Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why should I attend a MTB skills clinic with Mastering MTB Skills?

At Mastering MTB Skills we offer internationally accredited MTB skills clinics through ‘Ride Like a Girl’, ‘The Spokesmen’ & ‘Pedal Heads’. We have created women, men and youth specific skills clinics for an all-inclusive environment that’s welcoming, encouraging and valuable for you. The skills clinics are taught by BICP Certified Instructors who have years of knowledge and experience in teaching mountain bike skills on an international standard. You will receive the best skills coaching that is recognised all over the world. 

Will you come to my hometown?

We would love to! We love to travel, see new places and meet new fellow mountain bikers. We require a minimum number of bookings depending on your location and to give you the best value we like to cover all the skills over a 2 or 3 day course and encourage everyone to attend all the days. If you would like us to come visit you, please email us for more info.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you cannot attend your booked course date because life got in the way, we get it. You are most welcome to then reschedule your booking for another upcoming course date. Please note that should there be a price increase in-between the rescheduling of your booking you will need to pay the outstanding amount. Please note that we only do refunds if we absolutely have to. If you’ve paid, we would love for you to join us when you ready.

Do you offer any discounts?

Our discount to you is that once you’ve paid for a course you can then come back to that course as much as you need to master or refresh your skills. T&C’s apply – we don’t want to see you come back too many times because we would hope that you are already rocking it by the third time – rather jump on one of our group rides. Please book with us to ensure there is space available, the bike park or entrance fee is at your own cost, should you return to a course and there has been a price increase you will need to pay the outstanding amount.

What does the skills clinic include?

Your bike park or entrance fee is included in the cost as well as the opportunity to come back to the course as much as you need to master and refresh your skills T&C’s apply – we don’t want to see you come back too many times because we would hope that you are already rocking it by the third time – rather jump on one of our group rides. Please book with us to ensure there is space available, the bike park or entrance fee is at your own cost, should you return to a course and there has been a price increase you will need to pay the outstanding amount.

Our skills clinics offer 4 hours packed with lots of learning and fun. Lead by certified instructors who will help each individual progress their skills and ensure they get the most out of the course. Our skills clinics also include awesome mobile skills obstacles to apply the skills learnt or we will find the same awesomeness out on the trails. If you attend a private lesson the same applies and you are welcome to jump onto any of our group sessions to master or refresh your skills.

What level of rider am I?

We don’t believe in labels 😉. So, no matter how experienced you think you are there is always something new to be learned about executing a skill. This is why we encourage all levels of riders to do part 1 of our courses with an attitude of openness and eagerness. 

Am I considered an experienced rider if I’ve been riding very long distances for many years where terrain is not very technical?

Not necessarily. When it comes to mountain bike skills, we refer to technical bike handling skills. Someone who has been riding for only 2 years on very technical challenging terrain may have better bike handling skills than someone whose been riding on smooth dirt for 20 years. It is also very common that people rate their skill level based on speed and power, but when it comes to bike handling skills its about correct form and technique and being able to perform a skill in the smoothest and most controlled way over technical features.

Course Types

I am brand new to mountain biking, are your courses for me?

Absolutely yes! We teach all levels of riders. Part 1 of our courses is perfect for beginners as long as you can balance on your bike and ride a minimum of 5km. If you’ve never been on a bike before we also offer lessons on how to ride a bike.

 

Should I do a private lesson or attend a group session?

We believe that you will get the most value out of our group sessions because everyone feeds off of each other. Being able to see someone progress helps you progress. Body position is critical to your success as a mountain biker so when you get to see how others do it, it gives you the opportunity to inform your own technique. It also allows space for feedback and to help each other with continuous improvement.

Private 1 on 1 sessions are still great especially if you want to focus on specific skills and you don’t like big groups. If you can bring a buddy along even better so you can receive the above benefit. 

What is the difference between part 1, 2 and 3 of your courses?

All the skills learned are progressional and we have broken them down into 3 parts to make learning and mastering the skills fun and valuable for you. Our mission is to progress your skills and riding in the best possible way. It is important that all riders, no matter what level, master the core fundamental skills covered in part 1 of our courses before attending part 2 and 3.

Do I have to do part 1 of your courses first?

Yes you do. It is these fundamental skills that enable you to progress your riding and bike handling to more advanced levels. Because all our courses are built on one another in a very structured way you will miss out on specific skills and progressions needed for the rest of our courses. It becomes difficult for the instructor to bring you up to speed and makes it unfair on the other participants who have paid to learn something new.

If you think that this will not work for you then we suggest a private lesson.

I am an experienced rider, do I really need to do part 1 of your courses?

