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  1. #1
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    jumping technique

    Can someone give me a tip on how to get nice and compact while in the air? Being new to dirtjumping/freeride, I seem to be have trouble tucking my legs in once I'm in the air for bigger jumps. I posted a pic which is usually how I look in the air...I'm not totally compressed, so I don't have much room to extend my legs to absorb the landing and thus stay in this same position when I land and then sometimes wipe out.

    Someone on the forum put out a great visual saying the jumping should be the same as when you jump up and down without a bike...extend to the top, bring legs in (the problem for me), open legs and absorb the landing.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    pro
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    preload your suspension right before the lip, pop up, and continue this motion through the air. As in tucking your legs. It does take some practice to do, but so does everything haha

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pro
    preload your suspension right before the lip, pop up, and continue this motion through the air. As in tucking your legs. It does take some practice to do, but so does everything haha

    preload is the ticket......keep practicing on that jump....it is very safe
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  4. #4
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    Yep, as SMT and Pro stated, start to Preload your suspension. Meaning, push down on it (fork and shock) so it's compacted and then at the lip just pull up and let it pop. The fork should ideally send your arms into your chest and the shock: your knees into your abdomen.

    A great video example of this is by Matt Hunter in Seasons. He does a long-ass gap jump and the Collective does a great job of capturing his technique before he hits it: ultimately showing him preloading.
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  5. #5
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    everything starts to click after you do tons of jumps...It feels natural and you wont have to think about anything. Keep up the practice!!

  6. #6
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    Preloading is the key. If you go off the jump all passive, then you will get separated from the bike in the air (like we can see on your photo above...).You have to compress into the lip so that the bike will be wanting to push you up into the air. The more you passive you are on take off the worse you will feel in the air.

    One good excercise is to mark a landing spot, then go a bit slower to the jump and try to aggressively jump the bike all the way to the marker. To reach the landing spot now you will most likely have to push the bike forward in the air - which is the proper movement for insuring that the rear comes up "into" your legs. Focussing on reaching a distant target is better than the fear of going too far/high and will put you in the right frame of mind to actually work the jump as opposed to just suffering through it.

    You should also work on your bunny hops as that will force you to adopt proper technique. If you can bunny hop a 20cm log, then just take that same movement (although less violent) to the jumps and you're done. Like I said, the key is to be able to lift the rear wheel into your body by pushing slightly forward on the handlebars in the air. This pumping motion will also set you up nicely for the landing (where you want to be touching down with your 2 wheels at the same time).

    Or like somebody else said, just hit a ton of jumps and you'll damn well HAVE to get it right eventually..

  7. #7
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by specializedbeta18
    at the lip just pull up and let it pop.
    Or, to rephrase:
    When the bike goes up, your body does not have to.
    (I don't get much air, but that seems to work even on smaller stuff)

  8. #8
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    Like the others have said, preload on the jump, then let the bike float upwards into your body then push it back down when you come up for the landing. The key is practice, it will feel very weird the first couple of times, but after awhile it will become second nature

  9. #9
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    In my case, what I found delayed my ability to jump well was a combination of some crashes when I was learning, but also finding myself with a lack of well-designed jumps. Of course, jumping is inherently dangerous, but when the jumps are made like crap, and create an environment where the jump will be unpredictable, one can find themselves having slow-developing jumping skills. I feel predictability while learning is needed to be able to build some skills to do the natural and man-made stuff one might encounter for the first time on a foreign trail.

  10. #10
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    100% agree with Jerk_Chicken. I am working on my jump skills and it is amazing how much easier a properly built jump is vs a pile of dirt thrown together. (are there any good reads as to what makes one jump better than another or how to build good jumps?)

    The best advice I read on here once was keep your elbows out. This has made world of difference as well.

  11. #11
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    I'm still getting used to it again. We have some really bad ones around here that are just poorly designed, in disrepair, and/or just incredibly poorly thought out, such as a small ladder bridge on a narrow foot trail, with the likely landing point either at casing a small mound, or landing in the mud pit directly before it. If one makes it later, the changes of hitting a stump are high, provided the bridge doesn't collapse or move while one is riding it.

    Others are piles of soft dirt thrown together that shift, wear, and have tons of nearly exposed branches that do little to reinforce them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    I'm still getting used to it again. We have some really bad ones around here that are just poorly designed, in disrepair, and/or just incredibly poorly thought out, such as a small ladder bridge on a narrow foot trail, with the likely landing point either at casing a small mound, or landing in the mud pit directly before it. If one makes it later, the changes of hitting a stump are high, provided the bridge doesn't collapse or move while one is riding it.

