Getting to Know: BMX Crossover Anthony Napolitan

Mar 10, 2020
by Ed Spratt  
Photo: Jake David

Anthony Napolitan

X-Games BMX medalist and the Dew Cup champion Anthony Napolitan has taken on a new challenge for 2020 with the hope to take on some of the Fest Series and even attend a couple of Crankworx events alongside his BMX commitments.

We caught up with Anthony to talk about what his plans for 2020 are and how he is mixing mountain bike riding in with BMX.

Photo: Jake David

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I’m originally from Youngstown Ohio. I lived in State College, PA for almost 10 years and I’m currently on year 8 of living in Costa Mesa, CA.

Who do you ride for?

I’m officially riding for YT. Through my BMX career, I have crossover sponsors like Maxxis, Profile Racing and Sun Ringle that are supporting me. I’m also getting support from Deity, Mucoff and The Cyclist bike shop here in Costa Mesa.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m usually up pretty early around 6:30-7. I’ll catch a morning MTB ride with friends in Laguna, Aliso or the Luge. By the time that’s over, I’ll grab some lunch at home and swap my MTB gear out for BMX gear and then head to the trails to dig and ride.

How did you get into mountain biking?

Over many years of traveling for BMX events, I’ve been able to dabble into MTB in places like Whistler and Queenstown. I truly didn’t get into MTB until the last 2-3 years. My younger brother started riding after he recovered from double knee surgery. I started getting demo bikes when I would visit him in PA. I ended up traveling to a Fest Series event in Oregon and I got hooked after riding Aggy's bike for a couple of hours. Eventually, Leigh Ramsdell at Mongoose was nice enough to send me a bike to start on. After that, I just started to become addicted to it.

What are your strengths?

A lot of my strengths come from BMX. Bike handling and jumping are for sure the crossover traits. I think that some of the strengths that I’ve gained since riding MTB are reaction time, climbing endurance and overall fitness. I actually love climbing.

What are your weaknesses?

Flat banked berms are for sure my weakness. There are so many amazing downhill trails in my area that just end in a flat bank turn with a cliff on the other side. I’m learning how to get through them better now but it’s still a learning curve.

Photo: Jake David

What’s been the worse crash you've had?

Recently I was exiting a rock garden and clipped my bar-end on a tree. I got sent backwards down the trail and I was pretty beat up. I went to the chiropractor that day and had to get some adjustments. I was in some serious discomfort.

Do you have any big projects or trips planned for 2020?

Yeah, I actually do! I’d like to get to as many Fest events as I can. I love hanging and riding with all those dudes! I recently got 3rd in the expert class at the South Ridge Winter Series and I’ve also been considering speed and style and pump track at Crankworx. Kyle Strait has offered for me to come down to his compound and feel out what his line has going on to kind of prepare for something like that. I think Sea Otter is very likely as well as some of the local DH/enduro race series that we have here in SoCal. I have to do a lot of balancing between my BMX schedule and a potential MTB schedule.

Where’s your favorite place to ride?

I was able to spend 6 months in Park City, Utah last year while building the new Woodward facility - there is so much to ride there. Being there for that long made me such a better rider than I was.

What bikes are you riding right now?

I’m currently on a 2020 YT Jefsy 27.5, Tues 27.5 and I have a Dirt Love 26.

Who or what inspires you?

I try to draw inspiration from everywhere. A lot of it comes from the people that I ride with every day. Watching more videos online for sure helps with inspiring new creativity.

What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?

As of right now, I’d say that bikes have pretty much taken over a lot of my spare time. I do enjoy surfing but I haven’t done that in a while. The current ocean temps aren’t exactly motivating for me haha! Over the last 4 years, I’ve been doing a lot of ramp building so that’s been going really well.

Photo: Jake David

How do you find mixing MTB and BMX riding?

I find that the back and forth is pretty easy on the 27.5 or larger. I’m usually riding BMX and MTB on the same day and I have zero issues with it. I will say that I think the geo on the 26 DJ is so close to a BMX that it does make the transition back to BMX much more difficult.

How did you end up riding YT bikes?

