May 9, 2013
Sheraton Park Hotel – 1855 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA
Words and photos by Dan Levy
There are not many subcultures where you can trace the original roots of that subculture and find many of the pioneers and innovators to share their stories first-hand. Skateboarding is one of the rare activities where we have the good fortune to do just that. The IASC Skateboarding Hall Of Fame lends itself perfectly as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate those who have carved and grinded their way into the history books. This year was the fourth annual induction ceremony and the honorees were some of the most influential riders of all time.
With emcee David Hackett steering the ship, the ceremony began with an Icon Award to Warren Bolster (R.I.P.). The images Bolster produced during the ’70s became the industry standard for quality of every image since. He was not afraid to try new angles, experiment with lighting and, most importantly, capture action in a way that inspired skateboarders all over the world to push skateboarding to new heights. His legacy will live on forever and his induction was heartfelt as his family accepted the award on his behalf after a well-expressed speech by New York skateboarder John O’Malley.
Next to be inducted with an Icon award was NHS: makers of Santa Cruz Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Road Riders, OJ Wheels and so many more. Richard Novak, Bob Denike, Jeff Kendall, Tim Piumarta and Jay Shuirman’s son were all on hand to receive the award. Steve Olson, or as Hackett referred to him, “the Jack Nicholson of skateboarding,” presented the award with his usual comedic genius and the crowd lit up as he handed over the trophy. NHS has been creating and producing some of the best products in skateboard history for the last 40 years and their contributions to our culture will forever be felt as we continue forward.
This year one of the most celebrated bands in history, DEVO, was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame with an Icon Award. Mark Mothersbaugh was on hand to accept the award and the crowd went nuts when Mark profoundly said that this award means more to DEVO than any music award and he wanted to thank skateboarding for helping them become successful. It was a mutually liberating and proud moment for musicians and skateboarders.
Wendy Bearer Bull, who was not only Danny Bearer’s sister, but also the only female to be on the coveted Makaha skateboard club back in the ’60s was the next Skateboarding Hall of Fame inductee. Wendy’s style and smooth approach set an example for girl skateboarders worldwide. Much respect to Wendy for being one of the first women to contribute and dedicate so much of her talent and passion to skateboarding.
Next up was Brandon “Woody” Woodward who set an early pattern for the attitude in skateboarding as a “wild child” in the ’60s. With his aggressive approach to skating, he pushed the limits of possibility both on and off his board. He was a champion in competition and was nicknamed “The King” by some of his peers. Woody was on hand to accept his award proudly.
Next to be inducted was, Laura Thornhill Caswell, the first female skateboarder ever to have a signature model board. Laura has amazing style and she has skated it all: pools, pipes, ditches and anything you can roll on. She also has the special ability to recognize talent as she found a 9-year-old phenom, Eric Dressen, who went on to become one of the most celebrated skateboarders of all time. After a great introduction by fellow skater Cindy Whitehead, Laura proudly accepted her award to an adoring crowd.
The next inductee was the late Tom Sims (R.I.P.), whose contributions to skating, snowboarding and surfing are literally part of the foundation of our culture. It would be impossible to measure the impact Tom had on skateboarding and snowboarding and also impossible to accurately document the formative history of both activities without having Sims at the top of the list. Accepting on Tom’s behalf was his beloved wife who was greatly appreciative of the warm reception Tom received from the community. Tom’s legacy is forever stamped in time and his induction to the Skateboarding Hall of Fame was long overdue.
Next up was Alan Gelfand, inventor of the ollie, a trick that became one that all skateboarders do to this day. He recalled that it was an accident and after an amazingly detailed speech by Professor Paul Schmitt who stated that the ollie was named after a hamburger from a snack stand outside the park, they put it all into perspective. Alan took the stage and was thankful for the honor and then he paid homage to the next inductee, Rodney Mullen.
