fear of big air

TTPjake

Member
hey, whats up, i'm new to FR/DH riding & so far im really lovin it :D(i just need to get a FS bike) but there's one problem that i have... call me a sissy if you want, but i have the fear of heights:scared:

everytime i go to make a jump i get scared & either abort or freak out & let my front tire slam into the ground- usually ending up in some soil sampling.

how do i get over it & make the jump? also how do i control the front end of the bike?:confused: it seems to plow down into the ground each time.

i think one of my problems is that i dont carry enough speed because i get scared of gettin hurt, another problem is the bike is to big for me (19in, i should be on a 16), my posture is probably incorrect too, due to the fact that i have a hardtail so i stand on the pedals & keep my weight forward
 
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stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
first off, get a bike that fits you because a 19 is waaaaaay to big if you should be on a 16.

learning to jump is all about building up your confidence. Start with fly-outs or just jumping off curbs so you get comfortable leaving the ground. The next key is learning to nose in. Find a grass embankement and either bunnyhop or ride into it and focus on getting you bike level with the embakement so you aren't landing rear wheel first. You want to aim to land both wheels at the same angle. but before you do anything, get a smaller frame, your balls with thank you later.
 

clarkenstein

JORBA Money Launderer
JORBA.ORG
stb222 has it right. practice practice practice. first try your hand at the smallest of stuff. i don't do anything huge but since i have started working on my technique, every time i get a chance to go out i find myself trying more and more.

there are times i'll head to a trail and just practice one thing over and over until i get it. sometimes building (not at a trail, but in your backyard) something yourself will give you the confidence of going off of it. since you made it, you know how big it is, and you can control everything about the feature you build, how steep the take off, how good is the transition, etc. which sometimes has given me a sense of 'predictability' to whatever technical feature i am trying. make sure you start small in an area with low consequences for mistakes (i.e. don't practice a drop landing in a rock garden - common sense i know, but...).

also, speed is your friend in most situations. you may be diving nose first if you aren't going fast enough. drop off some curbs. also, pedal through your drops, once you get a good solid landing of two wheels at the same time, you've got the idea down. take that feeling and move it to different situations.

your bike does sound a bit too large for you. smaller bikes make it easier to muscle the bike around. practice bunny-hopping and and manuals too. all these things work into jumping/dropping.

also... are you using clipless or platforms? going to platforms might help with confidence too, knowing you can completely bail if you need to. but if you aren't using platforms now and you put some on, remember, you'll most likely have to re-learn how to bunny-hop.
 

RacerChick

Hudson Valley Girl
Air Time ...

hey, whats up, i'm new to FR/DH riding & so far im really lovin it :D(i just need to get a FS bike) but there's one problem that i have... call me a sissy if you want, but i have the fear of heights:scared:

everytime i go to make a jump i get scared & either abort or freak out & let my front tire slam into the ground- usually ending up in some soil sampling.

how do i get over it & make the jump? also how do i control the front end of the bike?:confused: it seems to plow down into the ground each time.

i think one of my problems is that i dont carry enough speed because i get scared of gettin hurt, another problem is the bike is to big for me (19in, i should be on a 16), my posture is probably incorrect too, due to the fact that i have a hardtail so i stand on the pedals & keep my weight forward

In MTB racing there is no need to get big air, but I do know the components needed from racing Supercross/Motocross. Removing fear is most important. Being in the correct mindset is key. If there was a section with a double or triple jump I would run it thru in my mind over and over touching on all the key factors needed ...Focus, speed, body position, take off, mid air corrections, landing.
Breaking it down: Foucs: having the mindset of knowing you will make the jump or section, kinda like being in the zone. Speed: speed is your best friend, sometimes I never knew if I had enough speed to clear something. Jumping off to the side of the landing was a good way to measure or watching someone else make the jump helped too. Body position: On a moutain bike or motorcycle, body position I think is the same for both ... neutral in the center of the bike, knees slightly bent, head over the bars, elbows up and out. Take off: once in the air I'd focus on the landing and make any body corrections that was needed. Landing: Absorb the landing with your body will help smooth things out. Very important is to go small before going big. Find an area where you can include 2 small sets of doubles making a figure 8 and just do it over and over again till it becomes second nature. Once your comfortable jumping this area, try doing some slight whips to practice mid air corrections. Just thought I'd put my two cents in since my first love will always be motocross.
RC ... :)
 

sixseven

New Member
I too am afraid of heights. I can hit jumps with no problem, it's drops that freak me out.

I found it most helpful at Diablo to pull off to the side of the trail out of the way and watch closely how others hit drops, what speed they are at going into them, body position etc, then go back and hit it. I am still only hitting the smaller ones but will progress next year.

Laying off the brakes has helped me on jumps. I had a tendency to brake going into any launch. Speed is your friend.

Like Clarkenstein said, building some of your own stuff is a great way to do it too. I made some wood jumps at work and they are perfect to practice on, and they can be moved around as well to make bigger gaps, step ups and so on.

Staying loose seems to help me a lot, relax the body and the mind will follow. Being tense leads your body into locking up and not being able to respond to the landing in a fluid way.
 

TTPjake

Member
thanks for the input guys.

i remember there used to be a BMX DJ area in the woods by my old job. havent been there in years so i decided to go take a peek if its stil there. it most def is still there but it seems nobody has been there in years.

i guess kids nowadays much rather play video games than ride a bike.

after removing downed branches & small trees, kicking leaves out of the way i practiced a few jumps... i quickly realized that the more speed i got the more successful the jump.

i figure that im going to clean that place up & modify the jumps a little to be more MTB friendly & practice all that i can this winter & hopefully i wont be to chicken shit to make the jumps next spring because im going to make my first trip to diablo around that time

oh & im getting a 16" yakuza soon
 

TTPjake

Member
first off, get a bike that fits you because a 19 is waaaaaay to big if you should be on a 16.

learning to jump is all about building up your confidence. Start with fly-outs or just jumping off curbs so you get comfortable leaving the ground. The next key is learning to nose in. Find a grass embankement and either bunnyhop or ride into it and focus on getting you bike level with the embakement so you aren't landing rear wheel first. You want to aim to land both wheels at the same angle. but before you do anything, get a smaller frame, your balls with thank you later.

i went to my LBS & they told me i should get a bike between 15-17 if im an aggressive rider. im 5'8" & my pants inseam size is 30.

i also most definatily do not feel comfortable on my current bike. i ride way too far forward on it in order to keep my elbows & knees loose during drop offs & jumps
 

dhsean

Member
Start small.

It's all about the movements and feel. Start off with small jumps and get your technique down. Once you have the feeling down going bigger is easy. A dual suspension FR/DH bike is a little different than a hardtail when dealing with pumping the takeoff. The rear suspension may be rebounding quickly forcing your front end down.

www.leelikesbikes.com

He has a book called "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills". It's a good read for basic techniques when it comes to drops, jumps, berms, flat corners, braking, etc...
 
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