Tony Alva is a professional skateboarder who is also one of the pioneers of modern skateboarding. Born on September 2, 1957, in Santa Monica, California, Alva grew up in Venice, California. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential skateboarders of all time, and the sport of skateboarding owes him a lot.
Tony Alva started as young as 12, and his skill and competence led him to bag a sponsorship by the surf and skateboard shop called Val Surf at 12. As things began to work for him, he joined the Zephyr skateboarding team alongside Stacy Peralta, Jay Adams, and other legendary skateboarders.
They began to be known as the Z-boys and revolutionized the sport by introducing new techniques and maneuvers.
Alva soon became one of the few skateboarders who created a customized skateboard deck with a broader nose and tail in 1975. This design aimed to make a board that helped gain better control and efficiently perform aerial tricks. The introduction of vertical skating to his performance was another accomplishment of his.
It became one of his most famous skateboard moves, and other skateboarders began following suit.
The late 1970s were marked by success for Alva. His competitive skateboarding career took off when he won the first professional skateboarding contest, the Bahne/Cadillac National Skateboarding Championships, in 1977.
The victory followed him at contests like the Upland Pro Pool Jam, the Oasis Pro Vert, and the Oceanside Pro Bowl.
Alongside his skateboarding career, Alva became a competitive surfer in the late 1970s and won several major contests, including the 1977 Pipeline Masters and the 1978 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational.
Like other sportsmen, Alva also began to delve into popular culture and left a mark. He appeared in the 1978 skateboarding documentary “Skateboard: The Movie,” and was featured in skateboarding magazines, including Skateboarder and Thrasher. Alva had become a widely known name; the 1970s were his peak years.
Alva continued to stay involved in the sport of skateboarding. He founded his skateboard company, Alva Skates, in 1997. The company took off well and became one of the most successful skateboard companies.
After initiating the company by selling skateboards, the company produced clothing and skate shoes that Alva himself designed.
Unfortunately, Alva’s life took a dark turn in the 1990s. It was reported that he had been struggling with addiction for many years. After trying to deal with it, Alva finally joined a rehab facility and fought his addiction.
He came out stronger and better and became an inspiration for numerous people who faced similar problems. Alva is seen as an advocate for sobriety because of his efforts to help others fight their addiction.
Due to his experience in the sport, Alva began working as a commentator for skateboarding contests and assisted in producing skateboarding documentaries. In 2009, Alva was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.
He is looked up to by numerous young skaters who are looking to make a mark in the skateboarding industry. Alva is a constant source of inspiration and a legend well into the 21st century.
I’m an aged skateboarder and I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago but also love surfing, snowboarding, or anything that involves a board.