Vans presents “The Tony Alva Story” Movie Premiere Livestream Today at 5PM PST

VANS presents “THE TONY ALVA STORY” written and directed by Coan “Buddy” Nichols & Rick Charnoski from Six Stair Productions. Tune in to the livestream premiere today, September 17, 2020, at 5PM PST on YOUTUBE.COM/VANS, followed by Q&A session with Tony Alva and special guests Peggy Oki, Elijah Berle, Rick Charnoski and Buddy Nichols, hosted by Christian Hosoi.

We reached out to a few of the Alva posse to get their take on being part of the Alva team in the ’80s…

“For me, it was great to be part of the Alva posse and tour the world and skate for fun. The Alva team got me together with all of the bros that I always want to hang with. It was like a family. We were the guys that wanted to hang with the locals. It was an honor to meet skaters from around the world and make friendships for a lifetime.” – JIM “MURF” MURPHY

“As a kid, I always looked up to Tony Alva. He was like a super hero that was bigger than life, at the time. In the ’80s, I was offered to ride for him and it was the biggest honor of my life. I will never forget the days of being part of the Alva posse, because we were a team that was just dedicated to being a bunch of badasses!”BILL DANFORTH

“The Alva posse was the brothers I never had. We were a team. We stood by each other and it was amazing. People that haven’t gone through it, can’t understand it. It was crazy… In the heat of a session, we could have the best time in the world. We always had antics, the boys and me. We liked to play around and get gnarly. We’d go and do demos and then ask the locals, “Who has a ramp? Let’s go!” We’d go to their houses and skate their ramps. It was awesome. Usually, the ramps were totally shitty and we’d end up breaking the coping or the actual ramps. [Laughs] They loved it! It was insane. They were like, “Thank you for breaking my shit! We were just totally living life to the fullest and not caring. We were spending the money we had on things that you can’t buy. We bought stories and experiences.” – FRED SMITH

“Never a dull moment when you’re hanging out with a sharp Dagger!!! Live fast! Skate hard! Rock n Fuck n Roll!!! Tony Alva set the pace for traveling and living it up in the ‘70s and we carried the torch in the ‘80s. We were like family and Tony is my brother. I hung out with the Alva posse guys before we were even on the team. We’d feed off each other’s energy and it was always radical. Skateboarding in the ‘80s was just an insane and exciting time.” – DAVE DUNCAN

“Let’s just say… when we were on the road during skate travels and especially on tours, at the airports, we’d often get asked, “Are you guys in a band???” Haha!” – JEF HARTSEL

“When we skated, it wasn’t about being the latest greatest guy with the latest greatest tricks saying, “Here’s a few of my tricks, now, I’m back to the hotel”. We’d go skate and hang out. We were more with the people. We were there to rage and have a good time. Enjoy skateboarding for what it is. That’s what separated us from them. We weren’t there to collect a check. We were there to skate, hang and get to know cool people.” CHRIS “COOKSIE” COOK

“I was on Powell with the biggest, best team on the planet, with Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero and Mike McGill. I had reached the point of being on a team with the best skateboarders on the planet. For me to quit something like that for Alva, it was the best thing that ever happened to me because that’s true skateboarding. I rolled the dice hoping it would work out and I went to a company that was inside of a garage. That’s how much Tony Alva meant to me. He was my mentor. The Alva team was the best. I was with Craig Johnson, Tex, the Murf, Freddie Smith and those guys. It was the best thing that ever happened to me and the best decision that I ever made. It was the best crew I ever hung out with. Best friends. Road dogs. Best skating. We weren’t the best, but we were the loudest.” – EDDIE REATEGUI

“It was more about your personality and how you fit into the clique and loving the fact that there ain’t nothing better than skateboarding. I’m going to hit as hard as I can and I’m going to love every minute of it. You just needed a couple of other people that had the same idea. All of a sudden, the blood starts flowing and shit starts coming unglued.” – CRAIG JOHNSON

“We fucking had a blast, I’ll tell you that. We had some good times. We skated a lot of good places and it was great. All the guys met up in Chicago and we tore it up.” – JOHN GIBSON

