How to do a backflip
The world’s leading professional nutcases, daredevils and racing heroes reveal their expert knowledge on the most ridiculous biking feats you can imagine, don’t try this at home!
How to do a back flip, by Jamie Squibb, the UK’s best freestyle motocross rider and a member of the famous Nitro Circus.
Jamie says: “The first thing you need for a back flip is an eight-meter radius take-off ramp covered with raised expanded mesh for grip. The rest is down to technique – and balls! The hardest thing to get your head around when you back flip is your body position. When you jump a motocross bike your natural reaction is to get your weight over the front, but for a back flip you need to lean back and look at the sky.
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“I approach the ramp in second gear, hit the incline and give it a big handful of throttle with legs rigid and arms straight. The most crucial part is when the front wheel leaves the ramp, when this happens I give the bars a little tug back and keep the throttle open. Normally at this point you would chop the throttle and get over the front, but for a back flip you need to keep the power on to drive the rear wheel and build up enough momentum to flip the bike. Now it all goes quiet.
“Once the flip starts I almost go blank with my eyes because if you look forward you will lean forward and kill the momentum. When you’re in the air you can rev the bike slightly to increase the rotation, or lean forward to slow it down. It’s all down to your technique on the ramp – if you mess up on the take-off no amount of adjusting will save you.”
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