I've noticed that I pop off lips a lot higher than other riders and sometimes I'm off balance. Should I just ride off the kickers? What do u guys do? Yesterday my buddy and I were hitting the same kicker at the same speed and I was much higher and farther. Just wondering what the proper technique is. Appreciate it guys
You can 'coast' off them without popping, but it's almost always a good idea to pop because a correctly performed pop will keep you better balanced in the air.
The thing with pop is you don't have to pop hard (unless you have some reason to be needing that extra air). It could be that you're trying to pop too hard maybe and throwing yourself off balance or you might be popping unevenly (just a guess - hard to say without video).
Pop is mainly used as a way to push against the pressure created by the jump and to release rotation if you're spinning. Your goal isn't to have the hardest pop (usually), it's to have a clean and stable pop.
Later on you'll need to start knowing how hard you pop on certain tricks because it will affect how fast you need to go to hit the sweet spot of jumps, but that's more advanced. For now focus on getting clean, stable pops every time on a simple straight air.
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I have a question. Do you pop all the way, going off the toes like you are jumping to dunk a basketball, or do you stay flat footed and pop off evenly, no toes or heel.
If I were you I would just try to back it off a bit, sounds like your trying to hard and throwing yourself off balance. Mostly I stay flat footed for a straight air, as you get better you may find you can p[op off the balls of your feet but right now keep it simple and dial it back. I get a lot of pop myself, usually I have to drop in 10ft down from where everyone else is and i still go higher/farther than them, probably my strong skating background. But ya, if it's sending you sideways you gotta smooth it out.