The Short Answer is:
The average annual salary for BMX riders in the US is $70,000. However, many pro BMX riders make less than this due to the difficulty of obtaining sponsorships and other sources of income.
Living like a rock star, carefree, and enjoying life to the fullest is a desire many share. However, is it a realistic aspiration for BMX riders seeking to earn a living?
While it’s true that sponsorship deals with bike, shoe, and energy drink companies can bring in significant wealth, can these earnings be relied upon to cover life’s basic necessities?
If you’re curious about “How Much Do BMX Riders Make?” and the earning potential of BMX riders, read on to discover the answer.
Table of Contents
Overview of BMX Riding as a Professional Sport
BMX (Bicycle Motocross) is a sport that has been around since the late 1960s in California, when it was inspired by the popular motorcycle sport of motocross.
It is a family-oriented and participant-driven sport, with riders ranging in age from 2 to 70.
BMX racing involves riders competing on dirt tracks with rollers, jumps, and turns to challenge their skills.
BMX Freestyle is a competition rather than a race, where riders perform two-minute runs executing a sequence of tricks on ramps, walls, box jumps, and spines throughout the park.
BMX racing has had many sanctioning bodies over its 40-year history as an organized sport, and professional rankings exist for both men and women.
To become an “A” pro rider, one must hold at least an Expert skill level rating and be at least 16 years old to be issued a Pro Membership card by USA BMX.
There are also many notable BMX racers who have left their mark in the sport.
BMX riding is challenging because riders must use their skills to overcome obstacles, but it can also be dangerous due to the scale of competitions that have been held around the world.
Despite this risk factor, BMX remains an exciting activity for both participants and spectators alike.
How BMX Riders Make Money: Sponsorships and Contests
BMX riders can make money through sponsorships and contests. Sponsorships from companies, brands, and organizations can provide a substantial source of income for BMX riders.
Professional riders who are sponsored by these entities can receive lucrative contracts that are worth much more than the salary of an average BMX rider.
Additionally, talented performers can earn substantial payouts from freestyle shows. The amount that BMX riders make depends on many factors such as the type of competition they are participating in, their skill level, and whether or not they have sponsorships from major brands.
BMX riders may also be able to make money through crowdfunding platforms such as MAKEACHAMP’s platform which opens up sponsorship opportunities to a wider audience.
Understanding BMX Riding Sponsorship Deals: What They Are and How They Work
Understanding BMX riding sponsorship deals involves knowing what companies are looking for in a sponsored rider and how to approach them.
Companies want riders who have marketability, dependability, respectability, and preparedness.
They also want riders who can act as ambassadors of the sport of BMX racing.
When seeking a BMX sponsorship, riders should put in lots of time and effort to master their craft, get to know people within the industry around them, and treat their BMX sponsorship like a business transaction.
Riders should also avoid badmouthing previous sponsors or other companies while trying to get sponsored.
Top Earning BMX Riders: Who They Are and How Much They Make
The top earning BMX riders vary depending on their income sources, which can include sponsorships, prize money, and merchandise sales.
According to Comparably, the salaries of BMX riders in the US range from $19,910 to $187,200 with a median salary of $44,680.
The highest paid BMXers and BMX Freestylers of all time are:
- RL Osborn ($350k),
- Stu Thomsen ($250k),
- Greg Hill ($200k),
- Eddie Fiola (unknown amount),
- Mike Dominguez (unknown amount), and
- Dave Mirra (estimated net worth of $15 million).
However, these figures are estimates as exact salaries are not publicly available.
The average salary for a pro BMXer is around $70,000, but this is not enough to live on a rock star lifestyle.
Prize money is one of the best-paying events each year for a lucky BMX biker that has a chance to participate in them.
The overall winner can take home a large sum of money depending on the event.
Differences in Earnings Between BMX Disciplines: Park, Street, Dirt, and Vert
Earnings for BMX riders vary depending on the discipline they specialize in. Street, park, dirt, and vert are the four main disciplines of freestyle BMX.
Street riders typically focus on making videos for DVDs and YouTube videos on behalf of their sponsors.
Park riders use lightweight bikes mainly used in skate parks and vert ramps, while dirt riders use thicker tread tires to increase grip on loose surfaces.
Flatland bikes differ from typical BMX bikes due to their geometry, and street BMX bikes have sleeves attached to the axle that enable the rider to balance the bike on various obstacles.
Earnings for BMX riders depend on their success in competitions, sponsorships, and other sources of income such as merchandise sales.
What It Takes to Become a Professional BMX Rider
Becoming a professional BMX rider requires dedication, practice, and determination. There is no exact guideline for becoming a pro BMX rider, but regular practice and a strong desire to succeed will help you reach the pinnacle of success in BMX riding.
