Destry Abbott EnduroCross Riding Tip—Negotiating Boulder Fields

Advice on how to ride through the rock garden

Facing a section of boulders—especially on a hill—can be intimidating and easily result in getting stuck, but Destry Abbott has tips that can make it possible to attack such obstacles with a greater chance of success.Mark Kariya

The section of an AMA EnduroCross track containing boulders of varying size is definitely intimidating, but it's easier when following off-road legend Destry Abbott's tips.

As with most obstacles, it begins with line choice: The right one can make the section much more doable, but be advised that it probably won't be a straight shot from beginning to end. As with practically any obstacle, stand, riding on the balls of your feet to keep your weight slightly rearward. Avoid excessive acceleration or braking but instead treat it similarly to a Matrix with more constant throttle and, thus, steadier momentum.

Naturally, there’s no guarantee that you’ll clean the section every time—if you did, there’s likely a factory contract waiting for you! However, if you do happen to get off line and drop into a crevice, refer to the tip on getting unstuck.

Don’t be afraid to jump into the boulders after choosing the best line. That’ll allow you to carry more speed into the section and therefore maintain greater momentum. Just be careful that you don’t go too fast and start pogoing off rocks, which inevitably results in loss of control and a crash.Mark Kariya
“You want to land with your rear tire [first],” Destry advises. “Ideally, it’s always land with the rear tire and then be accelerating. I don’t mean just give it gas—I’m landing with the throttle controlled. That way, when I’m landing, it’s actually setting the front tire down lightly…so it’ll be easier and smoother versus me jumping in there and landing [more on] the front end. Once you land on the front end, there’s nothing to drive you forward so all that weight’s going to plow into there.”Mark Kariya
Look for a line that puts you on top of the bigger rocks, like David Kamo here, even if there are large voids next to them. “You’re better off staying on top of rocks versus going in between them and hitting the disc guard or chain guide and derailing the chain, hitting the shifter. Ideally, you want to stay on top of rocks as much as you can. The bigger the rock, the more surface it [provides]—that’s what we try to shoot for.”Mark Kariya