How to Whip a Mountain Bike Like a Pro

Did you just say you wanna know how to impress your audience with your biking skills? If so, then better learning the basics — especially how to whip. 

What does whip mean?

A whip is a trick where the biker jumps up in front of the bike and does some sort of 360-degree turn before landing back on top of the bike.

In other words, it’s a stylish mountain biking trick that demands great control to turn it sideways mid-air before landing. 

In this article, we will go through a step-by-step guide on how to whip a mountain bike like a pro. So, let’s begin. 

More MTB Tricks: How to Do a Wheelie on an MTB

How to Whip a Mountain Bike Like a Pro

Master how to jump with confidence.  

Without feeling confident in the air and have a sense of balance, you might fall off and get injured. To help you get the hang of whipping, try to remember that a biker is NOT an acrobat. 

Take note that if you don’t have any jumping experience yet, do not try to do any mountain bike tricks. For starters out there, try small jumps until you feel at ease. Once you were able to find a comfortable jump, practice it.

But what about if you want to jump higher on a mountain bike?

You need to build your upper body strength and learn how to have control of your bike while in the air. Don’t just believe that you can jump higher by increasing your speed.

You should have good posture and stand fully on the pedals; then you can have the momentum to carry you into higher jumps.

Prepare your body (and bike) before take-off. 

The most important factor in doing a whip is having a good grip on your bike. If you are not able to hold the bike properly, then all your efforts might go down the drain.

During jumps, bend your knees and loosen your hands. Bend your knees and keep them bent throughout for optimum effort of the trick. 

To make the sideway of the whip, it’s important to do a carving movement once you entered the leap. This will turn the front wheel into the side. 

Create small jumps and try the carving motion along with your front wheel. When you can jump while doing the carving motion, start twisting your shoulders right in the direction of your whip.

The carving motion is necessary because it will help you turn the side of the bike into the direction in which your whip would be in. 

To clarify, what is a carve? Carving is a “back-and-forth” body motion — more commonly known as a “bend and release” movement. This technique will allow you to turn your bike sideways without losing your balance or fall off.

Move your hips too. 

Your body, especially your hips, should move in a way that it can align with the direction of the whip. Your hips should lead the rest of your body.

This is very important because if you can’t move your hips, then there is still a chance that you might fall off during the trick. 

Time to nail a perfect landing!

Wanna know some tricks to do a straight landing? Although this seems so impossible with enough preparation you can definitely nail it. The trick here is to stall the momentum. 

For instance, you managed to make the whip trick on the right side. Thus, your bike moved sideways in the air.

If you want to take off safely, you have to stall the momentum going right and reposition wisely your bike for the landing. This can be done by flipping your front wheel going to the left. After that, twist your hips and shoulders to the  

This is not to aim for the landing spot, but the landing place will appear once the trick was done. Do not worry, the landing feels safe because of your stable biker position and your bent knees. 

It is impossible to land a bike that is moving sideways. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare the bike for landing while still in the air. This process works by stalling momentum and is an opposite process from getting the bike to go sideways.

Let’s imagine you have whipped the bike to the left, and now the bike is sideways in the air. If you would like to land that jump, you need to stall the momentum going left and reposition the bike for the landing.

Begin by flipping the front wheel to the right and twisting your shoulders and hips to the right as well.

The bike will start moving to its original position, ready for the landing!

Next Read: How to Do a Bunny Hop on an MTB

Tips for the Perfect Whip

Get to know the trails.

One of the most common mistakes by bikers is to whip the bike when it’s on a rocky surface. To avoid this, get to know the trail first. If you are not familiar with your trails, then better practice another place/trail for now until you become familiar with it. 

You should also find a good trail that can allow you to do the whip without any accident. If possible, get a trail report beforehand to avoid some possible injuries.

Get used to how your bike feels. 

Once you’ve decided which trail will be good for whipping, make sure that you already know how your bike will react during the skill.

You should already know what kind of movement your bike does during a whip. If you’ve never done it, then the best thing is to repeat the process of getting used to how your bike feels until you can nail it perfectly.

Practice, practice, practice! 

If you want to improve your skill in doing this awesome trick, then you need to do a lot of practice. The same rule goes for all the other tricks you want to do.

In order to execute a trick, you need to make sure that your body is moving as one. This can be done through a lot of practice. 

You should also find a good trail that can allow you to do the whip without any accident. Practice makes perfect! 

Watch out for obstacles! 

Speed and precision are necessary with this trick. This is particularly true if you will be doing it in an area with obstacles. 

Make sure to also watch out for the bottom of the jump. It’s a common occurrence for bikers to jump high and scare themselves when they see how far down the bottom is. 

Don’t forget about safety.

Always wear a helmet and body protection. Also, the bike should be in good condition and well maintained.

Getting comfortable with your whip is something that comes naturally if you do it a couple of times. Remember to have fun in your process of learning mountain biking tricks.

From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 10+ trails across the globe, for Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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