BMX Super Cross World Cup Manchester 2018
Jargon Buster: BMX

Jargon Buster: BMX

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From pumping to the snap (no, they’re not dance moves), we teach you the language of BMX.

BMX is full of terms specific to the sport – here’s how to keep up with the commentator if you’re watching the opening round of the world cup this weekend in Manchester.

Fastest out of the gate
Riders start each race in the gate at the top of the eight metre start ramp. The rider who gets out of the gate first, has the snap. First rider through turn one has the holeshot.

1, 2, 3, 4
In commentary numbers are used to quickly refer to the position of riders in the race (instead of first second, third). They also refer to the number of each straight on the track.

When riders aren’t jumping through the air, they aren’t just simply rolling through the lumps on the track. They are working the bike through the transitions to gain more speed – that’s a skill called pumping.

In the banked turns – called berms – riders can overtake and gain an advantage by going from high on the berm, before cutting low. It’s a longer way round but can be faster and a way to overtake – a manoeuvre known as the high-low.

To gain speed in BMX, you have to negotiate each jump smoothly. Landing on the downslope of the jump creates a smooth transition and gives riders more speed. If you hit the flat by coming up short, then you’re casing the jump and losing valuable speed.