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4 BMX Skills to Learn First

2015-12-21 10,535 116 688,421 YouTube

Next video: How to Bunny hop: 0:14 How to Manual: 1:05 How to Ride Fakie: 2:04 How to Jump: 2:52 There are lots of different ways you can ride a BMX, but most people will start right outside their front door, riding street. Before you start learning tricks and combos, there are some basic techniques you should be practicing first. Let’s start with the most important one, the bunny hop. A bunny hop is a combination of jumping straight up in the air, and pulling your handlebars to your waist. These two actions must be synchronized perfectly in order to bunnyhop, so it does take a little practice. First, practice pulling the bars to your waist just to get a feel for it. Roll along at a comfortable speed and start experimenting until you can get your crossbar all the way to your body. If you’re having trouble getting your front end up, you need to jump your body upwards more and put some muscle into it. To make the bike hop, pull the bars really hard and rocket straight upwards with a jump. You should be jumping your body as you’re pulling your bars, finishing the springing action in your legs just as the bars reach your waist. Don't worry about your feet coming off the pedals, as just holding the bars is sufficient to bring the bike up with you. Once you learn how to get up in the air, you can experiment with pushing the bars forwards to level out the bike. Then you can practice applying this technique by jumping on to and over things. The next technique we’ll learn is a manual, which is riding on your back wheel, not to be confused with a wheelie. Manuals are a great way to connect two tricks together, and they’re pretty low risk to learn when compared to some other things. Since Bmx bikes are so small, all you need to do to get the front wheel up is throw your weight back. Beginners sometimes have trouble with this mentally, as they fear falling backwards. To get over this, dick around in the grass and maybe even fall of purposely. You'll find that just by putting your foot back you can catch yourself. Once you learn this, you’ll realize that falling backwards isn’t as likely as it once seemed. In a manual your arms should be straight out, with your legs doing all the balancing work. Bending you knees brings the front end of the bike down, while extending your legs brings the front end up. Staying low over the rear wheel will make things easier. Manuals take a ton of practice to master, so don’t get discouraged. Even if you can only do it for a second or two, that’s enough to do a lot of things, like manualing a small ledge. Next we’ll learn how to ride fakie, and come out riding forwards. Fakie just means “backwards”, so riding fakie means riding backwards. You should learn how to do this as early on as possible, since it’s a prerequisite for a lot of tricks, like 180s. To get going fakie, you can push off a wall, or roll down a hill. You’ll need to crank backwards unless you have a freecoaster hub, which you’ll usually only find on higher end BMX bikes. Either way, you don’t need to roll far. By pushing your pedal and turning your wheel, you can whip your bike around to go forwards again. At first you’ll only be able to turn a few degrees, but as you get more comfortable riding fakie you should be able to get the bike all the way around. Even if you can only fakie for a couple of feet and come out, it’ll prove to be a really valuable skill later on. The next technique is jumping, which is getting airborne from a jump or a bump in the pavement. As it turns out, this technique isn’t much different from a bunny hop, but the “lip” or launch will help you get a lot more air. Just ride a lip at a comfortable speed and pull your bars to your waist as you get to the top. It’s important to synchronize the pulling with the jump, so that you start pulling at the bottom, and snap the bars to your waist as your back wheel leaves the top of the lip. My favorite place to do this in the street is on the edges of driveways, as long as they aren’t actively being used by cars. So those are arguably the 4 most important BMX street techniques since you can’t do anything else without them. Learn these skills and you’ll be primed to learn other stuff like 180s, 360’s, wallrides, gaps, and grinds. You’d better practice too, because next time we’ll be learning how to spin your BMX to do a 180 or a 360. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time.

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