Last weekend was Van’s 52ndBirthday. It’s probably the skateboard brand that’s closest to my heart. I’ve lost count of how many pairs I’ve had Era are my favourites.
In 1977 the #36 Old Skool design was produced based on a quick sketch by Paul Van Doren. I’m guessing the stripe was a graphic representation of a skater’s motion from A to B. The #36 design was the first with leather panels for added strength.
My first Vans were the #95 Era style, probably the most copied and most iconic of all Vans. The #95 was designed by Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva who are both contemporaries of mine. (In fact Tony has said he likes my T-shirts which is pretty cool).
This is me skating in Paris. Note the odd coloured Vans…
In late ’78 Vans introduced the Sk8-Hi #38 we called them high tops. The idea was to provide more support and protection for the ankle.
The rest is history, 52 years in the making. Here’s the full timeline.
A few legends in Paris….
To have a range of VOS trainers is still a pipe dream. In the meantime you’ll have to make do with some T-shirts.
It’s probably the very first thing that got me into skateboarding. A few years later I was to get a wooden green Stingray skateboard. I actually can’t remember using it so maybe it just lay in my dad’s garage. Instead I discovered and remember doing skim boarding on the miles long golden sandy beach. We we’re lucky enough to live on one of the UK’s most famous sandy beaches on the Jurassic Coast. Skim boarding was uber cool until some health and safely idiot had it banned. Years later I learnt to snow ski and windsurf in the world’s second largest natural harbour. I never did do much waterskiing but little did I know many years later I was to get involved in a global water skiing adventure that took me to New Zealand to ski with a world champion. More on this later.
A shot of my old man back home in Norway. I love wearing his old hand knitted jumpers in the winter. He was virtually born on skis and if he wasn’t on skis he’d be either fishing salmon, shooting Ptarmigan of sweating it out in the sauna then running naked into 10ft high snow drifts, I have the photos to prove it. All these things were in his genes and so in mine too. Sadly I don’t have a personal sauna and snow drifts are hard to come by. I met a few of these dudes, my old man out-lived all of them, he gave up smoking pipes etc soon after this I guess. Checkout these awesome before and after photos of Norway here!