Freestyle Action Sports are HEALTHY activities for your kids!
The following information will help you understand what you, and your child are getting into.
- Understanding Freestyle Athletics and it's many forms can be challenging, BMX has at least 5 common disciplines on it's own
- Dirt Jumping, Racing, Flat Land, Park, and Street are the most common disciplines and few bikes are set-up the same
- It is a dangerous sport, which can be mitigated by wearing protective gear and riding at the individuals skill level.
- There are many places to ride a bicycle like the Olympic Pro's but in your own neighborhood is a great start.
- There are many written and unwritten rules at freestyle training facilities whether public or private and it's good to get to know them.
- Most communities do not have access to adequate training and facilities.
Everyone has a perspective on "How to do it" but it's up to you as the rider to figure that out.
Another Tip: Proper sizing is extremely important!
Because bikes come in many shapes and sizes, we suggest you do some research with our friend and media mogul The Union, to learn about the current trend in freestyle bicycle sizing, and types. We recommend starting youth with quality BMX bikes that are designed and built with rider progression in mind. Suspension can be great, however it can impede the lessons of pumping, carving, and jumping which can all result in serious injury.
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Last Tip: Safety is Important!
Freestyle cycling can be an expensive sport, but the money you spend on safety gear is the difference in life and death., so choose your head protection wisely. The industry standards have changed over the years and it's important to know which helmets stand up to the abuse and which ones wont! Like a few professional athletes, I found out the hard way. Make sure your helmet is CPSC and ASTM Certified.
Here is a video explaining some of the latest standards for helmets:
Don't stop there, protect their body. Every cyclist will take a few serious falls, keeping your body protected can help reduce the chances of serious injuries. There are many options to choose from but we recommend these three at a minimum: Knee/Shin/Ankle (Combo), Elbow, and Gloves. Stop by your local shop to get properly fitted and outfitted.
You must support your child and let them have fun!
Always encourage them to ride with friends, and remember, accidents happen. The reality of this sport is that it encourages social engagement, develops risk management skills, is great for fitness, and it requires a hyper focus that can help even the most hyper-active youth.
Though you can't eliminate all of the hazards, remind them to ride at their skill level as this results in 80% of injuries in action sports.
Teach them the right way: Stay protected, safe your own life.
If you're ready to get yourself, or your child into freestyle cycling, go see our friends at:
Action Rideshop in Mesa:
or Gordy's in North Phoenix/Glendale: