a man doing tricks with his mountain bike

How to Whip a Mountain Bike Like the Pros

Tom

Written by bike expert Tom. Last updated:

Seeing a professional mountain biker perform amazing tricks in the air is exciting and inspiring. One of the most popular air tricks is an old classic, the whip. It looks relatively straightforward, but still requires a lot of practice and proper technique to execute correctly. There is just something graceful and elegant about seeing a mountain bike do a mid-air whip.

In this short guide, we will try to teach you how to whip a bike like the pros by providing some tips on how to get a lift, get the bike to flip sideways, readjust for the landing, and land without crashing.

Feel at Ease in the Air

Needless to say, before you try to do any tricks, including the whip, it is vital that you feel comfortable in the air with a bike in the first place. We don’t recommend someone without jumping experience to attempt tricks.

Start practicing with small jumps, and as you get more comfortable in the air, you can start thinking about tricks. Bear in mind that you don’t need a massive jump or a ton of airtime to perform a whip. Small jump whips are perfectly fine as well and might be more suitable for certain types of terrain.

a man doing small jumps with a mountain bike

Plan the Jump Before Take-Off

Before you find yourself in the air, you must prepare your body and the mt bike for the jump. To generate the sideways motion of a whip, it is necessary to use a carving motion when entering the leap, turning the front wheel towards the side. It seems like an irrelevant movement, but carving across the lip is what gets the bike moving sideways.

Start with small jumps, practicing the carving motion with the front wheel. Once you can enter jumps with the carving motion, begin twisting your shoulders in the direction of the whip as well. This will get your body in the right position to begin generating sideways movement.

Use Your Hips

If you manage to get a consistent lift and your carving motion is spot-on during and after the liftoff, try performing multiple jumps only by using the carving motion and trying to land the bike. Once you feel comfortable with getting lift and turning your front wheel, it is time to practice getting the bike sideways in the air.

To get the bike sideways in the air, you need to get the back wheel moving in the direction of the whip. You can achieve this by using your hips. Once in the air, twist your hips in the direction of the whip, keeping your chest still and square. This will cause the back wheel to come forward, turning the bike sideways.

Preparing for Landing

a man practicing his jumps on a bicycle

It is impossible to land a bike that is moving sideways. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare the bike for landing while still in the air. This process works by stalling momentum and is an opposite process from getting the bike to go sideways.

Let’s imagine you have whipped the bike to the left, and now the bike is sideways in the air. If you would like to land that jump, you need to stall the momentum going left and reposition the bike for the landing. You begin by flipping the front wheel to the right and twisting your shoulders and hips to the right as well. The bike will start moving to its original position, ready for the landing.

Know the Terrain

As you practice whipping, you will get more comfortable with the techniques used to manipulate the bike, and you will feel brave enough to attempt more daring jumps. Before doing so, make sure that your technique is flawless and that you are comfortable being in the air.

Taking that into account, you need to get to know the terrain you ride on and carefully study potential locations for the whip. The easiest whip jumps are at 90-degree turns, where you don’t need to worry about getting the bike straight for landing. More advanced jobs will require better concentration and more precise execution.

Hopefully, you found this guide on How to Perform a Whip Like a Pro has been helpful. Hours of practice and hundreds of jumps are key to improving your technique and getting ready for more daring jumps in the future.

References

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