B’s Buzz: The Secrets Behind the Pros’ Amazing Feats

The Secrets Behind the Pros’ Amazing Feats

Thomas Genon looks effortless while tail whipping over a massive on/off jump during his silver-medal run at Crankworx Whistler in 2016. His countless hours of practice contributed to his ability to perform breathtaking stunts. Photo by Brandon Castelli


It only takes a few minutes surfing through our favorite media sites, such as YouTube and Instagram, to find footage of professional riders performing absolutely absurd stunts. From big air to technical flip tricks, the top pros make everything look so easy. For us mere mortals, watching these riders can give us the inspiration and pure insanity to think we, too, can perform these heroic actions. Well, the hard facts are that most of us will likely never get to that level; however, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

What The Pros Have

When watching a jaw-dropping video, it’s easy to forget what went into making it all happen. Before going out to the local jump park and trying to take your hands off your bike mid-flight or attempting to gracefully fling your body through the air like an Olympic diver, keep the following in mind: The pros become professionals through years of practice. They’ve mastered the skills to make their tricks look effortless. Now, I’m not saying you couldn’t learn something new, too, but remember, you only get out what you’re willing to put in. If you truly have the burning desire to do something and consistently practice every day, you can reach greatness.

Safety First

Although it often looks like the top pros take unnecessary risks, that is not exactly the case. The most elite riders carefully calculate their approaches to new challenges, employing precision and risk management. These riders may look like they’re putting their lives on the line, but in reality, they are laser-focused on achieving their goals. No matter what you try to put your mind to, make sure it’s done in a safe environment and you have several backup plans in place.

Learn The Right Technique

To master new skills, riders must first learn the basic techniques, or they’ll pick up bad habits along the way. I often overly rely on my back brake when performing a manual because I picked up the bad habit of going past my balance point and using the rear brake to hold me in the sweet spot. Any time you learn a new skill, it’s imperative that you learn to do it the correct way. Once you’ve picked up a bad habit, it becomes hard to break. So, do your best to master new skills with the correct techniques.

Practice Makes Perfect

No matter what you’re trying to learn, whether it is improving your cornering speed or attempting a big line of jumps at your local bike park, the only way to get better at it is to practice repetitively. The reason pros make the hardest stunts look so easy is because they have put in tens of thousands of hours perfecting those skills. If you put your mind to something, practice like your life depends on it and strive to learn the right techniques, you can master new skills as well. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your bike, put on your helmet, and head out your front door with the determination to learn something new.


Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.

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