Photo Recap // Birth of the BMX Freestyle Movement // 2nd Edition Book Launch Party

For one night on East Street in Downtown San Diego, a legion of BMX heroes gathered together to celebrate the release of the revised 2nd edition of Dom Phipps book, The Birth of the BMX Freestyle Movement.  Here is a quick collection of photos I grabbed while my wife and 2 year old son unwittingly ate pizza at the impromptu Dave Vanderspek memorial table.

The Skyway Factory Team:  Hugo Gonzales, Oleg Konings, Craig Campbell, Mark McKee, Mat Hoffman, Robert Peterson, Mike Golden, Maurice Meyer, and Scott Freeman.  (Not Present: Eddie Roman, Steve Swope, Kevin Jones)

In case anyone had forgotten why we were all there, there were some amazing, iconic images on display showcasing fractions of a second during the of the formative years of freestyle.

BMX Video magnifico, Stew Johnson, was in town to finalize a few things for the 2019 X Games Real Street broadcast.  Stew, who is always working on the coolest projects for BMX, took an evening off to hang out with friends and share a few laughs.

Man of the hour, author Dom Phipps, Haro Brand Manager John Buultjens, and UK BMX legend Craig Campbell.

Xavier Mendez with a broken wing, Dave Voelker, Frank Scura, along with a few folks I couldn’t identify. The collective amount of past concussions in one room was overwhelming, likely contributing to the many glances of vague recognition that were exchanged.

Airwalk, Haro, Oakley, Vans, Odyssey, 2hip, and Vision Street Wear (you read that right) sponsored the event and had some sweet one-off items up for grabs.

OG San Diego freestyler, Troy Dunsmore, stoked to be there!

The Duke of Oakley and Bmx racing’s favorite son, Stu Thomsen.

Dirt Bros Rule!  Dana Czeck (the man responsible for building the illustrious JAD frame),  Brad Blanchard, and Jimmy Jordan (graphic design and screen printing for Dirt Bros, Zorlac, Alva, Wooly Mammoth, & The Skateboard Mag among many others.)

Some vintage freestyle bikes were on display; a nearby table full of first gen Dirt Bros were sitting together. As I was taking this photo of the Dyno, Vic (Murphy) leaned over my shoulder and said: ” That bike was a piece of junk in 1987, and it still is now!”  Ha!

Master of Balance and the probable inventor of scuffing – Robert Peterson poses for a photo with a BMX/Padres Fan, and former Skyway team-mate Maurice Meyer.

Maurice Meyer set up a small memorial for  Dave Vanderspek. If you’ve never visited Maurice’s website, right-click, open the link in a new tab, and check it out!

Ron Wilkerson tips his glass to author Dom Phipps.  Sidenote: The recent  footage of Wilkerson riding the full-pipe and big bowl in Josh Clemens’ latest Demolition video from Santa Cruz is bonkers!

Fresh copies of the 2nd edition were on hand for sale and perusal.  Dom added so much to the 2nd edition that it’s practically an entirely new book.  Order one here today!

A young Dave Voelker blasts over the 10 foot mark.

Left: This photo of Blyther doing a one-handed can-can was featured on an old 2-Hip King of Vert poster that I had in my bedroom as a kid. Right: Augustin lays down an aggressive table off a curb and deftly displays the bottom of his his Airwalk 540s at the same time.

King of the Skateparks, Eddie Fiola, straight from the set of the Baywatch Nights . . .

John Povah, Blyther, and  Pete Augustin

From overly-giddy RAD fans to nostalgic haranguers, Bill Allen is always happy to smile for a photo, answer a question, or sign another autograph.

Not everyone at the event was in the over 40 club.  Haro’s young gun, Parker Heath loitered with intent for a bit before heading out for a sunset session.

While DMC was busy compiling a database of promising draft picks for the Kansas City Chiefs, Mat Hoffman and I got to catch up a little bit. I learned that his daughter had recently graduated summa cum laude of her class, and is heading to the east coast for college in the fall.  His son, Jet, has been booking and playing punk shows with his band, SHAKA, at venues all around OKC.  Mat, ever the proud parent, had been shopping for a good mini-van for junior to haul his drums around in.

Left to right: Live free or Die! Brian Hunt’s recent DIG article in 99.9 is excellent and well worth tracking down.  The accompanying video part is exquisite.  Anthony Napolitan’s name has become synonymous with his front flip to fence clip. Pusher’s Clayton Brown displays the new book that got blown out in this photo.  Oh well.

Mike Dominguez and Dave Voelker.  Vert hammers hammering some drinks.

There were a ton of other folks in attendance like Ron Wilton, R.L. Osborn, Chris Potts, Jimmy Arrington, Ryan Fudger, Tony Murray, Kevin Conners, Todd Anderson, Dennis Langlais, Simon Tabron, Martin Aparijo, Oscar Gonzales, Mark McGlynn, a large crew from Northern California and many more riders whose names escape me.  The night was a loose and informal celebration of Freestyle history.  Let’s all wear name tags next time.

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