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  1. #1
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    Waterfall First-Timer Tips?

    I'm about 95% confident I can ride down the waterfall. Thinking about giving it a shot this weekend. Any advice for a first-timer?

  2. #2
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    Close you eye's and let go of the brakes!

    Check the U-toob, there are a bunch of vids w/ several different lines. Personally I ride the spine from rt. to left and then just follow the flow.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan2W1
    Close you eye's and let go of the brakes!

    Check the U-toob, there are a bunch of vids w/ several different lines. Personally I ride the spine from rt. to left and then just follow the flow.
    I've walked my bike down it several times... and I'm leaning toward the inside line. The spine looks hardest to me!

  4. #4
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    It it kinda sketchy lookin' from waaay up top, but for me it flows the best. The inside rutted line closest to the rock has you pointed the wrong way where it drops into the rocky bit at the bottom.

  5. #5
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    I started by doing far right line which is not as steep, but takes way more control.

    left line is easiest. it is a straight shot. Just point and go! Keep over the back of the seat and hold on!

    Once you get over the mind f_ck of the first drop on left side you will say " That was easy"

  6. #6
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    Yeah that's what I think just by looking at it, the Spine seems the easiest line but probably takes bigger gonads to actually try it because of the fear factor.

    I'm bringing my HD Camcorder so when Crispy does a Huffyboy we can all enjoy it afterwards.
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  7. #7
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    If I'm on my XC bike (HT 29er) I always take the right line slowly with a little pause at the top. If I'm on my suspension bike I take the spine or the left line with consistent momentum. It took me a while to get comfortable with the momentum part, but it is much more fun and less sketchy that way for me.

    If you're going to ride the spine be sure to make your left turn wide enough so your rear wheel can follow the line of your front wheel. I've seen a few people skitter their rear wheel off the spine because they had not finished their turn before rolling down.
    Dirtbag on these boards spotted me through my first spine run a few years ago. Ever since that day the fear factor has been absent.

  8. #8
    rip the line
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    That's funny, I posted a thread about this a year ago and hot Huffy boy'ed also. Now I can roll about any line on it you can point me at. It aint bad at all.
    "I tried to live always free and above board like you" Cool Hand Luke

  9. #9
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    Left line, point shoot and hold on. Its so easy that it's just as easy in the dark as in the day.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    Left line, point shoot and hold on. Its so easy that it's just as easy in the dark as in the day.
    it is like that but I'd have to say the drop in on waterfall at night (with NO lights) is the sketchiest thing on National at night! Now with a couple Magic shines........is a diff story!
    "Its like Church to me, Like Church is, what it is for other people"

  11. #11
    sixsixtysix
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    Quote Originally Posted by RidingRiot
    it is like that but I'd have to say the drop in on waterfall at night (with NO lights) is the sketchiest thing on National at night! Now with a couple Magic shines........is a diff story!

    Nope, I think the upper waterfall is sketchier at night than the lower section. Its longer with a gentle curve and that wall on the right hand side can easily grab a bar since it is DARK coming through there even with a full moon.

    I have ridden the lower waterfall both by moonlight and with just my bar mounted MiNewt and its easy, you don't need no stinking 900 lumen flood light!

  12. #12
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    My first time was with a broken rear triangle (didn't know it at the time).

    I started with the right line, it needs more control and right-speed but requires less risk and is a good start to get your courage up. Take a wide turn into it and keep your mo' up. Once you get to the hole at the bottom scrub your speed some and stay way back off the front, or roll into it towards the left a bit.

    Then for the spine I took a few minutes to talk myself into not grabbing the brakes at the top. Once I finally rolled it, I was so jazzed that I lost focus on the rock garden and almost OTB'ed. It was easy and smooth. Just gotta hold that line, and as someone said swing wide and get straight before you roll over the lip. Keep your eyes forward and head up. The wall under it before the rock garden doesn't even register, it rolls out smooth. Oh, and one tip to help start your line into the spine is to roll over that big flat boulder from the section previous before swinging left, it lines you up better.

    I have not tried the line to the far left yet, maybe next trip. Although I'm still digging the spine.
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  13. #13
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    +1 for starting on right. Line is pretty easy and if you do fail you can put a foot down and be fine.

    As many have said, left is easier from the standpoint that it is just point and shoot, but again as many have pointed out, it is more visually intimidating.

