BMX Freestyle originated in the 1970's and is an art form that is performed on a BMX bike. Riders take to the air, handle rails and stairs to complete some pretty awesome feats.
The BMX bike is integral to this sport. BMX bikes are better suited for tricks due to their smaller size, lighter frames, and footpegs which play a vital role in many flatland tricks.
BMX Freestyle really pushes the limits of possibility, as riders explore their creativity and come up with some of the coolest and most difficult moves on 2 wheels! Each year the standard gets higher as riders compete to outdo each other in both recreational riding and competition.
The wheelie is when you bring up the front wheel when riding on flat ground. It requires a ton of balance and body positioning. Often new riders are hesitant to pull back on the handlebars, which prevents them from staying upright.
The wheelie is typically considered a beginner skill, and compared to some of the other BMX freestyle tricks, it's not particularly dangerous or challenging. However, to master this skill can take some time. Professional BMX riders are able to completely control the wheelie, to the point where they are able to swerve through traffic and jump from the back wheel while the bike is otherwise stationary.
This is another basic BMX freestyle trick suitable for beginners. The bunny hop requires that the rider performs a small jump. This is relatively easy, given the BMX bike is so light.
The idea is to squat down on the bike so that you create a lot of potential energy. From there, you want to jump while simultaneously pulling up the front handlebars and you should get some lift! The key here is timing the jump with the pull, as mistiming this will result in the momentum dissipating over a longer period of time, resulting in a significantly smaller jump.
The 180 is a half-turn done in mid-air. This trick is a bit more complicated and requires aerial awareness and control. Usually the 180 is performed at the top of a ramp, where BMX riders rotate out and back onto the ramp for their next trick.
180's require the rider to generate torque by throwing their body and the bike perpendicular to the direction of travel. A certain finesse is needed to not over or under rotate, as this will result in a poor landing and possibly a fall.
Like the 180, the 360 is a type of spin (full turn). Again, riders need to generate airtime from a ramp to complete this skill. In many ways, it's the same, but riders need to throw themselves more aggressively into the turn.
When completing the 360 turn, the rider then continues to travel forward. This can be harnessed to fly over the flat between ramps and continue a BMX freestyle routine.
The bar hop is a unique BMX freestyle trick where the rider hops over the handle bars and ends up in front of the bike as it continues to travel forwards. Riders then control the handlebars behind them while looking straight ahead.
The bar hop requires that the rider first acquires some decent speed before attempting the skill. If the bike is traveling too slowly, this will make it very difficult to balance.
Much like the manual, this is another 1 wheel trick. Instead of balancing on the back wheel, however, the nose manual has the rider balancing on the front wheel. This is considered more difficult.
To complete the nose manual, ideally, you will build up some decent speed. By breaking suddenly and leaning forward, the back of the bike should come off the ground. Riders need to be careful with this skill, as too much forward momentum will cause them to topple over forward, and so it's important to learn how to fall before attempting this skill!
The superman is a BMX freestyle trick that requires the rider to eject themselves from the bike while only holding on by the handlebars. This is an extremely difficult trick.
The idea is that the rider would generate speed and throw themselves into a ramp. While in the air, the rider carefully balance the bike so that it's parallel to the ground. From there, the rider would need to quickly come off the bike, before coming back on just in time for the landing. This requires a fair bit of finesse, as mistiming the landing can result in a crash and a world of pain!
The tail whip is one of the most difficult BMX tricks. The tail whip is yet another trick that requires a lot of air. When in the air, the rider needs to come off the bike and spin the bike frame around the front wheel axis, before landing back on the BMX bike.
It's a trick that requires perfect timing and a solid understanding of how the bike - as both the dimensions and weight of the BMX bike will affect how much force is required to spin it around its front wheel. Even so, don't expect to learn this one without stacking a hundred times.