Tips for building the Sea Otter 2010 pro pump track


I bought your plans for the Sea Otter 2010 pro pump trackto build it at my new home which is currently under construction.

A few questions:
I have a 5-7 degree slope where I plan to put the pump track. Are there any considerations for elevation? Should I make it as flat as possible?
Living in Northwest PA our winters are tough. Any build/maintenance advice for keeping things in good condition?
My dirt contains a lot of shale. Is this manageable to build with or should I think of supplementing with top soil?
Thanks! I look forward to breaking ground soon.

Brian B


Thanks for writing. The Sea Otter 2010 pro pump track is still one of my favorites. I had to redesign it on the fly, but we created a really fun and challenging track. The pros were stoked. Check this out:


It’s best to design specifically for a sloped surface. Here are some tips.

If you’re going to build this track, try to orient it so the the main straight goes across the grade, and the first set of turns (riding counterclockwise) goes downhill. You’ll be hauling ass!


Plan thrice. Measure Twice. Build once.

Use materials that drain well. Shape the track and interior to move water down the hill. You might need to run pipes under the linked berms.

Make sure your berms are very steep at the tops (this reduces wear). The linked berms can be 45-60 degrees. I measured the main 180 berm at 70 degrees. Why 70? A 3G turn creates a 68-degree lean angle, and I wanted riders to smash this turn with impunity.


If your shale is pulverized into very small bits, it might work well. If it’s chunky, that will be a problem. The chunks work their way up, get loose then create holes.

Option 1: Rake or screen all the chunks out. James “Cannonball” Hall and I once had to rake rocks out of 120 yards of bad dirt. That was two full days of work. You can’t believe how heavy those rakes got.

Option 2: Bring in clean fill or topsoil. Some builders cap their surfaces a la BMX tracks, but I think you’ll want the same material for the whole track.

I hope that helps,


Know more. Have more fun!

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