Rodney Mullen took what Alan Gelfand did on vertical terrain to the streets. As Steve Caballero and Ben Harper took the stage to induct Rodney, Caballero had the crowd going when he said, “Thank goodness Rodney decided to skate street instead of vert.” Ben Harper shared his personal experience in skating with Rodney and how he truly admired Rodney’s contribution to our culture. Rodney’s contributions to skateboarding continue to be the building blocks on which modern-day skateboarding’s foundations have been constructed. No professional skateboarder can exist today without being able to ollie. The ollie literally lifted skateboarding to new heights making it possible to jump over and onto terrain without using your hands. It then led to the ability to flip your board. Rodney has probably invented more tricks than any other skateboarder and he also happens to be a genius. Rodney took the stage and before he spoke, he raised his trophy over his head and stood steadfast and proud of being inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. His speech was epic and even though he is not a big fan of trophies, this award seemed to have a profound effect on him and he looked very grateful to be included.
Next up was the legendary stylist and one of skateboarding’s most famous “rock stars” Christian Hosoi. Z-Boy Jay Adams presented the award to Hosoi and it was truly something special. Christian then took the stage, offered his thanks, gave a sermon and looked to be very proud to be a skateboarder. Hosoi’s rock star persona made him a household name in the ’80s. Along with his flair and signature tricks, the Christ Air and the Rocket Air, Hosoi has always made skateboarding look great. Christian’s induction to the Skateboarding Hall of Fame was a perfect ending to the ceremony and the night concluded with a grand round of applause for all of the inductees. It was a great night for skateboarding.
IASC PRESS RELEASE:
IASC AND ISHOF HOST THE FOURTH ANNUAL SKATEBOARDING HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES AND ICON AWARDS CEREMONY The International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) and the International Skateboarding Hall of Fame (ISHOF) are proud to announce this year’s Skateboarding Hall of Fame inductees: Woody Woodward (1960s), Tom Sims (1970s, Era One), Alan “Ollie” Gelfand (1970s, Era Two), Rodney Mullen (1980s, Era One), Christian Hosoi (1980s, Era Two), and two women – Wendy Bearer Bull (1960s) and Laura Thornhill Caswell (1970s). This year’s Icon Award recipients are pioneering skateboard photographer Warren Bolster, who revived Skateboarder Magazine in the 1970s; NHS and the crew who built it into what it is today – Richard Novak, Jay Shuirman, Bob Denike, Tim Piumarta and Jeff Kendall – and Devo, a band with the non-conformist attitude that has been inspiring skateboarders since the 1970s. Created in 2009, The Skateboarding Hall of Fame recognizes and honors the history of skateboarding and those influential figures who have significantly shaped skateboarding and our culture throughout the years. The night will include a Happy Hour, VIP meet-and-greet, VIP dinner and Awards Ceremony. All proceeds benefit the not-for-profit efforts of the Skateboarding Hall of Fame and the Go Skateboarding Foundation’s Just One Board initiative.
WHERE: Sheraton Park Hotel – 1855 S Harbor Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92802
WHEN: Thursday, May 9, 2013 – 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
About IASC – The International Association of Skateboard Companies is the member-owned not-for-profit trade association of skateboarding. The mission of the IASC is to represent the global skateboarding community with a united voice by listening, understanding and acting on the needs of skateboarders and the skateboard industry. IASC’s goals are to promote skateboarding, increase participation, educate and save our members money. IASC serves its members and the skateboarding community by focusing on areas that affect not only the business but the overall sustainability and health of skateboarding as a whole. For more information please visit: http://theiasc.org/
About ISHOF – The International Skateboarding Hall of Fame was created to honor the passion, dedication and contributions to skateboarding history and culture by skateboarders and cultural icons throughout the decades. The Skateboarding Hall of Fame is located in Simi Valley, Calif.
About Just One Board – Just One Board is a skateboard-recycling program created by the International Association of Skateboard Companies charitable arm, the Go Skateboarding Foundation, to benefit underprivileged youth, engage skateboarders with their local community, support skateboard retailers and serve as the base of a campaign promoting the positive power of skateboarding. For more information please visit: http://justoneboard.org/