|Bob Haro and RL Osborn formed the BMX Action Trick Team and did their first demo at a national race meeting in Chandler on a halfpipe in february 1980.|
|Création de l'Association Française de Bicrossing (AFB) le 8 mars et du club de Bicross, Freestyle et Trial de Mours dans la Drôme.|
|BMX, still almost exclusively racing, had hit the big time. Sponsorship was booming and BMX had made it into the annuals of pop culture superstardom with the release of film E.T.
En France, le premier numéro de Bicross Magazine apparaît dans les kiosques, on assiste aux premières compétitions 100% BMX Freestyle notamment au circuit Carole et le futur Cycles Jean-Claude commence à vendre des BMX.
|BMX racing is in full bloom with national/international events and pros winning huge cash purses and cars. ESPN put on a seven race series with $5,000 for the first six wins and a $15,000 top prize for the seventh race.
BMX freestyle is in its infancy.
The ASPA has just started running BMX freestyle contests in skateparks with just a handfull of riders and sponsors mustering purses only in the hundreds of dollars. Bob Haro has the first frameset specifically for BMX Freestyle use. Nobody is riding pegs except maybe to pitch out into garbage cans. Ron Wilkerson did the first no footed aerial. Release of BMX Bandits.
Max Commençal lance la marque MX-France.
|This was the worst year for BMX. Not because the racing lacked and no one was any good-that wasn't the case. The quantity of riders lacked, not the quality. People will testify that the decline was because of freestyle. Maybe.
BMX Action, june 1984: Freestyle has been around for quite awile now, but it's been more or less chuggin' along the underground. (...) But now it's starting to show all the signs of a major growth trend. (...) A bunch of BMX's MAJOR manufacturers already have products designed exclusively for freestyle action, and a bunch more are rushing to design and produce their own equipment. There are a few people in the industry who think freestyle can surpass BMX racing in popularity. Will it? It's too soon to tell, but one thing's for sure. It's gonna jam!
A lot of things happened in the freestyle world in 1984:
The Potts Mod came out. Steve Potts invents a hollow-bolt system for the front brakes. It enables riders to turn their bars without the front brake getting tangled around the handle bar. Things are also being invented to bolt onto freestyle bikes. Pegs, platform and even the useless brakeguard and Buff guard. The buff guard was a small plastic piece that bolted onto the back of the brake behnid the fork. What is did was stop your shoes from getting ripped by the brake. SE intorduces "Standing Gear", the first forks with built-in platforms for standing. New bikes designed for freestyle are being introduced by Schwinn, Free Agent, Hutch, Haro, CW, Skyway and other companies. BMX companies are starting Freestyle teams. GT introduces their first complete freestyle bike, the GT Pro Performer. Freestylers are starting to get sponsors.
Freestylin' magazine made its debut, and most of the smart manufacturers started making freestyle bikes. The June 1984 issue of BMX ACTION had a special section on freestyle, introducing all of the above, and sending a new wave across America. Yup. Freestyle had arrived.
The King of Skateparks series was going full-bore. Matter of fact, going to one of the events was one of the most happening places to be or things to do in '84. Eddie Fiola was the current King, but some young punk by the name of Mike Dominguez was moving up.
The AFA was a "skatepark only" freestyle federation until it held a flatland contest in Huntington Beach. It quickly organized more ramp and flatland contests.
Flatland tricks consist of stationary balance tricks and hopping tricks. Tricks like the Track Stand and Wheel hops were the ones you would see in magazines. This was still the early stages of freestyle. Riders like Robert Peterson and Fred Blood were the masters of these tricks. Other riders like Woody Itson took these tricks and made them much harder. Woody Itson was one of the top flatlanders at this time. Brian Blyther is riding for Huffy and he invents the first complicated ground move- a 360 tail spin. Jose Yanez pulls a backflip on his bike. He is instantly picked up by Hutch for his fabulous stunt. The 15 year old Mike Dominguez is hitting 6 feet of air at the Del Mar Skate Park. Josh White pulls 540°. Hugo Gonzales was going crazy, a new guy named Dave Vanderspek from San Francisco was introduced. Brian Blyther and Brian Deam were making their presence known. Even with a cast on his arm at one of the K.O.S. events, Blyther was airin'! Rich Sigur looked hot, too. Mike Buff was out for a quarter of the year with a broken ankle. Everyone missed him. Ron Wilkerson and Rich Avella of the 2-Hip Trick Team had just hooked up a deal with GTwhen BMX ACTION showed how 'dem Nor. Cal. boys do it in the august 1984 issue.
