TUTORIAL! Same speed, same jump, different flight path!

If you want more guidance than just the tutorial here, consider watching the full length video, which is posted to my Patreon page.

Jumping- we all love it, and sometimes, we all hate it.  Saying you can learn how to jump from watching a video is something I just don’t believe in, as every jump is different, and there are so many different ways of teaching this.  That said- I wanna be very upfront- this is not a beginner HOW TO JUMP tutorial. This is oriented towards intermediate level or advanced riders.  I’m assuming you’re comfortable with clearing most jumps on blue or black level trails, and are now ready to start working on better modulating those jumps.

Sometimes you love it, sometimes you hate it.

Today we are going to discuss two different ways you can modulate a jump- either going for height, or for distance. Pumping is what we do at a pump track, it’s the motion of creating forward momentum by unweighting and then preloading the bike to use the undulations of the trail to our advantage. When it comes to jumping, you can tune in to any Friday Fails compilation to see an endless barrage of folks going nose heavy- and usually scratching up the ground with their face.  You don’t want to do this!

In this instance, I’m boosting for height. Notice I’ve unweighted my legs and have pushed the handlebars forward at the peak of my trajectory. 

Same jump, same amount of speed going in, but I pumped earlier, kept my feet weighted while pushing forward on the handlebars. End result? One third the height, twice the distance.

When you’re jumping a mountain bike, you need to control your trajectory, and you do this by adjusting your pump on the take off.  If you don’t pump at all, you’ll end up with the uncontrolled flighty- known as a dead sailer.  While you do want to follow the natural curve dictated by a particular jump, finding that controlled arc really comes from the right amount of pump during the take off.

In this jump, I’m going for height. Notice I’ve pumped hard late on the takeoff and I’m pulling the handlebars back.

The result of having pumped late on the lip.

Before we go any further, I want to mention that it is absolutely critical to be approaching any jump with a very aggressive body position- be centered on the bike, and very low, via a deep bend in the knees and elbows.

To go for distance, I’ve pumped earlier on the takeoff, and I’m anticipating pushing forward on the handlebars to squash the jump.

The result of that early pump. Noticed I did not unweight my feet and I’m barely in the air at all.r

To get distance, you’ll be pumping near the bottom of the lip, and pushing through the take off.  You’ll find your body then needs to extend while airborne, exaggerating the bunnyhop motion.  You’ll need to unweight your feet and nose the front wheel down about ⅔ of the way through your arc.  Then position your bike as needed for the landing type.

The result of pumping later on the takeoff and pulling back on the handlebars.

To boost for maximum height, you’ll be pumping later on the take off, near the top of the lip.  This means you’ll need to do more of an upper body pull back on the handlebars, as well as a sooner unweighting of the feet and push forwards on the bar.  That’s right- you’re not so much pulling up as you are back. This turns all that take off energy into upwards trajectory.  The leveling of the bike will be key in order to control the flight path.

Big thanks to these guys for making this all possible!  Any purchases from these links will directly help support my channel as well:

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