|Donnovan Ritter, www.kingoftheskateparks.com, july 2013: Fred Becker age 22 and Steve Bennett age 20 originally created the King Of the Skateparks series. Fred got the name K.O.S. from the Bicycle Motocross Action magazine featured Tinker Juarez. In pursuing a new location for the next contest Fred Becker broke his ankle performing at Upland Combi pool as a Demo for the K.O.S. series. Fred being 22 and being a family man decided that supporting his family had top priority. Fred handed the K.O.S. torch over to fellow contestant Bob Morales.|
BMX Action june 1987: In 1981, Bob Morales met up with a rider by the name of Eddie Fiola, started up the ASPA (Amateur Skatepark Association) and began putting on a "King Of the Skateparks" series. Of course, for those who think you know the ending of this story, the ASPA eventually changed to the AFA.
Eddie Fiola, july 2015: FYI, just because Bob is my friend doesn't mean I help him start the ASAP others might disagree.
Bicross magazine: Ces contests se déroulaient dans les skateparks: Upland et Del Mar, à leur issue était décerné le titre de King of Skatepark. Dans les bowls des skatepark, les freestylers réalisaient des figures autrement spectaculaires qu'entre un banks et une small ramp (Masters AFA). La fermeture de ces spots a laissé un vide dans une discipline en plein essor. Pour compléter ce que fait l'AFA, Ron Wilkerson organisera plus tard les KOV sur d'authentiques Half-pipes.
|LAKEWOOD SKATE PARK SPECTACULAR.
William "Crazy Lacy" Furmage, august 2015: This Flyer Represents the first AFA Contest Of the King of the Skateparks series BEFORE THE NAME CHANGE to KOS - Held Nov 21st 1981 . CONTEST RESULTS were, Park Local Eddie Fiola 1st, Fred Becker 2nd, 3rd? 4th William "Crazy Lacy" Furmage with one day practice, Tony Ray Davis 5th with one Day Practice.
|Bob Morales promoted and organized a "Skatepark" bicycle riding contest and formed the Amateur Skate Park Association (ASPA), an organization which promoted BMX freestyle competition.|
|ASPA KOS. ROUND 1 SKATE CITY.
BMX Action august 1982: The raddest of the rad, the baaadest of the baaad. Bionic berserkos challengin' crit craters. The elite, feet above concrete. Just about every able body with a flair for rare air was there. Where? Skate City in Whittier, California. Eighteen-year-old Bob Morales organized the event, sanctioned by his newly formed Amateur Skate Park Association (ASPA) and covered exclusively by BMX Action. Event co-sponsors included Haro Design, Skyway, Max, Torker, Vans, Oakley, BME, and BMX Action.
Report, results, pics (4).
|ASPA King of the Skatepark, Upland, California, October 24, 1982.
Donnovan Ritter, www.kingoftheskateparks.com, july 2013: It seemed that BMX Plus! january 1983 received exclusive magazine coverage for Round 2 at Upland Pipeline. This was the last contest held by Fred Becker and Steve Bennetts American Skatepark Association (aka ASPA) Fred Becker broke his ankle and was forced to retire and leave the series to Bob Morales.
Dean Bradley, BMX Plus! january 1983: They call it The Badlands. As legend has it, years ago at the foot of California's rugged San Bernardino Mountains it seemed some overly adventurous skateboarders had discovered an inconveniently located dead body in an otherwise clean and skateable drainage ditch. (If you think they were bummed, how 'bout the stiff!) Ever since, the place has had, well, vibes. . . spooky vibes. Welcome to The Badlands: unseasonably cold and damp during the winter, blisteringly hot and deathly smoggy all summer.
A chamber of commerce nightmare, a transient's dream -a great place to pass through on your way somewhere else. Yep, these are Badlands all right. Officially Upland, California; unofficially one of the last remaining bastions of skateboarding activity left in the U.S. If you're going to risk your life cheating death on a wobbling wooden board with tiny little wheels, this is indeed one of the choice places to do it. If you're at all familiar with skateboarding, you might remember a rather rowdy rivalry between The Badlands and their neighbors to the north around Santa Monica, better known as Dogtown. During skateboarding's peak years this regional rivalry and raucous relationship between these two different schools of skate fueled the innovative fire of progressive skating taking it to brave new levels.
