Welcome to my friendly guide that will teach you how to 180 on a BMX bike!
If you’ve been eager to add some flare to your BMX riding, you’re in the right place.
Learning to 180 is a thrilling journey, and it’s a beginner BMX trick that can be a stepping stone to more advanced maneuvers.
180 is such a versatile trick you can do almost anywhere.
Whether you’re new to BMXing or just looking to broaden your repertoire of tricks, I am here to help guide you every pedal of the way.
So, pick up your bike, throw on your gear, and let’s get that bike SPINNING.
Follow my step-by-step instructions and video presentation; you’ll be rolling out of 180s in no time.
This post covers:
- Why you must learn a 180
- How to 180 on a BMX (Step-by-step guide)
- Bonus tips for mastering 180s on a BMX
- Conclusion: Master 180s!
But before you continue, here are two mandatory tricks you’ll need to learn first:
Why You Must Learn A 180
Learning to 180 on a BMX isn’t just about mastering a new trick; it’s about unlocking a new level in the BMX riding game.
The 180 is a foundational trick, and pulling it off can significantly boost your confidence and bike handling skills. It will OPEN DOORS to a whole array of other fascinating tricks.
And let’s not forget, landing a smooth 180 feels incredibly rewarding — it’s that mix of adrenaline, achievement, and sheer joy, all rolled into one.
So, let’s embark on this exciting journey together and add a cool, new trick to our BMX adventures.
Keep it fun, keep it safe, and let’s spin those bikes.
Pro tip: If rotating right is your natural way, I recommend you also play with rotating in the left.
Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.
How To 180 On A BMX (Step-By-Step Guide)
Pulling off a 180 on a BMX bike is a trick where you and the bike spin 180 degrees in the air and then ride away backward.
Here’s my step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Make sure you’re wearing appropriate safety gear, including a BMX helmet, before you attempt this trick.
Step 1: Find A Suitable Location
Look for a safe and open space without traffic, like a quiet parking lot or a skatepark, to practice your 180.
Make sure the ground is even and clear of debris.
I prefer doing 180 on a parking lot or even a basketball court.
Why? Because I find it easier jumping over a line on the ground than blank.
Yup, it’s more of a mind trick, which might work for you, too.
Step 2: Get Comfortable On Your BMX
Ride around to get used to your bike. Practice simple maneuvers like riding at different speeds, bunny hopping, and turning.
In other words – WARM UP!
You may even do a few 180 rotations (even 360) on flat without bike – just to get the feel of it.
And pay close attention to what your head and eyes do during no-bike 180s.
But I’ll get back to that later.
Step 3: Set Your Feet
Place your feet in a comfortable position, with your dominant foot forward.
If you ride with your left foot forward, you’ll spin to the right; if you ride with your right foot forward, you’ll spin to the left.
However, if you are goofy-footed, you’ll rotate toward your front foot.
Step 4: Approach With Moderate Speed
Build up a moderate speed.
You don’t want to go too fast but need enough momentum to carry you through the spin (and then fakie).
You’ll need about two to three cranks of speed.
Step 5: Compress Your Body
Crouch down slightly by bending your knees. This will help you spring up more effectively for the hop.
Step 6: Carve Into The Spin
Start carve in the direction you want to spin by slightly turning your handlebars.
Step 7: Execute The Hop
As you carve, spring up by straightening your legs and pulling up on the handlebars.
Your hands will pull slightly before you straighten your legs – but it’s a very simultaneous movement.
Keep your weight centered over the bike.
Step 8: Initiate The Spin
Once you’re in the air, turn your head and shoulders in the direction you want to spin.
Your bike will follow where your upper body leads. Keep looking over your shoulder until you complete the spin.
Pro tip: The main problem BMX riders have with getting their bike to spin 180 degrees is not turning and looking toward the spin.
No matter how hard you pull and jump, if you don’t turn your head, you WON’T land a 180. Period.
When your head turns, you want to spot the landing with your eyes.
Step 9: Suck Up Your Knees
Bring your knees up towards your chest.
This makes the bike rise, allowing you more time and clearance to complete the 180-degree rotation.
Step 10: Land Safely
As you complete the spin, begin to extend your legs and prepare to land on both wheels. Bend your knees to absorb the impact.
Step 11: Roll Out
After landing, you’ll be rolling backward (fakie).
To roll out of the fakie, turn your handlebars in the direction you want to go and pedal backward slightly.
Your bike will pivot around, and you can ride away forward. (You can also do a half cab if you know how.)
But please refer to my fakie how to that I added a link to above.
Bonus Tips For Mastering 180s On A BMX
Repeat the process and practice regularly. The 180 can take time to master, so be patient with your progress.
First, start by practicing bunny hops; the higher you can bunny hop, the easier it will be to perform a 180.
Second, use your head and shoulders to guide the spin; the rest of your body will follow where they go. This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of a 180!
Third, learn to ride fakie comfortably, as it’s essential for rolling out of a 180.
Fourth, gradually increasing the spinning angle as you get more comfortable can help in mastering the full 180-degree spin. Start by doing a 90 and then progress to 180.
Fifth, you can also use a bank, which is one of the essential skatepark element, just to get the feel of spinning.
But don’t use it to learn a 180 because learning it on a bank is different than learning it on flat, out of a bunny hop.
Always wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads.
Moreover, practice in a safe location, away from traffic and pedestrians.
Do not attempt this trick if you are not comfortable on a BMX bike, start with simpler tricks (bunny hop and fakie!) and gradually progress to more complex ones.
Conclusion: Master 180s!
And there you have it, fellow BMX dudes!
Spinning a 180 isn’t just about the thrill, it’s about mastering control, balance, and precision – key elements in the wonderful world of BMX.
Remember, patience, practice, and a sprinkle of persistence are your best friends on this journey.
Keep pushing, keep falling (unfortunately, that’s part of the BMX progress), keep rising, and soon enough, you’ll be pulling off 180s as smooth as butter.
I know you will!
Let’s continue to challenge ourselves, expand our BMX horizons, and, above all, keep the wheels turning and the spirits high.
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