BMX is considered an extreme sport. It's in the same category of sports as snowboarding, skate boarding, wake boarding and many more. Its sport competition is skate boarding. In some opinions it is more dangerous than skate boarding, but in others it isn't. There isn't much behind these arguments except the biases between skaters and BMX bikers. Even still that's not to say that there is no danger behind it. There will be danger behind any extreme sport you get into, including general sports as well. Therefore, it never hurts to learn the basics, including basic safety tips. Here's how to start:
To begin with, it is always important to wear a helmet, especially when you're biking. You never know when you may be going down a ramp only to have your tires break. It happens a lot, especially in the professional stages. Shin guards and elbow pads are just as important as helmets. Fewer injuries occur each year involving concussions than injuries involving knees, shins, and elbows.
Next, before anyone begins it is important to understand the type of style you want to ride. Dirt is a common beginner style. Riding trails and dirt paths is what riding dirt is essentially about. It's also ideal for the beginner because you don't have to be around anyone. You can practice on your own time anywhere that there is an open dirt field.
The second type of style is street or park riding. Street or park is the style of free riding. Using natural or manmade objects to ride is the objective of this riding style. Grinding street rails and park ramps is common in this type of riding. You can always find a mix of skaters, bikers, and roller bladders in parks, so at times it may be incredibly crowded. However, not every park is like this. Depending on where you live you may see very few other bikers or extreme sportspeople in general.
There is another style of BMX riding called flat land. Flat land is one of the arguably more difficult forms of BMXing. It involves a lot of one-wheeled bike spinning tricks that are amazing to watch. However, even while you are generally on the ground it is still dangerous. Each trick puts you at risk of falling on your bike pegs or piercing your chest on your handle bars. It is a style best left to professionals; if you must try flat land riding, try to get someone to show you the best way to do this style safely.
The final style of BMX riding is racing. This style is all about going fast and competing. But don't assume from this simple description that racing is easier than the other styles. You will not rank first place on your first race. It takes time and patience to get good. The second most important thing here is to be fit and ready to race. These racing events generally take place on dirt tracks and are carried out weekly on average. The most important thing is safety of course; racing is actually one of the more dangerous styles. In a general contest the competitors are off the ground most of the time. They are in the air due to manmade dirt ramps. While an interesting and very fun style, competitions are not for the beginners. This style, like most things in BMX, takes time and practice.
While BMX can be very fun and very rewarding it can also be quite dangerous. There is just no telling what can happen at any given moment. This may be why most get into the sport. Be aware that helmets are worn by everyone. This does also include professionals. Being safe is something that should never be underestimated, especially when a great majority of the participants of this sport and many other extreme sports are children.