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  1. #1
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    how to start dirt jumping

    I feel kind of dumb for asking this... so I'll explain myself a bit.

    I have been riding XC and AM for the past 2 years, and have learned a great amount of skills. I would like to be able to do some light freeriding on my FS bike, as well as some urban riding. From watching friends at the DJ's here, i've decided that I could learn and improve some basic skills I would need to improve my XC/AM/FR whatever you want to call it other riding. It would also be cool to learn another aspect of riding all together.

    So I'd like to put together a 26"dj bike, or 24" if I can find everything cheap.

    But anyways, the question I'm asking here is how did you guys start? I hit like 4' drops and hucks every now and then on the trails, but when it comes to hitting and actual jump I kind of freeze up.

    Has anyone else experienced this transition/fear lol?

    Any pointers would be great. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Actually, its pretty simple to get over the freeze. As soon as to realize and accept that you will wipe and that it will hurt and become okay with it you'll be fine. The only real way to accept this is to just get it over with. Pads and a helm are a good idea when you are starting out. Never give up the helm, though. I still ware pads on my shins/knees and elbows when jumping.

    The only real difference between DJ and FR is how you get up to the point where you are coming down. FR and DH you are pretty much always going down. With DJ you have to immediately go up before you come down. So try to think of it in terms of getting to the sweet spot for a premo huck by jumping to it rather than falling through it. Use the jumps to get to your huck.

    I know this probably does not seem to answer your question but it is the perspective of a XCer and DJer (mostly a DJer).

  3. #3
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    Well, once you get the right bike, I would recommend hitting up a local skate park and cruise around just to get accustomed to the transitions. After a couple weeks you would be surprised at your progress. Once you get used to that sort of riding, you should feel more confident to launch off some of the smaller dj's.

    Everyone has a fear when it comes to trying to ride new things, so (IMO) the most gratifying aspect of riding is overcoming these fears.

  4. #4
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    im not really a djer but i have some expirience with fears... my friend and i built a 5' drop in his backyard (drop to flat) and i was really intimidated by it... I watched my friend hit it his first time, and he claimed it wasn't bad. I was still pretty scared though. I went to the start of the pedaling area, didn't really think about what i was doing, and pedaled as hard as i could so that when i was in the area of the drop i couldn't turn back... Of cours i thouhgt "oh **** what the hell am i doing?" but before i knew it i was on the ground and completely fine... After that i started hitting much bidder drops and the fear mostly went away....

    Just dont think about it really until you cant turn back. i find most things im scared of arent really that bad, you just gotta do them.... I also find downplaying things in your head helps until its too late... Happend to me with an 8' or so drop i hit.... first time i saw it i though, hell no, and walked around. a few weeks later when i was back i thought "oh yea that drop was maybe 3'-4' at most." then i hit the top of it and of course thought "oh **** this is more like 8'" but at that point i had to hit it and it was actually very smooth and easy.

    just dont overthink it and dont think about bad outcomes. just think of yourself doing the jump and how good you'll feel...
    also its not bad to start out on small stuff untill your are sure you can handle the bigger stuff. takes some people half a day and a small jump line to move to the bigger jump lines, or it takes some people a season to move up jump line... Just practice, practice, practice and get comfortable on a bike.

    Yup, thats a lot of rambling but i hope it helped a little bit =]

    also please excuse my poor spelling and grammar, its late and i cant concentrate =O

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurerocker1
    I feel kind of dumb for asking this... so I'll explain myself a bit.

    I have been riding XC and AM for the past 2 years, and have learned a great amount of skills. I would like to be able to do some light freeriding on my FS bike, as well as some urban riding. From watching friends at the DJ's here, i've decided that I could learn and improve some basic skills I would need to improve my XC/AM/FR whatever you want to call it other riding. It would also be cool to learn another aspect of riding all together.

    So I'd like to put together a 26"dj bike, or 24" if I can find everything cheap.

    But anyways, the question I'm asking here is how did you guys start? I hit like 4' drops and hucks every now and then on the trails, but when it comes to hitting and actual jump I kind of freeze up.

    Has anyone else experienced this transition/fear lol?

