Eddie Fiola

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Eddie Fiola
Eddiefiolafalkirk.jpg
Personal information
Full name Edward Lynn Fiola
Nickname The Flying Banana
The King of the Skateparks
Born (1964-09-28) September 28, 1964 (age 50)
Bellflower, California
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Team information
Discipline BMX freestyle
Role Professional BMX rider
Rider type Skatepark, Flatland, Vert, Ramp
Professional team(s)
- Premier Helmets
- Bottema forks
- Torker
- SE Racing
- Haro Bikes
- Kuwahara (bicycle company)
- GT Bicycles
- Citicat
- Faction Bike Co

Edward Lynn "Eddie" Fiola[1] (born 28 September 1964) is an American former professional freestyle BMX rider, and a film stuntman.

In 1982 Bob Morales started up the ASPA (Amateur Skatepark Association which would later become the AFA or American Freestyle Association) and began the legendary king of the skateparks competitions in the USA.[2] Eddie Fiola would go on to win it a total of 5 times along with 4 freestyle Nora (Number One Rider Award) cups including the first one ever to be awarded in 1985 and with having the idea for the potts modification or hollow stem bolt.[3][4] This led to him becoming one of the most famous and highly paid freestyle BMX riders of his time reputedly earning around $100,000 dollars in a year and appearing on the cover of countless magazines.[5][6] Later he became a stuntman in films such as The Dukes of Hazzard, The Italian Job and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Career in BMX[edit]

In the spring of 1981 I was hearing occasional rumors of a guy in Lakewood who rode skateparks and was really hot. So I tracked him down. In my opinion, in my time, NOBODY was better in skateparks than Eddie. He and I came to be good friends, NOBODY was a better guy.

—Bob Osborn publisher of BMX Action magazine, www.vintagebmx.com, march 2005

My first sponsor was Premier helmets, then Torker (they just gave us bikes)

— Eddie Fiola, Transworld BMX April 2003

In 1982 Haro Bikes rider Bob Morales helped with a deal to get Fiola on the team, however determined to go it alone they both leave Haro and sign for Kuwahara to help design and promote the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial BMX bike at the end of the year. Fiola wins the first 16+ expert class in the King of the Skateparks.[7]

In 1983 after leaving Kuwahara (bicycle company) he signs for GT Bicycles alongside Bob Morales and then goes on to co design with Morales one of the most iconic BMX freestyle frames, the GT Performer.[8] He performs a show with Bob Morales at the Super Bowl of motorcross in the Anaheim Stadium in front of 40,000 people. He is a judge for the World Amateur Championship of BMX and wins the 17+ expert class King of the Skateparks series.

In 1984 he becomes the first member of the renamed ASPA which is now known as the AFA. He wins the GT-BMX summer freestyle championship in Venice beach California and visits the UK to take part in the televised Kellogg’s freestyle BMX competition alongside fellow country man and main competitor in the King of the Skateparks series Mike Dominguez. He wins the series with the commentator naming him “the flying banana” due to his all yellow bike and apparel with “TRIX R 4 KIDZ” printed on the backside of his pants. Just after he visits Livingston skatepark with Dominguez for an article in BMX Action bike magazine and is interviewed for the Edinburgh Evening News. Later he visits Paris for a demonstration with fellow American freestyler R. L. Osborn at the 1st Bicross International in the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy arena. He wins the first pro class at King of the Skateparks series, also winning the BMX Plus! and BMX Action bike magazine freestyler of the year.

In 1985 he embarks on the GT freestyle world tour alongside fellow GT rider Dave Breed visiting 14 countries (Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, West Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the USA, including Hawaii) over a 3-month period starting on 1st May and ending on the 30th of July performing shows and making television appearances. Whilst on tour he enters the second UK Kellogg’s Frosties televised competition finishing 4th overall. He appears in the Freestyles Raddest Tricks video and wins the Freesytlin’ magazines NORA cup and the BMX Plus! freestyler of the year. He finishes 2nd in the King of the Skatepark series to his great rival Mike Dominguez.

GT Performer advert

In 1986 he is hired as a technical advisor and stunt rider on the Hal Needham film Rad with actor Bill Allen having to dye his hair to match Fiolas. It is said that the film is loosely based around Fiolas life.[9] He stars in the GTV video and is one of the riders in RAD TV: The Sequel video. He wins a controversial IBMXF Freestyle World Championships in Vancouver and finishes 2nd overall in the AFA Masters Series. He becomes the BMX Plus! freestyler rider of the year and wins the Freestylin’ magazine NORA cup. He also wins the pro class King of the Skateparks series, the last one ever to be held.

In the history of freestyle competition there has probably been no call more controversial than the one made against Fiola at this contest. Even after taking away his win in pro ramps because he didn’t wear a mouthguard, the judges still had to give him the overall Pro title.

—BMX Plus! magazine December 1986

In 1987 he takes part in the GT Demo tape video and then leaves GT and signs a deal to promote Citicat bikes which is shortened due to production problems. He takes part in the 101 freestyle tricks video.

In 1988 he is testing bikes for BMX Plus! magazine.

We don’t know how many of our readers will remember this, but back around four years ago Eddie Fiola spent a brief time as a test rider for this magazine. He only did it for a couple of months or so before GT decided to sponsor him. GT didn’t want it’s riders testing bikes for any magazines, so Eddie had to leave us. All the same, we have learned over the years we’ve known him, that Eddie is one of the most knowledgeable freestyle riders in the world. He’s incredibly bright about bikes, extremely innovative, and an extraordinary rider. We asked him a couple of months ago if he’d be interested in testing bikes for us, and he said “yes”.

—BMX Plus! magazine July 1988

I was at the AFA finals in Kansas in late 1988. From what I know, that was Fiola's last competition after having been gone for nearly a year. I saw his flatland run and it was really cool, though he didn't do anything new (and did touch several times) - but he just did everything with a ton of style. He ended up getting 5th (which was last, a very low Pro turnout). I think the crowd booed that.

— Josh Marsele, www.vintagebmx.com

In 1990 he is riding for Vans and Bully touring with Josh White and Scotty Freeman.[10]

In 1992 he is still doing shows with some support from GT and Vans.

In 2004 he hooks up with Redline BMX.

In 2005 he is interviewed in the film Joe Kid on a Stingray, the history of BMX.[11]

In 2006 he performs a 4th of July BMX show with Todd Anderson in Orange County, California.[12]

In 2008 he is awarded with a white GT pro Performer at the OS-BMX gathering as a tribute to his achievements.[13]

In 2009 he is inducted into the American Bicycle Association (ABA) Hall of Fame (Freestyle Pioneer)[14] He also takes part in the OS-BMX Old School Reunion 2009 at Peck Park California[15]

In 2010 he takes part in the old school reunion at Woodward West camp in California.[16] He is riding Faction 22" BMX bikes and part of their test team.

In 2011, he appeared on the front cover of Classic BMX Magazine issue 6 with an interview inside.[17]

In 2012, he is a performer in Gale Webb Extreme Sports and Air Shows in California. He launches his own website. [18]

In 2013, he launches his own frame and handlebar combo called the EF|Proformer, limited to 250 sets. [19]

Personal life[edit]

Fiola married Mindi Neil on the 17th October 1991. They have 1 daughter named Audrey. [20]

Film and television credits[edit]

Stunt work[21]

Acting

Self

  • The Birth of Big Air (2010)
  • Joe Kid on a Stingray (2005)

References[edit]

External links[edit]