If you have ever watched footage of Mike Vallely or Bam Margera, you will almost certainly have seen them jump off insanely high obstacles,throwtheir boards undertheir feet, and ride away stoked. Well I'm not quite that good, but I must say that sprinting towards a kicker,hitting it, flying through the air, and rolling away smoothgives you a feeling like no other. Now if this little summary has gotten you a little excited, please read on. And you toowill be dropping the jaws of the little kids at the skatepark as you grow wings and fly through the air.
1. The first step to becoming a successful Bomb-Dropper is to find a comfortable position in which to hold your board when you are planning to jump off something. I am regular-footed and prefer to hold the board with my left hand on the nose. If this position does not feel right, I have also seen people hold the heel rail with their leading hand, or hold the tail and swing it around. It all depends on preference. Once you have developped a position that feels comfortable, you may move on to step two.
2. Now that you feel good with the board in your hand, you should then attempt to stand still, take a little jump, and put the board under your feet. If you are just starting out, it is wise to practice these on carpet so you do not loop out and send your board flying into a wall. If you can consistently do them standing still on carpet, then take it to a smooth surface. When doing a Bomb Drop motionless, it is very important to level out your weight evenly over the board, or you will definitely fall down to one side. If you have been working on Bomb Drops for this long, and have them dialed motionless on flat ground, you are more than ready to add a little motion to it.
3.At first glance, doing a stationary Bomb Drop seems much easier than a moving one. In reality, this is not the case at all. If you are in even a light jog, it greatly reduces the need tocenter your weight evenly. When you are adding motion to your Bomb Drops, think progressively; do them slow at first, then gradually increase the speed.Flat ground Bomb Drops are not hard,and from personal experience, I can say that Bomb Drops look 100% better when applied to some sort of obstacle. So once you have developped the skill to perform flat groundRunning Bomb Drops, it is almost a given to take them to every obstacle in your path.
4. The thing that makes Bomb Drops cool is that they can be applied to nearly every sort of obstacle. When starting out, you should play it safe andjump off curbs or small ledges. Once this is down, add more speed.After curbs and small ledges are no problem, then comes my absolute favorite; kickers and launch ramps. Commence with a small kicker, then progress to the big leagues. When approaching the kicker, there are several key points to retain. Firstly, most people feel muchbetter jumping off one foot compared to the other.On a personal note, I feel extraordinarily more comfortable jumping off with my right foot. Again, it is all about preference. Another thingthat is important is to jump off right at or near the end of the kicker. If you jump too soon, you may not have enough speed to clear the rest of the ramp. The one factor (which applies to any sort of Bomb Drop) that beats out all others in terms of importance is the way the board meets your feet. Any succesful Bomb Drop will demonstrate the board rising and meeting the rider's feet; never will someone just drop the board and try to land on it. This tip is especially important when applied to kickers; because you get far more air than you would on other obstacles. Almost equal in importance is how you control the board once it has reached your feet. Some people prefer to keep their hand on theboard, but others care more to letit go and allow their feet todo the work. I am a prime example of letting the board go. If you manage to jump high enough and bring the board up forcefully enough, their should be no need to hold on to the board at all. Once the board has met your feet and is pushing up against them, it is amazingly easy to extend your legs and land. Ah the landing, a part of the Bomb Drop which has boughtme much grief.But it need not be as difficult if the proper technique is applied. If you value the use of your knees, wear some pads. I didn't, and spent many painful mornings nursing bruised and aching knees. When you land, your legs should be fully extended so as to fully absorb the impact. Don't exaggerate it, if you over-compress on the landing, you will loop out and fall. It took me quite a while to realise this; whenever I was going to land, I compressed to the point whereI could lick the deck if I wanted. Ilooped out every time.After I altered my technique enough to allowfor reasonable compression, Bomb Drops came like a breeze to me, I could do them first try every time. You too will probably come to this realisation that compressionmust be significant, but not blown out of proportion.If done correctly, your Bomb Drops will be super smooth and shant hurt your knees at all.
5. A good rule of thumb is to be creative with your skating. Once you are very comfortable with Running Bomb Drops, it is important to continue the progression. Bomb Drops can be performed over gaps(which necessitate a huge amount of speed), off big drops into banks (careful; landing on a bank can lead to some brutal loop-outs), down stair sets (just be prepared for a sharp drop), off spine ramps (if your jumping foot does not perfectly meet the coping, do not attempt the trick, you will slip and break your spine in half).
If you' re really thirsty for some progress, and have a portable kicker, put it in front of a drop or stair-set for some gnarly as f*** sessions.
Anyway, I hope this tips helps. When Bomb Drops are fully mastered, it will have opened a entire new realm of skateboarding to you. Enjoy.