Alva: 77 Neo-Retro

February 27, 2008

Tony Alva was the first guy to catch air out of a pool on a skateboard. That moment, documented by Glen E. Friedman ( about 6 months after Glen’s photo below, changed skateboarding forever. Alva’s (the man and the company) impact on skate culture is immeasurable. The second skateboard I ever got back in 1984 was an Alva board. I rode many Alva boards over the years and even got to skate with some of the Alva pros including Tony himself at various points. It is a tremendous honor for me to be able to collaborate on a print with Glen and Tony, both of whom I admire greatly. The prints will first be available at the Alva store, and then on


This is what Glen has to say about Tony.


Alva was a couple of years older than Adams. Although slightly more restrained than Jay. Tony would take being radical to another level: he could perfect and control all-out aggression on a skateboard with style, and had it down to a science. He had attitude to spare, and if you didn’t already know him or were just present, without enough attitude of your own, you would usually just sit down and watch him proceed to blow your mind.

“I don’t think about giving directions to other kids. I do what I want to do and if they want to do what I do, they had better be ready to suffer the consequences, because I’ve had to.

“If you’re going to skate pools and stuff, it’s better to be ready for anything…ready for police, ready for the owner, for dogs, anything. Part of poolriding is the adventure of being ready for anything that’s gonna come down…Some radical things happen…You gotta be able to skate good and fast, run good and fast or else be able to fight good. When things come down like that, you don’t have time to think about it, you just gotta do it right then…it’s every man for himself. If the cops come…everybody’s just going to go their separate ways. Just hope you get away with it.”

-Tony Alva, SkateBoarder (Vol. 4. No 12)

Alva: 77 Neo-Retro