Jumping straight


Lee,

When I am jumping my bmx bike I have a tendency to get off balance in the air if I try and push the face of the jump. If I do not push the face of the jump and just let my momentum carry me off the lip I fly straight as an arrow, but I would like to continue to build speed off the lip and also go a little further to clear some of the larger jumps. I am not not sure if I am to tight on take off, or if I am pushing to late on the jump face, etc. Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong?

If I can get this together I may see you at Colorado Indoor BMX this year. Thanks.

Greg



Straight freight: Sending the Boner at Valmont Bike Park on the Stumpy 29 Carbon with Fox 34 fork, Roval carbon wheels and full XTR. Photo by yannphotovideo.com

Hey Greg,

You contacted the right person. I am the king of flying straight. No steeze here, ever.

Consider:

• You are too stiff in the upper body.

• You are pushing into (and pulling on) your handlebars.

• These habits are ineffective on any bike, but they are extra sketchy on a tempestuous little BMX bike.

• Try keeping your hands neutral (no pull or push) and pumping the jump solely with your feet.

• For tons of info about jumping technique, check out the book and ebook Pro BMX Skills.

• Tell us how it goes.

Braaap!

Lee

PS: You are not permitted to use this technique against me.


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7 replies
  1. John K. says:

    One thing I’ve been told is to be aware of how much you are pushing with each foot when you load into the face of the jump. For example, if you push harder with your lead foot, you will kick the back end of the bike out towards your rear foot. I find dropping my heels helps ensure I load both pedals equally. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  2. Forrest says:

    I’ve made progress overcoming the same issue by paying attention to my elbows. I have a habit of dropping my right elbow when I pump the face of a lip, and consequently rolling to the right in the air. Being conscious of keeping my elbows high, and also running wider bars which limit my elbow drop, has kept me pretty consistently upright.

    Reply
  3. Todd says:

    Pick a small jump and practice purposefully leaning the bike over and even kicking the back end out in the air. Practice doing this on each side. You’ll feel like a goon at first, but you’ll soon learn how to relax and control the bike both at the take off and in the air.

    I learned this the hard way after I got off balance jumping my motocross bike as a kid and broke my leg. Learning how to “whip” the bike actually helped me ride safer and recover from the times I’d still accidentally get off balance (which really happens to everyone sometimes).

    Reply
  4. WAKi says:

    I learned the same todd. I’m no “scrubber” but I can do it a bit, I learned to whip on a slightly hipped jump. What was fascinating was that I realized that all you need to so is lean your head to the side you want to “turn” the bike in the air, and simultaneusly move your shoulder blade slightly up to line shoulder with the head. It’s like as I eased my upper body towards one side. Then I relax my legs after the take off and allow the rear end of the bike to do what it wants to do, that is: come up and to the side slightly and then give it a slight kick to set the bike as I want.

    Reply
  5. Greg says:

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I will give some of them a try. I only seem to have this issue when I am really trying to push/stretch to get over larger jumps. Once the ground here in CO dries I will be back out at the track to work on this.

    Reply

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