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Vans Skateboarding at 52 Year Old

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.

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Dogtown skateboard legend Tony Alva Video

dogtown skateboarding usa retro vintage

We’ve all heard of Tony Alva right? Well if you haven’t he was one of the key members of the world famous Dogtown skateboarders from Santa Monica California good old USA. And he was a member of the pioneering skate team the Zephyr Skateboard Team which had 12 members. Here’s a photo of them with Tony on the far right and the late Shogo Kubo who I skated with twice a long time ago and he signed my Dogtown T-shirt. If only I could find it! Gold dust.

santa monica Zephyr skateboard team dogtown

When Tony came to the Vans event in London in 2011 he saw someone wearing one of my T-shirts and he said ‘Hey man that’s a cool T-shirt’ which is cool in itself. I met Tony in Soho and he signed an A3 poster of himself for me which I will be giving away in a competition this summer.

Tony Alva Dogtown Skateboarder USA