    Any pointers would be great. Thanks in advance

    i would recommend buying an all-rigid maybe like a haro steel reserve 1.1 or maybe something even cheaper like a DK Cygnus 24" BMX or Haro Backtrail 24" bmx. the key is to figure out how to properly launch out of a lip (whether a ditch wall, bank, or launch ramp . . . stay steady in the air, and land squarely . . . . i would bet that 90+% of dudes jumping full suspension bikes first learned on hardtails and more likely rigid bmx's. jumping a full suspension from scratch will give you bad habits to start off with. . . .




  6. #6
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    thanks for all the replies! I guess I am just over thinking it way too much. When on the downhill runs I just try not to brake to push myself more, and end up going over things I wasn't really planning on. Here, it's just knowingly tossing myself in the air which hangs me up.

    cmc, that is what I am trying to do, but with spending the least amount of money possible. I know 3-400 isnt much, but I just spend some on my xc bike so I'm trying to hold off a bit.

    Am I right to think that learning how to ride more DJ and urban will make me a better rider all around on the things I "prefer" more? I see so many (pinkbike vod's) vids where these guys are tearing up downhill and then switch to their park bikes and are amazing at both

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurerocker1
    Am I right to think that learning how to ride more DJ and urban will make me a better rider all around on the things I "prefer" more?
    That is a really REALLY safe and accurate assumption. No other set of sports are as numerous and similar as bike sports. The more you do the better you will become at all of them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurerocker1
    thanks for all the replies! I guess I am just over thinking it way too much. When on the downhill runs I just try not to brake to push myself more, and end up going over things I wasn't really planning on. Here, it's just knowingly tossing myself in the air which hangs me up.

    cmc, that is what I am trying to do, but with spending the least amount of money possible. I know 3-400 isnt much, but I just spend some on my xc bike so I'm trying to hold off a bit.

    Am I right to think that learning how to ride more DJ and urban will make me a better rider all around on the things I "prefer" more? I see so many (pinkbike vod's) vids where these guys are tearing up downhill and then switch to their park bikes and are amazing at both
    Overthinking always leads to second thoughts, even if you could do it easily, so stop worrying. As for beign a better ride, I would say that learning urban and DJ skills would probably make you better rider, obviously there wouldn't be any direct transfer of skills but your balance and bike control will probably increase which should, increase your DH ability.

  9. #9
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    Overthinking is definitely a huge problem, but just being comfortable with yourself and trusting your bike and skills is a big part of it.

    I was in the same boat as you, I would look at them and watch kids going off them and it made me want to so bad but I didn't feel confident enough in my skills to do it. So I'd sit at the pump track and really work on getting the pumping form down and once you get good at that you can actually catch a lil bit of air off of some of the rollers. Out by me the pump track here has a few nice sized rollers where once you are efficient at pumping you can actually get a decent amount of air. I've been doing that to learn how to maneuver/handle the bike before/during/after and am much more confident on the bigger jumps now.

  10. #10
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    You don't need a dedicated DJ rig to learn. I've seen people learn on everyting from nice XC bikes and Wally-Mart Huffys. I learned on a FS bike so it's possible to do. And I started with drops to flat, then drops to tranny (much better). If you've got that down you have the 2nd part figured out alraeay. Now you just need to figure out the 1st part--the going up/takeoff part. Find a spot with some good tame beginner tables and have at it. Come up short--land on top--no big deal. Can't find any table-tops--find a spot and build your own--or make a wooden kicker you can haul around and put it in front of a nice transition.

  11. #11
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    FInd a flyout or tabletop lip. It should be something that doesn't have a gap or any serious consequences. Throw yourself at the sucker until you can jump higher and farther than you thought. Put sticks on the deck and see if you can clear the stick each time. Think back to middle school and what sort of challenges you would give yourself to push your skills. Jumpin sticks and cereal boxes. Thats how I pushed my limits back then.

  12. #12
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    Go find table tops, and hit them until you land clean on the transition of the landing. And then start hitting doubles, small ones at first to build your confidence up

  13. #13
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    hi

    hi guys im new to this and looking at gettin a DJ bike what are your recommendations???

  14. #14
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    In addition to what others have said, I'd add that a BMX track on practice day is a great place to learn and to work on hitting the down slopes upon landing. I'm a BMX racer first and foremost, with XC, AM, FR, DH, urban, road and any other cycling disclipine after that - but the skills I've gained at the track transfer nicely to my local trails.
    Too many bicycles to list...

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