Learning to backflip my MTB

This is how you learn to backflip using only
the tools you have access to. Whether it’s a snow mound, a mulch pile,
or a lake, there’s always the chance you’re gonna snap yourself in half. Back in my day, we gave props for this kind
of resourcefulness and courage. Going full send was the only path to progression
and glory. Many have risked their lives to land the coveted
backflip, one of the most committing maneuvers you can pull on a bike. To all who have tried, whether you succeeded
or not, I salute you. But these days, there are safer, more progressive
ways to learn flips, including facilities like these. Welcome to the Highland Training Center, an
indoor wooden park featuring a foam pit and padded box known as a resi jump. I’m here today with my buddy Phil, to accomplish
one goal: roll away from a backflip. Phil pulled his first backflip at 13 years
old, at a facility very much like this one. The Highland Training Center is part of Highland
Mountain Bike Park, in New Hampshire. I visited Highland last year and found that
most of the features there were above my paygrade. The place is full of huge drops, doubles,
slopestyle jumps, and tricky wooden features. Today I’m getting vengeance on all the stuff
I chickened out on last year. Progression always feels good, but I didn’t
drive all the way to highland just to send some drops. Back at the HTC, we warmed up in the foam
pit. Even last year, I attempted some backflips
and got hang of the rotation. But according to Phil, there’s more to it. Landing tires down on one particular ramp
is fine and dandy, but adapting to multiple scenarios is a different story. Flipping into this foam pit is now muscle
memory, but that won’t help me when I try the real thing. This resi box has a shorter approach, which
is harder to get speed for. In preparation, I’m trying flips at different
approach speeds, heights, and distances. Lest you think foam pits provide free progression,
take it from me: they don’t. In fact, foam pits are tiring to session,
difficult to climb out of, and harder on your bike than you would think. They also provide a false sense of security. This foam pit is a powerful tool, but I’m
anxious to move on. It’s time to attempt a flip on the resi
box. A resi box is like a real jump, except it
gives a bit when you land on it. The surface is also slippery so that you don’t
get scraped up when tumbling across it. The problem with this resi box, is that the
approach isn’t that great for a full suspension mountain bike. Were I on a hardtail or bmx, I’d have an
easier time pumping the roll-in. On my mountain bike, I need to take a few
cranks to get up enough speed. Not a very impressive bail, but I did seem
cognizant of the fact that I wouldn’t complete the rotation. Knowing that my instincts are intact, actually
gives me more confidence to try again. This time, I’ll try pulling the bike towards
me to speed up the rotation. And with that, I rolled away from my first
backflip. I really wanted to catch the landing perfectly,
but needed more practice to get the distance. This session ended when I started to push
my luck. I landed on the resi without consequence,
but the bike slid directly into my funny bone. Since then, I’ve lost a lot of sensation
in my right hand. I’ll be seeing a doctor next week to hopefully
get it sorted out. This winter I hope to find a good jump to
practice on, so that flips can become something I do casually. Bike park season is nearing its end, so that
should give me a chance to heal up and focus on other kinds of mountain biking. Thanks for sharing this special moment with
me, and do check out the link below to pay your respects to those who learned to flip
with limited resources. Also, subscribe to Skills with Phil to learn
all the ins and outs of the backflip. He’ll be posting a tutorial on his channel
in the coming weeks. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.

100 thoughts on “Learning to backflip my MTB”

  1. Nice to see other old people trying not to grow up. I'm just getting into freestyle snowboarding at 55.

  2. The good thing about the foam pit is you learn to land level even. though you dont know how to land and keep going its better than not making the full rotation and land upside down and breaking your collar bone. So even if you dont know how to keep rolling from the backflip and always fall over it's better than trying your first time not having the rotations down and landing upside down

  3. That kid who did the backflip at the start is a god. He is insane for his age. He is probably 50x better than me! And I’m 14!

  4. That looks so much fun I can only ride a bike park within 30 miles
    And you get to go across the country

  5. He just dives in the foam pit

    U good

    Seth: yea I’m good I just almost broke my ankle

    Crashes again

    U good

    Seth:yep almost broke my fingers and elbow

  6. Dude..i think learning this stuff is best for young folks..i'm 40 and no way in hell i'd start trying to learn this stuff now but this was interesting.

  7. You know when you hit your funny bone your actually hitting your ulnar nerve which runs along the outer side of your elbow and damage to that can cause loss of sensation in your forearm and hand

  8. I learned how to back flip in the jankeist way with a homemade jump made out of cinderblocks and a peice of plywood and a ditch

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