You finally got that sweet ride you’ve wanted for a couple months now, but you’ve never actually rode BMX before. So before you show up with some buddies and have no idea what anyone is talking about, check out this short compendium of BMX slang. These aren’t technical terms, just words and phrases you’ll hear in the wild. Also, remember to say “Dude” a lot.
This isn’t comprehensive and there are tons more, so if you have a phrase unique to you and your friends, leave it in a comment below!
Alligator Pit: (n) Any gap that is particularly difficult and could seriously injure or otherwise kill someone. “You really wanna jump that alligator pit, dude?”
Bank: (n) A slope or hill the rider can use to perform tricks. “Use that bank over there for a bit of air.”
Bank-to-wall: (n) A slope that inclines into a vertical surface like a wall. “There’s a pretty nice bank-to-wall over by the barber shop.”
Barspin: (n) A trick where the rider rotates the handlebars 360 degrees into the original position. “Dude nailed a gnarly barspin off that bank.”
Biff: (v) to crash. “That dude biffed on that barspin.”
Biker: (n) A motorcyclist. “That biker was yelling at me yesterday.”
Blow: (v) to lose your footing on the pedals. “Land carefully or you’ll blow off the pedals.”
Bunnyhop: (n) lifting the front and rear wheels off the ground. The starting point for any trick. “Do a little bunnyhop and go from there.”
Burly: (adj.) doing something that requires greater strength or experience. “That was a burly grind.”
Butcher: (adj.) someone who is constantly breaking parts on their bike. “He’s a total butcher.”
Buttery: (adj) clean and smooth execution of a trick or combo. “His combos were pretty buttery.”
Case: (v) to land short of a jump or target, often rattling the rider and probably hurting your tenders. “Dude cased the landing on that last jump”
Clean: (adj.) to land smoothly and without incident. “Clean landing there, Joe.”
Combo: (n) a series of tricks performed in sequence. “Hanson laid down some intense combos.”
Dead Sailor: (n) A trick that goes wrong and results in the rider staying still in the air and landing. “He nailed the first jump, but did a dead sailor on the second.”
Dialed: (adj.) when a rider executes something consistently and perfectly. “I can’t believe how dialed Doug’s can-cans are.”
Dubs: (n) twenty-inch bicycle wheels, the standard for BMX. “I got some fresh dubs over the winter.”
Eat: (v) to crash violently. “That dude just ate it, dude.”
Endo: (n) when the front wheel is stopped and the rider tumbles over the handlebars. “I totally did an endo back there.” see also Flip, OTB, Scorpion.
Flip: (v) to tumble over the handlebars. “I totally just flipped the bars.” see also Endo, OTB, Scorpion.
Flow: (n) how smoothly a rider transitions from ramps or obstacles. “He has excellent flow through the half-pipe.”
Gnar: (n) a. Anything that is particularly cool or awesome. “Dude, that trick was gnar!” b. Any thing or substance that is particularly disgusting. “There is some kind of gnar on my shoes.”
Huck: (v) to lazily attempt something. “I’m just going to huck it and see what happens.”
Hucker: (n) one who hucks. “Dude’s a hucker.”
Kill: (v) to do well on something. “He absolutely killed the half-pipe yesterday.”
Launch: (n) any obstacle the rider uses to help propel them into the air. “Use that bank as a launch!”
Loop Out: (v) to fall backward. “He looped out at the end of his barspin.”
Mission: (n) riding under the cover of night, typically to avoid security and police. “You want to go on a mission to that rail we found?”
Ogre: (n) a giant douche-bag. “Jerry is the biggest ogre this side of the river.”
OTB: (adj.) acronym for going over the handlebars. “He landed awkward and went OTB.” see also Endo Flip, Scorpion.
Pinch the Biscuit: (v) to grip the seat with your legs during a barspin. “Make sure to pinch the biscuit or you’re going to eat it.”
Poser: (n) someone who acts like they know what they’re doing, when in reality they do not. “Jerry is the biggest poser this side of the river.”
Pull: (v) to successfully land a trick. “He pulled that barspin pretty well.”
Sandbagger: (n) someone who enters a contest at a lower skill level than they should with the intent of winning easily. “That guy Jerry is a pretty obvious sandbagger.
Scorpion: (n) a nasty fall wherein the rider tumbles over the handlebars as the rear wheels lift up behind him. “He did a scorpion on that trail the other day.” see also, Endo, OTB, Scorpion.
Shred: (v) to ride intensely. “There’s nothing like shredding on a Saturday morning.”
Shredder: (n) one who shreds. “Ryan is a total shredder, dude.”
Sketch: (adj.) suspect, nerve wracking, or dangerous. “I don’t know man, that ramp looks pretty sketch.”
Snake: (v) to cut in front of someone, interrupting their run or causing an accident. “He fell because Jerry snaked in front of him.” (n) someone who betrays their fellow rider. “He took up skateboarding? What a snake.”
Squatter: (n) one who sits or stands in places they should not like on a ramp or launch. “Jerry has become quite the squatter lately.”
Throwing Bombs: (v) landing and blowing a tire. “He hit the landing funny and threw bombs.”
True: (n) when wheels are straight and rigid. “My wheels are in true.” (v) to set one’s wheels into a straight and rigid position. “The shop owner trued my wheels for free.”
Tweaked: (adj.) as perfect as it can be. “Donald has tweaked his tailwhip.”
Tweaker: (n) a weird or annoying person who no one has the heart to say they don’t like him. “That tweaker from Fort Wayne is over on the half-pipe.”
Wood-Pushers: (n) a derogatory term for skateboarders. “I’m tired of wood-pushers taking over the park.”
Now you’re ready to head out into the world with your new bike and make some friends! Remember, don’t be an ogre and respect your elders. Ride on!