|Freestyle was massively peaking. There were more trick teams on, tour than ever before, there were freestyle frames out, and instead of taking away the BMX'ers to make them into freestylers, a whole new breed of kids-ones who had never ridden a bike before-showed up in the streets to style. A Mountain Dew commercial started popping up on TV, which featured freestyle greats like Ron Wilkerson, Eddie Fiola, and RL Osborn. Its flight lasted all summer.
New and advanced freestyle tricks that had a major effect on the F/S world premiered. BMX Action gave the public the Miami Hopper, the Osborn Twirl, the Switzerland Squeaker, the frame plant, and the hop drop, just to name a few. Most commonly asked question this year; can you do a Cherrypicker ? The Cherrypicker and Miami Hoppper led to a new era of tricks. Tricks were getting more difficult. Hugo Gonzalez pulls what many consider the first wall-ride by jumping on a fence at the Upland Skatepark. Wedge ramps were popular. They were about 3-4 feet high and had no curvature. They were slanted at an angle of about 30 degrees and enabled riders to do kickturns. Not much work went into building these ramps. They were the equivalent of placing a piece of wood against stairs and using it to kickturn on. As simple as they were, they often were seen with elaborate designs. For those of you that don't know, a kickturn is riding up a ramp, pulling up your front tire and spin 180 on your back tire. Kind of like an air on a quarterpipe but your back tire never leaves the surface. Sounds dull, but riders of this era did every kind of kickturn imaginable. Decades, lawnmowers, fakie, powermowers, barspins, tailwhips, barendos, x-ups, you name it. Jose Yanez signs with Hutch after they see him pull off a backflip on his bike. A rider from Kansas City named Dennis McCoy gets his first picure in Freestylin' Magazine. Mike Dominguez pulls off 540's consistently at the skatepark at Upland. Eddie Fiola wins the NORA cup. The Number One Rider Award by Freestylin Magazine. Josh White makes an appearance at an AFA contest in Venice Beach and pulls 540's higher than anybody.
DMC: 1985 was freestyle's first legitimate year with the first series of comps and the first titles to be earned but it was still mostly in California.
The National Freestyle Association is formed. Also known as the NFA. It was funded by the owner of Hutch Hi-Performance products. The Del Mar skate Ranch is temporarilly closed down after 7 years. Its owner had a hard time finding a new insurance company after the old insurance expired. Premier Bicross International de Paris-Bercy où Fiola et Osborn assurent la démo de free. Woodward organise des camps bmx freestyle.
The total highlight of '85 was the colors that popped up. CW made an exclusive deal with Skyway to make lavender Tuffs, which were soon followed by light green, orange, pink, etc... Red Line had some radical new colors like turquoise and rad berry on their frames. This was definitely a bright year!
Checkered Vans are seen on the feet of many freestylers. One common model was the checkered pattern that slipped on your feet. No Laces. The only problem was they slipped off when riding as easily as they slipped on. They were also thin and offering little protection..
Pegs were made out of Aluminum. They would screw onto your axles and last a week before stripping. The more you stepped on your pegs the quicker they became loose. You were not able to make them tight or else the peg would strip and send shreds of metal all over the floor. Steel Deep Socket Pegs and Heat treated axles did not exist at this time. Pegs GT sur fourche pliants inventés par Eddie Fiola.
The helmet of Choice was an Echo Helmet. They were used by rampriders and flatlanders alike. Fullface helmets when doing endos and peg hops would look strange today. These days most riders prefer helmets by companies such as Pro-Tec helmets. At this time Pro-Tec was in existence but did most their business with skateboarders.
