What’s the Best Method to Teach Complex Freestyle BMX Tricks to Intermediate Riders?

April 16, 2024

It’s a bright summer day, the sun is high in the sky, and the scent of fresh asphalt wafts through the air. You hear the crunch of bike tires on gravel, the metallic clink of spokes as they whirl in the air. You’re among BMX riders, a group of freestyle enthusiasts ready to take their skills to the next level. You’re all intermediate riders, comfortable on your bikes, but itching to learn some complex tricks to wow the crowd. The question burning in your minds is, what is the best method to teach those complex freestyle BMX tricks? Let’s dive into this topic.

Understanding the Basics of BMX Freestyle

Before we delve into teaching advanced tricks, it’s crucial to understand the basics of BMX freestyle. This discipline involves riders using their BMX bikes to perform a series of tricks and stunts, often in the air. It’s a high-speed, high-adrenaline sport that requires balance, precision, and a good dose of courage.

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Freestyle BMX is not just about the tricks you perform but also about how you execute them. The style, flair, and creativity you bring to your ride are just as important as the trick itself. BMX freestyle is about expressing individuality and pushing boundaries.

In this sport, a bike is not just a bike. It’s a tool for self-expression, a weapon against gravity, and a ticket to unrivaled thrills. The bond between riders and their bikes is a vital factor in mastering advanced tricks.

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Mastering the Art of Balance and Control

Balance and control are the cornerstones of BMX freestyle. Without a firm grasp of these principles, advanced tricks will remain out of reach.

Balance on a BMX involves more than just staying upright on the bike. It’s about manipulating your body weight to execute tricks, maintain speed, and stay on course. Many advanced tricks, like the front flip or the tailwhip, demand a high level of balance.

Control goes hand in hand with balance. Controlling your bike means being able to predict and influence how it will react to your actions. This relationship between rider and bike reaches its peak in freestyle BMX, where riders must control their machines in the most extreme situations.

Practicing basic tricks and maneuvers can help hone your balance and control. Regular ride sessions will also build muscle memory, which is essential for executing advanced tricks.

Learning the Basic Tricks before Moving to Advanced Ones

Every BMX rider started with the same basic tricks. These fundamental techniques serve as stepping stones to the complex moves that make up the top echelon of freestyle BMX.

Tricks like bunny hops, manuals, and 180s are often the first ones that riders learn. These tricks introduce riders to the concepts of air, rotation, and balance, all of which are key to advanced maneuvers.

Once you’ve nailed these basic tricks, you can start working on more complex ones. For example, a rider who’s comfortable with bunny hops might try a barspin, while a rider who’s mastered manuals could attempt a manual 180.

Practicing Advanced Tricks in a Controlled Environment

As an intermediate rider, you’re ready to take on some challenging tricks. However, practicing these moves on streets or rough terrains can be dangerous. A controlled environment, such as a BMX park or a foam pit, is the ideal place to practice new tricks.

BMX parks offer a variety of ramps and obstacles that mimic the challenges you’d encounter in the real world. They also provide a safer environment for testing out new moves.

Foam pits, on the other hand, are perfect for practicing aerial tricks. Falling into a pit filled with foam cubes is a lot less painful than crashing onto asphalt. This softer landing allows riders to try daring tricks with less risk of injury.

Taking Advantage of Modern Technology

Modern technology has made it easier than ever to learn and perfect BMX tricks. Action cameras allow riders to record their sessions and review their performance. This tool can be invaluable in identifying areas for improvement.

Online tutorials and video analysis software can also help riders master complex tricks. These resources break down each move into a series of manageable steps, making them easier to understand and execute.

In the end, becoming a top freestyle BMX rider takes time, perseverance, and a whole lot of passion. But with the right approach, any intermediate rider can learn to wheel those bikes in the air and perform jaw-dropping tricks. Remember, BMX is not just a sport, it’s a way of life.

Utilizing Equipment and Safety Gear

Riding a BMX bike is much more than just hopping on a two-wheeler and pedaling away. Much like how a knight enters the battlefield with his armor, a BMX rider should always be equipped with the appropriate safety gear. This is especially crucial when learning to perform tricks.

The best BMX riders in the world, from Dave Mirra to Ryan Nyquist, have all understood the importance of using the right equipment. Whether it’s pulling off a bunny hop, a seat grab, or a daring front flip, having the right gear can spell the difference between a gold medal and a trip to the hospital.

A BMX bike designed for freestyle has certain characteristics that differentiate it from other bikes. It’s typically smaller and lighter, with a sturdy top tube and frame to withstand hard landings. The front wheel and rear wheel are the same size, providing a balanced platform for performing tricks.

Safety gear is equally important. A good helmet can protect the rider’s head from serious injury during a crash. Knee and elbow pads shield the joints, while gloves can prevent cuts and bruises on the hands. A padded BMX-specific shorts can provide extra protection for the hips and thighs.

Remember, to become a top trick rider, you need more than just a bike. You need to invest in the right BMX gear and make safety a priority.

The Role of Consistent Practice and Perseverance

Becoming proficient in complex freestyle BMX tricks doesn’t happen overnight. Even the best BMX riders, like the legendary Dave Mirra, spent countless hours honing their skills. The key to mastering these advanced moves lies in consistent practice and unwavering perseverance.

When you first start learning a new trick, it may seem impossible. You might lose your balance, miss your grip, or fail to get enough bike air. This is all part of the learning process. It’s important not to get discouraged by initial failures. Instead, view them as opportunities to learn and improve.

Consistent practice is crucial in developing muscle memory. Each BMX trick involves a series of movements that need to be executed in a specific order. The more you practice, the more ingrained these sequences become, until they feel almost automatic.

Perseverance is just as important. BMX freestyle is not a sport for the faint-hearted. It demands grit, determination, and a willingness to keep trying, even when progress seems slow. Remember, every fall brings you one step closer to perfecting that trick.

Mastering complex BMX tricks is a journey. It’s about learning to embrace the process, to find joy in every bunny hop and thrill in every tailwhip. And with consistent practice and unwavering perseverance, any intermediate rider can make that leap to advanced level.


Mastering complex freestyle BMX tricks isn’t just about getting your BMX bike in the air. It’s about understanding the fundamentals, honing your balance and control, learning basic tricks, practicing in a controlled environment, and constantly reviewing your performance. It’s about investing in the right equipment and making safety a priority. Most of all, it’s about consistent practice, unwavering perseverance, and a burning passion for the sport.

Remember, BMX isn’t just about the tricks. It’s about expressing yourself, pushing boundaries, and living life on the edge. It’s about the bond between you and your BMX bike, forged in the crucible of countless falls, countless rises, and countless triumphant rides. So keep practicing, keep falling, and keep rising. The road to becoming a top freestyle BMX rider may be long and challenging, but it’s a journey worth every pedal stroke.