How To Disaster On A BMX!

how to disaster bmx

Are you ready to learn how to disaster on a BMX?

I’m thrilled to have you here today as we dive into the exciting world of BMX tricks, specifically focusing on one cool move – the disaster!

I still remember the first time I saw someone pull off a disaster; my eyes nearly popped out of my head! (Note: That was 20+ years ago.)

It looked so cool, and I thought to myself, “I HAVE to learn that!”

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Fast forward to today, I am HAPPY to teach you how to do it.

I’m super excited to share all the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way with you.

In this article, we will break down the disaster into manageable steps, ensuring you have all the guidance you need to master this trick.

Why Learn Disasters

A BMX rider might consider learning the disaster trick for several reasons:

1. Skill Development

Mastering the disaster requires excellent balance and bike control, skills that are transferable to many other BMX tricks and maneuvers.

Performing this trick helps riders develop a better sense of body awareness in the air and on the ramp, which is crucial for safe and successful shredding.

2. Building Confidence

Learning a new trick can be challenging, but landing it for the first time provides a huge confidence boost.

As riders progress and learn more tricks, their overall riding improves, and they become more confident on their bike.

3. Expanding Trick Repertoire

The Disaster is a versatile trick that can be combined with other tricks or modified to create new variations, helping riders build a more diverse and impressive set of skills.

Having a WIDE array of tricks at your disposal allows you to impress friends, fellow riders, and audiences at competitions or demos.

Pro tip: Don’t learn new tricks for the sake of showmanship. Learn them for YOURSELF!

4. Enjoyment & Satisfaction

Learning and landing new tricks is fun! And disaster adds another enjoyable element to riding.

There’s a great sense of personal achievement in setting a goal to learn a new trick and then accomplishing it. It always FEELS so good.

5. Community & Social Aspects

Once you’ve mastered disasters (or any other tricks), you can pass on your knowledge and help others learn, fostering a sense of community.

Tricks like the disaster (especially variations) are talking points that can help you connect with other riders, share experiences, and learn from one another.

6. Health & Fitness

BMX riding is a great form of physical exercise, and practicing new tricks helps improve strength, coordination, and flexibility.

Also, learning new tricks requires concentration and mental focus, which can positively affect your overall mental well-being.

Further reading:

How To Disaster On A BMX (Step-By-Step Guide)

Below is my step-by-step guide to help you learn how to execute the disaster on a BMX bike.

Remember, safety is paramount, so make sure you’re wearing all the necessary protective gear and practicing in a safe environment.

Step 1: Warm Up & Get Comfortable On Your Bike

warm up for the disaster
Spend some time riding your BMX to get comfortable with its weight, balance, and feel. In other words, warm up.

Ensure you are confident performing basic tricks and maneuvers, as these foundational skills will help when attempting the disaster.

That’s why I recommend doing a few 180s first, as seen in the video above.

If you cannot do them yet, no worries; here’s my tutorial on how to 180 on a BMX.

Step 2: Find The Right Spot

Look for a quarter pipe or similar ramp with a smooth transition and a flat deck on top.

Ensure the ramp is in good condition, free of debris, and safe to ride.

However, I recommend you start with a bank. It is a super safe approach to getting the gist of disasters.

Step 3: Approach The Ramp

approach the ramp to execute disaster
Approach the ramp at a moderate speed; you need enough momentum to reach the coping but not so much that you lose control.

Still, it’s better to have slightly more speed than less.

Keep a steady and balanced stance on your bike as you approach.

Step 4: Initiate The Jump, Rotate & Stall

initiate the 180 stall disaster
As you reach the base of the ramp, start to lift your front wheel.

Use your body and handlebars to rotate the bike 180 degrees, so you are now facing back down the ramp.

Land with your back wheel on the deck of the ramp and your front wheel hanging over the edge, achieving a stalled position.

Step 5: Balance

balance in a disaster
Use your body, arms, and legs to find your balance in the stalled position.

Make slight adjustments as needed to maintain your balance.

Step 6: Exit The Trick

exit disaster option 1
Shift your weight slightly forward to prepare for dropping back into the ramp.

You can then either pull your rear end and roll into the ramp or jump into it with both wheels at the same time.
exit disaster option 2
I demonstrate both approaches on the bank and on the quarter pipe, so you understand it better.

Step 7: Practice & Refine

Practice the disaster repeatedly to build muscle memory and refine your technique.

Don’t hesitate to seek feedback from more experienced riders or even record yourself to analyze and improve your form.

For instance, I always film myself, so I can study my form in-depth.

Step 8: Stay Safe & Have Fun

Always wear your helmet, pads, and other protective gear.

And remember, learning a new trick takes time, so stay patient, keep practicing, and, most importantly, have fun.

Step 9: Explore Variations

Once you’ve mastered the basic disaster, experiment with variations and combinations to keep challenging yourself and expanding your skills.

You can throw in a barspin, do a 180 out or any other combination you feel comfortable doing.

Conclusion: Master Disasters!

And there you have it – your very own guide to mastering the disaster on a BMX.

I hope this journey has been as EXCITING for you as it has been for me. Remember, every pro was once a beginner, and it’s the passion, practice, and perseverance that make all the difference.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t nail it on the first try.

Keep practicing, stay patient, and most importantly, keep that spirit of fun alive. BMX is all about expressing yourself and enjoying the ride.

Further reading:

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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.