Before you start learning how to whip your bike (that is, sending the back end of your airborne ride sideways, before stylishly straightening up and landing), it's crucial you're comfortable jumping.
You don't need to be travelling ridiculously fast, but should be able to pop nice and high off a jump – bigger is better for the whip. There are loads of different ways of styling your whips, and while you're not going to be be creating your own straight away you can always be developing your technique.
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How to whip a mountain bike
1. Approach at an angle
Instead of jumping straight-on, come at the jump from a slight angle and carve a little turn off the lip, which will help you carve a shape in the air.
2. Keep turning those handlebars
Carry on turning your bar, get comfy with that, and eventually you'll get the back wheel to come out. Everyone will have a preferred side – just persist with what feels natural.
3. Keep things loose
It's important to stay relaxed if possible – because getting tense will make things go wrong (landing side-on is something that everyone will do at least once!).
4. Nose the front back in for landing
Ideally, get a nice height, and once the back wheel comes out, nose the front back in and when that lands first it'll straighten you up.