Do you want to learn how to icepick grind on a BMX?
First, a big high-five for diving into the exciting world of BMX tricks.
Remember the first time you watched someone effortlessly glide on a rail or ledge with just their rear peg?
That’s the icepick grind for you.
It might seem a tad daunting at first, but guess what?
With some dedication, practice, and my step-by-step guide, you’ll be NAILING that icepick grind in no time.
When I first learned the icepick grind – about 20 years ago – I tried to imagine myself doing a manual but on my rear peg. And it WORKED!
Thus, you will need to have some basics done to master it, like bunnyhop, feeble grind and manual.
Don’t worry, here are my tuts for each:
Why Learn An Icepick Grind
Learning the icepick grind, like many other BMX tricks, offers several benefits and reasons for a BMX rider:
1. Skill Progression
The icepick grind is a foundational trick that, once mastered, can serve as a stepping stone to more advanced tricks and combinations.
By understanding its balance and mechanics, you can more easily adapt to and learn other grinding combos.
Skateparks and streets present a myriad of obstacles.
Being adept at VARIOUS tricks, including the icepick grind, you can take your BMX sessions to the next level.
3. Balance & Control
The icepick specifically hones a rider’s balance and control as you must maintain a semi-vertical position on just the rear peg.
This not only looks impressive but also enhances your overall stability on the bike, which is beneficial for all other aspects of BMX riding.
The MORE tricks you learn, the MORE bike control you’ll have (and the less bike will control you).
4. Personal Achievement
There’s a unique sense of accomplishment in learning and perfecting a new BMX trick.
The icepick grind, with its distinct visual appeal and technical requirements, is especially rewarding once mastered.
I still remember how stoked I was when nailing a decent ledge length, grinding on my back peg.
5. Competitive Edge
For those who compete in BMX events, having a wide repertoire of tricks, including technical ones like the icepick grind, can give them an EDGE over competitors.
It allows for more varied routines and higher scoring potential.
6. Street Credibility
In the BMX community, certain tricks serve as milestones of a rider’s skill level.
Executing an icepick grind confidently can earn a rider respect and admiration from peers.
However, this isn’t why you’d want to learn the grind. Sure, it feels nice, but you should aim more for the point four I talked about above – personal achievement.
I am my own biggest competition, and I give myself all the cred and admiration I need.
7. Fun Factor
Let’s not forget, BMX riding is as much about personal enjoyment as it is about skill.
The THRILL of landing an icepick grind for the first time, or the 100th time, adds to the fun and passion that drive many to the sport.
Hey, I’ve been doing icepick grind for 20+ years, and I still enjoy it SO MUCH.
How To Icepick Grind On A BMX (Step-By-Step Guide)
Here’s a beginner-friendly step-by-step guide to mastering the icepick grind on a BMX:
Choose the right spot: Start with a low, stable rail or ledge – I recommend you start with a ledge. (See what are the common skatepark elements.)
Don’t forget to wax it (the more, the better)! (This is the best BMX wax.)
Warm-up: Besides doing a full body warm-up do a few bunny hops, manual and feeble grinds.
Pro tip: You must have manuals on lock otherwise, it’ll be hard for you to learn icepick grinds.
Without knowing how to manual, you can still do a “kiss the ledge/rail,” hitting it with your back peg only slightly at the edge of the ledge/rail. (See video above.)
Step 1: Mastering Balance
Start by learning to balance on your rear peg.
For this, you’ll need a flat ledge. Sorry, I forgot to film it.
Lift your BMX into an icepick stall, stand on your pedals and try to balance on the rear peg. (Hint: use an unwaxed ledge.)
This helps you get a feel for the weight distribution required during the icepick grind.
Step 2: Approach & Speed
Begin by riding parallel to your chosen rail or ledge.
Maintain a moderate speed. Too slow, and you might not cover any distance; too fast, and you might lose control.
Step 3: Jumping Onto The Rail/Ledge
- As you approach the rail/ledge, lean your body slightly backward.
- Jump up and aim to land your rear peg onto the rail/ledge. Use your arms and legs to control the bike’s position – like in a manual.
- Keep your focus on the end of the rail or ledge, looking where you want to go rather than where you currently are.
Pro tip: Warm up with a manual on top of the ledge first because it’s very similar to an icepick grind.
As mentioned earlier, your first goal would be to learn how to “kiss” the ledge/rail with your back peg.
Get comfortable with this first – and remember, don’t slam the rail/ledge too hard; be gentle.
From there on, aim at covering more and more of the rail/ledge.
You can start by doing a one foot long icepick grind, then two feet, three, and so forth.
Step 4: Maintaining Balance
- Your body should be over the bike, using your arms and legs as shock absorbers and balance controllers.
- Adjust your weight as necessary to keep the bike vertical. The goal is to maintain a straight line along the rail or ledge.
I always had a manual in mind when learning icepick because they’re very similar.
If you lean too far in or out of the rail/ledge, you’ll likely not manage to get all the way to the end.
That’s why it’s better to approach the rail/ledge parallel and not at an angle.
Step 5: Exiting The Icepick Grind
As you near the end of the rail or ledge, prepare to dismount.
Use a slight hop to release the peg from the rail, landing both wheels simultaneously and riding away smoothly.
You can also just grind to the end of the rail/ledge and drop down of it.
But learning how to hop out of an icepick grind will be necessary if you later combine it with other tricks.
- Practice: The icepick grind requires practice and patience. Don’t be disheartened by initial failures. It’s all part of the learning curve. I still remember how long it took me to get the gist of it, but the reward was (and still is) priceless.
- Body weight: Ensure your weight is centered over the bike, not leaning too far forward or backward. Imagine doing a manual.
- Watch & learn: Observe experienced riders. Videos and in-person observations can offer insights into technique and form. That’s why I filmed the icepick grind multiple times and from different angles. But you can also film yourself and see where you need to improve – or ask your riding buddy to help you out.
Remember, like any BMX trick, mastering the icepick grind takes time, patience, and perseverance.
Celebrate small victories along the way and ensure you’re always practicing safely.
Conclusion: Master Icepick Grinds!
And there you have it – the exhilarating world of the icepick grind unpacked just for you.
As you embark on this BMX journey, always remember that every pro out there started with the basics, just like you are now.
It’s the bumps, the falls, and the triumphant moments of nailing that grind that make this journey incredibly fulfilling.
Never hesitate to revisit these steps, take things at your own pace, and above all, enjoy the process.
The BMX community is supportive, and we’re all here CHEERING you on.
So, keep that spirit high, those wheels spinning, and before you know it, you’ll be sharing your own icepick grind tips with the next generation of riders.
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