Mastering Whoops

Whoops are one of the toughest objects on a motocross course. Period.  They are intentionally designed to slow you down and rob you of momentum.  Because of the degree of difficulty, many riders struggle through them and are intimidated to practice them.  If you watched the Supercross Final in Las Vegas, I’m sure seeing Stewart and Windham go down in the whoops makes you want to get out there and practice them!  However, if you apply a few techniques and gather up some courage, you can be blitzing whoops quicker than you think.

The first part to successfully traversing a whoop section is having the correct body position.  Simply leaning all the way back and pinning it through will not end well.  You will be surprised to find that you can be slightly behind the center of your bike and still keep the front wheel up.  It is extremely important to grip with your knees to control the bike from your lower body and keep your head up.  If you get caught looking at the whoop right in front of you, you will end up on the ground.  So constantly look way ahead.

When you find the rhythm of the whoops, you can adjust your body back more or even forward.  When you let the bike just go through the motions, it saps energy from you slowly as the bike ends up riding you.  Once you get the flow of the section, you can “row” back and forth to help stabilize the bike’s rocking.

The hardest part of entering whoops is commitment.  Being timid on the first whoop slows you down and makes every hit harder and more intense.  If you come in a gear high, get the front wheel up and charge through them, whoops become easier to ride through.  When you start slow, the whoops just rob you of speed exponentially greater than coming in with more momentum.  You can get on top of them and skim on top, rather than try to soak each one up.

Remember to start small and work your way to faster speeds.  Don’t get to cocky as they can come up and bite you in the butt.


Posted on May 11 2011, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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