How To Ride Scary Drops

How To Ride Scary Drops


Tom van Steenbergen shows perfect form at the Red Bull Rampage. Photo courtesy Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool

Start with the smallest drop possible, even a curb can be utilized to learn the fundamental skills of how to drop.

On the approach: Lower your torso by bending your arms and legs. Like a ready-to-pounce cat, this will put your body in a position to react.

At drop departure: Lower your hips, push your handlebars forward and push your hips back. Positioning your hips slightly behind the axle at drop departure will allow your weight to shift behind the bike as your wheels leave the ground. Once your arms are extended, you can apply backwards pressure on the bars to hold your wheels level in the air. Note: You are using your body weight to keep the front wheel up and not pulling the bars towards your chest.

As you drop: Keep arms extended and extend legs. In this position, your arms, and legs will be ready and able to absorb the impact of the landing.

Brandon Semenuk is a master of drops. Photo courtesy Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content Pool

Landing: Aim to land back wheel first. If the landing has a sizable transition angle, there is less need to hold the bars up, so try to match the angle of your wheels to the transition and land with both wheels at the same time.

You might not be attempting Red Bull Rampage-sized drops, but mastering the technique of how to do a drop properly will provide the potential to ride new lines and allow you to have more fun on your bike.

With a little knowledge and practice, you can conquer almost any drop. Keep reading to learn how you can safely graduate from dropping off sidewalks to conquering black-diamond trail features.

Winner of World Cup #5 in Val di Sole, Italy, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, illustrates excellent drop technique. Photo courtesy Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

Remember, learning safely is priority one, so start with small drops at first. Focus on refining your ability to land with both wheels at the same time. Once you’re comfortable making minor adjustments in the air, you’ll be ready to progress to larger drops. As with any new skill, there is no substitute for practice, so be sure to progress slowly, wear body armor and feel free to lower your saddle when learning to drop.



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