The practice is derived from a cross between mountain bike riding and BMX for it requires that the rider performs maneuvers and tricks while midair after the jump which is usually considerably higher than those of its parent disciplines. Being the fastest to ride the course to completion, the focus is on performing the most spectacular airborne tricks to amuse the audience.

Dirt Jumping is performed relying on specific kinds of bikes: They feature a 26-inch wheel size and only a rear v-brake or, more uncommonly, a disc brake. The tires of dirt jumping bikes are treaded, which are the heaviest treads available for all the BMX bikes, instead of the slicks and semi-slicks tires used in park riding.