Digging & trail maintenance at 9th Street BMX:
Rules, guidelines and common sense

Thanks for your interesting digging at 9th Street BMX. The trails have been hand built by locals over the past 25 years. All by hand, no bulldozers, no paid labor, no free dirt. Basic trail maintenance The lips and landings will get dry and crack. This erosion will detoriate the jump without maintenance. Gather a small pile of dry dust/dry fine dirt in the pit between the lip and landing. Sweep that dust/dry fine dirt into the cracks of the lips and landing. Moderately spray the lip and landing with water. Sweep more dust/dry fine dirt in the cracks and cover the watered area with dust/dry fine dirt. Ride your work in immeadiately to pack in the dirt. Resurfacing lips/landings Scar/scratch the existing surface Water heavily Layer with new (moist) soil to the dersired depth- minimum of 2 inches. Rake the new soil level and smooth. No bumps or depressions. Remove any clods or rocks. Pack the new soil evenly with a flat head shovel or 2"*6" piece of wood/stud. Lighlty water. Ride it in. Where to get dirt? Don't just dig a hole anywhere, make sure it is out of the way of any trails. Make sure it is good dirt, not sandy or rocky. In a safe place so one will fall or wreck into it. Slope the edges of the hole for safety. Don't disturb tree roots. Always keep drainage in mind, if you can drain a pit between a ip and landing that is ideal.
    9th street bmx diggers union logo
  • Never tear down an existing jump, berm, roller, obstacle or project - have respect for other people’s hard work.
  • Never steal dirt from one jump to fix another – don’t cannibalize.
  • Finish any digging project you start promptly or don’t start.
  • Make sure the dirt you are using to maintain or build jumps has similar moisture content, dry dirt doesn’t stick to wet dirt and vice versa. When maintaining a jump, spray the old surface with water before adding new dirt to help adhesion.
  • Pack the dirt you throw evenly, smoothly and level as soon as possible.
  • Don’t stack dirt on trees – it’s not healthy for the trees & the Urban Forestry Service doesn’t approve and has the power to enforce and remove the dirt from the trees.
  • Put the tools up and turn the water off when you are through working each day. Tools are expensive and will get stolen. Clean up after yourself.
  • Think Drainage. The pits between the jumps fill with water after a rain. Ideally each pit should drain to a deeper digging hole which is in a safe area near the jump/pit.
  • Don’t dig holes in unsafe areas of the park; no pot holes, tiger traps or unsafe pits. People can get hurt falling into the hole.
  • We have a hundred jumps that need love and not enough volunteers/diggers. Focus on getting all the existing jumps running before worrying about building new jumps. Don’t start a new jump/line without talking to the locals/team/non-profit group and getting group support.
  • Be open minded, respectful and considerate when digging. People use different digging techniques, there is no specific method of building and maintaining BMX trails. However, the end result will determine if the technique was successful.
  • If you would like to learn how to dig or digger better, please visit our Mentoring page.
  • If you would like to volunteer for our trail maintenance days, please visit our Events page.

Thank you for your help!

9thStreetBMX Broken shovels

Antique bottle collection from digging
9thStreetBMX Moon's bottle dug up

Antique marble collection from digging
9thStreetBMX Moon's marbles from digging

9th Street BMX Local dig session
9thStreetBMX diggers at work

Old School 9th Street BMX locals - RIP Jasper and Anthony
9thStreetBMX old school diggers

9thStreetBMX Broken shovels spelled out

Ted Siff volunteering at 9th Street BMX
Ted Siff volunteering at 9thStreetBMX

KC Miller 9th Street BMX local rider, digger, skater.
KC miller shovel drop on mini ramp

types of shovels