So, you’ve got your eyes set on learning how to 360 on a BMX?
I still remember the adrenaline rush from my first SUCCESSFUL spin and, trust me, it’s worth every ounce of practice.
It’s such an addictive feeling, and I can’t wait for you to experience it too.
Now, I won’t sugarcoat it: It might take a few tries (okay, maybe MORE than a few!), some spills, and perhaps a couple of bruises.
But believe me, the joy of nailing that perfect 360 is absolutely worth it.
And guess what? You’re not alone on this journey.
I’ve been right where you are, and I’m here to guide you through every twist and turn, just as I wished someone had done for me.
So, grab your helmet (& other protective gear), hop on that bike, and let’s dive deep into the world of 360s together.
Why You Must Learn A 360
Learning a 360 on a BMX bike isn’t necessarily “necessary” for every rider.
However, it offers various benefits for those looking to advance their skills, enjoy a broader range of riding experiences, or compete.
Here are some reasons why learning the 360 is valuable:
- Skill progression: The 360 is a foundational trick in BMX. Once mastered, it opens the door to various other advanced tricks and combinations. It’s a natural progression after learning basics like bunny hops and 180s.
- Versatility: BMX riding, especially in park and street settings, often requires a diverse trickset. The 360 is a versatile stunt that you can apply to various obstacles, from ramps to flat ground, and even integrated into other tricks.
- Personal satisfaction: There’s a tremendous sense of accomplishment in landing a 360 for the first time. It’s a challenging trick, and mastering it can be a personal milestone for many riders.
- Flow & style: BMX is as much about style as skill. The 360 can add flow to a line, allowing a rider to maintain momentum, change direction, and seamlessly link to other tricks.
- Overcoming fear: Learning a 360 teaches riders to confront and overcome fear. This mental fortitude can be applied to other areas of BMX and even other aspects of life.
- Physical fitness: The motion of a 360 requires coordination, strength, and balance. Practicing and perfecting the trick can enhance these physical attributes.
In summary, while no trick is truly “necessary” in BMX, the 360 offers a range of benefits, from improving technical skills to providing personal satisfaction.
How To 360 On A BMX (Step-By-Step Guide)
Before you progress to a 360, you will first need to learn:
1. Safety First
Okay, first things first, safety.
Since it’s more likely you’ll fall learning a 360 than a 180 or a bunny hop, I recommend you wear protective gear.
Also, ensure your bike is in good condition, with no loose parts. Don’t forget to check my complete guide on BMX bike maintenance.
Finally, find a place to learn 360s. I recommend a hip, but a fly-out will do you well, too.
I don’t suggest you go straight to learning bunny hop 360s because it’s pretty challenging.
Even a small dirt jump will help you with the first step.
It’s essential that your body is properly warmed up to minimize and even prevent injuries.
Warm up your body with and without a bike.
Then do a bunch of bunny hops and 180s and prepare for the 360.
Tip: You can also do a few 360 body rotations on flat without the bike.
Pay attention to where your head turns and your eyes look when you do these rotations. This is the crucial part of a 360 on a BMX.
Understanding the motion is crucial.
Watch videos of experienced riders doing 360s. Notice their body movement, head positioning, and how they initiate the spin.
That’s why I created the above video, so you can watch it a few times first before moving forward.
4. Initiate The Spin
- Speed: Start with a moderate pace, not too fast or slow.
- Approach: Crouch down a little, preparing for a bunny hop.
- Head & shoulders: As you start your jump, turn your head and shoulders in the direction you want to spin. Your body follows where your head leads. You also need to carve a little (slightly more than for a 180) in the direction of your rotation.
- Hips: Rotate your hips in the same direction as your head and shoulders.
As mentioned earlier, use a hip (bank-to-bank) to start learning 360s.
Hip is an excellent skatepark element to learn 360s on because it allows you first to learn 270s.
But you can then come at a different angle and use it for a full 360. I perform this both on a mellow and a steep hip.
A mellow hip requires you to pull more, while a steep hip requires more courage because you’ll need more speed, but the rotation will be easier.
Moreover, if you don’t have a skatepark or nowhere to build a dirt jump – just like I didn’t – then learn a 360 tailtap out of a bunny hop first. (See video above.)
5. Mid-Air Movement
- Tuck: Pull the bike up underneath you by bending your knees. The more compact you are, the faster you’ll spin. Once you pull your bars closer to your body, you should also pull your legs closer to your body. If you don’t, you’ll likely do a tailtap or land weirdly on your rear wheel.
- Look: Keep looking over your leading shoulder throughout the spin. THE MOST IMPORTANT part of a 360!
- Bike control: Use your hands and feet to control the bike’s rotation. If you need to spin faster, tuck in more. Extend a leg or arm out if you need to slow down the spin. (But this is usually necessary when you have more air time, not when learning 360.)
- Spot your landing: As you approach the final quarter of the spin, start looking for where you’re going to land.
- Prepare to absorb: Bend your knees, preparing to absorb the impact.
- Stay centered: Keep your weight centered over the bike.
- Roll out: If you’ve over-rotated or under-rotated slightly, use your momentum and continue rolling in the direction of the spin (you can see this in the video above, where I over-rotated a few times).
If you over- or under-rotate, don’t try and fix the direction because you’ll likely crash. Just roll away in the direction you landed.
Don’t bother if you over- or under-rotate – you’ll refine your 360s later.
And when landing a 360, I recommend you lend on both wheels at the same time.
Still, it’s better to learn slightly rear-wheel first than front-wheel first.
It’s rare to nail a 360 on your first attempt. Expect to practice this move repeatedly, refining your technique each time.
I don’t really remember how long it took me to land a 360 (hey, that was 20+ years ago!) but I do remember that it took me forever.
And I was the happiest when landing a 270 out of a bunny hop. 🙂
But going from a 270 to a full 360 was a long road for me. Hopefully my guide will help you shorten your learning process.
- Start on a jump or a hip: A small dirt jump or ramp (or a hip) can give you more airtime to complete the 360.
- Start with carving: Turning slightly into the spin before you hop can help initiate the spin more easily. You want to carve a little more than for a 180.
- Adjusting your weight: Shifting your weight back slightly can help get the nose of the bike around quicker.
As you become more comfortable, you can practice on different terrains, increase your jump height, or even integrate tricks into your 360s.
Remember, everyone progresses at their own rate.
Staying patient, practicing consistently, and prioritizing safety is ESSENTIAL.
If possible, having an experienced rider or coach give you feedback can significantly accelerate your learning curve.
You can also message me via the contact form on The BMX Dude or hit me up on Instagram.
Conclusion: Master 360s!
And there you have it, my BMX dudes!
From the early stages of preparation to that heart-stopping moment of airborne rotation, the journey to mastering the 360 is truly something special.
I remember the joy, the challenges, and yes, even the occasional stumble on my own path to the perfect spin.
But TRUST me, every practice session, every little adjustment, and every spin — successful or not — brings you closer to that exhilarating 360 finish.
Stick with it, have fun, and always remember: BMX is as much about the journey as it is about nailing the trick.
Here’s to MANY SMOOTH 360 landings!
Keep riding, keep spinning, and always, ALWAYS keep the spirit of adventure alive. 🤘