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BMX Tips: Using Ramps to Get Air

 Posted on: January 28th, 2022

High BMX jump in a skate park

One of the most exciting things for beginning BMX riders is the prospect of getting air for the first time. Once you’ve gained a reasonable level of comfort with the mechanics of the bike and have gotten used to different types of terrain, you may wish to graduate to ramps.

Freshpark 3' High Quarter Pipe

Freshpark Launch Ramp
Our Freshpark 3' High Quarter Pipe (left) (top) and Freshpark Launch Ramp. These ramps are great way to catch some air.

Whether you’re going into a quarter pipe or you’re simply using a flat ramp to get air, there are some techniques you’ll need to employ to get air and land safely. Here’s a quick look at what you need to know about getting air with BMX ramps.

  • Enter the ramp: Depending on the kind of ramp and where you’re entering from, you might need some instruction on just getting into the ramp. Dropping in, for example, is more difficult than just riding into an open ramp area. Regardless, you should start by building up some speed. Ride back and forth and cover a wide arc, starting from the lowest point and progressing up with greater speed.
  • Rolling technique: Every time you go up and down a wall your speed will increase. There’s no need to spin your pedals in this process—you can simply roll back and forth into the quarter pipe.
  • Body positioning: The way you position your body will have a significant impact on how well you’re able to air out on the quarter pipe. When riding into the quarter, maintain a squatted position, then straighten out the legs as you climb, pushing the bike from under you. When you get to the peak you can squad down again and repeat the movement on your way down. The repetition and up and down movement should sort of feel like you’re riding a swing. The point is to keep your body perpendicular to the surface of the ramp at all times and angles.
  • Speed is good: It can feel a bit intimidating when you’re just getting started with using BMX ramps, but building up speed is an important part of getting air. You should be able to get to the point where you’re reaching the edges of the quarter pipes.
  • Push off: As you get up the quarter, you should push hard off the quarter with your legs when you reach the peak of your climb. This should feel sort of like a bunny hop, but at a different angle. Ride up the quarter, squat down, gradually straighten the legs and push off.
  • Get air: Once you’ve built up enough speed and confidence, following these steps and techniques will help you get air in the quarter pipe. Then it’s just a matter of mastering the landing!

As with any type of extreme sport, it’s always best to start small and gradually work your way up. You might want to get comfortable going off smaller ramps or jumps before moving into larger quarters.

As you continue to practice and commit yourself to getting more speed, you’ll find the fear and anxiousness gives way to heart-pounding thrills and excitement. Getting air on the BMX never gets old, and once you’ve nailed the technique it’s a feeling you’re going to want to experience over and over again.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get some air!