TUTORIAL: Bump Jumps

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Jeff Kendall-Weed doing a bump jump

If you enjoy my videos then you’ve definitely seen your fair share of bump jumps.  I love this technique, as it allows you to really jump your bike without expending too much energy, and it can be a great tool to add some flow to an otherwise difficult section of trail.

In short, it makes you look like you’re smooth and fast- especially if the trail is super rough.

The bump jump basically exaggerates a bunnyhop by using a small, yet abrupt, trail obstruction to change the bike’s momentum.

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A good bump jump is just as much about spotting the correct “bump” as it is the actual technique. Ideally use a root or a rock that is small enough you could literally ride straight over it, up to around two hands in height. Once you start getting taller than 8” or so the consequences of making a mistake become much more severe.

To be a true bump jump, the obstacle has also gotta be small enough that it won’t throw you into the air without some very intentional body language.

For me, 90% of the time I’m doing a bump jump it’s on either a rock or a root.  Be careful with root bump jumps, as they can more often harbor less traction than ideal.  I actually took myself out while filming this video, trying to bump jump off a root at an angle.  My thumb is still sore and very purple!

The physical motion of a bump jump is similar to a bunnyhop, but timed so that the pull back and up on the bars is in conjunction with the force of that trail obstruction.  You’ll need to pull the handlebars up, then when the front wheel reaches its max height, you’ll need to push your hands forwards and in front of you while simultaneously unweighting your feet.

Notice on a regular jump I’m simply allowing the lip to throw me into the air?  I might compress before the take off in order to gain more height, or I might compress extra early to try to get more distance, but on the bump jump, it’s a MUCH harder downwards compression and a more intentional motion to get the airtime.

Finally, when should you use the bump jump?  For me, I most often incorporate the bump jump when I spot some sort of a downsloping landing.  This means I’ll have the chance to get a big pump in on the landing, it’ll build more momentum and speed.

Other times I’ll bump jump to get up onto something, though that can start to become a punch pretty quickly.

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