You are a sine wave. Rather than just sitting or standing on your bike, you should cultivate an oscillation—heavy, light, heavy, light. Not only does this feel playful, but it also leads to awesome rippage.
Match the terrain. You are a wave, and so is the trail. Even the roughest, most random-seeming sections have an overall up-and-down and side-to-side flow. Ignore the details. Time your wave so you’re heavy in the (relatively) smooth spots and light in the rough spots.
Accelerate! When you fall or rise at a constant speed, you weigh however much you weigh. Sorry. To change the scale, you have to gain speed the whole way. Let your body fall unfettered. Drive upward with gusto.
Spread it out. The preceding tips work only as long as you can push or pull. Because you only have so much arm and leg range, you have to decide how you’ll spend it. Push hard and fast to hop a big rock; push slow and easy to create traction in a sweeping turn.
Be decisive. Most riders are way too static on their bikes. Change direction rapidly. Moves like jumps and hops require rapid, massive loads with sudden releases and drastic unloads. Make it count. You are a Super Ball. Boing!
Time your suspension. Suspension makes preloading absolutely necessary. When you press down to make a hop, you want your power to drive into the ground, not into a spring and shock. Preload so your suspension is completely compressed when you begin your takeoff. The more travel your bike has, the longer this takes. When you first try a diving board or trampoline, you bounce up and down to get a feel for the amount of flex, and then you time your jumps so you sink all the way down and spring all the way up. It’s the same on your freeride bike.
Think three-dimensionally. Once you learn to load and unload over trail features, two-dimensional riding will no longer suffice. Don’t just roll along a flat ribbon. Bounce up, drive down, and throw your weight all around.
Apply it. Check out the chapters on braking (chapter 4), cornering (chapter 5), hopping (chapter 6), pumping (chapter 7), and jumping (chapter 9). The following table also shows what happens when you use different weight in different situations. When you learn to control your weight, you’ll enjoy these skills at an even higher level.