Become A Pro At Mountain Bike Jumps: Understanding The 12 Types


Become A Pro At 12 types of Mountain Bike Jumps

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Are you ready to take your mountain biking skills to the next level? Learning how to jump on a mountain bike properly can be a thrilling experience, but it requires a certain level of knowledge and technique to avoid injury. That’s where understanding the 12 types of mountain bike jumps comes in.

From tabletop jumps to step-downs, each type requires a unique approach and understanding of the terrain.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of mountain bike jumps and offer insights on executing them safely. Whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your bike handling skills or a seasoned rider looking to take on more challenging terrain, understanding the nuances of each jump type is crucial to becoming a pro at jumping.

So, get ready to elevate your riding game and learn how to safely and confidently tackle any jump on the trail.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the different types of jumps in mountain biking and how to ride them is crucial to reducing risk.
  • Tabletop jumps are a great starting point for practicing jumping, as clearing them is not mandatory.
  • Some types of jumps, such as double jumps and gap jumps, require more skill and experience as clearing them is mandatory, and there is a gap between take-off and landing.
  • Bike parks and trail centers prioritize building tabletop jumps as they are considered one of the safest.

Jumping Basics

Jumping is one of the most thrilling aspects of mountain biking, but understanding the basics of different jump types is critical to reducing the risk of injury and becoming a pro rider.

To achieve the perfect jump, you must have a solid jumping technique, maintain the correct body positioning, approach the jump at the right speed, take off at the correct angle, and land with the right technique. Having the right technology ensures you can easily clear the jump and reduce the risk of injury.

Proper body positioning is also essential, keeping your weight centered on the bike and your arms and legs relaxed.

Approach speed is critical to achieving the perfect jump as it determines how high and far you can go. Take off angle determines the jump’s trajectory, while the landing technique ensures that you land smoothly and safely.

So, to become a pro at mountain bike jumps, you need to master these basics to ensure that you can safely tackle any jump on the trail.

Tabletop Jumps

Ready to tackle some sick tabletops? Let’s break down the key features of this beginner-friendly jump.

Tabletops are ideal for practicing jumping as they have a flat top, making clearing the jump not mandatory. Building tabletops requires extra dirt to create the flat top, and trail centers and bike parks take time to build as they are one of the safest types of jumps.

To properly execute a tabletop jump, approach the lip quickly and pop off the lip while keeping your body and bike level. Focus on landing smoothly on the tabletop without overshooting or coming up short.

Progression training can include starting with smaller tabletops and gradually increasing the size and distance. Common mistakes include insufficient speed, not keeping the body and bike level, and landing too far forward or too far back.

Safety measures include wearing proper protective gear, inspecting the jump before attempting and riding within your skill level. Mastering tabletop jumps can lead to a sense of liberation and confidence in your mountain biking skills with proper technique and progression training.

Double Jumps

Get ready to take your skills to the next level with double jumps, which consist only of a take-off and a landing.

Double jumps are an essential part of mountain biking and require a solid jumping technique and landing strategy to reduce the risk of crashes. To progress in double jumps, start with tabletop jumps and then move on to double jumps with smaller gaps.

Safety should always be considered, and inspecting the landing before attempting a double jump is essential—practice drills such as bunny hops, manuals, and pumping to improve your jumping skills.

You can confidently tackle double jumps and elevate your riding to new heights with practice and patience.

Gap Jumps

As you approach a gap jump, the adrenaline rush may be overwhelming, but with proper technique and preparation, you can confidently soar through the air and land safely on the other side.

To execute a gap jump, you’ll need to approach it with enough speed to clear the gap. You’ll want to preload your suspension and pop off the lip to give you the momentum needed to clear the gap.

Common mistakes include not committing to the jump, not preloading enough, or not leaning forward enough during take-off. Always wear appropriate safety gear to reduce risk and inspect the jump for any issues before attempting it.

Building a gap jump requires careful consideration of the distance between the take-off and landing and the height of the lip. Advanced variations of gap jumps include increasing the distance of the gap or adding in a drop after the landing.

With practice and proper technique, you can safely conquer gap jumps and take your mountain biking skills to the next level.

