The Anatomy of Jumps


When you are down at your local jump track either riding or building jumps, there may be some jargon that you are unfamiliar with.  Here is a quick guide from the UCT track head honcho, Graham van de Ruit to help you find your way.

4X Four-cross—a race format that grew out of dual slalom. Four riders
go head to head down a short course with a BMX-style start gate,
jumps, berms, and other obstacles; very exciting and spectator
friendly. Usually the first two riders from each race progress to the
next round, until only four remain for the final.

North Shore A style of trail originating from the north shore of
Vancouver, in Canada. Riders began building elevated trails from
planks and logs in the forests so they could ride in the wet weather,
and get over and around some of the big rocks and gullies. It has
since spread all over the world, and trails are built for their novelty
value more than practical reasons. Trails typically include skinny
logs and planks high up in the trees, see-saws, gap jumps, dropoffs,
and roller-coaster-style rollers. True north shore trails are
generally pretty extreme, but these days much tamer ones are being
built by people jumping onto the hype.

Pump Aside from being a tool to inflate your tyres, pump also refers
to a technique used to get speed off bumps and jumps in the trail.
It involves unweighting the bike on the upslope and pushing your
weight into the downward transitions of rounded bumps, first with
your arms and then your legs. It is best demonstrated on a BMX
track, or a dual or pump track with smooth rolling jumps. It can be
used when catching air as well, provided the landing is steep and
curved. With proper pump, it is possible to flow around a track
without pedalling at all.

Manual Not to be confused with a wheelie, a manual involves lifting
the front wheel and holding it off the ground without pedalling.
This is done through getting your weight far back and using your
legs to control the front wheel. The back brake can be used to bring
the front wheel back down, but it’s your legs that do most of the
work. Straightening your legs will lift the front wheel, and bending
your knees will lower it. Manuals can be used just about anywhere,
and can help you to ride sections more quickly and smoothly, or
link up tricks and funk up a line. Manualling and pumping with the
back wheel will sometimes be the fastest and smoothest way to
get through rolling jumps, and manualling walls and ledges from a
bunny-hop is always a fun challenge.

Berm A bank on the outside of a corner, designed to help the rider
keep speed. A good berm is more difficult to build than it sounds,
and must sit right in the line, be at the right angle relative to the
ground, have a good curve, and have its weight in the right place. A
typical berm should have the most support at a point about twothirds
of the way through the bend.

Dirt Jump A typical dirt jump consists of two mounds of dirt: a
take-off ramp and a landing. The transitions should be smooth and
rounded, allowing a good flow from one jump to the next. With
proper pump, there shouldn’t be a need to pedal between jumps.
The gap between the take-off and landing is usually severe, with little
room for error.

Hip Jump –  Any sort of jump that consists of a take-off and landing at
different angles to each other. The jump needs to be hit at an angle,
and the bike turned in the air to line up for the landing. Hip jumps
lend themselves very well to stylish tricks such as whips and tabletops
(where the rider flattens the bike out to one side).

Courtesy:  Graham van de Ruit