Are you a proud owner of BMX bike? Well great, owning a BMX bike is an asset. Having a BMX bike, it is quite natural to go overboard and try some tricks, stunts that would give you a thrilling experience. Since we understand how passionate you are about your BMX, we decided to help you with the common question that every rider has in their mind- how to bunny hop?
Bunny hop is a well-known bicycle stunt in which the BMX or mountain bike’s front and rear wheel jump in the air at the same time. It is believed that if you master bunny hop, you can do the other bike stunts in a jiffy!
Hone up your bunny hopping skills with our in-detail guidelines!
How to Bunny Hop like a Pro
There are two types of bunny hop- American bunny hop and English bunny hop. In American bunny hop, first, the front wheel goes up in the air and then with scooping technique the rear wheel lifts. Whereas in English bunny hop, the riders use clipless SPD pedals and lift both the front and rear wheel simultaneously.
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The bunny hop isn’t just a stunt, it even helps riders jump over their obstacles without slowing their bike. Sounds easy right? But making your bike soar up high in the air ain’t an easy feat. It requires good practice and proper physical control so that you can bunny hop like a pro.
So without further ado, let’s dive into mastering the bunny hop technique.
1. Body Basics
The key to master bunny hop is to understand your body!
Before taking the plunge in the air, the rider must know how to align his/her body. Firstly speed up your bike and stand out of your seat with your pedals leveled up to the ground.
When you stand for a manual it is quite natural to push your body backward. But if you keep your elbows and knee loose and bend at the waist, then your body would be positioned just above the bike seat and not behind it.
If you are unable to balance standing, then lower your bike seat and then practice cornering, pedaling in standing position. Doing this you would become proficient in standing.
2. Start with manual
Gear up to challenge yourself for manual. After balancing standing, it is time to move on to manual. To practice the pumped manual, you want to lift the front wheel high in the air with your arms relaxed and pushing the feet into the pedals. It is important to synchronize your bike with your center of gravity. So, first push your body weight into the front wheel and then pull up the handlebar.
Make sure not to pull backward!
When you pull up the handlebar, you tend to shift backward, utilize this and explode upwards. This way the front wheel of your bike lifts up in the air.
Don’t push your body weight backward. Remain balanced and drive from your hips and not arms or lower back.
3. Controlling the Front Wheel
Now that you have learned manual it is time to move ahead in bunny hop technique.
Here you have to make sure that you stand tall when your front wheel is in the air, and scoop upwards with your feet. Avoid pushing your body backward else the next step which is to bring the back wheel up in the air, might be a difficult task.
When practicing the front wheel in the air, ensure that you bring the wheels gently on the ground, so that you don’t hurt your body.
4. Working on Back Wheel
After mastering manual, you need to work on lifting the back wheel.
Firstly, shift your body weight towards the front wheel and then snap your heels up and apply pressure on pedal such that your toes are pointed downwards.
When you pedal, your legs naturally move in upward direction. Now use your leg muscles and scoop up the rear wheel upwards. Slightly raise up your shoulder and throw the bars forwards. Tada, the rear wheel lifts off the ground.
Keep practicing this step to master bunny hop.
Ensure that your knees are bent so that the back wheel tucks up in the air.
How to Practice Bunny Hops Easily
Bunny hop can look difficult, but if you want to master the trick, then you should work on each wheel independently.
It is easy to practice bunny hop in open grounds so firstly look out for an empty parking lots, playgrounds and then start with the manual. Once you master with manual go ahead and work on your back wheel. After working on the wheels individually, try clubbing them together. For this, you need to focus on your timing, speed, and control.
Bunny Hop Technique: Front Wheel & Back Wheel
In order to club both the techniques, you need to first lift the front wheel. When your front wheel is in mid air, hop off the ground with your feet on pedals and in backward scooping motion push the bar forward. Now both your front and back wheels would be up in the air. This is bunny hop technique.
Learn to control which wheel lands first. For a smooth landing, you need to land your back wheel first and then the front wheel.
Initially, bunny hop would be challenging, but over the time you would become a pro. Now try the technique with a small obstacle, say a stone, log of wood, this will improve your bunny hop skills. Increase your obstacles and then go a step ahead and try on trails, mountains.
It is best to practice wheel lift and hopping on parking lot lines.
Tips to Bunny Hop like a Pro
Now that you have learned the technique on how to bunny hop, you must even know these key tips that would help you to become a bunny hop pro.
1. For a smooth and controlled bunny hop perform on a bike with flat pedals.
2. Make sure that your BMX is of right size as you need the right space to pull up the bike and transfer weight.
3. It is easy to bunny hop on light weight bikes, so always practice on lightweight bikes.
4. When you land, make sure to bend your elbows and knee. It will help you absorb the ground impact.
5. Wear helmet, elbow and knee pads to protect yourself from injury.
6. To learn bunny hop faster, practice on a grassland.
Practice is the key for a successful bunny hop. So go ahead, take out your BMX bike and start practicing bunny hop right away. Show some stunts to your buddies and yes, be safe while practicing them. We hope your confusion on how to bunny hop is clear!
Now that you know about how to bunny hop, learn about Mountain biking Skills
If you are a bunny hop pro, do share your inputs in the comments below!