Drop Jumps

Approaching a drop jump can be intimidating, but with proper technique and confidence, you can safely navigate the vertical trajectory and land smoothly on the other side.

Trajectory control is critical when approaching a drop jump, as you want to maintain your speed and trajectory to ensure a smooth landing. You’ll want to focus on landing technique, keeping your weight centered over your bike, and absorbing the impact with your legs.

Speed management is also essential, as you don’t want to go too fast and overshoot the landing. Your body position is crucial, with your arms and legs bent and your eyes focused on the landing.

Common mistakes include not committing to the jump, going too slow, or leaning too far back. With practice and proper technique, drop jumps can be an exciting addition to your mountain biking repertoire.

Step-Down Jumps

When you fly off a step-down jump, you’ll feel weightless as you drop down to the landing below. The step-down technique requires you to approach the jump with a good amount of speed and to lean back as you take off, allowing the bike to drop down to the landing.

Common mistakes include approaching the jump too slowly or leaning too far forward, causing the bike to pitch forward and potentially crash. Advanced variations include adding a turn or a gap before the landing, making the jump more technical and challenging.

Equipment needs include a bike with good suspension and brakes and protective gear such as a helmet and knee pads. Safety considerations include inspecting the jump for any damage or debris before riding it, starting with smaller jumps and gradually working to bigger step-downs.

With practice and proper technique, step-down jumps can be a thrilling and rewarding aspect of mountain biking.

Step-Up Jumps

You’ve likely heard the theory that step-up jumps are easier than step-downs, but is it true? Well, in some ways, yes.

Step-up jumps require less speed and less commitment, as you’re jumping up to a higher landing rather than down to a lower one. However, they require more precision and technique, as you must hit the lip just right to clear the gap and make it up to the landing.

Common mistakes include not getting enough speed or not hitting the lip at the right angle. Safety considerations include ensuring the landing is clear and safe and wearing proper protective gear.

Practice drills can include working on your timing and technique on smaller jumps before progressing to larger ones. Advanced variations can include adding tricks or combos, such as a tail whip or a barspin.

So, while step-up jumps may be easier in some ways, they still require skill and practice to master.

Hip Jumps

Now that you’ve mastered step-up jumps, it’s time to move on to hip jumps. Hip jumps are unique because the landing is in a different direction than the jump lip, requiring a bit of finesse and skill to execute properly.

To successfully ride a hip jump, you must have a solid understanding of landing technique, lip placement, and approach speed. Your body position is also crucial, as you’ll need to lean into the turn and extend your bike outward to maintain balance. Proper risk assessment is also key, as hip jumps can be more dangerous than others if not executed correctly.

With practice and patience, you can confidently ride hip jumps and add another level of excitement to your mountain biking repertoire.

Don’t be afraid to start small and work up to bigger hip jumps.

Focus on your approach speed and ensure it’s appropriate for the jump size.

Practice your body position and landing technique on tabletop jumps before attempting hip jumps.

On-Off Jumps

Get ready to add another trick to your bag of mountain biking skills with on-off jumps. These jumps consist of a step-up to a raised platform straight into a step-down from there. Approach speed is crucial, and it’s essential to maintain enough momentum to clear the step-up and land safely on the platform before taking off again for the step-down.

Landing strategy is also critical as you must prepare for the upcoming step-down while safely landing on the platform. Potential hazards include overshooting the platform and coming up short, so rider positioning is essential to maintain balance and control.

Equipment requirements include a properly maintained bike with a reliable suspension system to absorb the impact of landing. On-off jumps are a challenging but rewarding feature to master, and with practice, you can add them to your repertoire of mountain biking tricks.

Lilypad Jumps

Ready to take your mountain biking skills to the next level? Let’s talk about Lilypad jumps, a rare but challenging feature that requires precise technique and careful planning to ride successfully.

Lilypad jumps a series of small jumps, often in a zig-zag formation, that resembles stepping stones across a pond. Building techniques for Lilypad jumps are intricate and require attention to detail.

The rider approach is critical as these jumps require a lot of speed and momentum to clear. Common mistakes include not committing fully to the jump, going too slow, or not having enough speed to clear the entire series.