Chris Potts comes out with his latest braking invention. Locking Brake levers. Also known as the Potts Mod II. With the invention of these, tricks such as the puppet became easier. They also made a great theft deterrant. You could lock the brakes when going into the store for candy. They were like an emergency brake. If someone tried stealing your bike, they would flip over the bars.
A guy nobody has ever heard of, Dale Cooper, invents a little machined aluminum thing that attaches to your stem and allows for tangle free rearbrakes. ACS markets this as the Rotor. This along with the Potts Modification allowed allowed handle bars to spin without the brakes getting tangled. This paved the way for similar devices such as the Gyro and the Skyway Spin Master. The rotor was great for its time, but created a lot of friction by resting on teh stem as it moved up and down. It only had a wire on one side to pull it up which caused it to get pulled unevenly. The Gyro eventually overtook the Rotor because of its superior braking performance.
Sadly enough, this was the year that put a lot of American made bike manufacturers out. JMC died. Torker closed their doors. GHP got into deep doo-doo. Everyone else made budget cut backs to prevent destruction. And why? Price wars! Every manufacturer was fighting to come out with the best bike they could in the $200 range. This meant going to Taiwan or Japan to get things made.
BMXA Trick Team introduces the first freestyle video- 'Rippin'.
|Sponsorship finally began puring into freestyle and comp purses climbed to new heights.
The AFA introduces the Masters series. A nationwide freestyle contest schedule that will remain solid until early '89. It had 4 classes. Novice, Intermediate, Expert and Pro. It had both Flatland and Ramp contest. The ramps were nothing like what you see today. They were a wedge ramp and an 8 foot tall quarterpipe with no coping. It was just wood at the top. Grinding was not a norm at this time. Pegs were too small and weak and axles would bend easily. The National Freestyle Association (NFA) gets tossed between owners. The USBA purchases the newly formed NFA from Hutch High Performance BMX. The ABA later takes over the NFA temporailly only to give it back to Hutch because they didn't know what to do with it. Hutch didn't want to run the freestyle association anymore so they gave it to the AFA to take over. The AFA disbanded the NFA and absorbed all its memberships. The AFA became the leading freestyle association. Micki Conte devises a system of scoring freestyle contests that is modeled after the system used by gymnasts. Riders are scored on Difficulty, Combinations, Execution, Risk, Originality and Virtuosity (how well it is executed). Ron Wilkerson puts on the first 2-Hip King Of Vert series.
The movie RAD comes out and bombs at the box offices taking in barely enough to profit. It featured Americas top BMX and Freestyle stars, including Jose Yanez doing a backflip. This movie had all the top freestylers of this time in it. GT comes out with the video GTV. Featuring Josh White, Brian Scura, Dino Delica and Martin Aparijo. Did Martin really pull out of that Grip Ride?
Street riding being seen more in magazines. Gary Pollack invents the fire hydrant, and combination tricks explode. Kevin Jones explores the rolling tricks and invents DeathTruck. On vert, Mike Dominguez introduces the no-footed can-can and Jeff Carrol introduces the no-hander.
The 14 year old Matt Hoffman begins appearing in all the Magazines. Woody Itson seen at a contest riding a gold plated Hutch. Mercury Morgan commits to joining the circus for the 1987 season. He will be jumping elephants as a finale to the circus. Randy Tischmann also get signed to the circus. Eddie Fiola appears in commercials for Levis' Blue Jeans and Montain Dew. He wins the NORA cup for the second year in a row. Scotty Freeman featured in the Disney movie "Brat Patrol". CW creates a new fall tour schedule entitled the "CW Back To School Bash" featuring riders such as Ceppie Maes and Dizz Hicks.
The Camarillo ramp seen more and more in magazines. This was a ramp about 30 minutes from Hollywood that many of the top riders rode. Todd Anderson and Dino Deluca to name a few. There was always a picture of it in every issue of every magazine. One thing that made this ramp unique was that it was just a quarterpipe with a large runway and a nice sized roll in for speed.