    Haven't tried spine yet because I have the balance of a 85 year old woman with osteoporosis (that was the clinical diagnosis anyway)
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  14. #14
    eat your porridge jordie
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    First time I rode national I rolled the waterfall no problem, and I think following someone who had done it before really helped. We took the left line and just stuck the spine. Depending on the kind of bike, speed will be your friend.


    Just gotta do it.
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  15. #15
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    Sendr' Bra...

    Have some one at the bottom yell at you "Roll it you big Pu$$y!" That's what got me to do it. Stay of front brake, drag the rear a bit. Right, Spine, Left of spine, left, far left, they're all different but yet the same. After you roll it once, you'll be stoked and ticked at the same time, letting a little 5 second piece of trail scare you so much. I enjoy the spine as it's the lest choppy, but the left line is the most direct. The righty takes some finesse. Once you commit to the top, the bottom is butter, just remember to roll through the rocks at the bottom and brake when you hit the dirt. Look back, smile and fist bump your bro...you're now part of the club and can get your "I did the waterfall" tattoo!!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    Nope, I think the upper waterfall is sketchier at night than the lower section. Its longer with a gentle curve and that wall on the right hand side can easily grab a bar since it is DARK coming through there even with a full moon.

    I have ridden the lower waterfall both by moonlight and with just my bar mounted MiNewt and its easy, you don't need no stinking 900 lumen flood light!
    +1
    Just be safe and it doesn't matter if you can see or not

    Dropping into the waterfall at night in the dark is awesome - looks like you're dropping into nothingness.

  17. #17
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    Just jump on sundog's rear tire and have him say just hug my wheel, I guarantee you won't die most of the time. That goes for nastier stuff than the waterfall. Crispy, come down and ride the upper 50 with me sometime, When you go back the waterfall will look like a cloud puff you can just roll down.
    "I tried to live always free and above board like you" Cool Hand Luke

  18. #18
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    First time for me was after many, many a stop and stare, then wuss out. My friend Kenny kept telling me the stuff I was riding on Holbert and Gerronimo was way more tech. He was right on! If you feel confident on Holbert or Geronimo, you can do it-once you do it you will wonder why you felt so intimidated for so long. My first run I proceeded to do it 4 times in a row to make sure it was not a fluke, it was my way of "owning" it. I personally ride the R line but realize mentally the spine is probably WAY easier so it is on my hit list. Once you do it you will love it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunsetrider
    Just jump on sundog's rear tire and have him say just hug my wheel, I guarantee you won't die most of the time. That goes for nastier stuff than the waterfall. Crispy, come down and ride the upper 50 with me sometime, When you go back the waterfall will look like a cloud puff you can just roll down.
    The main reason I'm feeling confident about the waterfall now is because of Spring Fling... I jumped on some folks' tails and took some drops I never would have tried on my own. There was one vertical drop down a slick rock on Highline that I didn't even realize I was hitting until we were already past it. That ride really boosted my confidence in my (and the bike's!) capabilities.

  20. #20
    sixsixtysix
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    Here's the line. Follow this and you'll be fine.


  21. #21
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    That vid makes it look like a few small rocks...ridiculous. Actually you roll that so fast if you blink you've missed it.

    Sure doesn't look that way when I roll up on it and say to myself "maybe tomorrow"

  22. #22
    sixsixtysix
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsittman
    That vid makes it look like a few small rocks...ridiculous. Actually you roll that so fast if you blink you've missed it.

    Sure doesn't look that way when I roll up on it and say to myself "maybe tomorrow"

    It is just a few small rocks... The biggest thing there is the 2 foot or so drop from the upper section into the lower section.

    Thats the line most of us DHers take. To me, that is easier than messing around with "riding the spine" any day.

    Oh, and you don't need big travel to hit that line, I have personally done it on 8.5, 7, 6.75, 5.5 and 0 inches of travel. Its all about just keeping your momentum and not hitting the brakes.

  23. #23
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    haha...just noticed "cougar time" ad at beginning of thread...that's awesome

  24. #24
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    The big indicator that it is rollable is that it is still there and there is no line of crosses from fallen riders. Its all mind sex.

    From the OP perspective compare it to Lunch Rock and the Big Steep on the 50 or our wee Waterfall on Millie. Its just point and shoot as long as you don't have an acute case of hand brake-atitus.

    Watch a few people roll it and see how smooth it is. It aint so big, its just tall, thats all.

    Nothing like rolling into an inky black abyss at night!

