BMX Tips

16 BMX Riding Safety Tips

bmx riding safety tips

After riding BMX for 20+ years, I want to share with you some of the essential BMX riding safety tips to avoid as many inconveniences as possible.

We all know there’s nothing quite like the thrill of landing a new trick or blazing down a dirt trail on our trusty two-wheelers, right?

But let’s NOT forget — while BMX is a whole lot of fun, it’s also a sport that comes with its fair share of risks.

That’s why I’ve put together this essential guide on safety tips.

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Stick around to learn how to keep yourself protected to ENJOY many more sessions and nail those tricks without taking a nasty spill.

Let’s keep the good times rolling – safely!

This post covers:

Before we continue, I want to mention one thing: Yes, you will crash.

But it’s the crashes that will help you progress. We all take a slam here and there: Professionals, amateurs and complete beginners.

Still, with these tips, you’ll ensure those falls will have as little impact as possible.

Before going forward, you may also be interested in my list of the most common beginner BMX mistakes.

Best BMX Riding Safety Tips

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

1. Helmet

First things first: The helmet.

Trust me, this is non-negotiable. You’ve got a lot of cool tricks in that head of yours, so let’s keep it safe.

Make sure you get a helmet specifically designed for BMX. It should fit snugly — no wobbling around when you move.

It’s literally a lifesaver.

Here’s my collection of the best BMX helmets.

2. Gloves

Gloves are your first line of defense against scrapes, plus they give you that EXTRA grip for more control on the handlebars (especially if your hands sweat a lot).

Your hands are your steering wheel; let’s protect ’em, shall we?

3. Knee & Elbow Pads

I can’t stress this enough — knee and elbow pads aren’t just for kids or beginners.

Even pros take spills, and these pads can be the difference between brushing off the dirt and limping away.

Believe me, you’ll thank yourself for wearing these after you take your first unintentional dive.

Here are my collections of the best:

4. Shin Guards

How many times have you banged your shins against your pedals? Something I’m THE MOST annoyed by!

Shin guards may seem like overkill until you take that first pedal strike to the shin.

Then you’ll be singing their praises, believe me.

Check the best BMX shin pads.

5. Proper Footwear

Speaking of pedals, let’s talk shoes.

Ditch the flip-flops or casual sneakers. What you need is a pair of closed-toe athletic shoes with grip soles.

You’ll get better control, reduce the chance of foot injuries, and hey, they look cool, too.

Don’t forget to check my favorite BMX shoes.

Bike Condition & Setup

6. Regular Inspection

Before you hit the park, trails or street, give your bike a good look-see.

I’m talking about checking for loose bolts, worn-out tires, and frayed cables.

Nobody wants to be the guy who realizes his handlebars are loose in mid-air, am I right?

So take a few minutes before each ride to ensure everything is NICE and TIGHT.

If you’re still unsure, here’s my complete guide on BMX bike maintenance.

7. Brake Checks

Alright, let’s chat about brakes. Yeah, yeah, I know you probably ride brakeless, but for those who don’t.

Give them a quick squeeze to make sure they’re responsive and listen for any squeaking or other unusual sounds.

If something feels off, do yourself a favor and get it fixed before riding. You don’t want your brake cable to break when ding a fufanu.

8. Wheel Checks

Last but not least, let’s talk wheels. Give ’em a good spin to ensure they’re securely fastened and the spokes are all intact.

A wobbly wheel or a missing spoke could lead to some unintentional acrobatics you weren’t planning on.

So do yourself a favor and ensure those wheels are in tip-top shape. (More on wheels in my maintenance how-to.)

Riding Skills & Environment

9. Know Your Skill Level

First off, know where you stand skill-wise.

We all want to be the next BMX superstar, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

Don’t rush into attempting those high-flying tricks or challenging terrains if you’re not ready.

Work your way up and practice, practice, practice. Your future self will thank you for YOUR patience.

Check these easy beginner BMX tricks and go from there.

10. Warm-Up

Ah, the warm-up, the unsung hero of any physical activity.

Spend a few minutes riding around at a comfortable pace. Get a feel for your bike and the environment you’re riding in.

It wakes up your muscles and makes you more aware of your surroundings.

Plus, you look way cooler nailing that trick when warmed up, instead of stiffly tumbling over – trust me!

But I take it one step further and actually warm-up my full body without the bike prior session.

11. Observe The Terrain

Now, before you go full throttle, take a minute to scan your riding area (skatepark, street spots, trails, etc.).

Are there jumps? How about tight turns or obstacles?

A QUICK observation helps you prepare for what’s coming so you can approach it with the right amount of speed and caution.

Think of it like studying for a test; the more you know upfront, the better you’ll perform.

12. Ride With Others

Here’s the fun part — riding with friends!

Not only does it make for a great day out, but it’s also safer.

Having others around means extra eyes to spot potential dangers and, God forbid, someone to call for help if things go south.

Solo rides are cool, but there’s safety (and fun!) in numbers.

General Tips

13. Follow Rules & Signs

Alright, I get it. Rules can seem like a drag, but they’re there for a reason, folks.

Whether you’re at a BMX park or any other riding area, those signs and rules aren’t suggestions; they’re must-follows.

Ignoring them can put you and others in harm’s way. So be a good community member and abide by ’em.

That’s why I also prepared twenty tips on BMX skatepark etiquette.

14. Hydration & Nutrition

BMX riding can be a real workout.

You’re sweating, burning calories, and basically having a blast, but don’t forget to hydrate.

Carry a water bottle or hydration pack and take sips between tricks or laps.

Energy snacks like granola bars or fruit can also be clutch. You can’t shred if you’re running on empty!

I also answered one of the more common questions: Is BMX a good exercise?

15. First Aid

This one’s a BIGGIE.

Always carry a basic first aid kit (I do!) and know the basics of how to use it.

From cleaning a scrape to bandaging a cut, knowing some first aid can go a long way.

Think of it as your safety net — hopefully, you won’t need it, but it’s priceless if you do.

16. Emergency Contacts

Last but not least, make sure someone knows you’re out riding and when you’re expected back.

Keep a list of emergency contacts on you (not just on your phone in case it dies).

You know, the usual suspects — family, close friends, maybe even your local pizza place if they’re particularly worried about you (kidding, but you get what I mean).

My parents needed to pick me up a few times and take me to the hospital when I crashed really badly.

Conclusion: Don’t Take BMX Safety Tips Lightly

Alright, dudes, we’ve covered a lot of ground today, haven’t we?

From gearing up with the right personal protective equipment to ensuring your bike is in stellar condition, and even diving into some best practices for riding skills and general tips, we’ve got you all set to hit the BMX parks, streets and trails.

But here’s the thing: None of these safety tips should be taken lightly.

I mean it.

BMX is an adrenaline-packed, super-fun sport that we all love, but it’s not without its risks.

The coolest trick or the most epic ride isn’t worth it if you’re jeopardizing your well-being — or anyone else’s, for that matter.

Remember, safety isn’t JUST ABOUT YOU; it’s also about creating a responsible and respectful BMX community where everyone can enjoy the sport without worry.

So let’s make a pact, shall we?

Let’s promise to always prioritize safety, not just for ourselves but for our fellow BMX enthusiasts.

And hey, being safe doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast.

In fact, knowing you’re protected and riding responsibly will probably make you more confident, helping you push your limits in the best way possible.

Now go ahead, gear up, and ride like the wind — safely and awesomely! 🤘

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About Author

Rok has been riding BMX for 20+ years, and when he's not having a session, he binges on videos, new product drops and works on creating the best content (sharing tips, tricks & more to make riding bikes easier for you) for The BMX Dude.