Well, the first MTB that I ever bought was a YT Jeffsy. My buddy who used to work with my wife at Fox Racing worked for YT at the time. I think the stoke level was high on my side and his. Eventually, they reformatted their ambassador/rider programs and I found myself in a position to ride for them. It was so rad because I almost felt that it was coming together because of the way we worked together was super organic. Everyone at YT is so rad to hang out with and work with, on and off the bike.

What are your future plans for mountain biking?

I really believe that the sky is the limit. I’m just going to keep setting goals for myself and the companies that support me and try my best to achieve them. I want to make sure that I’m keeping all my BMX and MTB sponsors happy and continue climbing over to that next mountain peak.


  • 10 0
 One of the craziest clips ever for sure!
  • 5 7
 Even in the very last moment he wouldn't know... he fkd up...
  • 14 0
 words can't describe how badly that could've ended
  • 1 5
flag McArdle (Mar 10, 2020 at 13:06) (Below Threshold)
 What was the outcome of that crash? Did he get speared or is he miraculously OK?
  • 1 0
 @McArdle: no damage at all! Crazy
  • 2 0
 @samthirks: missed one crankworks already
  • 1 0
 cool thing is he licensed the footage and now gets payed for every view
  • 3 0
 Had the pleasure of meeting him years ago, great vibes and energy, would be great for MTB.
  • 2 0
 @jorgeposada: All around BOSS and super nice guy.
  • 1 0
 @tobiusmaximum: one word come to mind, starts and ends with a "D".
  • 1 2
 Downvoted for asking a question?
  • 24 0
 i love his strawberry, chocolate and vanilla ice cream...


I'll see myself out.
  • 5 0
 Have an upvote!! I thought it was funny...
  • 23 0
 His typical day sounds like my dream day.
  • 10 0
 He survived a fence impalement and now the poor guy has to listen to a bunch of online Barneys telling him to wear a helmet, a condom, a face mask, kneepads, a tie, floss, and stay below the speed limit and between the lines and that his YT is killing the LBS.
  • 7 2
 It's like slopestyle is the Major League Soccer of biking - all the good BMX riders try to make it in MTB once they start aging out of BMX. Not that it's a bad thing - it's nice to have more variety and skill, just interesting that there seems to be more money / exposure to be had in MTB.
  • 13 0
 There's cyclocross riders making more money than most of the slopestyle guys.It's more that there is ZERO money in bmx right now.
  • 7 3
 This is a large assumption but I feel as if BMX riders think its a bit easier to compete in MTB events because the level of tricks isn't quite as mental. Just curious to see if he pulls a Drew Bezanson or an Andy Buckworth and competes for a season then realizes how difficult slope style and fest riding and all that actually is then disappears from the scene as fast as they came in, only time will tell I suppose! Who knows though, maybe he will kill it!
  • 14 0
 @Keyboardkilla: Nyquist was great to watch in slopestyle!
  • 5 5
 @watchmen: Cyclocross. The stupidest form of cycling and yes, they suck up A LOT of money.
Back in the day for example, during Nico Vink’s WC downhill days, the Belgian cycling federation didn’t even bother to get him in a National Team jersey. No no, all the money had to go to the CX folks... Terrible, terrible crowd here in The Netherlands. There cyclists who earn the money way harder then the cyclocrossers.-
  • 6 0
 @watchmen: I wouldn't say there is zero money but whatever money there is, it's spread pretty thin. I mean when was the last time your dentist bought a $10k BMX bike?
  • 1 2
 Rampage is the MLS of Slopestyle
  • 1 0
 @Samhayez: Nyquist is the goat and fit in to the slope scene so well and even got third in joyride, that’s why I didn’t mention him, but I should have!
  • 1 11
flag deco1 (Mar 11, 2020 at 1:45) (Below Threshold)
 What’s up with all the old BMX losers trying to relive their youth commenting on Pinkbike like the level of BMX dirt isn’t way lower then the level of slopestyle. Dude Barry Nobles competed in X games dirt competition.

The jumps are like half as big and just straight step up trick booters, not to mention and correct me if I’m wrong BMXers don’t even try to do opposites. If you don’t think Emil, Rheeder or or Semenuk could win any X games BMX event your delusional, and both Rogatkin and Godziek moved to slopestyle because they had pretty much clocked BMX, the former at like 15.

