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Taps & Bonks
Tail taps and nose bonks.

Number of posts: 1

LTF Feedback
User: bmoore
This is some teaser text from the LTF CD-ROM.

Trick 14 - Taps and Bonks

Taps and bonks can add some spice to jumps, drops, walls, objects, and natural features. Taps are usually done with the tail of the board and bonks are usually done with the nose.

When choosing whether or not to tap/bonk something, make sure it is board and body friendly (including landing zones and areas). Be aware that sometimes tapping an object will slow your rotation or momentum and might put you on the ground. The approach for bonks and taps is also very important. As a general rule, try tapping things below you and out to the side of you. Try using the bottom (base) of your board and not the edges (unless that is part of the trick). Ideally, your speed should be under control in such a way that you can poke, extend, or tweak to make the move happen. If you are going too fast (or too slow) you may end up hitting the feature and not tapping or bonking it. This tends to cause problems in the landing department.

Caution: Many objects on the mountain should be avoided and left untapped and upbonked. Do not tap/bonk other's personal property, sharp objects, pointed objects, and anything that could harm you if you miss your move.


Basic Riding Skills

Basic riding skills are needed for bonking and tapping. For the most part, bonks and taps, require you to steer towards objects that stick out, stick up, or have a good surface area to tap. If you don't have the basics down, you may end up doing a full body tap (not recommended if you know what we mean).

Switch Riding Skills

Switch riding is required before trying bonks and taps. Usually, you do not approach objects in the switch position (most of us don't trust ourselves), but you may bonk or tap something and come out switch. You may come out switch from a re-entry, a 180, or from other corrections. Make sure you have your switch skill polished before attempting to land switch off of a bonk or tap.


Carving opens up different options with your bonks and taps. You can maintain your speed and change approach angles better when using carves compared to normal turns. With the correct carve and approach path, you can bonk and tap objects that are uphill from you. If you are carving uphill, be aware that you may be in someone's blind spot (not visible from above). Have fun and carve it up!

Moving Ollies

Almost every bonk or tap requires you to be in the air and then to extend out, up, down, or sideways to hit the object. Ollies are how you get off the ground. Be aware that ollies used for taps and bonks need to be done in such a way to make the trick happen, but not to put yourself in harm's way. Quite often, you may be headed towards something that most people turn to avoid. Make sure that you really want to put yourself into or close to that object. Your ollie is your friend.


Most bonks and taps are done with ollies because they are more practiced. There are times when you will want to use a nollie or nose ollie to set up for a bonk or tap. If you are getting bored with normal bonks and taps, try some from switch or from nollies.

Ground Spins

Ground spins are a recovery move for taps and bonks. They help in case you hit the feature, overshoot, get rejected, stall out, or have a sketchy landing.

Manuals and Presses

Manuals and presses use similar body movements to bonks and taps. This makes them a great prerequisite. Make sure you can do these skills on flat ground before using them in aerial moves. Taps and bonks are done very quickly instead of drawing the moves out as you do in manuals and presses. Quite often, you use just the tips of your board to do a tail tap or nose bonk. If you want to get tricky, try pressing up to a feature and then nollie tail tap or nose bonk it. This is a sweet combo move.


Ollies and Pokes

A great way to practice for doing bonks and taps is to do ollies with pokes, tweaks, shifties, and waggles. The reason this is such a good exercise is that most bonks and taps are done from an ollie and the rider extends, pokes, or maneuvers his/her board to hit the object. Ollie pokes are like jibbing practice without the consequences (object not there). Be creative and have fun.

Basic 180's

As you get into the intermediate realm of tapping and bonking, you may want to practice your aerial 180's. These 180's can be done from switch or regular (forward) and allow you to spin and tap something while in the air. Before you start spinning 180's and adding a tap, make sure your normal 180's are solid. Take it step by step.

Basic 360's

It's fun to use basic 360's with your taps and bonks. This is an upper-intermediate skill and requires you to spin a full 360 and add a tap or bonk to the object in the middle of the spin. Before trying this, make sure you have your 360's down pat. If you need more help with 180's, 360's, or switch spins, - check out the LTF Volume 2 - Jumps, Grabs, & Spins.

Basic Moves

Tail Taps

Tail taps are done by tapping the tail of your board against, onto, or on the side of an object. It is a best practice to use the base of your board for this kind of tap. Avoid using the side of your board where the edges are. Also, be aware that as you start trying tail taps, your forward momentum may be slowed down slightly after tapping the object. This may cause your body to move faster than your board, making you fall forward or go over the front of your board. The idea is to clear the object and extend enough to lightly tap it with the base of your board.

Intermediate Moves

Nose Bonks

A nose bonk is done by getting into the air (usually with an ollie) and extending out to hit the nose of your board on an object. Similar to tail taps, it is highly recommended that you use the base of your board and not the sides or edges.

Caution: Start your ollie away from the object (further then you think) and then extend to try and hit it. A nose bonk can go wrong if you ollie too close to the object and end up hitting the object instead of just bonking it lightly.

Common Mistakes

Bonking and Tapping Issues

It is very common to be so focused on the tap or bonk that you forget about the landing, your edges, or whatever else is coming your way. This is part of learning and you will improve with practice. Protect yourself by starting small and working up to more difficult moves.

Missing the Move

You won't get the tap or bonk every time you attempt it. Get used to it, it's part of the game. It doesn't hurt anything to miss the jib, unless you were counting on the tap or bonk to slow you down. Even if you get really good, you will still miss the jib every once in awhile. Smile and get it next time.


Bonks and Taps Freeride

This is a fun clip with a number of different bonks and taps. There are hundreds of natural, man-made, and other objects that can be bonked or tapped. Along with that, respect the property of others. That doesn't mean you can't have fun. Be sensitive to what you are tapping and how hard.

Next Steps and Style Points

Add a Grab

Grabs are totally possible when jibbing, but they add another degree of difficulty to the trick. Make sure you can do a normal tap or bonk and a normal grab before trying to combine them. This clip shows the same grab from two different angles. The rider held onto his grab a little too long and ended up going over the front. Don't let this discourage you from trying jibs with grabs. Just don't hold on to the grab too long.

Bonks and Taps with Spins

Anytime you start spinning and bonking or tapping at the same time, you have just moved into the intermediate realm of jibbing. Make sure you can spin off of a straight jump before trying to tap something in the middle of your spin. Also, be aware that sometimes the tap or bonk will stop or slow your rotation and you will only get three quarters of the way around. Jib it up!

Shifty Taps

A shifty tap is usually done with the tail of your board. You can either do a backside shifty or a frontside shifty. You can also do a method tap which looks like a method grab (front hand on heel edge with board tucked up behind you) without the grab. This is a variation from a straight-under-the-board tail tap and is quite fun. Reasons for doing this move might include: you can't clear the object being tapped, bad landing directly behind the object, or done as a touch-and-go off to the side of the feature. Practice your ollie shifties and pokes before trying this trick. Once you get more comfortable, add some rewind or counter spins into the trick.

Tip: Use the base of your board whenever possible for taps and bonks. You should only use your edges if you plan ahead and tap something that you know is friendly or flexible (small branches, bamboo, mesh fencing, etc.).

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