BMX has been tough recently. We all know a lot of riders have been cut, companies have struggled, and sales are down overall. So why does keeping a scene alive effect all this? Firstly, if a scene dies and one rider quits that is one less rider buying parts, that is less money for a company, that in turn means less money to develop new products, pick up new team riders, and produce new videos that get you stoked. So here are some ideas to keep scenes alive.

Photos provided to us by Isaac Lesser.  Left photo by Bommel, bottom left by Commit BMX

1. Friendship - This is the number one thing which keeps scenes alive. Riding with your friends is so much better than riding on your own. When you ride with friends you can feed off each other’s riding, help each other out when something goes wrong, and just generally have a really good session.

2. Games of Bike - Everyone has a little competitiveness in them, even if they deny it. Nothing is better than a game of bike. You learn new things, try silly things you would not normally think about, and it will help improve your overall riding. Some prime examples of this are shown in our Game of Bike events.

Adam Galt at the Vital BMX UK jam - Photo: Harrison Wilce

3. Jams - One thing to drive a scene is to organise a BMX jam. It’s the simplest way to bring new riders to your scene, inspire the younger generation to see what is so good about BMX, and it’s a great way for kids to win some sweet prizes.

"You are not hosting the X-Games"

A good way to run a jam is to scrap off the standard one minute run scenario, we know everyone wants to prove themselves from time to time, but you are not hosting the X-Games and the best jams are the ones which involve everyone at the same time. It teaches riders respect for each other, the politeness of taking it in turns, and everyone gets stoked when someone lands something they’ve been trying for the past 20 minutes.

Don't forget to always plan your jams several months in advance. Get in contact with companies and distributors early to secure your prizes and make sure you advertise it well in advance. I have seen people spend months organising a jam only to leave the advertising right up until the last minute, this means people are rushed into making a decision whether to attend or not and nine times out of ten they choose the later.

Lending a tool goes a long way

4. Being helpful - This is a simple one really. If a little kid comes up to you and asks you on some tips on learning to drop in, trying a trick, or just needs some basic knowledge on how he can fix his bike. Be a good person and help them out. If we are all rude and shove off the next generation, what makes you think they will want to stick around and ride where people don't give a damn about someone else and only think for themselves.

5. Travel - You and your friends obviously will get bored of riding your own spots if you are there every other day, so get travelling. Jump on a train, share car journeys, or even fly somewhere. Travelling to new and original spots and skateparks will open your eyes to new lines at your own. Travelling is one of the best things BMX can offer you and your friends. We all know that when we look at a set of stairs our minds go into a frenzy of what’s possible on your bike.

Anything else you can think of? Drop a comment and give some insight.

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1 comment
  • Patrick SJ

    5/12/2014 10:26 AM

    I'd reckon filming is an important part of growing the scene as well. I would have no idea that scenes in certain cities across America existed if it weren't for a random mixtape i had seen. Videos give exposure to the scene so that when people do travel, they know to make your city a necessary stop