It is important to dress like a pro and master risky skills such as bunnyhopping. It is also important to connect with other pro riders and understand the demands of getting sponsored in BMX riding.
Additionally, it is important to be aware of the different proficiency levels in BMX racing and set goals for yourself that you can work towards.
Finally, it is important to remember that becoming a professional BMX rider takes time and effort. If your only motivation for riding is to become pro or sponsored, you may not last long in many cases.
Building a Personal Brand: The Role of Social Media in BMX Riding
Building a personal brand through social media is an important part of being a successful BMX rider.
Social media can be used to create an identity for the individual rider, as well as to demonstrate their worth to potential sponsors and investors.
It can also be used to provide content for social media and build a presence in the BMX community.
Self-funding travel is an important step in proving one’s worth to a company, and it shows that the rider is serious about their career.
Filming and documenting sessions can also help riders build their personal brand, as it provides content for social media.
Brand communities are valuable marketing strategies, as people are often more interested in the social links that come from brand affiliations than they are in the brands themselves.
Online social networks are key to building these communities, as they provide an environment where members can interact with each other and share their experiences.
Running a BMX website or blog is another way for riders to build their personal brand. It requires expertise in web design, SEO, social media, photography, interviewing, writing, video making, marketing and more.
However, it can be difficult to make a living from running such sites due to the amount of work involved.
Most people who run BMX websites have multiple jobs in order to sustain themselves within the industry.
The Life of a Professional BMX Rider: Travel, Training, and Competition
Professional BMX riders have a lifestyle that involves travel, training, and competition. Travel is necessary for riders to attend competitions around the world.
Training is essential for riders to stay in top physical condition and hone their skills.
Finally, competition is the ultimate goal of professional BMX riders, as they strive to win titles and medals at events such as the X Games and UCI BMX World Championships.
In addition to physical training, professional BMX riders must also focus on mental preparation. This includes setting goals and visualizing success.
Professional BMX rider Josh Perry explains that his goal was always to become a professional athlete and win competitions.
He also emphasizes the importance of recreating one’s identity when starting fresh in a new sport or career.
The Challenges of Making a Living as a BMX Rider: Injury, Burnout, and Age
Making a living as a BMX rider can be challenging due to the risk of injury, burnout, and age.
Injuries are common in BMX due to falls and crashes, with 95.7% of riders surveyed having suffered an injury of varying severity.
The technical ability to overcome obstacles is key for performance, and riders must rely on their glycolytic and phosphagen systems for quick bursts of energy.
Burnout can also be a challenge for BMX riders due to the physical demands of the sport. Training in the gym or playing on multiple Spring Hockey Teams can lead to burnout, so it is important for riders to find ways to mix up their training regimen and keep it fun.
Age can be a factor when making a living as a BMX rider. As athletes get older, they may not have the same physical capabilities as younger riders, which can make it difficult to compete at the highest level.
Additionally, spinal cord injuries can end an athlete’s professional career abruptly, making it difficult for them to make a living from BMX riding.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Much BMX Riders Make
What companies sponsor BMX riders?
There are several companies that sponsor BMX riders, including Fly Racing, Red Bull, WeThePeople, and J&R Bicycles.
How do BMX riders qualify for contests?
BMX riders can qualify for contests by gaining points from competitions sanctioned by the UCI BMX.
Riders must be at least 7 years of age to compete in a BMX Freestyle Competition, and 3 riders are needed to form a legal class.
Automatically qualified riders for the world championships cannot be replaced by another rider.
Lastly, Balance Bike may be offered to riders over the age of 5 and through the Competition Committee.
Can you make a living as a professional BMX rider?
It is possible to make a living as a professional BMX rider, with the average salary estimated to be around $70,000 per year in 2023.
However, salaries can range from $19,910 to $187,200 depending on experience and sponsorship. Professional riders may earn more than others depending on their success and popularity.
How important is social media for BMX riders to make money?
Social media is an important platform for BMX riders to make money in 2023. Riders can use it to promote their apparel and other products, as well as build their identity and gain sponsorships.
Competitions are also a great way to earn sponsorships, but it is important for riders to understand where they are in the sport before making any buying decisions.
How long do BMX riders typically have a professional career?
Professional BMX riders typically have a career that ranges from 17 to over 40 years old.
Riders need to be talented and know how to market themselves in order to become pros.
Professional BMX riders can have successful careers, such as John Buultjens who made his name and fame by riding and designing BMX bikes, or Kieran Reilly who is currently pushing the boundaries of the sport.
However, some riders choose to leave the professional lifestyle due to various reasons.
In conclusion, the average salary of a BMX rider in the US is around $70,000 per year. It’s important to note that this figure may vary depending on factors such as experience, skill level, and sponsorship deals. While the financial gain may not be the primary motivation for many BMX riders, the sport can offer numerous benefits such as personal growth and development.