As a kid, Anthony Napolitan bounced between sports, looking for the right fit. One of his eighth-grade football team-mates – the one who rode his BMX bike to practice – invited him to a makeshift riding compound one weekend, and Anthony caught on quick. When the school year ended, he dived into riding BMX full-bore, leaving the football team in the dust.
Riding with the neighbourhood crew in Youngstown, Ohio, Anthony continued to progress, but it was the opening of a nearby skatepark – Section 8 – that took his riding to the next level. He eventually met veteran Red Bull team rider Kevin Robinson, who got Anthony into Woodward Camp and onto the Hoffman Bikes team in 2005. Anthony moved to Woodward and worked hard to develop the tricks he’d need in his arsenal.
Midwestern native and California transplant Anthony finally exploded onto the BMX dirt scene in 2006, wrapping up the overall title on the five-stop Dew Tour and coming home from his debut X Games with a bronze medal. He earned another X Games bronze the following year in Big Air and he returned to the event in 2009 to land the first double front flip in BMX history. He also won the 2009 BMX World Championships in Cologne, Germany.
Fresh from earning the Dirt title at the BMX Worlds, Anthony showed up at X Games with a secret banger in his trick bag. An early master of the new-school frontflip, he had unveiled several variations over the years, but he’d struggled with one that turned out to be tailor-made for the Big Air ramp. He landed the first-ever double frontflip there, cementing his reputation as a frontrunner in the progression of jumping tricks.
In 2011, he collaborated with Red Bull to create a new style of BMX dirt competition with the debut of the groundbreaking new Red Bull Dreamline contest. And although he still rides BMX park and the MegaRamp, it’s in the dirt where he’s most at home. “I love dirt jumping, it’s a constant flow,” Anthony says. “I like being in rhythm. I’m a jumper at heart, so that’s why I love jumping dirt so much.”Read more