​I think it’s safe to say there’s a 99% chance you’ve seen this iconic image of Vic Murphy laying a perfectly flat one-footed table off of a curb before. I also think it’s safe to say you probably know little-to-nothing about it. Well, the photo - which is one of the most seen in the history of BMX - was shot over twenty years ago by Ride BMX Magazine founder / then-editor and the guy who would later go on to create Vital BMX, Brad McDonald. We caught up with Brad to learn the whole story.

Vic Murphy by Brad McDonald

What year was this?

1993.

Where did the photo originally run?

It ran in issue #6 of Ride BMX.

Were you guys shooting for anything in particular or just out cruising?

Vic and I started out that day shooting at Mission Trails - dirt jumps in San Diego - so that was the main focus. The curb jumping shots were secondary. One of the photos from Mission Trails ran on the cover of the magazine and the curb jump ran as a spread on the inside. Both were one-footed tables. It was a little unusual to have two photos of the same guy doing the same trick, but I thought they were both great photos and deserved to be seen. It’s funny to me that the cover photo has mostly been forgotten. At the time, I thought it was a better photo. Given the equipment of that era, it was a much more difficult photo to take, but only photographers look at photos that way - haha.

Vic Murphy on the cover of Ride BMX Issue #6. Same issue, same trick, same photographer.

There’s another rider in the photo… any idea who that is?

It’s Tony Skojec. I actually saw him and Vic at a Haro book release party last year.

Vic Murphy and Tony Skojec (perhaps better known as the other guy in the photo) in 2014.

Any recollection of what your camera / film setup was at the time?

It was probably a Nikon F4 and an 80-200 2.8 lens. Film was either Kodak Tri X or TMax 400. Shooting black-and-white film is a lot like shooting digital. Both are very forgiving, so all you really need to think about is composition and timing.

When you first got this developed, did you have any idea it would be such a big deal?

I definitely thought people would be stoked on the photo, but just in the normal way - a few nice comments and everyone moves on. And, that is kind of what happened. It wasn’t until years later with the advent of social media that there started to be ongoing chatter about the photo. Ride republished it once or twice, but social media is where it gets constantly reposted and commented on.

Looking back, how do you feel about the photo today?

I’m stoked to have shot a photo that means so much to a lot of people. I think for some people, it represents that era of BMX for them in a nostalgic way. But, even for younger riders, there’s a lot they can appreciate - perfectly flat one-footed tables, jumping curbs, and riding with a friend are timeless.


Want a print of this photo? Click here to download the hi-res version! IMAGE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY.


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