The hot park around Dogtown was Marina and the Badland boyz tapped into their local park, The Pipeline. Well, Marina's history but the ol' Pipe is still flowin'! The Pipeline, one of the originals (actually, the eighth constructed in the U.S.), is now one of the last surviving parks left in the nation. BMX has played a big part in keeping it alive. It seems the recent addition of a BMX track and increasing interest in BMX bowlriding are taking up the slack for the declining skateboard scene. For the increasing numbers of parkbound BMXers the tables are turning, for unlike in the past BMXers now hold first class citizenship at parks -ESPECIALLY the Pipe, where the last of the die-hard skaters now glady(!) share equal pool privileges with two wheelers. For without bikers the Pipeline's income and luck would have surely gone dry and the park been destroyed. (Is there a lesson ere for other park owners?)
Around southern California, with BMX freestyle and park and ramp riding literally reaching all time highs, it was really no surprise that the gears were turning and plans underway for a fully organized BMX skatepark association and competition series. Sure it was a long time coming but the rumors circulating in the trenches and bowls were indeed true and on Sunday, October 24, 1982, the premier ASPA (Amateur Skatepark Association) "King of the Skateparks" contest became a cold, hard concrete reality in the heart of The Badlands.
For any who may have doubted it, this was not to be another quiet Sunday in the park. This was a long awaited assemblage of California's top freestylers, park riders, aerial wizards, and concrete commandos. This was two-wheeled war in Pipeline's concrete jungle, a skatepark shootout to the death in the Badlands.
|ASPA: From Pipe Dreams to Concrete Solutions.
Dean Bradley, BMX Plus! january 1983: Everybody who rides parks knows about transitions -passages from one place to another such as, from flat to vertical, from deep to shallow. Sometimes they're smooth, sometimes abrubt. It you're not ready for them they spell disaster ahead. You could say the ASPA (Amateur Skatepark Association), the nation's premier skatepark, riding sanctioning body, is currently riding out a transition -a period of change. Hopefully it will be a smooth one, and for the better. We think it will. When ambitious Bob Morales (first, rider; second. BMX businessman; third, promoter; fourth, ASPA founding father, prez. organizer, etc., etc...) founded the ASPA he created a monster -a specialized sanction, long overdue, with great potential AND A TON OF WORK to be done. Sooner rather than later Mr. Morales found that by trying to do everything himself something invariably suffered: his riding, his contests, his sponsors, his fellow competitors, the crowd, etc. That didn't work. So, in greater pursuit of park riding, sanctions, series, fame, fortune and groupies, Morales has boldly stepped down as president of ASPA. (A little background fanfare music, please.) Enter one Don Hoffman: owner/operator of the Pipeline Skatepark and BMX track and bigwig of CASL (California Amateur Skatepark League) and ASPO (American Skatepark Organization), skateboarding's counterpart to BMX's ASPA. Hoffman is a seasoned (spicy?) veteran of skatepark contests. He knows how to make 'em work and thoroughly intends to apply his years of skateboarding contest knowledge "to transform ASPA from an amateur to a fully professional organization." Don will come on as president and promotional and contest director. Fred Becker, a competitor himself, will assist Don as event coordinator, gopher, etc. Bob Morales will remain on as chairman of the board (bike?) or something to that effect. In the future ASPA will officially stand for American rather than Amateur Skatepark Association. Their 1983 season will tentatively feature a four event, California based skatepark series and two Pro/Am (professional/amateur) format freestyle events (which will include team and individual categories). Upland was the last contest to include freestyle in conjunction with a park event. So, all in all, the future looks bright for ASPA, freestyle and park riding. Hoffman's the man, professionalism and radicalism the plan. Just as exciting as the aspect of BMX competition they're promoting and sanctioning, the sky's the limit. We all sincerely hope the new and improved ASPA and their members enjoy their flight.
|Bob Morales scheduled a series of Skatepark competitions in California. He created a "Pro class" that allowed top competitors to earn cash prizes in this new sport.|
Bob Morales: Because I was offering a "Pro Class", I changed the name of the Amateur Skate Park Association to the American Skate Park Association.
|ASPA KOS ROUND 2.
