Are you searching for the best step-by-step guide on how to smith grind on a BMX?
The BMX world is packed with jaw-dropping grinds, each demanding its own mix of balance, technique, and guts.
Among these is the smith grind, a blend of power and finesse, where riders lock onto rails and ledges with unparalleled precision.
Friendly tip: I don’t recommend learning smith grinds on a rail. (This comes later.)
If you’ve ever watched a seasoned BMXer effortlessly glide along an edge with rear wheel hovering and the other scraping metal (or plastic), you’ve witnessed the magic of the smith grind.
Ready to leave your own mark on the BMX scene with this iconic grind?
Dive into my comprehensive step-by-step guide and transform from a curious enthusiast to a grinding maestro.
Why Learn A Smith Grind
When you learn the smith grind, you’re not just adding another trick to your repertoire but making a statement.
It says you’ve got the finesse to balance on a rail or ledge with precision and the guts to challenge gravity in a dance of metal/plastic and rubber.
More personally, the satisfaction of mastering the smith grind is incomparable.
Beyond the cool factor, the journey of learning smiths enhances your overall BMX skills.
It forces you to UNDERSTAND your bike on a deeper level, IMPROVE your balance, and FINE-TUNE your approach to obstacles.
And trust me, once you nail it, you’ll feel more confident in your skills and itching to take on even more challenges.
So, why learn the smith grind?
Because it’s more than a trick; it’s a journey, a statement, and an exhilarating experience rolled into one.
And I genuinely believe you’ve got what it takes to master it.
Grab your BMX, head to the park (or your favorite street flat ledge), and make it happen! 🤘
How To Smith Grind On A BMX (Step-By-Step Guide)
Before you start learning the grind, first learn how to bunny hop on a BMX.
The smith grind is a timeless BMX trick that will elevate your BMX skills and earn you some street cred.
Let’s dive into the steps to make you a smith grind pro.
1. Gear Up Properly
Safety first: Ensure you’re wearing the appropriate protective gear. This includes a BMX helmet, knee, shin and elbow pads, and (optionally) gloves.
Bike prep: Double-check that your bike is in good condition, particularly the pegs, since you’ll use them to lock onto the ledge.
Feel free to check my ultimate guide for complete BMX bike maintenance.
2. Find A Suitable Ledge
Begin with a low and short ledge, preferably one you’re comfortable jumping onto.
A pegs-high ledge is more than enough.
As you progress, you can advance to higher and longer obstacles.
Don’t forget to wax it!
3. Master The Approach
First, I recommend you place your bike on the ledge in a smith grind position and then stand on it.
This will give you a little better idea of how the grind feels.
You can also use this method to learn how to exit the grind. But I’ll talk about exiting in step 6.
Before moving to the actual grind, I recommend you do two things:
- Do a smith stall first. But you’ll need to be comfortable with doing 90s or even better, 180s for this.
- Approach the ledge as you’d for the grind, but go extremely slow.
I demonstrate both extras before executing the grind in the video above.
4. The Jump & Lock-In
It’s time to send your first smith grind.
Are you ready?
Approach the ledge at a moderate speed, parallel to the ledge. You don’t need to come at it at a slight angle, which is recommended for a feeble grind.
As you approach the ledge, ensure to get your front peg on the side and your rear wheel on top of the ledge.
Do a bunny hop to get onto the ledge – but remember, don’t jump too high.
Hop just enough to lock in the smith grind, which your body weight distributed toward the back wheel.
5. Maintain Balance & Control
Keep your eyes focused ahead, not down. This will help maintain a straight line and better balance.
Bend your knees and lean your body “into” the ledge.
Leaning your body isn’t necessary on short ledges, but it’s a MUST on longer ones and especially rails to keep your rear wheel on top of the ledge (or rail), preventing it from falling down.
Keep your arms firm but not rigid, allowing you to make minor adjustments as needed.
6. Exiting The Grind
Exiting smith grind is slightly more challenging as it is a feeble or a double peg grind.
One of my favorite ways is to pop out of it.
But instead of lifting the front end (like you’d do in a normal bunny hop), it’s better to pop with both front and rear wheel simultaneously.
Another way to exit – if you grind all the way to the end – is to pull your front wheel up and then drop down with your rear wheel.
I prefer the first method, but you may sometimes find yourself in a situation when the second one is more applicable.
7. Practice Never Stops
It’s unlikely you’ll nail the smith grind on your first try, and that’s OKAY!
BMX is as much about resilience as it is about skill. Keep practicing, focus on your technique, and make minor adjustments based on each attempt.
Pay attention to your speed, the angle you hop onto the ledge, and weight distribution.
Small tweaks can make a big difference.
Note: When you will attempt a longer ledge or rail, you’ll need more speed to lock in more comfortably. Otherwise, your rear wheel will slip.
8. Seek Feedback
Record your attempts or ask fellow BMXers for feedback. Often, an outsider’s perspective can pinpoint areas for improvement that you might not notice yourself.
I usually film myself each time and then analyze it to see where I can improve.
Remember, the smith grind requires skill, timing, and confidence.
With persistence and the right approach, you’ll soon be grinding ledges with style and ease.
Conclusion: Master Smith Grinds!
Mastering the smith grind on your BMX isn’t just about nailing a trick — it’s about embracing the essence of what makes BMX riding so exhilarating: the challenge, the progression, and the thrill of achievement.
Let the smith grind testify to your dedication and passion as you continue your BMX journey.
Every scrape, every fall, and every smooth grind on a ledge (or rail) signifies growth, not just as a rider, but as an individual determined to overcome obstacles, both literal and metaphorical.
Now that you’ve got the steps down, it’s all about refining, practicing, and adding your unique flair to the grind.
Remember, BMX is as much an art as it is a sport.
Keep pushing your limits, stay safe, and enjoy every moment on that bike.
Here’s to many successful smith grinds in your future.
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