wikiHow to Build Dirt Jumps

Knowing how to build good dirt jumps easily and safely for BMX or mountain bikes makes jumping more fun, and will save you money since you won't have to buy a ramp. You can do major tricks on these ramps, that's the whole point of building them!


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    Mound rocks and logs in two piles and add dirt on top of it about as high as your skill level (2-3 feet for beginners and 5-9 feet for experts, the gap (if you feel like you are certain to crash, do a jump instead) needs to be 2–5 feet (0.6–1.5 m) for beginners and 8–15 feet (2.4–4.6 m) for experts). The takeoff ramp needs to be curved up to a steep lip about 45-75 degrees at the top, or else you overshoot and crash.
    • Remember that when you compact the dirt mounds, they get smaller. One good way not to push the wheelbarrow all the time is to put one and half times what you desire to have as the height of the jump (for example, a beginner that wants a jump 3 feet high actually needs 4.5 feet of dirt because of the loss from compaction) so you won't waste time shoveling again and pushing that wheelbarrow every time you need a little dirt.
    • Make the lip of the jump flat so you can get as much air as possible.
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    Compact the ramps down by hitting them with a flat spade or stamping on them. Another good idea is to use a roller this will help compact your jump and make them smoother and better. If the spaded shovel doesn't help just get a compacter and pack it down.
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    Add water to the dirt jump so it doesn't become dusty and break apart in clumps, and so it's easier to pack down. In addition, it makes the dirt more malleable..
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    Make multiple jumps in a row, also known as a rhythm section. Make them progressively bigger. Add berms and rollers to maintain and gather speed.
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    Focus on a set up that flows. If in a tight area, just land & slow down, turn around, and do it again.


  • A good tip is to compact the dirt each time you put it on, then the jump will be firmer and faster. Resulting in big air and long lasting ramps
  • Build on a slight hill.
  • Try to dig up your dirt at the sides of your trails, making your holes in places where the water will run off, if your jumps get flooded they can be ruined in only a couple days.
  • Be careful not to add too much water to the dirt jumps, or it will turn into mud and lose its shape.
  • If you build berms, try to incorporate trees into the structure as they lend to the durability of the berm
  • Reshape the jumps after you ride them a few times so they are better for natural flow.
  • Using a garden rake (with tines) in between the lip of the catch and the lip of the previous jumps catch can smooth the pit out and helps to eliminate low spots and high spots, otherwise known as bumpy rides.
  • Try to not cut down trees, they give shade during the summer and during the winter, it tends to get hotter in the woods for some weird reason.. like the Bermuda Triangle. You want the landing to be a little higher so you land softer
  • For extra dirt, dig dips in between landings and take offs, this will make your trails nice and smooth and will help with more dirt. Another thing you can do is to sprinkle some concrete powder over the ramp and also in the wheelbarrows with the dirt this will insure that when you add some water it will turn to concrete and strengthen the dirt ramp.
  • Make sure the take off has been exposed to water (so that the mud is packed in), but don't ride it when it is wet.
  • Always wear protection
  • Make a pit in the ground somewhere (if needed) to use. If your trail is far out in the woods, you will have a nice place to go if you need to, but then cover the pit so your trail doesn't stink or get messy.
  • Make a pair of jumps to start off with then extend them to 4- 6 jumps or if your just starting have 1 or 2 in a row.
  • If the dirt you are using has rocks, use an old metal shelf or metal cage door from a dog cage to filter large rocks out of the mixture when you throw the dirt through it.
  • Leave a gap at the side of the jumps to push back up to the top.


  • Watch for passers by, if your trail is passed by people walking through the woods they may tell other people about it. If that happens your trail might be in danger so guard it.
  • Stop pedaling at the top of the ramp. Make sure your pedals are flat.
  • Pull up at the top of the ramp.
  • Don't be a selfish jumper.
  • Don't be afraid to share your trail, if other people come and try to use it without your permission be wise and share.
  • Don't put pits between jumps either because if you fall in it you'll probably wipe out and break your arm but don't let that ruin your crazy courageous streak!
  • Be careful not to build jumps too big, its best to start off little and make them bigger with time, or increase in size along a line of jumps. Also its best to wear a cup if you're a guy because you may land wrong and badly pinch your manhood.
  • There are people that want you to fall in a mud bath.
  • Don't make the transition of your jump too steep or you will just go up and back down the ramp again, and that wouldn't be very fun unless your a crazy dirt vert rider like Dave Mirra.
  • Don't dig holes for dirt too close too your ramps on the sides because if the wind blows from the side you may drift into them and fall.
  • Land on your back tire first. If your front tire goes really high, its OK, just don't be scared.

Things You'll Need

  • Bike
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Empty field
  • Partners
  • Lots of good dirt with no rocks
  • A good run up
  • A good helmet
  • Saw
  • Logs
  • Cinder blocks (they can be used for filler as well)
  • Camp axe. can be used to hack up those pesky ultra big branches
  • Rake, use this to smooth out low and high spots in your pits to lessen a potential bumpy ride.

Article Info

Categories: Dirt Bikes