Getting to Know: Flow & Style Expert Tommy Zula

Nov 17, 2018
by Harrison Fetter  

Tommy Zula
The Dayton, Ohio local is this years winner of Pumptrack Worlds. Tommy's background in bikes started with BMX racing for DK Bicycles. When his then sponsor suggested he try mountain bikes, Zula had no idea what he was getting into. Now on Airborne Bicycles, Zula has made a lasting impression with his speed and style on the pump track and in the dirt. His happy go lucky attitude and passion for the sport are contagious and with his skills, a winning combination.

Describe yourself.

Determined, spontaneous, and goofy.

Where are you from and where do you live?

I'm from Dayton, Ohio and currently living in Dayton, Ohio as well.

Who do you ride for?

I ride for Airborne Bicycles, Fly Racing, Onyx Racing, KMC Chain, Vee Tire Co, Velofix Bike Shop, Broski Headphones, Kickpower Energy, and Circle E Clothing.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Coffee, play with my puppy Lily, then right into a morning training session. After I wrap up the training it's either going to meet up with some friends for a trail ride or heading to the skate park. Always trying to ride a new spot to keep things fresh.

How did you get into mountain biking?

It's a funny story how I got started on mountain biking. I grew up racing BMX and riding for DK Bicycles. Their headquarters is located in Ohio so I went into the office to grab a new BMX frame and the owner, Bill, calls me into the office for a chat. I'm freaking out thinking I'm in trouble when he looks at me and asks "you ever thought about riding a mountain bike?" I quickly respond that no, I haven't. Bill responds by telling me to grab a mountain bike and downhill frame and go try it out. Left the office that day with no idea what I was getting into. A couple days later I built up the DH bike and drove 6 hours to Snow Shoe Mountain in West Virginia. First run down I'm cheesin' ear to ear and been completely hooked since that day!

What is something you believe that other people think is crazy?

The earth is flat.

What are your strengths?

Jumping and pumping.

What are your weaknesses?

Cornering and line choice.

Where’s your favorite place to ride?


Do you have any big projects or trips planned for the rest of 2018?

Airborne has a new 27.5" enduro and 29” trail bike that we have been working on and those will be coming out soon. We are planning on shooting a new edit for the release and then I have the Redbull Pumptrack world championships coming up!

What’s been your worst crash over the years?

That's a tough one. I had a real good crash at Windrock Bike Park over the winter that had me out for a while. Went over the bars right into the face of the lip and blew my shoulder into pieces.

What bikes are you riding right now?

Airborne Skyhawk 26” DJ
Airborne dual slalom prototype 26”
Airborne Toxin 29” trail bike
Airborne Pathogen DH bike

Who’s your favorite rider?

Downhill - Danny Hart
Slopestyle - Brandon Semenuk
All around rider - Tomas Lemoine

Who or what inspires you?

All three of those riders that I just named are huge inspirations for me. But I'm also always pushing my limit and trying to be faster or more stylish on the bike.

What’s your favorite motto or saying?

“Go Big or Go Home”

What annoys you?

Changing tires.

What makes you happy?

A clean bike.

What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?

I'm a huge coffee drinker, enjoy going to the beach, and love fresh powder to go snowboarding.

What’s your favorite non-bike website?


If you weren’t a pro mountain biker, what would you be doing?

Honestly, I have no idea. Nothing else gets me as much satisfaction. I absolutely love riding. Even if I wasn't doing it for a living I would still be riding.

Where do you think the future freeride is headed?

I think the future is bright for freeriding. The progression is ridiculous and there are a lot more jam style events taking place that create such a great atmosphere.

How do you want to be remembered?

As someone that made the most of every day and lived life to the fullest.

What does the future hold for Tommy Zula?

Crankworx events, more web edits, downhill racing and having as much fun as possible!

MENTIONS: @AirborneBicycles @FlyRacing @kmcchain


  • + 36
 Your puppy Lily told me to tell you that the earth is indeed round
  • + 11
 Careful not to ride off the edge
  • - 3
 Shut up you globetards
  • + 3
 The irony of a mountain biker believing the Earth is flat... or a brilliant case of trolling
  • + 5
 I rmemeber seeing him at some bmx races in Salt Lake City. This was probably 8 years ago, and i was blown away by his style, bike crontrol, speed, creative line choice, and how high he jumps. So fun to see him in rge MTB world.
  • + 0
 I don't know why but I want to steal your word "Crontrol" and trademark it as the next up and coming slang to use in place of things like "Shralp, Point end of the Results, Savage, etc".

Please join me in the fight to bring "Crontrol to the forefront of new age gravity slang"
  • + 2
 @bizutch: SECOND THAT
  • + 8
 He's taking the piss isn't he?
  • + 7
 Who knows these days....morons ride bikes too
  • - 3
 @LuvAZ: if I was in position to say something in an interview, I’d definitely say something inflammatory to see the world burn for a moment. But I still liked your post... not saying he is a moron by any means but, so many folks who see someone riding better than them instantly shut down half of their IQ acting like monkeys in front of the Monolith is Space Oddysey.
  • + 5
 The earth is flat... its a shame we'll have to launch such an awesome guy to the moon
  • + 1
 Met Tommy at Windrock this past April. Had no clue who he was and he was like "you guys wanna come up for a lap?" Super nice guy, amazing style, and following him down the Pro GRT course was impressive! Hope to see more edits in the near future!
  • + 2
 I came down to the comments section to see if someone had commented on the near collision. I wondered at first if it was planned but then there wasn't anyone else in the video.
  • + 4
 Extremely stylish rider, shame he has a particular out of fashion belief
  • + 8
 I think it was a joke
  • + 11
 Or he‘s hit his head to many times
  • + 16
 What's wrong with being a huge coffee drinker ?
  • + 1
 He rides at Ray's MTB a good bit. Saw him up there a few weeks back hitting the craziest lines in the Profile room. Dude is an animal on two wheels.
  • + 1
 It's been a pleasure watching you go from a funny little brat at the bmx track to a fine young man Tommy. Always wishing you the best.
  • + 2
 What a great presentation,really nice ,great tune great video ,great riding
  • + 2
The bike will teach you to Fly,
"Cheesin ear to ear!"
  • + 1
 Met him at a slalom race a year ago. Dude is insane fast and even better is so down to earth/sociable guy.
  • + 10
 he sounds very down to flat-earth
  • + 2
 Great edit, all killer no filler. This guy rips everything.
  • + 2
 thought graf won worlds I'm missing something
  • + 1
 Tommy def didn’t win, he won a qualifier
  • + 1
 Great rider and personality. Seen him at Windrock and he definitely can send.
  • + 1
 Look! A guy riding berms hard! Pinkbike is never onenote or boring!
  • - 3
 I feel so bad for people who have to wear Fly Racing Gear. Their gear is just so cheesy looking to me.
Everything looks like a back booth at Eurobike.
Visors in the down position, color combos that look like an eye chart test for color blindness & random chops up graphics just to make sure they don't follow the same plane as another designer.

No wonder Fasthouse found a niche. K.I.S.S.

His riding...pure awesome. He's fun to watch at Windrock cause he's going too big and too fast at all times. "Devil Horns" to you sir Tommy!!!
  • + 1
 Saw him race locally and he rips!!!!
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