast and you miss the transition and land to flat, possibly getting thrown off the bike and/or damaging your bike.

    I try to avoid landing to flat at all cost! Not fun (to me), and most important, hard on the bike. IMHO, it takes repetition, nerves, faith in your skillz, and a lil luck With that approach I can now take 15 - 18ft drops with nice transition and flow. I have had my share of wrecks, but they are at a minimum now. I have pushed my self because I need that element of danger to really feel like I am doing something out there.

    So too big is relative to your skill, nerve, and faith in your skill, with a dash of luck!
    Its like blind faith!

  5. #5
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    try to avoid landing to flat at all cost! Not fun (to me), and most important, hard on the bike
    If you don't land flat, then how are you supposed to land? Land on the nose and do an endo is what I always thought(and expierienced), land on the rear and risk losing control. And one would think that landing on a bike from 15' would be hard on the bike no matter how you land. And do you do that on a DH bike?

  6. #6
    Yummy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover Nick
    If you don't land flat, then how are you supposed to land?
    There is a big difference between landing flat and landing to flat. First describes the bike's position wrt the ground, the second describes the nature of the ground itself.

    Drops to flat are hard on the frame, as the full force of the impact is driven into the bike on landing. Drops to transition (downhill) landing allow better absorption of forces, less harsh on the bike/frame/rider.

    Kn.
    I used to be with it. Then, they changed what "it" is, and now what I'm with is no longer "it". And whatever "it" is, is strange and confusing.

  7. #7
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    Hucksters

    So I just started hucking, too. This was the look on my face the first time I took a 3-footer I was also tapping the brakes right before the launch.

    Nowadays, I can take 3-5 footers no probs. But the key really is repetition. Huck a lot, and huck progressively larger things by increment. I started off small. Two feet on a fairly technical trail that had a sudden turn after the landing. I did that a couple of times one morning and then by the afternoon, I was feeling comfy with it and itching for something bigger. So then I went to something that is three-plus feet. A series of steps that landed to flat. What are you gonna do re: bike and forces and impact? I'm still doing this on my rides and am building up to something about 5 feet. At this point, I know I can do 5 feet plus. I'm just waiting for my body to absolutely 100 percent FEEL that I can.

    This is my approach. Wax on and then wax off. Wait to both know you got the skills for bigger and feel it 100% in your gut/muscle memory before moving on to the next step.

    That's my two cents.

  8. #8
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    ok, im not a pro at this, but setting yourself up for the jump is very important! i have jumped bmx ramps (im not claiming big ones) and i noticed that if i was leaning on the takeoff ramp, i leaned farther in the air and fell off. So when you jump, make sure you are straight up and down, and know what you are going to do in the air. for me, the more speed, the better on jumps. if i overclear the landing, at least i know i didnt hit the landing ramp and eat dirt.

    dunno if that helped or if that is just common sense....

  9. #9
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    Stick your elbows out when you jump, stay loose and not locked up in the air, and go a little faster than you think you might need to.

    The biggy for me was staying loose and not locking up my arms in the air.
    Tarekith.com

    '12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.

  10. #10
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    Relaxing is a big thing for me. On dirt jumps and drops if you take off relaxed you stay straighter in the air and the bike will move with you i.e. feet stay on pedals.

    It will also help you absorb the landing better.

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