Trick Tips: Beginner Jumps - Straight Air

Rico Evans

SAFETY FIRST! Always wear a helmet. It’s better to be safe than sorry. You may never land on your head, but all it takes is that one time.
START SMALL. I know that big tabletop in the park looks tempting, but start off small and step it up from there.

Step 1. The Run-in:
  Before you hit the jump, watch a few other people hit it to get an idea for how fast you should go. Sometimes it’s better to let someone else be the crash test dummy. When you’re ready, just point your board downhill and go! Wait to speed check until you’re about halfway down the run-in, so you have an idea of how much you need to adjust your speed.

Step 2. The Dip:
  This is the indentation between the kicker and the run-in. Approach the dip with your knees bent and your body crouched and centered over your board, so your legs absorb the dip as you head into it. Be prepared for a slight increase in speed.

Step 3. The Kicker:
  Now we get to the goods! As you head up the kicker, stay low, with your knees bent and your base flat. As the nose of you board leaves the end of the kicker, tuck your legs up. This is important.

Meleia Sanchez, Indie Grab, 2007 Sunlight King & Queen of the Mountain Competition

Step 4. The Landing:
  This is where you touch down. Up to this point, your legs should be tucked into your body. As you approach the landing, drop your legs, but keep your knees bent to absorb the landing. DO NOT LAND STRAIGHT LEGGED! Think about jumping on a trampoline, your legs bend absorb the impact when you land? Do that.
Step 5. Celebration:
  If you’ve followed these steps, you will have successfully completed your first jump! Now you can throw your hands in the air in excitement and scream like a girl! Oh wait…

To advance to bigger jumps, add a step 3.5:

Step 3.5. The Table:
  The table is the flat section between the kicker and the landing. With tabletops, the length of the table determines how much speed you need when you take off in order to clear it. Coming up short and landing on the table hurts! Start off with a 15-20 ft. tabletop (5-6.5 meters for you Euro Betties).

Posted by rico on 12/22/06

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