American Freestyle Association

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The American Freestyle Association or AFA was the first governing body for BMX freestyle in the 1980s. It was founded by Bob Morales in 1981. The First Contest held at Lakewood Ca 1981, The AFA started out as the ASPA (Amateur Skate Park Association) promoting events at skateboard parks and gained early notoriety with a series call the "King of the Skateparks" series. BMX Action magazine covered these events helping to bring attention to this new sport. During that time BMX Freestyle consisted of Vert competition and the Flatland Division. The AFA was so popular that virtually every state throughout the country held local events.

The AFA Masters series was a national event that featured riders coming to compete from all over the country. The events consisted of novice, intermediate, expert and pro class divisions.

In 1986 the AFA held its largest Masters event at The Nassau Coliseum with over 300 riders attending the competition.

By 1989 the AFA had closed down due a sluggish economy, lack of BMX bike sales and mainstream coverage.

Although the AFA closed down, some of its top riders continue to compete to this day. Dave Mirra, Dennis McCoy and Mat Hoffman, all former Haro Designs sponsored riders, carried the sport to the Xgames, which is the showcase event for BMX Freestyle throughout the World today.

The AFA had virtually every bicycle manufacturer sponsored riders compete in their competitions to promote individual stars and bike sales. All competitions were covered by BMX Plus, BMX Action, and Freestylin Magazine.

GT bicycles, Haro Designs, Dyno, Mongoose, Skyway, Schwinn, DiamondBack, Kuwahara, CW, SE Racing, MCS Bicycles,General Bicycles, Redline, Murray, Hutch, Awesome Shoes/CW and Ozone were all actively involved in sending the riders to compete in the AFA Masters. Companies were responsible for sponsoring all of these incredible riders along by sending them to each of the AFA contests, sending the riders on a one, two or three month summer tour throughout the US. These shows took place at bike shops, shopping centers, sporting events and many other locations. The riders would get paid not only from their sponsors but from the AFA competitions and the tour shows they performed at. In addition to touring many riders also spent time teaching Freestyle BMX at the world famous WOODWARD CAMP.

Bicycles sponsors were not the only ones to get in the mix, Vision Street Wear, Vans, Awesome Footwear, Airwalk and Lifes a Beach clothing were heavily present sponsors. Southern California had one of the biggest presence in Freestyle BMX and many locations all had breeding grounds for insane athletes. San Diego was known for many of the ground, street and vert riders. LA had a mixture of all kinds of ramp and flatlan riders which reached out to Venice Beach. Camarillo was known for its ramp and flatland riders who seemed to be in just about every issue of BMX Plus and FREESTYLIN doing bike tests. Northern California also had an incredible group of riders that really pushed the sports transition from clean colored riders to street wearing guys who shunned away from bright colors. Pennsylvania was another hot area with riders like Mark Eaton and Kevin Jones progressing the sport to new levels. New York, Chicago and Florida showed a lot of talent in its riders.

GT Bicycles was represented by

  • Eddie Fiola
  • Bob Morales
  • Martin Aparijo
  • Josh White
  • Krys Dauchy
  • Brian Scura
  • Jason Geoffrey
  • Gary Pollack
  • Goro Tamai
  • Rick Allison
  • Ron Wilkerson

Dyno was represented by

  • Bob Morales
  • Dino Deluca
  • Dave Voelker
  • Brett Hernandez
  • Rubin Castillo

Haro Designs was represented by

  • Bob Haro
  • Bob Morales
  • Eddie Fiola
  • Ron Wilton
  • Joe Gruttola
  • Dennis Mccoy
  • Rick Moliterno
  • Mat Hoffman
  • Dave Mirra
  • Dave Nourie
  • Brian Blyther
  • Ron Wilkerson

Mongoose Bicycles was represented by

  • Trevor Hernandez
  • Rick Allison
  • Paul Mackles
  • Chris Laushua
  • Marty Schlesinger
  • Park Carter
  • Karl Rothe
  • Steve Broderson

Schwinn was represented by

  • Danny Lupold
  • Robert Peterson
  • Jonathan Garcia
  • Jason Parkes
  • Pete Augustin
  • Ron Wilton
  • Jim Johnson

DiamondBack was represented by

  • Mike Dominguez
  • Woody Itson

General Bicycles was represented by

  • RL Osborn
  • Fred Blood
  • Brian Belcher
  • Chris Day
  • Mark Roldan
  • Todd Anderson
  • Chris Rothrock

Redline was represented by

  • RL Osborn
  • Todd Andeson

Hutch was represented by

  • Mike Dominguez
  • Woody Itson
  • Rick Moliterno
  • Dennis Langlias
  • Chris Potts
  • Rick Allison

Murray was represented by

  • Rich Sigur

Skyway was represented by

  • Kevin Jones
  • Mark Mckee
  • Mat Hoffman
  • Scotty Freeman
  • Maurice Meyer
  • Hugo Gonzales
  • Eddie Roman

Ozone was represented by

  • Eric Emerson
  • Pete Brandt
  • Carly Garcia
  • Oscar Gonzales
  • Gerry Smith
  • Derek Schott
  • Derek Oriee
  • Jeff Cotter
  • Ken Powers
  • Leo Chen

MCS Bicycles

  • Mike Karanik

Kuwahara

  • R.L. Osborn
  • Bob Morales
  • Eddie Fiola
  • Jay Jones
  • Kris Ketchum
  • Mike Loveridge
  • Randy Tischman
  • Ron Camero
  • Roland Rascon
  • Mario Aguirre
  • Derek Oriee

SE Racing

CW BICYCLES

  • John "Dizz" Hicks
  • Gary Pollack
  • Ceppie Maes
  • Eric Evans
  • Tim Rogers

AWESOME SHOES/CW

  • Derek Oriee
  • Jeff Cotter
  • Ron Camero
  • Chris Potts
  • Stefan Scholz
  • Eddie Montelongo
  • Tim Rogers

References[edit]

23mag.com

joekidonastingray.com