Inside the trick bag: 360 perfection with Matt Jones and Sam Pilgrim - Dirt

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INSIDE THE TRICK BAG

360 perfection with Matt Jones and Sam Pilgrim

Photos: Szymon Nieborak

There’s a lot going on in a 360, riders delve deep into their trick bags to bring us new wild variations to blows our minds.

Speed, flow, timing and of course rotation are all ingredients needed to concoct the perfect 360 but every now and then the mixture is spiced up. Two of the best 360 chefs in the business, Matt Jones and Sam Pilgrim give us their thoughts on one of their favourites airborne manoeuvres.

Free ride legend Darren Berrecloth nailed this back country 360 filming Where the Trail Ends, it might be a world away from where Jones and Pilgrim are riding but the super slow motion gives a good idea of the commitment involved!


Matt Jones

Pretty quiet when you first meet him Matt Jones has grown up with his bro Jono crafting some of the best dirt jump lines in the UK at their spot in Woburn. After the place was flattened last year the locals have been working hard to rebuild the jumps but in the meantime Matt went out and built his very own practice compound where he has honed his tricks for the 2015 season, here’s his thoughts on the 360.

When did you first learn the 360?
It actually took me a long time to learn, I started trying them when I was about 14 but didn’t start landing them on dirt until almost 16.

Is it one of your favourite tricks or does it not float your boat?
It’s the best trick ever! Everyone who 360’s does them in different ways and I think it’s an easy trick to add style to, which can change a boring trick into an insane looking manoeuvre.

Does it comes out a lot during competitions or at the trails?
It’s definitely a trails trick, It’s my go-to trick on steep and technical trails where more banger style tricks aren’t going to happen, but in competitions it’s still a basis for all kinds of variations that stem from learning to 3.

Where did you land your biggest 360?
I did a massive 360 on my hardtail at the Martin Söderström invitational in Sweden, the jumps was over 50ft long across a main road, so that was by far the biggest spin I’ve landed to date.

Is there anywhere you wouldn’t pull a 360?
On most dirt jump lines and slopestyle courses, the majority of jumps are possible to 360, but there’s always weird, techy take off’s and features where you’d have to be mad to consider it.

What about variations, what’s your favourite 3 variation?
Right now I love doing off-axis 360’s called flatspins. And I’ve started adding a barpsin in there to spice it up a bit, but I can’t always land them!

Ever nailed yourself badly doing one?
Never too badly (touch wood), it’s definitely the trick I’m most confident with so it tends to be other ones that catch me out!

Is there any rider that you think has the perfect 360?
Andreu Lacondeguy has proved that he can 360 massive jumps on whatever bike he’s riding, so he’s the man in that department.

And finally, what is the best and worst thing about the 360?
The best thing is the feeling of leaving the lip and knowing that you’re rotating perfectly and you can just chill and wait for the rotation to come around. The worst thing about 360’s it exact opposite – leaving the take off and knowing full well that you’re going to eat shit.. and there’s very little you can do about it!



Sam Pilgrim

In 2013 Sam Pilgrim took home the FMB World Title, his 3rd place run at Crankworx was pretty awesome, he chucked in four 360’s of varying types for good measure and his flip on the cabin drop was out of this world. Wearing a piss pot helmet and a vest on his hardtail he dropped from the sky rotating perfectly for the landing. Style for miles from Sam, here’s what he had to say about the 360.

When did you first learn the 360?
Back when I was 14!!

Is it one of your favourite tricks or does it not float your boat?
Yeah I love the trick so much and all the variations you can do with them!

Does it comes out a lot during competitions or at the trails?
100% it happens everyday I ride!

Where did you land your biggest 360?
Crankworx Rotorua, I 3’d the hugest fastest speed jump, it shouldn’t of worked but it did!

Is there anywhere you wouldn’t pull a 360?
No

What about variations, what’s your favourite 3 variation?
360 tailwhips are the best, to the untrained eye they must look crazy!

Ever nailed yourself badly doing one?
Probably

Is there any rider that you think has the perfect 360?
Not really, every single 360 is different, some guys have bad ones but no one has the best!

And finally, what is the best and worst thing about the 360?
The feeling and look of a 360 is the best, but when you over shoot a jump and over rotate a 360 it’s literally the worst thing ever!!!

So there you have it the 360 from the perspective of two riders who throw it down on everything from the biggest jumps and come up with new variations to push the sport. The humble 360 has come a long way since riders started taking the lead from BMX and stamping their names in the MTB history books. No doubt there will be new things to come from the 360 and going by the recent history of snowboarding the spins are only going to get degrees added to them!

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