How do I judge new jumps?

Hi Lee, best MTB web site!

A question on jumping, how do people progress from tabletop to doubles? May be I need to be 15 again!

How to judge distance, speed, amount of pop….etc to clear the gap? Plus moving to a new jump, how can you be sure, what speed/Pop you need to clear the double?

Cheers, Chay.

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Hi Chay. This is a great question.

Basic equations explain the relationship between entrance speed, takeoff angle and flight distance. You know I love equations, but they ignore wind resistance and jumping style. And your jumping style has a HUGE effect on your flight. You can minimize or maximize any lip by sucking it up or pumping the heck out of it.

I feel like a goof saying this, but lot of it comes down to experience. Start with a small table. Hit it at different speeds with different styles: fast sucking it up and slow boosting it as high as you can. This will give you an idea of how your jumping style affects your flight. Once you have that table consistently nailed, you’re ready to hit a double of the same size.

As for new jumps: Step up the steepness and gaps very gradually. Learn to use pump instead of pure speed. Your brain is amazing — as long as you don’t scare yourself, it is great at adapting your past experiences to new ones.

Right now, when you think about big jumps your mind goes blank. Stay within your comfort level and grow your skills and confidence gradually. Soon you’ll roll up on that monster double, and you’ll know exactly what to do.


— Lee

Mr. Lopes shows the difference between boosting and sucking up a jump.

1 reply
  1. Chris says:

    Once upon a time I was calculating the speed I would need to do a jump. The jump was built in an old creek bed and had a roll in down the creek bank. I looked at the jump from the side and imagined the perfect trajectory for it. I then drew an imaginary horizontal line from the apex of the imagined trajectory to a spot on the roll-in. I then sat on my bike on the spot and backed up a little for insurance. What I had done was set my potential energy to the same as the kinetic energy needed for the desired trajectory. I released my brakes and rolled in, no pumping, boosting or sucking. I landed perfectly. Of course, not all jumps have such roll-ins…

    A funny thing is that I am scared of tables. I feel safer on doubles.

    Lee, with the diagram above, is that the speed when you leave the lip, or in the pit before you go up the lip? I assume the former. So in order to launch off the lip at 15mph, you may have to hit the pit of a 4′ high lip at 25mph or something. I don’t know how much speed is trickled off when you go up lips.

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