  25. #25
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    Far right line:


  26. #26
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    I just talked to a co-worker who has ridden the Waterfall countless times.

    His pointers:

    - Easiest line by far is about 1' left of the spine - but you need big mo and a big bike for that.
    - Next easiest line is the Spine
    - you have to commit, obviously can't stop mid ride
    - look down at the drop below the spine, after that
    - look at the next section which you need good momentum to clear well
    - He thinks the far right line is the hardest to get right and has more things to go wrong like tagging your bars on the rocks.


    fwiw.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    Its all about just keeping your momentum and not hitting the brakes.
    This is the key.

    Or you'll do what I did and endo at the top flinging your bike over your head to land at the bottom.

    But even at slow speed its all doable. I think most people just panic and jam on the brakes at the last second, which = a bad time.

  28. #28
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    i was stoked the first time i did it, and mad that i wussed out the first time i was up there. the spine rolls out smooth and easy.i kept messing up the right (easy?) line.

  29. #29
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    I find the best way is to just follow Durtgurl down the spine.
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    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by KavuRider
    This is the key.

    Or you'll do what I did and endo at the top flinging your bike over your head to land at the bottom.

    But even at slow speed its all doable. I think most people just panic and jam on the brakes at the last second, which = a bad time.
    I've studied the Huffy Boy video extensively, and it seems to me that's exactly what he does. He actually makes it down the first drop and then appears to panic and puts both feet down to try to stop himself, but by that point momentum carries him over the bars and face first into the rocks at the bottom.

  31. #31
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    How to descend the waterfall for the 1st time

    Do's:
    - Follow someone you trust
    - Walk the line (hell, Chalk the line if necessary)
    - relax, relax, relax
    - take the Chute to the far right, it's easier to bail than riding the Spine

    Dont's:
    - Follow the Caveman. His line ONLY works for him and you are not him!
    - use your front brakes
    - let your friends film you, thus putting you in panic mode before starting down
    - Forget your ARMOR!!!
    - try to bail from the Spine Line once started, it won't be pretty if you do
    It's not how good you look......it's how well you ride !

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mckshred
    Dont's:
    - use your front brakes
    Best advice ever!
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    It is just a few small rocks... The biggest thing there is the 2 foot or so drop from the upper section into the lower section.

    Thats the line most of us DHers take. To me, that is easier than messing around with "riding the spine" any day.

    Oh, and you don't need big travel to hit that line, I have personally done it on 8.5, 7, 6.75, 5.5 and 0 inches of travel. Its all about just keeping your momentum and not hitting the brakes.
    Looked at your line yesterday after work. Very impressive. I can see why you definately wouldn't want to apply any front brake here. Definately a bit over my abilities at this point.

    Think I'm gaining courage to attempt either right hand line or spine in the near future...hopefully

  34. #34
    sixsixtysix
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsittman
    Looked at your line yesterday after work. Very impressive. I can see why you definately wouldn't want to apply any front brake here. Definately a bit over my abilities at this point.

    Think I'm gaining courage to attempt either right hand line or spine in the near future...hopefully

    What's funny is that I look at the spine the same way.

  35. #35
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    On my DH bike left line is like butter. On my XC I tend to go down the spine which is the smoothest line I believe. Line up straight after the turn like congoman said and let yourself ride right down the spine, tons of traction on those rocks. Sometimes you just gotta say WTF and go for it.
    Pumpin & Pimpin

  36. #36
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    Sometimes you just gotta say WTF and go for it.[/QUOTE]
    Reach down and grab a pair!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by abcnorte
    I started by doing far right line which is not as steep, but takes way more control.

    left line is easiest. it is a straight shot. Just point and go! Keep over the back of the seat and hold on!

    Once you get over the mind f_ck of the first drop on left side you will say " That was easy"
    I listened to ABC, Greffster, and Latedrop all give me this same advice, repeatedly. One day i went for it, (for once in my life I listed) on the left and Dirtgurl said I said "That was easy". It was and I roll down every time, no problems. lean way back and let your arms and fork absorb the obstacles.

  38. #38
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    I'm gonna add (with out reading the rest of the the thread) that it really helps to come rolling through the whole line, namely the upper section. . . I always focused on and thought about just the waterfall, took me a few times before I started looking at the line as a whole.

  39. #39
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    That is interesting advice... and I had been wondering about that. In fact, I have only recently been able to clean the upper section.

