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Downhill Elementary: Jumps and Drops

Are you scared of jumping? There’s a good reason for it.

There’s always a mental barrier. It’s called self-preservation. It’s always better to show a little respect than breaking your skull. You can improve your skill either by practicing on smaller jumps or by watching better bikers riding them. The best is to do both. So let’s go!

watch previous episode: obstacles


1) How to drop

First of all you have to choose the right speed. Speed is one of the most important aspects of a drop. The faster you go, the less effort it will cost you. But never overshoot! It’s better to see someone else nailing the drop. Approach the drop at exactly the same speed as the more experienced guy. Soon you’ll learn to judge the speed by yourselves.


As you’re near to the edge of the drop, keep your head forward over the base. At the edge, swiftly spring up to give the front wheel a lift up. Slide your butt backwards towards the rear wheel, extending your arms and pulling back on the bars. It’s very important to do so, otherwise your front wheel will drop over the edge and you’ll fall down headfirst. This might be dangerous!

Now you are successfully in the air! Stay relaxed in flight. Don’t straighten out. Don’t scrunch up. Just look at your landing. Learn to get the bike under control, which is the tricky part. In mid-air, move forward or back on the bike smarty, and roll your wrists to bring the front wheel up or down. The goal is to make sure your wheels match the landing. Extend your legs before you land and absorb the impact with your arms and legs.

2) How to Jump

Start on smaller jumps, in controlled spaces. You’re better off starting on tabletop jumps rather than doubles. Ride to reach the right speed, then hit the jump. Again it’s good to see how fast the others approach it. Before the jump, stop pedaling and concentrate on the move.


Stay over the bike. Never on the seat! Once you decide to jump, don’t grab the brake on the up-ramp. In the last moment before you hit the edge of the jump, compress down and then lift up. It’s important to get a good flow to your move. Good flow ensures you’ll fly straight and you’ll control the bike easily. Land softly and don’t grab the brakes until you’re stable.

watch previous episode: obstacles