This will not be a long article. It will not be an overly worshipful article. But it will be truthful.
It’s hard to convey to those who were not there what it was like to first discover the iconic Tony Alva. And his boards. And his shirts. And his logo.
When I encountered Alva boards, it changed everything for me.
His decks were minimalist and rad (to borrow a word from the 80s). They showed style and audacity. They displayed a boldness we all wanted to own.
They were quite simply his name painted on the wood.
Simple, straightforward, brash.
His last name. That was his brand.
And it was all we needed.
But we spent hours copying his name/logo into notebooks, on to blank sheets of paper, down on anything we could write on.
I suppose the reason behind that is simple as well: his name meant everything to him. Or so it seemed to us. It was who he was, and that was enough of a statement.
How many people do you know love their name? Or invest their lives in living behind that name? Holding it up for others to see and to aspire to,?
Not any in my world.
Tony Alva will always be a turning point in my life. And his designs are why we strive to create great boards with balance and joy in the art.