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Not to say that I am James Stewart and that I am whipping every single jump on the track, but I can maybe help you shy away from those dreaded butt whips you’re doing! Let’s face it one of the best feelings of riding a dirt bike is hitting a jump and whipping it flat! It’s bad ass! Plus you can get some good looking Instabangers and possibly pull some chics right? I will attempt to teach you the basics on how to get the best whip you can out of yourself. The key elements of learning how to whip are having proper form and finding the right jump to do it. On the bike you must stay loose and on the balls of your feet. That is probably still to this day one of the hardest things to remember while I ride, which is to ride on the balls of my feet. When you ride on the balls of your feet you are more centered and stable on the bike, also you are able to move around more freely and loose. Another key is to find one of the most comfortable jumps that you ride (with no kickers on it) and that you feel comfortable on. Once you can jump straight and in control, try these steps:
1. Coming up the face of the jump you want to start carving or turning as you’re riding up. You almost want a half moon-shaped line going up the face of the jump. This allows the bike to already start the whip before you even take off. I would also start by practicing going off of the jump sitting. It is much easier to whip sitting down than standing. It also gives the bike more pop coming off of the lip.
2. As you just get ready to leave the face of the jump start pushing against the frame on your inside leg (depending on which way you throw whips). This allows more force on the inside of the machine and keeps its trajectory going that way. As your rear end starts to come out you want to loosen up your outside leg a little to keep the bike in its whip position. You will find that your outside leg will kind of already be off of the outside peg a little (which is good as long as it’s not dangling out there too much).
3. As you enter the middle portion of your jump you will want to try to turn your handlebars towards the outside (pointing in the upward direction). This helps get the bike flatter as you’re pushing with your inside leg to kick back end out, while your pushing with your outside arm on the bar downward to flatten the bike out.
4. As you begin to come back down to the ground you will want to straighten your handlebar out and stop pushing with your inside leg. This will keep the bike from coming out too far. You will than transfer your weight back to your outside leg to push against the frame to straighten out rear end of bike. By now you and your bike should be as close to straight as possible.
5. As you begin to come back down to the ground you will want to straighten your handlebar out and stop pushing with your inside leg. This will keep the bike from coming out too far. You will than transfer your weight back to your outside leg to push against the frame to straighten out rear end of bike. By now you and your bike should be as close to straight as possible.
Notes: If you find yourself not completely straightened out by the time you land just make sure your body is as straight on the bike as possible. If your body is perpendicular with your machine and you are stiff your bike will swap back the opposite way and slap you on the ground and then you will be all pissed off at me! Remember, take it slow and give it some time. A solid whip will come to you as you get more comfortable on the bike. Learning to whip doens’t happen overnight and takes some practice. Keep working on it and you’ll look like James did when he hit a Supercross finish line jump!