How To Jump An RC Buggy


How To Jump An RC Buggy

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You’ve probably seen other RC buggies flying through the air at high speeds or jumping great high distances, and you’re wondering just how you too can achieve that with your RC buggy. Jumping an RC buggy is not as simple as just building a ramp, going as fast as possible and hoping for the best! If you want your RC buggy to still be usable after you jump it then there are many other things that you have to consider as well. 

So, how do you jump with your RC buggy?

How you jump with your buggy depends on the type of jump that you will be attempting. If you are just going from one flat surface to another then the jump is far simpler than if you are trying to go up an incline and then land on an incline at the other end. There are three basic things that you need to consider when planning your jump and those are:

  • The Approach
  • In Air
  • The Landing

We will discuss each of those important things in more detail later in this article. 

What you should know, for starters, is that jumping your RC buggy is not merely about throwing your RC car as far, high or fast as you possibly can. There are a number of vital things you need to keep in mind to help improve your jumping skills and limit any possible damage to your vehicle. We are going to go through three different steps of jumping to help you understand just what you need to do to make an amazing jump possible and safe. 

If you want to watch some jump tips and tricks you can do so in the video below. 

But first, let’s look at the different types of jumps.

Types of Jumps

When it comes to jumping your RC buggy there are seven basic types of jumps that you can do. Some are more complex than others and require much more skill to do correctly while others can be done easily by beginners. The seven types of jumps are: 

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10. Tabletop

These jumps typically feature a smooth linear takeoff followed by a smooth landing. They are perfect when you are just learning to get control in the air. Start slow, and if you land incorrectly, you likely will land on the jump’s flat top part.

2. Humps

These essentially slow your speed and unbalance the car. You can do a section of humps whose techniques are different from single humps. Here, the car can start and land flat but your car will be bounced around a considerable amount. 

3. Singles

These are just like a large hump and could have a variety of different takeoff angles. Here, your car should land flat or very slightly nose-first to prevent any damage to the vehicle. 

4. Doubles, Triples & quads: 

Landing on a double or triple jump is definitely a good feeling. Here, you would want your car to land on the downslope of the landing ramp before you then go back up into the next jump. This type of jump requires a little more skill as if you don’t land properly on the first jump then you can easily wreck your car when it jumps the second time. 

5. Vertical

These kinds of jumps happen more in regional or national events. These are created to slow down the car, and if you continue at full speed, you might be ready to hit the moon. Also, if you go too slow before hitting the ramp you likely won’t get up. Here, you would want your car to be airborne a little and right above the ramp. Then, pivot quickly and land as high up, as possible, on the down ramp.

6. Step-ups & Step Downs

Here, you would want your car to remain as flat, on the landings, as possible. These jumps can have different takeoff angles with some being smooth and others being steep. Step downs are sometimes called drop offs and are relatively easy to learn when you want to land flat.

7. Corner Jump

These are quite similar to a tabletop jump and, as such, are quite tricky. The major difference between them is the takeoff and landing, which are either a 45° or 90° angle from each other. In some cases, you can jump from the edge of the take off-ramp that is nearest the corner.

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Now that we know about the seven main types of jumps we will discuss the three most important aspects of a jump. 

The approach

This is the most vital aspect of having a successful jump. If you are not able to control your vehicle before it hits the jump, there is a high chance your vehicle will take off in a random direction, and it will crash as it lands in a place where it shouldn’t.

It is very important for you to control your vehicle and get it to the required speed and traction before you hit the jump. Make sure that you have sufficient speed to clear the jump, and if you can’t clear it, rolling the jump is a better option. Crashing will mean that you’re losing precious time and money, so it’s certainly something that you will want to avoid at all costs. 

Whether it’s a single jump or a double jump, this rule still applies. If you’re making longer jumps like triple jumps, the approach may be a bit different. If you cannot clear a triple jump, you should assume that the triple jumps are two jumps.

Depending on how much speed you can get up to, you can assume a triple as a single-double jump or as a double-single jump. But, in clearing the last part of the triple jump, make sure that your landing from the first part of the triple is very perfect in order to let you get enough speed to clear the last part.

Always remember that 2WD vehicles normally have more traction issues than any other RC cars. Those vehicles are highly sensitive to moving around if you hit the throttle too hard and too fast. 

In the air

As soon as your vehicle takes off, put the throttle to the neutral position. Your vehicle should normally jump level at this point. If the nose of your buggy goes down, just hit the throttle a little, and the issue should be corrected.

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On the other hand, if the front end of your vehicle goes up, hitting the brake or reverse, a little will bring your vehicle level. The kind of vehicle you drive would determine the amount of throttle or brake/reverse inputs needed. As a matter of fact, this is actually determined by the total of the rotational masses (the tires) impacted by the throttle and the brake. 

What the above means is that a 4wd monster truck with big tires will have more sensitivity to brake/reverse and throttle inputs in the air than a 2wd 1/10th scale buggy. Seeing as the monster truck is a 4wd and comes with heavy tires, it stops or spins its tires every time you hit the throttle or the brake, and this represents 4-5 lbs of rotating mass.

The landing

The way your vehicle lands is also a very important aspect because this is what determines how you’ll accelerate immediately after the jump. It is best when your vehicle lands in a parallel position to the landing zone. When this is the case, you can more quickly get back on the throttle. Overjumping would not be your best option because you cannot accelerate when your vehicle is in the air. As a matter of fact, you’re going to be losing speed so the quicker you land (within reason) the better. 

Conclusion

Jumping your buggy is actually not very difficult if you’re doing it right and not trying something too complicated the first time. With just a little bit of practice and the tips above, your jumping skills are sure to get better and better. If you have trouble evaluating jumps, just look at the fastest racers around you. Pay careful attention to the approaches they use and how they make their biggest jumps look easy. 

It can be especially helpful to observe what they do when a jump does not go as planned and how they try to fix the issue. The little things that the best racers do is often what makes them the best so paying attention to the small details should help you get better as well. 

Matt Robbs

I love to spend time with my wife and 3 kids. There is no better way to get them off the couch and outside than for us to grab the RC cars or boat and enjoy the sunshine!

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