“I was exposed to skateboarding at a very early age (4yrs old, 1966), by my older cousin, and from that point forward, I was obsessed!! I first became aware of Tony Alva around ‘74-‘75 (through Skateboarder Magazine)… and when he became World Champion, left Logan Earth Ski, and started Alva Skates, I immediately bought the first Alva deck, followed by a 10” Alva pig… I moved to Chicago in ‘84, and met a bunch of locals, started skating contests, and winning some… all while riding various Alva boards… I sent a letter and some photos skating Alva boards, and got sponsored… I was fuckin’ honored to be on the raddest, most down to earth, realist team of people that were all on the same page…skate and rage!! When the whole posse was in Chicago (winter ‘88), my art school classmate Stephen Scott Gross captured the crew in the now iconic Alva Posse poster! I am grateful to have been skateboarding during this era… I have nothing, but incredible memories of the best skateboard family!” – STEVIE DREAD

Alva Posse
*All archival imagery courtesy of Six Stair Productions


The year-long wait is finally over! Skateboarding critics and fans worldwide can rejoice today, as Vans, the original action sports footwear and apparel brand, premieres the highly anticipated full-length Loveletters to Skateboarding feature documentary on the legendary “Godfather of Skateboarding”, Tony Alva.

Tune in today on Vans’ YouTube at 5PM PST to experience the global livestream premiere of The Tony Alva Story. Following the documentary, a special Q&A hosted by fellow Vans skate legend Christian Hosoi will feature Tony Alva himself, original Z-Boy Peggy Oki, Vans Signature Pro Elijah Berle, and Six Stair directors Rick Charnoski and Buddy Nichols.

Skateboarding did not start out as a rebellious, anti-authority lifestyle activity. One of the key figures in the early evolution of skateboarding from a wholesome, contest-based “sport” into the freewheeling art form that it is today was none other than the young and ambitious Tony Alva. 

*All archival imagery courtesy of Six Stair Productions

The Tony Alva Story is the first-ever feature-length film from the long-running, groundbreaking Vans series, Jeff Grosso’s Loveletters to Skateboarding. The film chronicles T.A.’s humble beginnings on the streets of Santa Monica to his rise to superstardom as part of the legendary Z-Boys. The provoking journey of skateboarding’s original bad boy conveys Alva’s inevitable drug-induced implosion to his ultimate rise from the ashes to accept his rightful place as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations of skateboarders the world over. 

*All archival imagery courtesy of Six Stair Productions

The release of this very special Loveletter to Tony Alva is bittersweet in light of the recent passing of beloved Vans family skate patriarch, Jeff Grosso. Jeff and the Six Stair team worked tirelessly on this film for years. Grosso’s love for Alva was immense as detailed in the emotional final scene of The Tony Alva Story. In this film, we see Grosso more open, emotional and vulnerable than ever before. Grosso regarded Alva, the first skater to catch an air in a pool, as, “the person who taught us we could fly.” When Jeff professes, “I owe my whole life to skateboarding and to you [Tony Alva],” it truly is an indelible moment of pure adoration cemented in time.

Today, 63-year-old Alva is the oldest professional, skateboarder in the world and is considered by many to be the godfather of modern-day skateboarding. Alva’s brand of aggression and bravado in the 70’s set the stage for the way skateboarding would be forever defined. 

The Tony Alva Story has won a handful film festival accolades including Best Film and Original Soundtrack at the Oceanside Film Fest, and Audience Awards at the Santa Monica Film Festival and San Francisco Independent Film Festival. Visit to learn more and view exclusive content from the film’s festival tour over the last year. Read more about Alva’s historic life and official biography here

About Six Stair Productions

After the underground success of their first film, the super 8mm skateboard classic Fruit of the Vine (1999), Coan “Buddy” Nichols and Rick Charnoski founded the independent production company, Six Stair, which operates under the same DIY ethics of the subculture that raised them: skateboarding and punk rock. Since 1999 Nichols and Charnoski have charted an unorthodox path, making a broad range of films that consistently go beyond tired tropes to illuminate deeper truths. Currently, Six Stair produces and directs the popular web series, Loveletters to Skateboarding, for Vans and are in development on their first narrative feature. The team continues to work on a variety of both independent and commercial projects out of their back alley studio in Hollywood, CA.

About Vans

Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans®authentic collections are sold in 84 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans® has over 2,000 retail locations globally including owned, concession and partnership doors. The Vans® brand promotes creative self-expression in youth culture across action sports, art, music and street culture and delivers progressive platforms such as the Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.

Vans, “Off The Wall” Since ’66

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