    Others are piles of soft dirt thrown together that shift, wear, and have tons of nearly exposed branches that do little to reinforce them.
    Oh you guys have those too? I thought they were a local speciality...

  13. #13
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    As for badly made jumps, we have them too! sadly some of them were made by us! But now we have guys who know how to make jumps and we are learning.
    Hunter, Simmons, Berrecloth, Watson,Vanderham, Semenuk, Schley, Gulevich, Bourdon, Smith, Moreland, Shandro, Boyko... Bieber.

  14. #14
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    I'm glad this was said!

    Quote Originally Posted by suicidebomber
    As for badly made jumps, we have them too! sadly some of them were made by us! But now we have guys who know how to make jumps and we are learning.

    Fellas a little diggin won't kill ya! If the jumps are poorly built then build them better As far as technique is concerned preloading is good for most types of jumps, but not all of them, it depends on the lip, the distance you need to make, etc, etc. Bottom line is just do tons of it until you're dialed every type, It's best to practice on stuff that won't injure you physically or worse harm you mentally aka ruin your confidence.
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  16. #16
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    I think some of this stuff is very hard to explain. One thing that I think would be a good exercise for anyone in this part of the learning curve is find a jump like the one in the pic. set a landing point, then try making it to that landing point going as slow as you can and progressively move to as fast as you can, learning how to scrub and land at the same point you were doing it very slow. I think this will help develop both spectrums of what you really need to spot a jump and learn how to gage speed and then also know what last split second adjustments you need to make right up to the take off. If you have a local BMX track or pump track the smaller and medium sized jumps there should be very good for this as well.

    Also watch others who are doing it or are dialed and try to pick up on how they are doing it.

    I know there is going to be both ends of that spectrum where you are going too slow to make it and also too fast to hit it, thats ok. See if you can manipulate that a bit, I think you will surprise yourself.

    I think all the explanations help but this is one of those things you have to get out and do a thousand times to get.

  17. #17
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    OP, I hope you don't mind me adding on to your thread, but I have the same problem, and when I end up so high above the bike I inevitably slip a pedal. I talked to a guy a few days ago and he mentioned that if I really pump the lip it helps because it forces the bike into me. I have tried to do that more, and it does help quite a bit, but I am still slipping pedals and nailing myself in the shin, and they are stating to hurt more and more (I am going to buy a knee/shin guard this weekend).

    My pedals are kona wah wah's and I am riding with 5.10 impacts.

    Any advice?

    I have a video of a recent jump when I slipped the pedal, but I can't figure out how to post it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Climber
    OP, I hope you don't mind me adding on to your thread, but I have the same problem, and when I end up so high above the bike I inevitably slip a pedal. I talked to a guy a few days ago and he mentioned that if I really pump the lip it helps because it forces the bike into me. I have tried to do that more, and it does help quite a bit, but I am still slipping pedals and nailing myself in the shin, and they are stating to hurt more and more (I am going to buy a knee/shin guard this weekend).

    My pedals are kona wah wah's and I am riding with 5.10 impacts.

    Any advice?
    Yes. I had the same exact issue...myself and the bike popped up so quick one jump, that my feet came off (i.e. above) the pedal. Luckily there was no lateral movement so my feet came back down right onto the pedal.
    The way I fixed this is when I pop off the ramp, I pull the bars up into my chest...and hold them there until I'm at least a bit past the apex of the jump. You'll pull the bars up towards your chest at an angle...kinda between a seated wide-grip lat row, and standing shoulder row. This keeps the rear from going ass-up immediately when you go off the ramp. When you do this motion, you will also need to keep your legs straight, and lean a little back when you do it. This motion pulls the pedals up into your feet and keeps them attached. Once you're in the air like that, you'll be surprised at how controllable the bike is. You can 'nose it over' more or less anytime you want in the air.
    I would start off by practicing that a few times and just holding it like that for the whole jump...letting your back wheel come down first on the tranny and everything. Then once you get comfortable with that, then you can start nosing it over or going into a trick with it.

    Oh, forgot one thing. ENSURE your elbows are level. If one is lower than the other when you pull up, you're going to bank in that direction just like an airplane.
    Jump it onto something off of something or over something.

    There's more to freeriding than dirt jumps.

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