Safety precautions for Lilypad jumps include wearing proper protective gear and clearly understanding its layout before attempting it. Advanced variations of Lilypad jumps may include gaps or larger jumps between the ‘lily pads.’

With practice and patience, Lilypad can become a fun and challenging feature to master in mountain biking skills.

Triple Jumps

Don’t miss out on the exhilarating rush of triple jumps, the next level of excitement in mountain biking! Triple jumps are the evolution to double jumps, and mastering them requires technique and practice.

Building triple jumps is daunting, as they require significant space and dirt to make the landing safe. Triple jump safety is crucial, as the speed and height of these jumps can lead to serious injuries if not executed correctly.

The main difference between triple and double jumps is the number of take-offs and landings, with triple jumps consisting of three take-offs and landings. As you progress in your mountain biking skills, triple jumps are a challenge worth taking on, but always remember to prioritize safety above all else.

Transfer Jumps

If you’re creative and adventurous, use non-jump features such as take-offs and landings for your next mountain biking session with transfer jumps.

These jumps involve using features not designed to be jumped, such as rocks, logs, or even buildings, to transfer from one point to another.

While transfer jumps offer unique creative opportunities, they also require risk management and technical challenges. Riders must accurately judge distances and heights and adjust their speed and trajectory to match the terrain.

However, transfer jumps can unlock a new world of mountain biking possibilities with the right skills and practice. This allows riders to explore alternative options and push their limits in new and exciting ways.

Ramp Jumps

Now that you know about transfer jumps, it’s time to move on to ramp jumps. If you’re looking for a jump that’s consistent in its trajectory and won’t change over time, a ramp jump is for you.

The take-off is made of a wooden or metal ramp; you can find them at bike parks or build them yourself. Building techniques and ramp materials vary, but the essential thing is to maintain the ramp’s shape and stability for safety reasons.

Ramp maintenance is vital to ensure that the ramp remains safe to ride, and you should inspect it regularly for cracks, dents, or other damage. When designing a ramp jump, it’s crucial to consider the height and length of the take-off and landing, as well as the angle of the ramp.

With proper design and maintenance, ramp jumps can be a valuable addition to your mountain biking skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What safety equipment is necessary for jumping in mountain biking?

When jumping in mountain biking, safety equipment is essential to reduce the risk of injury. Always wear a helmet, goggles, pads, gloves, and appropriate shoes. Protecting your head, body, and hands is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience.

How do you approach a jump, and what techniques can be used to improve your jumping skills?

Ready to soar? Approach jumps with confidence using these approach techniques and landing strategies. Perfect your jumping posture with proper bike setup and practice tips to elevate your skills and unlock the exhilarating freedom of mountain biking.

How do weather conditions and terrain affect the safety and difficulty of jumps?

When jumping on a mountain bike, weather and terrain can greatly affect the safety and difficulty of jumps. Wet conditions, rocky terrain, steep inclines, loose gravel, and sudden drops can increase the risk of injury and require advanced skills to navigate safely.

What are some common mistakes or challenges that riders face when attempting jumps?

Body positioning, speed control, mental preparation, bike setup, and landing technique are crucial to successfully jumping on a mountain bike. Common challenges include not committing, bad timing, and improper technique. Practice and patience are key to overcoming these obstacles.

Are there any legal or environmental considerations regarding building and using jumps in mountain biking?

Building and using jumps in mountain biking requires a permitting process and consideration of land management, environmental impact, community relations, and liability concerns. These factors vary by location, so research before building or shredding jumps.


Congratulations! You’re now equipped with the knowledge to become a pro at mountain bike jumps. With an understanding of the 12 types of jumps, you can confidently hit the trails and take your riding to the next level.

From tabletop jumps to ramp jumps, you can navigate each type of jump with ease and finesse. You’ll amaze your friends with your newfound skills and leave them in awe of your ability to conquer any leap. You may even become known as the jumping guru of the group.

So, get out there and start practicing! With dedication and determination, you’ll soon be soaring through the air with the greatest of ease.

Always prioritize safety and start with the easiest jumps before progressing to the more challenging ones. But most importantly, have fun and enjoy the thrill of mountain biking!

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