Bunny hopping is often associated with simple things such as bunny hills and perhaps riding a BMX bike and thus is dismissed by many people as being a serious trick. While a Bunny hop may be very simple it is a subtle move that must be done to give you the perfect launch when you are seeking air in a half pipe. Failing to Bunny hop just before you launch will result in you catching the lip when you re-enter.
The mechanics of a Bunny hop are fairly simple and are partially a function of your snowboard. Odds are you learned the basics of a Bunny hop the very first time you stood up on your snowboard. To Bunny hop you simply hop with booth feet up into the air.
One key component to Bunny hopping is your snowboard. Your snowboard has a small hump in the middle between your bindings. This is there to reduce friction, increase the ability to roll the edges and to act as a spring when Bunny hopping or doing an Ollie. When you crouch down before doing a Bunny hop you are pre-loading your snowboard by flattening out the hump. When you hop up off the ground your leap is assisted by your snowboarding trying to spring back to it’s original shape and thus pushing you further up into the air.
The Bunny hop is the key to successful re-entry into a half pipe after getting air. If you where to simply launch off the lip of the half pipe you would tend to go straight up and perhaps move beyond the lip of the ramp due to the momentum from the launch. When you re-entered the ramp you would be lucky if you where still aligned with the ramp and definitely wouldn’t be if you moved your legs at all.
The solution to avoiding the lip of the ramp is the Bunny hop. The Bunny hop does two things for you; it launches you slightly higher in the air and it pushes you away from the lip of the ramp thus making re-entry easier. To Bunny hop when you launch all you must do is crouch down as you hit the vertical above the transition and then hop, as you are about to reach the lip of the ramp.
The Bunny hop is a simple trick that you most likely learned without knowing it. However some of the simplest things are the most powerful and subtle things to learn. In order to ensure a smooth launch and re-entry into any ramp you must Bunny hop or risk catching the lip of the ramp. It is your attention to the tiny details that will allow you to become a great snowboarder.