Last month we asked our Facebook friends “Do you have a tip or trick you’ve always wanted to learn?” Stoppies, rollers and slow wheelies were included, with some FMX camp tricks such as backflips and heel clickers in there also. The choice of which skills to focus on were eventually narrowed down to two, with Ryan Stevens’ request on learning how to “Tail-Whip” taking the win over Louie Sanders’ question on jumping. This was because learning how to whip is a more specific way to get confident jumping, and we happened to work on that skill with a pair of brothers very recently.
Sponsorship in Action
It was a $100 voucher that he had won which helped bring Logan and his brother Jared to meet us at the Patetonga track. The voucher had come through Botany Honda’s support of the Schools MX race held in Mercer the month before, which helped pay for the membership and track fees of becoming a part of the club. Fortunately the track conditions were perfect, and when combined with a great session of coaching, made it sure that they will be back to this venue again.
In the Air
While we also did some good work on their turning ability, it was jumping confidence that they needed most. Fortunately we have the answer.
Of course we began with the hard work of keeping close to the bike while standing, so their arms could stay bent and their knees hugging the seat. The Big Stick was only needed a few times to make sure they didn’t lift during the jump and pretty soon they were ready for the whip.
Turn and Twist
It is finally time to answer Ryan Steven’s facebook request on how to do a tail whip, because we want all want bike control, especially in the air. First of all I had the boys follow me over some small tabletops where I was purposely leaning and turning to the left while the wheels were off the ground on the first jump, then leaning and turning to the right on the second. See a further explanation of this in this video How to Whip if you like, but the key is to not over think it. Just embrace the fact that you won’t be turning or leaning very hard.
Once in the air the next thing they had to do was use their hips to swing the back out a little further once the rear wheel was off the ground, and then twist their body back in line with the track again before they landed. This makes for some great fun and we are still keeping it small and safe, helping them avoid freezing up if it kicks sideways on them in the future.
Return of the Tail Whip
They were beginning to get quite sideways but without bringing it back straight before landing, so it was time for stage two. The key was to turn and lean less, but twist with their body more aggressively. This meant they could feel the bike getting as far as it wanted to go and settling, which meant they could then use their body to bring it back again.
Like I have always said with whips, such as in this second video, the bike only wants to go so far, and once it is there it will then want to come back straight again. Doing it very small is how to learn, as jumping bigger will only add to the danger factor.
Everyone is a Winner
Hopefully we can work on this personally with Ryan using the voucher he will be receiving soon. To everyone else, keep an eye out for more questions on our Facebook to be in to win your own voucher for some coaching of your own.