September 2, 1957 |
Santa Monica, California, United States
Tony Alva (born September 2, 1957) is an American skateboarder most prominently known as one of the original members of Z-Boys skateboarding team. He is considered one of the most influential skateboarders of all time.
He was born in Santa Monica, California to Mexican parents. The level of aggression with which Alva skated was in stark contrast to the traditional style of the era, which was still based around tricks formulated in the 1960s. Alva and the other Z-Boys were among the first to bring skating empty pools into the mainstream. In these early days, it was noted that Alva hit the lip so hard that he caught air, hence Alva is often credited for the first recorded aerials, a frontside air, although Alva himself claimed that George Orton was the first to perform aerials. The same year he was voted 'skateboarder of the year' in Skateboarder Magazine's readers' poll and he set the Guinness World Record for barrel jumping.
Alva the company 
In 1977, at the age of 19, Tony Alva shunned the major skate companies to form his own, Alva Skates. It was the first company ever run and owned by a skateboarder, as well as being one of the first to use layered Canadian maple plywood in skate decks. In December 2005, Alva opened two stores in Southern California locations—Oceanside near San Diego, and on Fairfax Ave in Los Angeles. In December 2006, he celebrated the first anniversary of the stores with a party at the Los Angeles shop, which was attended by some of the old Z-Boys, current Alva Team members, MySpace friends, skate fans, and other minor celebrities. Tony signed autographs and served as DJ for the catered event. The bad boy image of the legendary Z-Boy was present in the publicity postcard invitation, which featured a drawing of a hand flipping the bird with a lit wick coming off of the end of the middle finger as if it were a birthday candle. Tony Alva also pioneered the first Rip Grip product, a material that could stick onto the underside of a skateboarder's deck making it easier to maintain grip.
Media appearances 
Alva is featured in the documentary on Santa Monica and Venice Beach skate culture Dogtown and Z-Boys which was fictionalized into the 2005 feature film Lords of Dogtown. He also played the role of Tony Bluetile in the 1978 film, Skateboard: The Movie. Tony Alva signed a three year deal with Vans shoes and his pro model high-top was released in 2006. Tony Alva was featured in the video game, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland. In 2012 he appeared on an episode of the A&E reality series Storage Wars to appraise a skateboard.
In 2012 Alva joined forces with DFL vocalist Tom Paul Davis (Crazy Tom), guitarist Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks, Bad Religion) and former Suicidal Tendencies drummer Amery Smith forming the Hardcore Punk band G.F.P. General Fucking Principle. They are collectively working on new material with Beastie Boys Mario Caldato, Jr.
- Guerrero, Melissa, Urban Latino, "Brown Kids Can Skate: Interview with Stacy Peralta"(June 2001)
- Skateboarder magazine, July, 1978
- 1975 USSA World Invitational Skateboard Championships. Juice Magazine. Retrieved on 2012-09-01.
- G.F.P. General Fucking Principle | Los Angeles, CA | Metal / Punk Rock / Hardcore | Music, Lyrics, Songs, and Videos. ReverbNation. Retrieved on 2012-09-01.
- Friedman, Glen E.; Stecyk, C.R. (2000). Dog Town – The Legend of The Z-Boys. New York City: Burning Flags Press. ISBN 0-9641916-4-4.
- Friedman, Glen E. (1994). Fuck You Heroes (Photographs 1976–1991). New York City: Burning Flags Press. ISBN 0-9641916-0-1.
- Brooke, Michael (1999). "Appendix C: Skateboard Competitions (1963–1993)". The Concrete Wave. Toronto: Warwick Publishing. ISBN 1-894020-54-5.
- Tony Alva - his official bio web site.
- ALVA SURFCRAFT - his official Alva SURF/CRAFT web site.
- ALVA SKATES – His official ALVA SKATES web site.
- Vans Team Alva - His official Vans web page.