Building the Sea Otter pro pump track

Here are some shots from the build process. It went super smoothly (until the rain came).

DAY 1: track layout and dirt placement

My partner, world famous rider/builder Kyle Ebbett.

I arrived with a detailed (and laminated) build plan. Our too-narrow space took me back to the sketch pad. Don’t even ask for the specs; they’ll show up in the pro edition of Pump Track Nation.

I use stakes, lines and paint to plot the track design on the ground, then Kyle places dirt with the skid steer.

All the dirt is placed and ready to shape.

DAY 2: shaping and riding

Thanks to the crew:

– Michael Hoenisch
– Ian Marting
– Jacob Hyde
– Shane Connolly
– Iggy Strbac
– Max Kavert
– Joel Dunn
– Alex Fowler
– Jason Carroll
– Dylan Renn
– Josh Walters
– Joshua Hubbard
– Bruce Swan
– Lisa Myklak
– Nate Toupal and his gracious wife

I explain the mission and hand over the reigns. Small work groups own their own sections.

At first it feels like a big, random mess.

But the track starts to take shape, one element at a time.

The S section is the trickiest — and coolest — part of the track.


Jason is proud of his mega berm.

The testing begins. Look at the background: Kyle is about to ruin my new berm.

It’s coming together.

Building some speed.

Oh yeah. It’s on.

DAY 3: rain!

The track surface is dialed; we’ll get rid of the puddles once this rain stops.

Update: We finished the track Saturday. It started raining Sunday, and it’s still raining right now, late Monday. It’s supposed to clear up tomorrow. We’ll clean everything up and hopefully get some good sessions late tomorrow and all day Wednesday.

9 replies
  1. leelikesbikes says:

    Thanks guys. I brought plenty of paint.

    I’ve been rocking a light fork with a QR hub for years with no problems. On this track — in that jump-to-bowl-to-whatever — the front end feels sketchy! That’s why I’m gonna manual everything.

  2. Stripes says:

    SIIICK! 🙂

    Are we supposed to get together on Friday? I never heard back from you. Drop me a line if that’s the case.

  3. Joe from San Diego says:

    Lookin’ good. It has been a crazy wet winter but luckly we started drying out. I’m going to start moving some dirt this weekend. Unfortunately with a shovel and not a loader 🙁

  4. kirk from utah says:

    Lee, is it just me or has your pump track philosophy evolved big-time? I purchased Pump Track Nation a couple years ago and built a very simple track which seemed cutting edge at the time. Now after seeing your latest masterpiece I am both embarrassed of my track, and also totally inspired. Time to upgrade–I had a dump truck deliver me a huge pile to work with this weekend!

  5. leelikesbikes says:

    Hey Kirk,

    Heck yeah, I’ve learned a lot over the past few years. We all have. I now have a more specific definition of the core design aspects (what makes a track ride well and be safe), but a wider interpretation of how to use them. Now we have different pump track styles: race, freestyle, BMX, Euro and so on. The Sea Otter pro track uses the same basic specs in Pump Track Nation; it just scales everything up and mixes and matches elements in a fun way. (That’s easy to do when you have as much dirt as you want!)

    It’s time to update Pump Track Nation. I’m planning a refresh of the basic $10 version, plus a greatly expanded Pro version. Stay tuned.

    The track is swept, watered, painted and ready for tomorrow.

  6. Andy says:

    Hi Lee,
    Wow what a great Track.i get very big eyes….
    When did the refresh or the pro version of pumptrack nation comes???This year/summer?

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