We prefer that you do so we can make sure that your body position is dialled in and that you have the understanding and awareness supporting that. The correct body position is the key to more advanced bike handling skills. If you think you will progress quite quickly through the fundamentals then we suggest a private lesson.

I think part 1 of your courses is too beginner for me, will I benefit from it?

There’s always space for refining and improving your current skills. We believe everyone can benefit from part 1 of our courses.

In the course we perfect body positioning and balance for taking on features, pressure control, braking to keep control and traction on the trails, how to corner at higher speeds and wheel lifts (front wheel, rear wheel and both wheels). If you feel you can learn one or more of these skills or even just refresh on them then you will benefit from part 1.

 

How many people do you have on your skills clinics, will I get enough attention?

Yes you will. We take up to 14 people per group with 2 instructors which allows 7 people per instructor. Our skills clinics are run in a structured and controlled environment so that we are able to give everyone individual attention.

I have never ridden my bike off-road before, will I be ok and will I learn anything?

You will be more than ok and you will learn a lot. We suggest that you do part 1 of our course as soon as possible to get a good understanding of the fundamental skills so that you can learn the correct form and technique from the start. We’ve had great success with many people who have done our part 1 of our course that have not ridden their bikes since childhood.

Is part 1 of your courses suitable for kids?

We prefer kids from 12 years old and up, however all kids differ and we’ve had 9-year olds join our part 1 course. The skills taught are suitable for kids and will set them up for success with the correct form and technique from the start. However, the course is 4 hours long and covers quite a bit of theory which kids might not have the attention span for. If you feel this is too much for your child then we suggest they join us on our Youth MTB Skills Clinics ‘Pedal Heads’.

Is there any difference in the women’s vs men’s only courses?

The structure of the course and the skills learned are exactly the same. The women’s and men’s specific courses are there to create an all-inclusive, comfortable and fun environment. 

Course Details

What level of rider are the MTB skills clinics for?

We cater for all levels of riders. We love teaching absolute beginners all the way to advanced riders looking to learn jumping and racing skills.

 

Who will coach this skills clinic?

One of our passionate BICP Certified Instructors will inspire you and bring out your inner rider.

What kind of fitness level do I need?

Part 1 of our course consists of theory and ground work which includes short mountain bike skills drills on flat grass and some mobile obstacles so you don’t need to be very fit. We do encourage everyone to take a break when they need to and watch and learn from the others as they practice.

Part 2 of our course also consists of ground work with short drills on flat grass and mobile obstacles. We also like to head out onto the trails to find some features to practice on. We will ride to the feature and stop and session it before we move onto the next one so you will get the opportunity to catch your breath in-between. We would suggest that you are comfortable riding 10-15km at an easy pace.

Part 3 of our course is made up of a skills ride where we try session and practice some of the features. We would suggest a fitness level where you are comfortable riding 25-30km at a comfortable pace.

Pedals: clips or flats?

We highly recommend flat shoes and flat pedals for learning the correct skills and techniques (“cleating is cheating”). If you are unsure about learning new skills on cleats then we highly recommend flat pedals. In most cases flat pedals are safer to learn and practice during the skills clinic. We often find that many people worry so much about cleating in and out that they cannot focus on the skill or technique being taught and their confidence completely falls away.

If riding clipped-in is second nature and you never have to think about getting in or out, you don’t have to use flats for the clinic. However, flats really do make learning new skills easier and make you feel a lot more confident, so if you have access to flats, we recommend bringing them. We will have the tools available to switch them for you. Make sure your shoes will be compatible with the pedals you are using and have good sticky, durable soles with protection around the toes. ***Please note takkies or flat shoes will not work with a cleat pedal.

Are knee/elbow pads recommended?

Its always best to protect those knobbly bits and we always recommend protective gear. If you are doing the skills clinic with flat pedals then we highly recommend you wear shin pads.  

What do I need to bring with me?
  • Bike in Good Working Condition
  • Helmet
  • Flat Shoes & Flat Pedals / Cleats
  • Riding Clothes & Weather Appropriate Gear
  • Hydration/Water & Snacks
  • Sunblock
  • Cash or Card For Food / Drinks
Will the course be held in the rain?

For the most part yes! Bring your rain gear!

If the rain makes the skills clinic impossible then we will reschedule and you are welcome to join any of our other courses. We run our skills clinics almost every weekend so there will be many opportunities for you to join again. Please note because the weather forecast is not always reliable its not always easy for us to make the decision before hand and notify you. We do try our very best and if we know for sure then we will let you know the day before if the course has been rescheduled. However, there may be a chance that the weather decides to intrude on the day.