Combi Pool Upland Pipeline 1983.
16 OVER EXPERT: 1.Eddie Fiola 2.Paul Nolan 3.Bob Morales
15 UNDER EXPERT: 1.Jose Maldonado 2.Pat Enright 3.Dan Griffin
16 OVER NOVICE: 1.Bryan Huell 2.Dwayne Rinehart 3.Dale Perez
15 UNDER NOVICE: 1.Mike Dominguez 2.Richard Sigur 3.Joe Elhahl
Del Mar Skate Ranch, California, june 1983.
Results, pic (1)
|1983 KING OF SKATEPARKS FINALS.
Media: BMX Action february 1984.
Donnovan Ritter, www.kingoftheskateparks.com, july 2013: This was my very first contest, I have never seen anyone ride in Skateparks before this. The first day I arrived I was walking toward the full-pipe and I could see someone riding inside the pipe. I wanted to get a closer look, so I rushed closer to the fence to watch. Right as I got near the fence whoosh!!! I see this kid fly strait at me! So I jumped out of the way, but he kept going up and up! higher than anything I have ever seen before! At the top of his height he grabbed the brake and the rear tire stopped and made a squeak sound. It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up! My whole body was covered with goose bumps! At that very moment I knew thats what I wanted to do!
17 OVER EXPERT: 1.Eddie Fiola 2.Paul Nolan 3.Hugo Gonzalez
16 UNDER EXPERT: 1.Mike Dominguez 2.Brian Blyther 3.Rich Sigur
17 OVER NOVICE: 1.Kevin Ball 2.Vince Wheeler 3.Ron Wilkerson
16 UNDER NOVICE: 1.Marc McGlynn 2.Donovan Ritter 3.Troy Donaldson
Hugo Gonzales on the cover of BMX Action.
|ROUND 1 PIPELINE.
Report, results, pics (5)
Del Mar, March 18, 1984.
Medias: Freestylin' #1 summer 84.
Pro: 1.Michael Dominguez 2.Hugo Gonzales 3.Brian Deam
Expert 17 and over: 1.Jon Peterson 2.Paul Nolan 3.Ted Emmer 4.Xavier Mendez 5.Steve Peralta
Expert 16 and under: 1.Marc McGlyn 2.Donovan Ritter 3.Rich Sigur 4.Robert Artigo
Donnovan Ritter, www.kingoftheskateparks.com, july 2013: When the morning of the contest arrived I was approached by my sponsor Bob Haro. He handed me the very first Haro Sport frame and said, here I want you to ride this frame for the contest. He also included, dont worry its the same geometry as the master just has different top tubes. Bobs a good liar! The frame was like an inch and a half longer. I hated it! The frame killed my whole day. All of my practice went out the window, I entered the highest air contest any way hoping to be close to Mike Dominguez. Didnt happen! My mojo was slammed to the floor! Notice Mike Ds frame, Mike is on a skyway frame with Haro stickers. This was my airs the day before on the Haro master.
|ROUND 3 UPLAND.
Medias: Freestylin' fall 84.
PROS 1. Mickael Dominguez 2. Hugo Gonzales 3. Eddie Fiola
17 OVER EXPERTS 1. Paul Nolan 2.(tie) Rich Sigur 2.(tie) Robert Artigo 4. Steve Peralta
16 UNDER EXPERTS 1. Donovan Ritter 2. Brian Blyther 3. Mark McGlynn
17 OVER NOVICES 1. Dave Vanderspek 2. Angel Rosas 3. Dale Perez 4. Franck Lopez
16 UNDER NOVICES 1. Robert Aguillar 2. Jeff Carroll 3. Franck Garrido
King Of Skateparks Finals, Pipeline, Upland, California, september 16th, 1984.
BMX Freestyle UK, may 1985: There's a new king on the trone ! The 1985 King of the Skateparks is ex Haro rider Mike Dominguez, now riding for Hutch. Despite Eddie Fiola winning the final round, Dominguez had already amassed enough points to clinch the title; turning up to the final round with broken leg thanks to an incident with a trick three weeks before.
The famous 'max air contest' was also won by Fiola with a height of eight feet and three inches exactly.
Report, results, pics, videos.
