Interview with the original Z-boys, Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Marty Grimes, Wentzl Ruml, Jimmy Plumer and more
A short clip showing the process of creating the graphic for Z-Flex and Jay Adams to celebrate 35 years of Z-Flex Skateboards. From rough sketches to Illustrator magic to finished graphic, watch the whole process from start to finish.
The rise, fall, and rebirth of Christian Hosoi, the young man who helped skateboarding re-emerge as a major cultural influence in the 1980s. The inventive skater and businessman was incarcerated in 2000 for trafficking controlled substances across state lines, and since his parole in 2004, the Born-Again Christian has dedicated his life to being a good father and positive influence on the sport. Narrated by Dennis Hopper RIP
Jay Adams the original seed, skateboardings first bad boy – did drugs sideline his career as a pro skater? Had he done nothing more than dabble with a bit of weed every now and then would he have had a career as big and as successful as say Tony Alva or Stacy Peralta?
As most of us now know Jay has spent years in and out of the system, drug problems, legal problems, half way houses etc – ever since the old LA punk days where he was held on manslaughter charges for the death of some character after a street fight in Hollywood after some punk show. Which of course he was later released as though, he might have started the fight – someone else actually killed the person involved. Even though Jay was later released (after 2 years I think??) – like many of us know – once you have that original run in with the law it usually becomes a repetitive cycle.
So did drugs ruin is career? I am not so sure, Jay like a lot of Americans comes from an addictive family, his mother was a junkie, his father, his brother, if you believe in science and genetics you could argue that people from addictive families are more likely to have drug and booze problems than others, that said you could also argue that all of society is addicted to something, over eating, video games, online porn, texting, working out etc – but that’s an whole different article. Also it must be noted that in the 70s it was the norm to drink a few beers , smoke a joint no one really knew the consequences of that life style (Just as when you watch that TV show Madmen, everyone is smoking cigarettes and drinking – including pregnant women – it was just a different time with a different awareness) Jay himself says he never touched a needle until he was 35 and of course it was downhill from there on out – nothing good can come from Heroin, meth or Crack like jay says in a 2000 interview “I’ve never heard of some chick sucking a dog’s dick for a bong hit and going ruining their life over smoking weed” In many ways you can say its a testimony to Jays will power and inner strength that he is still alive today and still skating of course.
As far as ruining his career – well I think if you take on board everything Jay has always said about those glory days of the Dogtown scene etc – he loved to skate but he always felt the whole pro thing then was goofy and a joke. “In the 70’s, they tried to make little dream team skateboard teams and it was fuckin’ lame. With all the skateparks and stuff I know you gotta control yourself and obey rules, but to me skateboarding has always been no rules.” So to me how can you ruin a career you never really wanted in the first place?
Hopefully now Jay is done with jail time and can spend the rest of his days skating and surfing
Here’s to Jay – the Original Seed
The original skateboarder magazine meets the original skate shoe company for a limited edition collection of classics. Offthewall.tv caught up with current and past Skateboarder editors Jaime Owens, Aaron Meza, and Thomas Campbell, contributing photographer Dennis McGrath, and pro skaters Steve Olson, Chris Strople, Jeff Grosso, and Pat Ngoho to reflect on the legacy of Skateboarder and Vans.
A Day At The Pool sheds new light on the story of skateboarding’s history and particularly calls into question the validity of Stacy Peralta’s 2001 documentary, Dog Town and Z-Boys. Legendary skateboarders Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Peralta himself are interviewed and an intentionally hidden secret is uncovered.
Hang out with Tony Hawk and his crew every other Tuesday as they take on different cities, countries and skate spots around the globe.
In Episode 10, Tony Hawk headed up to Upland, CA for the anniversary Badlands Bash. Including such skaters as: Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Steve Alba, Mike McGill, and Chritian Hosoi
If Tony Alva was the original superstar of skating and Stacy Peralta the ambassador then Jay Adams really was the first bad boy of skating. Before that skaters were kind of clean cut,goofy hippy/surfer types. The Z-boys were a skate team but they were more like a gang or a crew then clean cut kids promoting skateboarding like say the Hobie team (at the time) Like Stacy and Tony Jays style was heavily surf influenced. I mean check this picture below he might as well be sidewalk surfing – oh wait – never mind … heh 😉
Although Alva was widely credited for doing the first frontside air – once the guys got into vert skating Jay was truly an innovator, pulling the first Handplants and trying proto type Miller flips.
We studied the pictures in Skateboarder magazine and at the time we had no clue that some of the tricks that jay was trying he was not even landing (you couldn’t do that these days with video though – could ya) It didn’t matter as pretty soon people who were none the wiser and copying Stecyk’s pictures of Jay, were soon landing the very same tricks that Jay had helped create – thus pushing the very limits of Vertical skateboarding.
Although Steve Olson was probably one of the first pros to embrace Punk rock, Jay and Tony soon followed. It kind of makes sense – as Jay and Tony were punk rock before Punk rock even existed – they definitely had the “fuck you” attitude.
It was through Jays involvement with the LA Punk and hardcore scene that he ended up getting arrested in connection with a bashing of some Homosexuals – I remember reading the details at the time but my memory is hazy – I am sure if you were seriously interested in finding out what happened – then google it – although safe to say Jay was released after being held for over 2 years since he was not guilty.
Unfortunately Jay’s drug troubles saw him in and out of jail since throughout the 80s and 90s and from what I know now he is out and doing well – which is good to know. Of course like all true skateboaders Jay is still skating and will be for life. 100% skateboarder.
Tony Alva was the first Skateboarding Superstar – Sorry Jay, Sorry Stacy but he was. Even as a young kid picking up my first copy of Skateboarder magazine he was the first guy who I noticed and was like ‘whats up with this guy”
A member of the original Zflex team (like you need to be told this – who hasn’t seen Dogtown and the Zboys or Lords of Dogtown yet – I mean c’mon really?) he was the first Skateboarder to go it alone and run his own skateboard company Alva Skates. Before that skaters were seen as “just kids” and business men ran skateboard companies.
If you were to ask any skater over 30 I am sure they would all say that Tony is most well known for doing the first Frontside air – even though he claims that skater George Orton was doing them before Tony! Whether he was first or not who cares he definitely had one if not the most stylish Frontside air to ever be captured on film.
I can’t believe the size of those early boards those guys used to ride – even skinnier than today’s popsicle sticks !
I wonder if back then they had any idea that they would change the face of skateboarding forever – Jay Stacy and Tony in my opinion were the true catalyst that took skateboarding from being a little kids toy to become one of the world’s leading extreme sports – with out them and Stecyk’s writings skateboarding could have easily gone the way of the yoyo or hula hoop – ha ha
I never had an Alva board but I think my friend Murray owned one – if not he definitely had a set of those rock hard Alva 101a wheels that could got the punk pins (almost like mag wheels) back then most wheels were a durometer in the mid 80s no wheels were as hard as that then
Tony still skates today and I am sure he will be still skating in one form or another in another 20 years – here is to you Tony!