Also did you not see the big air at X games last year Ferguson literally did the smallest flat drop backflip I’ve ever seen and it was into a quarter landing and they lost there minds, Rheeder is backflip tail whipping drops 3 times as big, and Testa’s backflip no hander of big joyride drop last year was probably 5 times bigger.
  • 1 2
 @Keyboardkilla: Lol he only got third because everyone else crashed, Nyquist was found out in slopestyle pretty quick after the novelty of having him compete wore off.
  • 1 0
 It's also the case that riding a 20" with no suspension takes its toll on your body. You can ride longer each day with bigger wheels, and for more years.
  • 1 0
 @Paddock22: Also, BMX bikes don't break all that easily.
  • 8 5
 Do not go to a “chiropractor” as they have no medical background what so ever. It’s snake oil with a good chance of long term pain or worse. If you need medical treatment for your muscles or bones, seek advise from a physiotherapist and/or osteopath.
  • 2 2
 Here in the US chiropractors have a similar level of schooling as medical doctors, 4 years pre med like traditional doctors and 4 years chiropractic school. Theres good ones and not so good ones just like any other field. I've been to regular orthos who were good and looked at the big picture and some who just prescribed pills and didn't really fix anything too.
  • 1 0

You should know that it's the "National Board of Chiropractic Examiners" exam and dish out the "doctorate" after 4 years of "medical" training. In other words, the charlatans hand each other out their certificates and examen each other. It's utter bullshit.

There is a reason that in most developed countries class the "treatment" is classed as "alternative medicine".

I'm not surprised that you think it's the real deal, seeing you are from the US.

If you don't believe me, take it from the horse's mouth:
  • 1 0
 @Brklss: I never insinuated that chiropractic wasn't an alternative medicine. I agree that it is. I was only commenting that they do have to have a medical background prior to chiropractic school, contrary to what you stated. As far as my nationality playing a role in this that's irrelevant, there's plenty of people here who don't trust chiropractors and I'm not some wacky anti-vaxxer who doesn't trust western medicine.
As far as the governing body that cerifies chiropractors that's not remarkably different from the AMA certifying doctors or the Nurses Association certifying nurses, usually any governing body for a profession is specific to that profession.
It's ok with me if you don't want to go to a chiropractor, that's your choice but not sure why you hate them so passionately, just like other alternative medicines it can work for some people.
  • 5 0
 Still remember the double front flip he landed at Xgames 10 years ago. That was a massive trick.
  • 1 0
 same here, first thing I thought of. That was a big deal at the time.
  • 6 0
 Haha I just Raced him on Sunday! Cool dude!
  • 2 0
 Anthony probably just likes to ride his goddamn mountain bike like the rest of us, and thats why he is going to start doing more MTB events. Plus, the way BMX trails are nowadays, it takes a lot of preparation to just get in one session. It's a social thing too, where you don't bust out the big tricks until there's a camera and buddies ramping up the hype. On a MTB, you grab the bike, a helmet, and some water, drive to the trails, and pedal. It's much more simple and probably a good balance for a BMXer to ride a MTB too. Right @tajlucas!?
  • 4 0
 Ahh the front flip fence guy!! Lucky
  • 2 0
 So cool to see this up on PB after spending last weekend camping and racing DH with Anthony in Fontana. #SouthridgeWinterSeries
  • 3 0
 How does that fence vid not have a gazillion views
  • 2 2
 Is this gonna be like the time Drew Bezanson became a mountain biker for a big redbull web series, didn't do that well, then went back to bmx (where he kills it and is awesome)?
  • 1 0
 Drew has been injured pretty much every year since he tried slopestyle, so he hasn't had the time to compete much in BMX, yet alone slopestyle
  • 1 0
 its gonna suck for him on a downhill bike, he wont be able to throw those crazy X-ups lol
  • 1 0
 Yea buddy!
  • 1 1
 When it comes to Napolitan I prefer the strawberry.
  • 1 0
  • 1 2
 actually love climbing ? mmmmm....
  • 8 0
 i kinda like it long as its singletrack ya know

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