Freestylin' march 1985.
|1985 AFA KOS ROUND 1.
Del Mar skate ranch, February 24, 1985.
Medias: Freestylin july 1985.
PRO: 1.Brian Blyther 2.Hugo Gonzalez 3.Eddie Fiola 4.Mike Dominguez 5.Dave Vanderspek
17 OVER EXPERT: 1.Tony Murray 2.Andy Shohara 3.Jon Peterson 4.Rich Sigur
16 UNDER EXPERT: 1.Marc McGlynn 2.Donovan Ritter 3.Jeff Carroll 4.Robby McCrary
16 UNDER NOVICE: 1.Eddie Roman 2.Chris Shaffer 3.Randy McCrary 4.Randy Lawrence
Hugo Gonzales fence 360.
|1985 AFA KOS ROUND 2.
Upland Combi-pool, April 28, 1985.
Medias: Freestylin september 1985.
Mike Dominguez 540 air.
PRO: 1.Michael Dominguez 2.Brian Blyther 3.Eddie Fiola 4.Hugo Gonzalez 5.Dave Vanderspek
17 OVER EXPERT: 1.Rich Sigur 2.Tony Murray 3.Robert Aguilar 4.Jon Peterson
16 UNDER EXPERT: 1.Jeff Carroll 2.Robby McCrary 3.Danny Ponce 4.Marc McGlynn
17 OVER NOVICE: 1.Mike Capito 2.Randy Lawrence 3.David Smith
16 UNDER NOVICE: 1.Randy McCrary 2.Todd Anderson 3.Vinny Williams 4.Scott Robinson
|1985 KOS ROUND 3.
Del Mar, July 21, 1985.
Medias: Freestylin january 1986.
Donnovan Ritter, www.kingoftheskateparks.com, july 2013: This was the last time I ever rode in the Del Mar Skate Ranch! Second to last contest of the K.O.S. contest. Six months before this Eddie Fiola got third place behind Hugo Gonzalez. Eddie did not improve at all from the last contest, the only new trick he was doing was a fence plant. I figured shoot this is the last contest at Del Mar so I turned pro to beat Eddie. My run was dialed in, I had four different places in the half-pipe where my airs were about seven feet out. I would do an aerial variation then land smooth enough to do a fence plant on the other side. Hard to do just so you understand. I wouldnt have cared if I had got beaten by Mike Dominguez or Brian Blyther, but when Eddie Fiola beat all three of us! I lost it! I went to all the judges and called them all cock suckers! Add up my trick list to Eddies and you would be surprised. I can do all Eddies tricks plus, my airs were two feet higher, real look-backs, no footers, Eddie aired in two places and I aired in four. I used more of the half-pipe, plus I could session the pipe smooth enough to go higher and higher. My run had more tricks and higher airs! Oh yea! I forgot to have Woody Itson, Tim Judge, Mike Miranda judge my runs!
PRO: 1.Eddie Fiola 2.Mike Dominguez 3.Brian Blyther 4.Donovan Ritter 5.Dave Vanderspek
17 OVER EXPERT: 1.Tony Murray 2.Rich Sigur 3.Dean Palacios 4.Andy Shohara
17 OVER NOVICE: 1.Mike Anderson 2.Gary Gonzo 3.Dennis Earlas 4.Mike Capito
16 UNDER EXPERT: 1.Marc McGlynn 2.Jeff Carroll 3.Robby McCrary
16 UNDER NOVICE: 1.Randy McCrary 2.Joe Smith 3.Vinny Williams 4.Tony Adams
|1985 KOS FINALS.
AFA King of the Skateparks final round, Pipeline, California, October 13, 1985.
Report, results, videos.
|BMX Plus! may 1986: Bob Morales has announced the AFA schedules of freestyle contests for 1986. Six Freestyle Masters contests and four King of Skateparks events:
March 30, 1986, Pipeline, Upland, California.
May 11, 1986, Delmar, San Diego, California.
September 14, 1986, Delmar, San Diego, California.
November 16, Pipeline, Upland, California.
Eddie Fiola wins the King of the Skateparks series in Upland California.
Jeff Caroll at the pipeline during the 1986 AFA King of the Skatepark finals! He took three hard slams before completing his first one.