A Five Step Plan to Getting Epic Crash Photos

Photo: Mason Bond

Here’s a question I get a little too often: How on god’s green earth do have so many photos of you crashing?

Because, let’s be real, I have an archive of semi-professional photos of me falling on my face, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not because I crash all the time. In fact, I’ve done way less crashing over the past two years, yet my very best crash photos have all been from this period. Why? Because I’ve figured out a few techniques that insure my crashes are both epic and captured on camera. Here’s a five step plan so you, too, can be this cool.

1. Get over the front end of your bike. No swinging off the back, no sitting on the rear tire. Ironically, this is actually good riding advice, and it will make you crash less in general, because you’ll be in control of your bike and less likely to slide out in a corner or get catapulted on a jump. That said, when you do crash (because, say, there was a loose rock in the trail — see below — or some other uncontrollable circumstance) it will be all the more epic, because there’s no where to go but, um, forward.

2. Commit. Again, good riding advice that is also good crashing advice. No one wants to see a photo of you crashing because you brake checked and accidentally rolled off a drop (okay, I lied, I totally want to see that photo but you get the point). Committing fully to the obstacle will increase your chances of riding it cleanly, or, if everything goes to shit, it will at least increase your chances of getting a photo of your body turning into a human torpedo. Win-win. Sorta.

3. Don’t stick out your arms or do that tuck and roll nonsense. Boooooring. Okay, from a survival perspective, this is terrible advice, but from a “man you won’t believe how many likes this photo of me eating rocks got on Instagram” perspective, it’s gold.

4. Save your crashes for those challenging and technical features where everyone is sitting around with their cameras out. And make sure you let all your buddies go first, and give them time to get their phones out and prepare to capture your kodak moment. Alternatively, make sure you have a good buddy with a gopro following you at all times, because as evidenced by the video below, SOMETIMES YA JUST NEVER KNOW.

5. Best yet, crash in a race. Preferably in the most technical part of the track where all the spectators and media crew are circling like sharks that smell imminent carnage. Who are you not to give them what they’ve been waiting for? This is the best way to get professional crashing photos, or, ahem, hypothetically, end up on Redbull TV while eating a helmet’s worth of dust.

*No Syds were seriously harmed in the making of this blog post. Somehow.*

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Syd Schulz

Pro mountain biker.

Average human.

I write about bikes and life and trying to get better at both.

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2 thoughts on “A Five Step Plan to Getting Epic Crash Photos

  1. With each post I love you a little more. Thanks for sharing and so often putting my feelings into words, funny words at that.

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