Choosing A Style Of BMX Riding
Are you keen to get into BMX riding, but cant decide what style you want to ride? Well hopefully this will answer all your BMX style questions, and let you choose a style of BMX riding that is perfect for you.
Dirt riding is for all the kids who love extreme tricks with lots of rhythm and flow. It is easy to start off on dirt because you can begin at whatever level you feel comfortable and increase the difficulty of your rides as your skills progress. If you are a bit of a shy beginner dirt riding is ideal, because you can ride on deserted trails where you will not get made fun of, rather than in public streets or skate parks. On the other hand, it does help to have people around when you are starting out, because they can offer you helpful tips and advice. One great aspect of riding dirt is starting your own trails. Of course, it does not cost you anything to ride on dirt trails because they belong to you. Some of the drawbacks are the hard work you have to put in maintaining your trails from damage due to rain, vandalism, and the like. If you go huge on larger dirt jumps there is always the chance you will fall pretty hard from high up, but on the other hand you are landing on dirt so it does not hurt as much as concrete or tarmac. You do not really need a specific bike for riding dirt trails, so long as it has a pretty long toptube.
Street riding can be awesome, but it really depends on the features available in the area you live. The area where you live might have obstacles that are too hard for a beginner to learn on, or it might all be so easy that it quickly becomes boring. Some areas do not have the kind of terrain that presents any opportunities for street riding at all. Street riding is cool because every object is an opportunity to do a million different tricks. If you live in the city I would definitely recommend you get into street riding as soon as possible.
Park riding is awesome too, but only if you have a good size skate park in the area. Of course, you have to pay to get into most parks, although some offer yearly memberships or are funded by the local government. Most parks offer wooden and concrete ramps, sometimes in an indoor setting, and they are usually set up so you can learn easily and progress. Another bonus is that there are usually more experienced riders around that are glad to help you out.
Flatland riding has a lot of flow and balance to it, you definitely need a very good balance point to ride flatland. Other than that, all you need to ride is a wide open space like a parking lot, so this kind of riding is perfect for the kids who have no parks or good street obstacles to ride. Flatland tricks are pretty easy to learn initially, and they look awesome when you link them together. A lot of basic flatland tricks - megaspins, balancing tricks, tailwhips, cyclones, and so on - can be learnt in a day or so. Falls are not usually as bad when you are riding flatland as they are with dirt or street riding because you are never far from the ground, so its pretty low impact. But do not go thinking flatland falls are never going to hurt, as always on the BMX one slip and a peg might go through your chest, or worse still you might never be able to have children. To ride flatland you need a lighter bike than a freestyle bike, with a short toptube with scuff room, about 18 or 19 inches long. Ideally you want a bike that is purpose built for flatland riding, the bike that you use for dirt or street riding will not work nearly as well.
Racing is competitive BMXing, focussed on speed. Like all other styles of riding, racing requires a lot of patience. You will not come in first in your first race, and it may take weeks or even months before you even manage to place, but all your persistence will be rewarded eventually. If you want to progress in racing you have to put in a lot of time training, and you need to maintain a high level of physical fitness. You will need a light racing bike with a high gear ratio so you can achieve higher top speeds, and you will also need a local racing track where you can compete regularly.