Meet the man who inspired RampFest, host venue of the 2024 BMX Freestyle National Championships

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In the late 1980s and early 90s, Trevor King stood out in the Melbourne BMX Freestyle scene.

King dominated local competitions at the time and created entirely new tricks in the sport, leaving a legacy that lasts to this day through the creation of the RampFest Indoor Skate Park in Braybrook in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

That legacy was further entrenched late last year when King was inducted into the Australian BMX Hall of Fame, an experience the 54-year-old reflected on with AusCycling ahead of this year’s BMX Freestyle national championship.

“The night was just unbelievable. I met so many people from the past. It was like I needed 20 hours in the room to talk to everyone that I know. And nothing but great comments to me and congratulations. It was just brilliant.”

After initially being exposed to BMX Racing as a child through his father, King reveals that his interest in BMX Freestyle was ignited when he picked up a copy of BMX Action magazine “with Toby Henderson on the front cover for memory”.

King jokingly adds that he wasn’t very quick as a BMX racer, and was “having more fun in the break, jumping doubles.It was just a progression of I'm not fast enough, and Freestyle was just starting then really in Victoria or in Australia, and I just loved it”.

King’s riding then took off in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He first grabbed attention after winning the 1988 Pro Ramp competition and becoming overall Pro winner at the Victorian Freestyle Championships in Thomastown.

Trevor King
Photo: Kim Brock, supplied by Unscene History.

Excelling across park, ramp, and flatland disciplines, King then won Rider of the Year at the Flatamp Nunawading Weekend Nationals in 1990, before winning Freestyler of the Year in 1992 under the Ramp category at the 2Hip Nationals.

Driven by his love of the sport, King describes how he and other riders would spend hours on end riding at the limited facilities available, leading to innovations in technique.

“You knew the guys that rode were there for one reason, and that was to just have fun and learn.. There was no money in it at all. So, the thing was everyone was genuine … We used to go to Skate Ranch. That was like our church. And then we'd go on to Knox Bowl and just ride till we dropped.

“You get the adrenaline of winning, but also just the adrenaline of day-to-day, from getting tricks dialled. And I had times where I'd be doing Flatland by myself and I'd do something and go, ‘How’d I do that?!’

“I was doing 360-tailwhips, and I think I was the first in the world. (Photographer) John Kerr happened to be at Knox Bowl and we called them a blender. And one of the guys there yelled out to me, ‘Do a blender!’ And then he goes, ‘John, watch this’.

“John ran to his car to get his other camera that had a motor drive, and he was like, ‘What the hell was that?!’ And he was a worldwide BMX photographer and he'd never seen one.”

Trevor King
Photo: Kim Brock, supplied by Unscene History.

The innovation is even more remarkable given the quality of bikes King was riding at the time.

“A lot of us went to (bike shop) PRM at the time, and found a few DTs and Haros that were all the go. And they were great, but very heavy. The S&M War Pig that they had at the Hall of Fame was nearly 20 kilos. My bike I ride now is less than half of that, and mine's not a light bike because I still run four pegs and two brakes.”

King recalls Steve Cassap as a rider that inspired and motivated him during the early days of BMX Freestyle, while listing Tammy Storer, Scott Edington, and Nicky Watts as his toughest competitors on the bike, and his investment in the sport also lead to the occasional brush with fame.

“(We heard) from word of mouth that (Matt Hoffman) was coming out. So, we drove for two days to the Gold Coast, and there was a half-pipe set up, but no Matt.

“I had to go to the bank, and I'm coming back from the bank across this field, and I just saw this fluoro bike and a ponytail. And it was like meeting Elvis! It was like, ‘Oh my God, Matt Hoffman’s here!’ It was just unreal.”

Trevor King
Photo: Lindsay Brown, supplied by Unscene History.

King’s dedication and performance also didn’t go unnoticed by others, inspiring the creation of Australia’s largest and arguably most recognisable indoor venue built specifically for skate and BMX.

“My friend Brett Williams built (RampFest) originally, and he built it because of me … He just goes, ‘You influenced me so much to ride, that I wanted to build an indoor skatepark.’
“Now I'll go there, and I have to pay! And I’m like, ‘I’m the reason this is here’!” he jokes.

While he admits that years of injury have slowed him down, King is still active in the sport, having recently competed in the 2022 Moomba BMX Jam as part of the Victorian State Championships.

“I happened to be there, and my friend said, ‘Why don't you enter?’. And I went, ‘Oh well, okay!’ Then I had mates go and they saw the results too online, and they're like, ‘What the hell! It’s like you’re 54, man! Give it up!’

“And the respect from [the other riders] was awesome. I was like these kids are going to be like, ‘Who's this old guy!’ But they all knew me, which was good.”

“I wouldn’t have grown up in a different time. It was just unbelievable, and BMX is just a massive part of my life. I can't imagine it not in my life.”


2024 AusCycling BMX Freestyle National Championships

Weekend spectator tickets are now on sale via the Rampfest website.

Follow @AusCycling

The 2024 AusCycling BMX Freestyle National Championships are proudly presented by RampFest in partnership with Maribyrnong City Council & the Victorian State Government.


Main image: Australian BMX Hall of Fame.

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