GT and Haro are the Popular bikes of choice. Other bikes around around Hutch, Skyway and CW. Donuts are the cool things to have on your grips. They looked cool, but did nothing. Dyno comes out with its new handlebar thinking it is the cure-all for those who constantly bend their bars. Nice try, but didn't live up to its image. Peregrine introduces the 48 spoke wheel. Until now, the standard freestyle wheel was 36 spoke. The new 48 spoke wheel was much stronger. Brian Scura designed the Odyssey Gyro. Mongoose reinvents the scooter. These become the rage for a year or two but quickly vanish. Bike riders were frequently trying to imitate their bike tricks on them before realizing how limited and cheap they were. Pro bike riders were seen wearing cheap $2 soccer shin guards when riding their bikes. Real Shin guards were not around yet. They would appear shortly when Hammer BodyWear is born.
Hi-Torque is publishing American Freestyler. Lew and Gork of Freestylin' Magazine write "Freestylin II: The Book". A how-to manual with the latest flatland, wedge ramp and aerial moves.
En France, création de la Freestyle National Association (FNA) et passage du World Tour GT passe du 25 au 29 juin (Paris, Nantes, St Etienne, Givors et Six Fours)
Mike Dominguez is pulling a 900°, Bob Kohl Superman and Todd Anderson is doing Barspin airs. Riders are taping the front of their seats to get a better trip when doing tricks like Side Glides and Quickspins.
Haro is sold to West Coast Cycles, but Bob Haro still remains in charge. Dia Compe introduced the AD-990 brakes. They were (and still are) one of the best brakes out. Instead of the typical brake that had the cable threaded throuh the side of the brake, the 990 had the cable threaded through the center. This made it easier to keep the brake centered and allowed for greater braking power. With the popularity of these brakes, companies such as GT were building brackets on their frames to use the brake. Beginnings of S&M. ODI introduces the Signature series Mushroom grips. Six freestylers had their names signed on the grips. They were a hot seller. Stores had a hard time keeping them in stock. ODI came out with plastic ends caps. Vision Street Wear is introduced. It becomes seen everywhere. Quiksilver, Jimmy Z and Life's a Beach were throwing out clothing sponsorships to riders. GT Pro Freestyle Tour frame. Schwinn Yo Rock'n Roll seat. ACS RL Hub AntiBackPedal and 48s RL Edge rims. Vans brake pads made by Kool-Stop.
Rap music was the choice of music for flatlanders when competing. Beastie Boys, Run DMC and LL Cool J were popular choices.
Kevin Jones and Mark Eaton were part of the hottest underground freestyle team known as the Plywood Hoods. Dave Mirra is entering his first contest. Dave Voelker becomes a staple in all the magazines. Eddie Fiola ends his deal with GT.
England's risque funny man Benny Hill closed one of his shows by ripping through several freestyle tricks, including 360 roll outs, surfers and an aerial, supposedly off the trunk of a tree ! Close-up face shots made Benny out to be a freestyle hero, but during the tricks the rider's face was hard to see... The Pan American Games featured 400 BMX and Freestyle riders leading the opening day parade. BMX Plus! 101 freestyle tricks video is out.
The famed Camarillo ramp was torn town. The Del Mar skatepark was Bulldozed over in August.
Apogé du bmx en France, l'AFB compte 12000 licenciés et 400 clubs. Le rapprochement de la FNA (Freestyle National Association) et de l'AFB donne le FNAFB qui publie pour 1988 les règlements freestyle. A partir de septembre Vélo 2000 importe en France GT, Dyno, Robinson, Haro, Hutch, Skyway, Tioga et Peregrine. Pépé ouvre le magasin California Style à Limoges.
RL Osborn introduces the Hammer Shin Guards. These were pads that slid over your foot with a rubber front. They were not the easiest thing to take on and off, but they were saving shins around America. Dyno and other companies soon followed with similar version of the shin pads. Ozone bikes start to appear everywhere. Sponsored riders were Craig Grasso and Jeff Cotter. One of the most important products is created by Peregrine. The Peregrine Super Pro 48's. They are high strength chrome wheels that are not only stronger than those Z-Rims and Tuff Wheels, but they had superior braking. The wheels were made of Chrome. This is the best braking surface for freestyle bikes. These wheels along with a pair of 990 brakes was enough braking for the best riders.
