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  1. #1
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    How??

    How the heck do DH/FR guys ride skinnies so effortlessly? Im a XC rider primarily and ive done some very mild DH but never in my life could I imagine riding a skinny 10 ft in the air. And how do you start riding skinnies? Is it like one day you decide you want to try it and hope you live?

    --from a very confused XC rider

  2. #2
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    confidence... practicing on curbs around the neighborhood the trick is to look ahead wear you want to go on the skinny
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    i started out by setting up random courses with some 2x4's, a few 10x2's and some dirtbike loading ramps... then i'd throw some random pieces of wood in there to create 6" drops and step ups that you would have to roll off and on at slow speeds. its fun, changable, and if you fall off its a 2''-6" fall, and you wont fall off your bike...

  4. #4
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    Yeah, 2x4's on the ground are a great way to practice. Once you get the balance part down it's a matter of maintaining your composure (much harder).
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZXFT View Post
    How the heck do DH/FR guys ride skinnies so effortlessly? Im a XC rider primarily and ive done some very mild DH but never in my life could I imagine riding a skinny 10 ft in the air. And how do you start riding skinnies? Is it like one day you decide you want to try it and hope you live?

    --from a very confused XC rider
    Hi ZXFT,

    This video has been a "body saver" for me as it teaches a number of techniques for exiting skinnies before successful completion. Once you know how to get off them safely you just practice until you master them.

    West Coast Style Freeride Fundamentals (8/7/11 - Fixed link so it works)
    West*Coast*Style*::*DVD*::...

    Start on small skinnies with suspension set in stiffest setting, seated position, tall gear, elbows out, head up looking past the exit are all part of a beginners successful effort. Once you've achieved some experience and comfort you can alter those rules as conditions dictate.

    Enjoy,

    Michael
    Last edited by michaelsnead; 08-07-2011 at 09:28 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Look where you are going, and NOT where you don't want to end up. Make sure your not in too low a gear. I drag my brakes a little, I don't know why but it helps me.

    ...oh and practice.

  7. #7
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    wtf is a skinny....?
    Consequences dictate our course of action and it doesn't matter what's right. It's only wrong if you get caught.

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    Quote Originally Posted by istandalone View Post
    wtf is a skinny....?
    Think narrow ladder bridge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelsnead View Post
    Hi ZXFT,

    This video has been a "body saver" for me as it teaches a number of techniques for exiting skinnies before successful completion. Once you know how to get off them safely you just practice until you master them.

    West Coast Style Freeride Fundamentals
    https://www.westcoaststyle.net/xcart...age=1&featured

    Start on small skinnies with suspension set in stiffest setting, seated position, tall gear, elbows out, head up looking past the exit are all part of a beginners successful effort. Once you've achieved some experience and comfort you can alter those rules as conditions dictate.

    Enjoy,

    Michael
    Your link doesn't work for me but I found the complete video surfing youtube. Skinnies are at 12:00 minutes in.
    ‪veenono..West Coast Style - Freeride Fundamentals (Bikeschool, Mountain Bike, MTB, Freeride, DH)‬‏ - YouTube
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    Good job!

    good

  11. #11
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    Also, how skinny are most skinnies? because some of the wood bridges in that video looked like 2' wide. There are some bridges skinnier than that at my local XC course.

  12. #12
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    Yeah, 2x4's on the ground are a great way to practice.

    look ahead and drag your rear brake a little
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS View Post
    Yeah, 2x4's on the ground are a great way to practice.

    look ahead and drag your rear brake a little
    just went out and tried this (with 2x4), and wow the rear brake seems to help a ton. is this illusion or what?
    i never would have thought that dragging my rear brake a bit would help with keeping a straight line. usually i shy away from bridges and ladders until recently, i've just become comfortable but not with the really narrow ones.
    Consequences dictate our course of action and it doesn't matter what's right. It's only wrong if you get caught.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZXFT View Post
    Also, how skinny are most skinnies? because some of the wood bridges in that video looked like 2' wide. There are some bridges skinnier than that at my local XC course.
    Hi ZXFT,

    I have four practice skinnies set up in my yard that range in width from 3.5 inches to 11.5 inches.

    Here are some pictures:
    Traffic_at_Mikes cropped for Mtbr.JPG

    How??-three-skinnys-2.jpg

    Since these shots were taken I've altered the far one so that it's 36 feet long with two turns built into it.

    Skinnies are built to be different widths depending on the dictates of the location and materials as well as the capricious nature of the builder. In my experience I've seen everything from 4 inches to 2 feet. Generally, except for bike porn videos the higher off the ground they are the wider they are for obvious safety reasons. I would suggest you embrace the wider ones as you begin your "skinny" education!

    Take care,

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelsnead View Post
    Hi ZXFT,

    Generally, except for bike porn videos the higher off the ground they are the wider they are for obvious safety reasons. I would suggest you embrace the wider ones as you begin your "skinny" education!

    Take care,

    Michael
    I guess the reason i was so baffled by skinnies was because Ive only watched videos like NSX and Follow Me where guys are up 20' in the air riding on a tooth pick; I've never been to a DH course that had skinnies, Ive only seen them in videos.

  16. #16
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    Dragging the rear brake basically helps straighten you out and keeps your center of balance further back instead of over the front wheel. Really helps maintain a straight line, especially on longer skinnies.
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  17. #17
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    I just imagine them as singletrack with poison oak on either side.
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  18. #18
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    I think rider position also makes a difference. The more up right riding position of DH/FR and even AM bikes is easier to handle at slower speeds than a stretched out XC riding position. Also, slowering your seat provides more room to move your body around for balance.

    Mt. Fromme on the North Shore (Vancouver) had a few high skinnies when I was there, but they were in disrepair. There are a few skinnies (both narrow and not-so-narrow) on the basin side of the Snowshoe Mountain Park in West Virginia. We built a couple skinnies at the end of our local and legal downhill trail in North Park near Pittsburgh, PA. They are there to slow down riders since the trails comes out onto a walking trail.

    The best way to learn though is practicing a skills parks such as the I-5 colonnade in Seattle, WA; Valmont in Boulder, CO; Rays MTB in Cleveland, OH and Milw, WI; and the little skills park we just built in North Park, Pittsburgh, PA

  19. #19
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    Some great pointers in this thread. Thanks!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaelin View Post
    I just imagine them as singletrack with poison oak on either side.
    LOL this!

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