Building a jump can be pretty easy and straight forward, if you live in a place that has an endless supply of dirt in a close vicinity, ie: Kamloops or Utah. It’s a simple task of getting a bunch of people, beer and creating a human excavation site around the base of the takeoff and landing, but for many of us, like here in Nelson, BC, dirt is a rare and precious comodity. We have lots of soil, rocks and trees, but to actually get good “Sender” grade dirt is a very hard task without absolutely raping the land of every last inch of soil. Here are some tips on how to get the perfect Cheese Wedge Booter with a limited amount of golden ground.
#1: the non-dirt base Takeoff eh!
The best way to do this is to make a wood frame using dead and non-habitat wood that isn’t standing. Dig some post holes for the main posts and some back supports for when the weight of the fill and dirt pushes again the posts. then attach side supports the will mimic the grade of the desired lip you want. I find i best to notch the ends of the angle posts so they fit flush with the main posts. Fill the inside of the frame with large logs or rocks to create the foundation for the dirt to settle on. Use larger logs for the bottom and gradually pile smaller logs on top to fill the gaps left from the larger ones.
I like to put 2 cross pieces parallel to each other from each main post and nail on slats or other material to make a backing which eliminates the need for pyramid style stacking, which just takes up more time and material. At the top of the lip nail on a few more panel to stop the dirt from crumbling off the sides. the alternative to doing this is to make your jump extra wide so the dirt can naturally settle at a sloped angle, but keeping it boxed in saves you a lot of digging and dirt faming.
* Remember to spend some time lining up the frame in the direction you want the jump to go. Once it’s in… it’s in.
#2 Making your landing.
This step is pretty much the same principle as making the takeoff, but remember you will need to plan out just how much material your going to need. Generally your landing should be about twice as wide at the take off to give you some room for error. It is very important when you line up the main posts exactly how you want them
before you start to fill. When you have this much material to stack, you’re never going to be able to change it after it’s done.
For this big job, it can be hard to size up and stack enough big logs. The base of the landing needs to be longer, wider, and higher than the takeoff and finding large logs this size can be tricky (forget about using rocks here, unless you have some strange
lightweight rock that is easier to move than wood). Cut the logs to a width smaller than about half the width of the landing and stack them from the edge of the landing in. It’s easier to fill the middle than it is to fill the sides.
Once you get to the top, stack the logs in a way that give enough room to fill in a “case pad” so when you come up short you have a little bit of forgiveness. Again, use bigger logs for the bottom, and smaller ones for the top. You can play around a bit here as some logs fit better in one spot than other, so take some constructive
As you keep throwing layers of dirt on, tamp each layer with a flat shovel or a tamper. This settles the dirt sooner and keep the shape of the landing. Since the landing is so wide, making side supports isn’t as important as it is with the takeoff, but if you feel the need, go for it!
Now you’re pretty much done. You can fine-tune things from here on out. If you’re new to the game I’d recommend trying this first with a smaller jump and build your way up since there is a lot of room for error if you don’t really know what you’re doing. Like I’ve said before with this method, once it’s in… It’s in.
#3 Get Stoked!!!
Some extra tips…
- pre drilling holes into the boards before you nail, will prevent the boards from splitting when you nail into them.
- When cutting with a chainsaw, use a chain that you don’t really care about hitting the ground with. When your working around dirt and wood, it’s bound to happen. I usually have a rock chain that I don’t mind tagging the ground with, but make sure you use eye, hand and leg protection, like a proper helmet with face shield and chaps. If you use posts and beams that are thick, you can notch the ends with and axe or saw so it’s easier to get through and less likely to split.