Yoh Learning mtb skills are easier on some bikes than others. Skills like manual and American bunnyhop. So, I hear you asking how much travel to get. That depends on what level you want to take your riding. Big jumps and gnarly downhill sections require lots of travel. Beginners typically don't do this because you'll die. I advise you to get the Slade or similar with a slack head tube angle. It'll feel more stable. Everybody starting out wants a black sworks because it wins the Epic, but that's not a bike to learn on. Good luck and don't forget heels down on the downhill, and look ahead.