The 2 Hip society is formed. They hold the first Bike Street Contest. Dave Voelker ruled it. 1988 AFA finals in Wichita Kansas was the last quaterpipe comp of the AFA era. Freestyle Worlds in Manchester, UK. Officials of the NBL say they are going to eliminate double jumps from its tracks for the year. They claimed they were under pressure from their insurance company as a result of injuries suffered by riders. Swatch created the "Swatch Impact Tour". A Tour of bikers and skaters that toured the country with a band. These guys made it to Club MTV riding ramps along with Julie Brown dancing by their sides. Disneyland now has its own version of a freestyle show. Five shows a day, including someone dressed as Goofy riding quarterpipes.
Long time rider and promotor Dave Vanderspek died. Brian Scura, the grandfather of freestyle retires. Craig Grasso was named "Street Styler of the Year by ESPN. England freestyle starts booming. Craig Campell, Lee Reynolds, and Jess Dyrenforth become staples in freestyle magazines.
Rolling tricks are in. Ron Wilkerson attempts No Hander No Footer air (nothing). Kevin Jones rentre son premier hitchiker en novembre, Joe Johnson pulled a tailwhip air at the New Jersey AFA Masters competition.
Dorkin' in York 1 and 2
Fat zine #7, late 1988: A lot of budget cuts are going on in the USA. The contests are getting a little lame because the bike-companies won't send their riders. We hope that this will be over soon.
En France, ont lieu le premier Megafree le 12 mars et le cinquième Bicross International de Paris Bercy le 6 novembre. L'AFB et FFC co-existent. Bicross Magazine devient Bicross & Skate Magazine en août.
The riding level advances and bike sales drop. Sponsorships begin to get scarce. The freestyle sanctioning body, The American Freestyle Association (AFA), closed up shop. And one by one the magazines and lame companies folded and the bigger companies quickly defected to the new "fad" Mountain Biking. For the first time, riders ruled freestyle.
Eddie Fiola, 2004: As I look back now, what strikes me most is the shift away from a sponsored team look into a more anarchist style. Who bought the bikes? Parents. Who paid for magazine subscriptions? Parents. That's simply my opinion. I could be wrong.
Fakie Wall rides are in. Mat Hoffman is pulling no-handed 540's, Jean Somsois et Eddie Roman font des sprocket grind et Kevin Jones roule sur la roue avant en lachant les mains. Matt Hoffman pulls a 900 air at a King of Vert contest in Toronto Canada.
Trouble zine #8: Le niveau au sol augmente de plus en plus vite. Les figures "brutes" ne suffisent plus. Bon nombre de riders sont capables d'imaginer eux-mêmes des passages et autres complications. Bien plus qu'avant, le freestyle au sol devient personel.
Super BMX Magazine closed their doors in October after 9 years of publication. Freestylin' et BmxAction donnent naissance au magazine Go.
Riders make it into Sassy Magazine by way of a Vision Street Wear ad.
Frames with bashguards are common. Street bikes sporting bashguards are produced by Haro, GT, Bully and Ozone.
Jive handle grips are introduced. These grips became quickly popular with their distintive swirl design, extended length and plastic bar inserts. They were not the most comfortable grip however. It would take a few days for your hands to get used to the rough swirly pattern. But they did work well and are still around today.
GT and Haro are in what semed to be an advertising war. Josh White and Martin Aparijo off GT. Ozone sends riders to perform halftime shows at NFL games. Riders would have a minute to pull ramps out and set them up before riding in from of 70-80 thousand people.
Jeff Cotter does a freestyle tour in Japan.
En France, Megafree #2 le 12 février, Worlds à St-Ouen les 26 et 27 mars. Création du Nada Club. Les mots bicross et vélo-cross font leur apparition dans le dictionnaire Larousse. Le Club Med recherche des animateurs bicross.