King of the Slappers
Learn how to link tight turns and master impossible corners with the king of slapping turns, Joe Barnes.
If you have been paying attention during any of the legendary Dudes of Hazzard videos of late you will have seen our very own Joe Barnes in action, slapping his trusty Canyon through the tightest of S-bends with a style and aggression we can only dream of. Until now. We tracked Joe down to his Fort William lair and probed for information on this signature move… And here is what he said.
1. Corner entry pt1
• Brake Hard
On this example I am jumping into the first corner, front brakes on hard with a little back as soon as I land into the turn. I hit the compression of the first turn, release the brakes and lean back to unweight the front wheel and lift the front end out of the rut.
Overturn the bend so the front wheel is heading away from the next corner initially, then shift your weight centrally over the bike and feather the back brake to drift it sideways momentarily through this central section of the s-bend.
2. Corner entry pt2
Then you are almost high-siding the bike, like you are going to crash, your weight transitioning from one side of the bike to the other fast.
• Bar Turn
As you are sliding and your body is moving from one side of the bike to the other, turn the bars into the next turn and that flips the bike from sliding one way to falling into the corner.
3. Corner exit
• Corner Catch
You are coming into this bend now completely off balance and have to hit it hard just to catch your fall. No brakes, just hit the corner, use it to pull yourself upright and get shot out with full speed ahead.
The big advantage of this technique is the speed you get slingshot out the corner with – now press on and use it to your advantage!
NB: Do it safe
Let’s face it, when you are throwing your bike around this hard it isn’t always going to end upright. Soft ground and a sufficient run-out would be the minimum requirements when you are scoping for potential training grounds – avoid face-altering trees, bedrock and boulders until you are confident with the technique. If you can’t find any suitable spots why not just cut some custom corners into your favourite loamy descent?