Welcome to my in-depth tutorial that will help you learn how to bunnyhop on a BMX bike.
How to do it? With hands, you pull up the front wheel while simultaneously picking the rear up with your legs, making a “hop.”
Below, you get a more IN-DEPTH explanation with my video that will help you learn it quickly.
A bunny hop is an essential and beginner BMX trick that you absolutely NEED to learn.
It will unlock a new world of possibilities, whether you ride street or skatepark.
But the real fun begins when you start pulling different tricks out of a bunny hop on flat.
My favorite is still the bunny hop barspin.
Bunny Hop – The Fundamental BMX Trick
A bunny hop is like the bread and butter of BMX tricks. It’s the foundational trick that opens the door to many other cool stunts.
Mastering the bunny hop is about gaining a sense of control and balance on your bike.
It’s like learning the ABCs before diving into novels.
Once you’ve got the bunny hop down, it acts like a springboard, propelling you into the air and allowing you to EXPERIMENT with numerous other tricks.
Whether you want to grind on rails, clear obstacles, or even perform advanced tricks like the barspin or 360, the bunny hop is your starting point.
So, nailing it is crucial!
Remember, it’s not about how quickly you can learn it but about enjoying every moment on your bike.
How To Bunny Hop On A BMX For Beginners
Step 1: Find a Suitable Location
Locate a flat, open space free of traffic and obstacles, like an empty parking lot or a quiet street.
I remember learning a bunny hop on a quiet street.
Step 2: Start with a Moderate Speed
Ride at a steady, moderate pace. Not too fast that you lose control, and not too slow that you can’t lift off.
About two cranks is usually more than enough speed.
But before you move to the step 3, do this first:
- Learn how to pick up your front end
- And how to pick up the rear end (like I demonstrate in the video)
These two movements are fundamental to a bunny hop.
Move to the next step only once you’re 100% comfortable with the two movements – especially picking up the rear end.
Pointing your toes down to pull the rear end up is the same as when you pull up your rear end in a bunny hop.
Step 3: Get into the Right Position
First, you want your weight to be centered over the bike.
Second, you will want to bend your knees and elbows slightly.
Third, grip the handlebars firmly but not rigidly.
Step 4: Compress your Body
Crouch down into a squat (not deep-squat) position on the bike, compressing your body as much as possible.
This action somehow feels like you’d be pushing your bike into the ground, ready for the hop.
Step 5: Pull Up the Front Wheel
Explode upwards from your crouched position and pull the handlebars towards your chest first, lifting the front wheel off the ground.
Step 6: Level the Bike
As the front wheel rises, PUSH the handlebars forward and point your toes down.
(Same as you earlier learned how to pull up your rear end with your front end on the ground.)
Use your feet to SCOOP the pedals upwards, bringing the back wheel off the ground.
Try to level the bike mid-air by pulling your feet up (to your body) and pushing the handlebars forward (extending your arms).
Step 7: Prepare for Landing
Start preparing for landing while you are still in the air.
Spot your landing point and extend your legs and arms slightly in anticipation.
Step 8: Land Safely
Aim to land both wheels simultaneously or, if not possible, with the rear wheel slightly first. (Avoid landing front wheel first because your wrists will hate you 🙂 )
Bend your knees and elbows to absorb the shock as you touch down.
Note: Keep your weight centered to avoid tipping forward or backward.
Step 9: Practice Regularly
It’s important that you practice the bunny hop repeatedly, starting with small hops and gradually increasing the height as you become more confident.
What made it easier for me was to jump over a line on the ground (that’s why a parking lot is such an excellent spot for learning bunny hops).
And before you will start jumping on curbs, ledges and stairs, first learn the sideways bunny hop – see the video above.
Why? Because you don’t need that extra speed that’s necessary when pulling a straight hop onto something, but it still gives you the feel of how to hop onto something.
Remember, always practice in a safe environment and wear protective gear.
Step 10: Refine Your Technique
Once you master the basic bunny hop, work on refining your technique, leveling the bike more efficiently in the air, and landing more smoothly.
Start hopping over and onto higher objects. I even created a hop-o-meter and kept drilling my bunny hop until the satisfied height.
Once you’re 110% confident in your bunny hops, feel free to start experimenting with variations.
You can add in a 180, a 360, a barspin, a tailwhip, use it to hop onto handrails, etc.
There are endless ways and possibilities of how to use a bunny hop and take things to the next level.
- Stay relaxed and keep your movements fluid.
- Practice bunny hops at varying speeds to understand how momentum affects the height and length of the hop.
- Work on strengthening your leg and core muscles, which are crucial in executing bunny hops effectively.
- But more than working on muscles, work on your technique.
Keep in mind that the key to mastering the bunny hop is consistent, focused practice, along with maintaining safety precautions.
Keep pushing your limits gradually and enjoy exploring the myriad possibilities that open up once you’ve mastered this foundational BMX trick.
Common Bunny Hop Learning Mistakes & Solutions
Like learning anything new, it can come with its share of bumps and wobbles.
So, let’s tackle a few common learning mistakes together and turn them into stepping stones for mastering the bunny hop.
Incorrect Body Position
We’ve all been there – a little too forward or a little too back, and whoops!
So, here’s the deal:
- Solution: Set up a camera and keep recording your bunny hops. Or ask a dude to help you out. This way, you can observe and correct your body position. Remember, the goal is to keep your weight centered over the bike, with your knees and elbows slightly bent.
Finding that sweet spot between too fast and too slow can be tricky at first.
- Solution: Consistency is your friend here! Start with a moderate and controllable speed (two cranks), and maintain it throughout the hop. Gradually, you can experiment with different speeds once you’re more comfortable with your bunny hops. Be patient, my friend.
If you find yourself landing a bit lopsided, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
- Solution: Practice makes perfect! Focus on leveling the bike in mid-air and aim to land both wheels simultaneously or the rear one slightly first. Over time, you’ll develop a feel for it (it will become second nature), and those landings will get smoother.
NOTE that everyone learns at their own pace, and the journey is different for each rider.
The key is to enjoy every ride, learn from each fail, and celebrate every successful bunny hop. Keep the vibe positive!
Conclusion: Master Bunny Hops!
It’s been a thrilling ride, hasn’t it?
We’ve delved into the nuts and bolts of performing a bunny hop, discovered its foundational importance, and navigated through common learning curves.
Bunny hops are the gateway to unlocking the fabulous world of BMX tricks, allowing you to leap over obstacles, enjoy freestyle rides, and even master more advanced stunts.
Remember, the journey of mastering the bunny hop is packed with fun, occasional wobbles, and loads of learning.
Keep your spirits high, wear your safety gear, and practice REGULARLY.
Every little progress is a victory!
Engage with fellow riders, share your experiences, learn from each other, and keep the BMX spirit alive and rolling.
Who knows, you might be teaching me a trick or two the next time we meet!
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