BMX: How To Manual

BMXing is an extreme sport with many tricks that require balance such that you have to learn BMX how to manual. Another term for this is "popping a Wheelie." A manual is a relatively simple trick that offers a challenge different from most other tricks. All tricks require a level of balance and control. A manual, however, requires more balance and control than most to be properly executed.

  1. Remember the gear. Even though a manual is not a very dangerous trick to carry out, there is still danger in the stunt, even for experienced riders. Another thing to consider is that in many states, it is law that all riders have headgear or helmets. That and some knee and elbow pads will ensure that if you do take a spill, it will not be as bad as it could be.
  2. Start on level ground. A manual is a stunt that can be preformed on many levels, ramps, bars, half- pipe and so on. For beginners, it is good to start on the ground. Find a place that has no obstacles to run into, and is flat and smooth. Now you're ready to learn how to manual.
  3. Get up some speed. Whereas in most tricks you may want to take it slow until you feel comfortable enough to execute them, a manual is strictly a trick of balance. It will be easier if you have some speed behind you to keep that balance. The more speed you have, the longer you will be able to hold the manual.
  4. Getting the lift. Once you are at a comfortable speed, it is time to lift the front tire off the ground and perform the manual. Sit back on the bike seat a little, firmly plant your feet to the pedals, and with a quick jerk of the arms, lift the front tire off the ground. Balance over the rear tire to hold the manual.
  5. Balance is key. A manual is a trick that is based on balancing your weight over the back tire of your bike. To accomplish this, a rider must have their feet firm on the pedals but not turning them. Coast with your body laying back over the back tire and your arms holding the handle bars up. If your tire begins to fall to the ground, lay farther back and pull the handle bars back to you more.

You will find that once you are comfortable with performing a manual, it will help to "pump" your bike to get more distance out of your manual. Pumping means to pull back and push forward the front of the bike's handle bars. This will help you keep your balance longer. Some experienced riders will even begin to pedal their bikes while still performing the manual. This will allow you to keep your speed and perform the manual as long as you can physically endure the trick.


"Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2: Official strategy guide" by Doug Walsh

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