Riding Skinnies: How to Ride Wooden Features on a Mountain Bike

How to Ride Skinnies on Your Mountain Bike 

Riding wooden features on your mountain bike, also known as “skinnies,” requires balance, confidence and a little patience! Learn how, step-by-step:

  1. Stand up in a neutral position. Standing will help you move the bike underneath you to retain balance better than if you stay seated.
  2. Keep your pedals level. Your weight should be equally balanced between both feet.
  3. Look where you want to go. Shift your eyes up and down the skinny to make sure you remain on track.
  4. Ride onto the skinny with momentum. A little speed is your friend! It is easier to stay balanced with momentum on your side.
  5. Keep your balance with small movements. To maintain balance, move the bike side to side underneath you while staying tall and relaxed.
  6. Pedal to add speed. Pedaling makes it harder to stay balanced in a straight line, but if the skinny rises or you lose momentum, pedal lightly.

How to Dismount

When riding skinnies, knowing how to dismount will not only help you bail if needed, it will also increase your confidence.

If the skinny is two feet off the ground or lower,

  • Look to the side of the skinny for a clear area.
  • Push the bike where you want to go, like riding a roll down

If the skinny is too high to safely roll off,

  • Load the bike, and hop off with level wheels.

Looking to take your mountain biking skills to the next level? Here’s the deal:

The best and quickest way to improve your mountain biking skills is to take a skills clinic with a professional mountain bike instructor. If you’re unsure of your skill level, reaching out to a mountain bike coach in your area is a great place to start. Mountain biking is a dynamic sport – there are many different ways to approach a feature and we may not have covered all of those different ways in this tutorial. Always ride within your limits and do not attempt risky maneuvers when riding alone. Mountain biking is awesome, but does come with inherent risks – be safe, be smart and have fun!