This extreme sport is also known as BMX stunt riding and has been around for a few decades. While traditionally performed by younger generations, anyone who’s looking for a fun and exciting hobby is free to try out this action-packed sport. BMX utilizes the same three skills that all BMX riders use, focusing on jumping, racing and freestyle. With freestyle BMX riding specifically, the focus is more so on riders performing stunts and other incredible tricks as opposed to racing.
Freestyle BMX started around 1975 in San Diego, California, with some kids riding around on bikes in concrete reservoir channels. Since then, it’s expanded into multiple disciplines that cater to all forms of BMX riding. Common tricks in freestyle BMX are air stunts, grinds, and other skills that can be done on flatter land rather than bumpy trails or over obstacles. The five methods that makeup freestyle BMX riding are street, vert, trails, park and flatland.
The use of anything in an urban setting, usually in a public area, while riding to accomplish a stunt. This includes a set of stairs, curved wall, concrete ledge or handrails. Riding styles vary from person to person, as their methods depend on the space they have available to them while practicing.
This is the most extreme of all five disciplines. Stunts are performed on a vertical ramp as the rider races from one side to the other, used to perform popular tricks like a half-pipe or two-quarter pipe. Riders generally perform air tricks with each jump before landing on the lip of the ramp or racing towards the other end for a new trick.
Also known as dirt jumping, this is a great discipline for riders who enjoy jumping stunts, especially over steep patches of dirt that form a bumpy landing. It’s best for jumps that lead to a heavy impact landing. For riders in this discipline, the focus is more so on smooth transitions and styles from one jump to the next. The more intense trail riders try to do the craziest tricks possible with little regard to flow.
Riders in this disciple use pools, skating bowl and traditional ramps to perform stunts. Skateparks are the ideal atmospheres for this discipline, made from wood, concrete or metal. The material used in these parks will further determine a riders style and the tricks they prefer to do. Wooden parks are better for practicing air tricks while concrete parks are equipped with pools and bowls.
Riders use smooth, flat surfaces to perform spins while balancing on their bike. Riders who prefer flatland biking most likely do one of the other freestyle disciplines as well. They’re dedicated to perfecting their technique, practicing for multiple hours a day. Bikes used for flatland tricks have a shorter wheelbase than other freestyles, as it doesn’t need as much effort to make the bike spin or stay in certain positions while on one wheel. This also results in less stability when riding on ramps, streets and dirt trails.
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