Documenting the Evolution of BMX Freestyle through Vintage Photographs
This body of over a hundred original photographs highlights the two riders that originated the sport of BMX ramp riding along with their pioneering of BMX skateboard park trick riding. Their stunts are not as wild as the ones currently viewed on Youtube, television, in person at the local skatepark or at the X-Games, but back then they were revolutionary.
This website presents original photographic material that was sitting on a bookshelf gathering dust, some of it for 40 years. To help tell the true history of BMX freestyle riding, the Bank brothers black/white and color photographs will take you to various locations around West Los Angeles in the 1970's where riders practiced and performed their renegade stunts. These images help present better information to further pinpoint where the sport of BMX Freestyle came from and how it evolved into the fantastic global sport it is today. The first page, 1970-75, will take you to the location where the very first BMX ramp was built, the Bank brother's childhood home. You will also see the sidewalk and street where they learned how to trick ride, along with Palms Park, one of two places in Southern California where the sport of BMX racing began. On the second page, 1976-1980, are Marina Del Rey and The Runway, two of the first skateboard parks that were both pivotal to BMX riding leaving the ground, going vertical and becoming an authentic sport.
Most of these j-peg images are scanned original photographs that were taken by Todd Bank and developed in the brother's childhood darkroom. Some images are modern day reprints created from the surviving 35 mm negatives. None of the prints or negatives have been altered, restored or changed in any way.
Original early 70's pictures were taken using a 1950's Argoflex vintage black and white camera. Late 1970's photo's were taken using a Canon AE-1 with black and white or color 35 mm negative film.