  40. #40
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by crispy
    That is interesting advice... and I had been wondering about that. In fact, I have only recently been able to clean the upper section.
    Yup... Truckee is right - doing the upper and lower all in one nice flow is the way to go. Also, here are three pieces of advice given to me by two of the best riders on the mtn: (1) head up and eyes focused ahead, (2) elbows out, and (3) "boobs to bars"... keep low and loose and centered. These simple rules have led me thru some big chunk o nasties that I never dreamed I could possibly ride. Thanks to my gals, there is not much around these parts that I won't try (unless it involves my wheels leaving the ground).

  41. #41
    rip the line
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl
    Yup... Truckee is right - doing the upper and lower all in one nice flow is the way to go. Also, here are three pieces of advice given to me by two of the best riders on the mtn: (1) head up and eyes focused ahead, (2) elbows out, and (3) "boobs to bars"... keep low and loose and centered. These simple rules have led me thru some big chunk o nasties that I never dreamed I could possibly ride. Thanks to my gals, there is not much around these parts that I won't try (unless it involves my wheels leaving the ground).
    You know Durtgirl, I think that's true, you got a champions heart and a mothers heart all rolled into one.
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  42. #42
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    Seems like forec=ver since I rode Natty...and really, it has been. But I've only ever ridden what I think you all are calling the far right line. Kinda crosses the big "rut" a couple times. Even on that line, momentum always seemed to make things better.

    It's all a mindfawk. It took a day where I was in full DH gear on the way to 24th street to finally sack up and hit the waterfall. After that, it was like everyone else said..."that was easy"

    Though one day the aftermath (puddle of blood) could be seen from an earlier rider's waterfall attempt. Followed the drips all the way down the rest of national. Could easily tell where the guy stopped, too.

    (should I not have mentioned that last part?!?!? hah!) You can do it!!!

  43. #43
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    The spine scares me every time. It's a mind game. I've only dropped down the spine 5 or 6 times now and I never try it when I'm alone. I can do the right shute with no problems, usually. It's the toughest technical line as you gotta get lined up at the drop in and stay way back, but it offers the least trouble should you fail. I've done the far, far left line a few times. It's pretty straight forward and I think it's a lot easier than it was before all those rocks were pushed to the bottom, not that I ever tried it back then, lol.

    I'd love to get the nads to hit the left line, just to the right of the far, far left. That requires speed and much more commitment as I'm sure I can't roll into that first drop..it's too steep. You gotta hit it with speed and keep the front lofted a bit so you don't endo. The d/h guys make it look easy, as they hit everything with speed. That could result in a ride to the hospital for me, but still, it's tempting but not tool likely to happen any time soon.

  44. #44
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    Can I assume the spine line is best for HT or fully rigid mtn bike?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linoleum
    Can I assume the spine line is best for HT or fully rigid mtn bike?
    yes you are correct sir! it's a bit intimidating but very doable with some confidence...or a bunch of jager

  46. #46
    sixsixtysix
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride

    I'd love to get the nads to hit the left line, just to the right of the far, far left. That requires speed and much more commitment as I'm sure I can't roll into that first drop..it's too steep. You gotta hit it with speed and keep the front lofted a bit so you don't endo. The d/h guys make it look easy, as they hit everything with speed.
    Actually, don't be so sure. I have done a track stand on that top section with my front wheel already having rolled over the edge of the left line while waiting for the guy in front of me who took the right line to cross over.

    You can start from a dead stop at the top of the left line and roll the whole thing if you just commit.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    Actually, don't be so sure. I have done a track stand on that top section with my front wheel already having rolled over the edge of the left line while waiting for the guy in front of me who took the right line to cross over.

    You can start from a dead stop at the top of the left line and roll the whole thing if you just commit.
    Exactly, done that a few times...on the dh rig. Haven't tried it yet on the xc.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  48. #48
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    Corncob up the butt. Best advice ever!

  49. #49
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    got video yesterday of someone making it up the waterfall untill the top section, and he was on a 40+lb bike with Platform pedals!!!
    "Its like Church to me, Like Church is, what it is for other people"

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by RidingRiot
    got video yesterday of someone making it up the waterfall untill the top section, and he was on a 40+lb bike with Platform pedals!!!

    POST THAT!!!!

  51. #51
    sixsixtysix
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grave9
    POST THAT!!!!

    Don't encourage him.

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