He’s considered to be one of the most influential skateboarders in history, and this Santa Monica native spent most of his youth perfecting many of the skateboarding tricks that were popular in the 1960s. Skateboarder magazine reports that Tony Alva was the first ever skateboarder to perfect a stunt called the ‘frontside air’ trick, a seemingly simple maneuver that involves twisting and lifting the skateboard while in the air.
The frontside air involves riding up the wall at a slight angle and then lifting the board off the feet with the hands while turning around in the air. The skateboarder needs to have enough speed to reach high into the air so they have time to shift their wait and pop the board in their hand before hitting the landing spot. It’s a complex maneuver for the beginning skateboarder, but is an incredible stunt to watch when it’s performed properly.
Tony Alva managed to do just that at a very young age, and soon became famous for carrying out the first ever air trick in history. He and his skateboarding friends have been credited with creating the concept of a skatepark or ‘bowl’ inside empty swimming pools that allowed for these types of stunts to be performed. The frontside air is just one of several unique stunts that could be performed in the ‘bowl’ and many of the Z-Servant boys perfected these stunts to make their mark in history.
After continued success with pulling off his incredible stunts, Alva used the attention and spotlight to build a solid career in the industry, setting a new standard for professional skateboarders around the globe. He was the first ever professional skateboarder to open up his own company “Alva Skates” in 1977 at the young age of 19, and was also one of the original members of the Z-Servant boys.
Alva so moved on to the retail industry. He now owns lineup of skateboarding stores and created a cult-like following of fans who line up for his signature skateboarding gear . In addition to his amazing stunt performances for the crowds, Alva has secured sponsorships from companies such as Vestal Watches and Vans .