One of the first skateparks built anywhere had opened for business in Carson, California. The Bank brother's both raced on the BMX track located in front of the Runway sketpark at first. It wasn't long before they thought to ride inside the skatepark on the cement snakes and in the bowls and pools. Unfortunately the Runway's owner declined their request. They kept coming back anyway!
The Runway, MDR & SkaterCross Skateparks
1975, The Bank Brother's Sting Ray's and Scrambler's had reached the limits of what they were originally designed for. Luckilly, BMX technology was rapidly evolving. The new lighter and stronger bikes would soon allow them to perform tricks and stunts they had only dreamed about.
1976, The Runway Skateboard Park had opened in Carson, California. After some convincing from their father (he explained their ramp), the owner finally let the Bank brothers ride their BMX bikes inside the park with the skaters. Attendance at skateparks was still not that high so they were free with a lot of space to develope tricks like kick-turns, one-footer's and table-top's. Encouraged by his artist parents, Todd brought a camera to document their adventures on 35mm film.
1978, Marina Del Rey skatepark opened only 20 minutes away from their childhood home. Devin was now doing aerials over the coping of the Dogbowl, a stunt on a BMX bike unheard of at the time. Todd put down his camera and used the keyhole bowl to jump higher than any BMX rider had ever gone. News began to travel about BMX riding at MDR and other local riders such as Rat, Donell Wiley, Jerry Ignozzito & Dave Metcalf began showing up.
1979, Devin had inherited their mom's 1970 Ford Mustang and the brother's, along with their other BMX friends, now had transportation to get to other further away skateparks such as The Pipeline in Upland and SkaterCross in Reseda. But MDR skatepark was their favorite and they rode there almost every Friday night.
Some really well known BMX'ers like Tinker Juarez, R.L Osborn, Mike Buff showed up at MDR from time to time. The Bank brother's say Tinker was an amazing skatepark rider.
1980, the Bank brother's "need to ride BMX" was fading as attendance at skateparks dwindled. MDR skatepark closed it's doors for good in 1981, along with almost every other skatepark in America due to very expensive liability insurance. This same year Todd ripped apart his ramp to make space for restoring a 1957 Karmann Ghia.
"Kick-Turn at The Runway"
Devin Bank doing a kick-turn on one of the smaller bowls at the Runway skatepark in 1978.
Without a flash, Todd uses the SkaterCross's night lighting to capture his brother doing a fully flat table-top.
"Reaching New Heights at MDR"
Todd attaches a 52 tooth road bike chain ring to his BMX bike for speed to jump out of the rear keyhole bowl at Marina Del Rey skatepark in the late 1979.
At this point of BMX Freestyle the aerial was not a trick performed in a pool or a skatepark.1978
Devin Jumping at MDR, 78 or 79
Devin and Kenny Meisels, in the background, use a smaller bowl to get air.