Learning how to land big mountain bike jumps

A few weeks back a friend and I were discussing big mountain bike jumps and how people learn to land them. I mean, we’ve all seen skills areas with progressively larger jumps but how do you go from a 4 foot jump to a 50 foot drop like the one at Santos? (pictured below) I think I may have found an answer and it involves gymnastics equipment.


Whistler Mountain Bike Park has set up the Air Dome for this year’s Crankworx festival (August 9-17) and inside the dome there is a foam pit typically used for gymnastics practice. Riders work their way up to the pit on jumps from 1 to 4 meters (3 to 12 feet) in the enclosed riding area. And I just assumed that Ray’s Indoor MTB Park was the only place to mountain bike indoors…


Photo from Mudbunnie News blog

Learning “air awareness” as this article puts it is definitely important to landing huge mountain bike jumps and the foam pit seems like a good place to hone your skills. Kinda reminds me of a summer trip to the US Olympic training center in Lake Placid, NY where the US ski team was practicing aerial acrobatics in a specialized pool at the end of a ski ramp. These guys also “practiced” ski jumping where the landing area was astroturf instead of snow – a bit less forgiving than a pool. I guess you really gotta work up to that before you give it a try 😉


Ski version of practice jumping (Lake Placid, NY)


Fail to stick this landing and you’ll end up with serious turf burn at a minimum. The landing pad is actually the lower sea green turf patch. To give you an idea of scale, the gray rectangle to the right of the landing area is a grandstand area.

Share This: