Haro's Old School reunion in Cologne

The Original 1980s Haro Freestyle Team relive the golden days at the 2012 BMX Masters in Germany.

Haro Old School stars show their stuff in Cologne
© George Marshall

Thirty years ago the legendary Haro Freestyle team travelled the world with their quarter pipe show, pushing BMX in its infancy, laying the foundation for what BMX has become today.

Since the days of this original freestyle team, BMX has evolved from the single flat bank and a quarter pipe old school format of that era. Everything from the ramps, the clothes, the bikes and the riding has changed, everything, that is, apart from the importance of going high, which still holds as true today as the first freestyle team pioneered.

Members of the original 1980s Haro team, Ron Wilkerson, Brian Blyther, Dave Nourie and Mike Dominguez, reunited at this year’s World BMX Masters in Cologne Germany to give BMX a reminder of its roots. We spoke to team manager Xavier Mendez about the event.

Haro Old School stars show their stuff in Cologne
Back to school © George Marshall

What’s the concept behind today’s event?
We are here for the 30th Anniversary of the Haro Freestyle team. It’s a chance to celebrate some history.

How did the original team get together?
In 1982 Bob Haro made the first Haro Freestyler frame which was the first BMX frame designed specifically for riding freestyle. Before that frame, everyone rode race frames and modified them for freestyle. Everything was heavily race influenced back then. The uniforms all came from racing and that’s why we had number plates. Bob started out selling all his products at races, that’s how the Haro company got started. Bob Haro created the freestyle team shortly after he launched the freestyler frame. 

Haro Old School stars show their stuff in Cologne
Back to school © George Marshall

Did that frame create a revolution in Freestyle?
It did, but it was based on the Torker race frame. The Torker race frame had a dual top tube which was great for standing on and balancing. Bob Haro designed it after the Torker, but created something new, he changed the geometry. After that frame was released freestyle went boom, everyone started making freestyle frames.

Was Haro the first freestyle team?
One of the first, there was another team called the BMX Action Trick Team which Bob Haro was a member of with RL Osborn. Bob decided to leave to create the Haro team.

I get the impression all the team members are all close friends?
Everyone on the team has been friends since the early 80s and we’ve all stayed in contact and good friends. There’s a strong camaraderie between us. BMX has been such a huge part of all our lives for a long time. The unique thing about Brian Blyther, Mike Dominguez and myself, is we’ve riding with each other for over thirty years and our first initials spell ‘BMX’, so are BMX.

Haro Old School stars show their stuff in Cologne
Back to school © George Marshall

What made you all decide to join up again and put on a show?
People seemed interested again. The time seemed right. In the 90s people weren’t interested in the old skool and the history. The riders of the 90s wanted to create their own new image. In recent years the interest in the old skool has come back, people are interested in old skool riding again and want to know the history.

Do you think that’s because now that BMX is old enough to have a history?
Exactly. With that comes other things such as BMX museums and the Hall of Fame. Riders from that era are starting to get recognized for their accomplishments in the past and it's great to show the younger riders the origins of the sport.