How to master dirt jumping on your bike

What is dirt jumping?

If speed, adrenaline or the countryside aren't your thing, you can get into the completely terrifying world of dirt jumping, where you'll spend more time upside down in the air then on the ground...we hope. Whether you have a mountain bike or even a BMX, here's a few pointers to help you soar through the air.

Is dirt jumping difficult?

Ask any dirt jump rider and they'll say no, or not anymore. The core requirements, other than your perfect bike set up, is knowledge gained through experience which brings confidence and good judgement.

When you are looking at a set of dirt jumps on a trail or around an urban scene, you are going to need to use good judgement. A bit of confidence will help you know how best to jumps with as much speed as possible, which means getting more air.

So how do you get better at dirt jumping?

Simple! Practice. Take your bike down a regular trail and try and jump over anything you can. Start with small rocks, roots and anything that could give you a little lift. Over time you'll be able to judge the impact and manoeuvre your body to get the desired outcome. This will help when you move on to trails of increased difficulty.

Find a local jump or ramp and get used to going over larger jumps and judging how to land. Aim to extend air time or distance you can travel through set up, speed, approach and how to pump the bike on. Try to put several jumps together without using your pedals or brakes. Then take everything you've learned on to different trails or jump circuits.

Experience is only gained by variety and dedication, but mastering your local circuits will give you familiarity with their jump sections. Don't be too surprised to hit the floor a few times though.