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Basic Questions on Jumps

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I ventured into the park recently (on skis), and I have a couple basic question about jumping on small park jumps.  It was the first time that I had spent meaningful time in the park, though I am a strong type 7, and comfortable most places on the mountain.

  1. After you are in the air, what, if anything, do you do to control your distance, or is that pretty much set based on your speed and pop?  Sometimes I landed short (in the initial flat), as I became more comfortable a few times I landed long (past the downslope), but obviously I was targeting the downslope (which I was surprised to discover feels sweet when you hit it right).
  2. Where do you look while jumping?  Approaching the jump, the landing area is not visible and it feels a bit blind.  I think I sort of just looked at the jump as I approached and then looked kind of straight ahead while in the air, rather than looking down.  Do you look down at some point to spot the landing?

Also, what exactly is a kicker vs. a lip vs. a step down, etc?

Thanks so much.

By the way, here is a rough description of the "jumps" so you can get a sense of the scale I'm talking about.

  1. The "smallest" jumps consisted of a ramp up, maybe 2 to 2.5 feet high, a flat portion, maybe 5 to 6 feet long, and then the down slope.
  2. The slightly larger jumps (still small) consisted of a ramp up, maybe 3 to 4 feet high, then a straight drop down of a foot or a bit more to the flat portion, which ran maybe 7 to 10 feet horizontally, and then the downslope.
  3. A third type were adjacent to some unpopular rails.  They were flat in the lead up, then a sharp transition to a fairly steep downslope.  I liked them because I was guaranteed to land on the downslope.
post #2 of 3

You can't really control the distance when you are already in the air but you can control your landing by retracting/extending your legs and this will change the distance a little.


I observe how others jump first by looking at their speed and speed checks. The speed you need will change based on snow condition and time of day.


I learn from snowboard jump that I don't look down because it will change my balance and result in bad landing but I do try to spot the landing without making much movement. This is less an issue with ski


jump - jump that send you forward

kicker- jump that send you upward

lip - something like top edge of halfpipe

step down - landing is lower than take off

post #3 of 3

Once you are airborne not a whole lot you can do except extend/retract the legs to vary landing distance. Even then, on those sorts of features you are only talking a few feet at most. The error that most people make starting out with park features is that they don't carry enough speed into the feature. This actually results in a flat landing as they miss the sweet spot you noticed. I always just watch a folks hit it before dropping in and on the small features usually work to gain additional speed. I never scrub speed as that usually just ends up with flat landing.


I pretty much suck at doing much whilst in the air. But I have a few park rat friends and they say to focus on your landing with your eyes. Not only if you are doing any sort of rotation (where spotting the landing is key) but even a grab. Eyes focused on the landing keeps you in a centered position and balanced. At least that's the idea.


Have fun. I just started doing opposite rotation (not sure what the technical term is) in the pipe and that's actually a lot of fun. Managed to pull it off on the "wall" of a run the other day and nailed the rotation exactly right. Great feeling to actually do something like that out of the park.


Have fun man!

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