Skateboard Hall Of Fame


Alan "Ollie" Gelfand floats his namesake, the Ollie, at Cherry Hill Skatepark in the late '70s.

The 2013 International Skateboarding Hall Of Fame inductees were announced on Mar. 12 by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) and will be honored at the fourth-annual induction ceremony on May 9 at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.

This year's inductees include 1960s-era skaters Woody Woodward and Wendy Bearer Bull, 1970s-era skaters Tom Sims, Laura Thornhill Caswell and Alan "Ollie" Gelfand along with 1980s-era skaters Rodney Mullen and Christian Hosoi.


Christian Hosoi styles a look-back in the '80s and makes it into the Skateboarding Hall Of Fames.

"The International Skateboarding Hall of Fame honors by enshrinement those individuals possessing exceptional skateboarding careers, as well as those whose body of work has [effected] positive development in the skateboarding industry," according to a statement about this year's inductees, released by IASC. The International Skateboarding Hall Of Fame is in the museum at Skatelab in Simi Valley, Calif.; members of the IASC vote each year to determine new inductees.

Christian Hosoi drove vert skating -- and the popularity of skateboarding in general -- to new heights in the 1980s. He skated for Powell-Peralta, Dogtown and Sims Skateboards before starting Hosoi Skates, and was often poised as the stylish, rebellious antithesis to his longtime rival, Tony Hawk. Drug-related charges kept Hosoi out of the early years of X Games competition and ultimately led to four years of incarceration, but Hosoi, whose life story was documented in the film "Rising Son" and the autobiography "Hosoi: My Life As A Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor," returned to the sport in 2004 and has recently been back in top form at masters-division bowl events.

"It's an honor and it's humbling all at once," Hosoi says of the Skateboarding Hall Of Fame recognition. "It's really cool because the timing is just right: Now I'm grateful and thankful for everything, whereas back when I was living on the edge and just living for the moment I could never stop and really appreciate any of the accomplishments or awards or accolades."

Alan "Ollie" Gelfand invented the no-handed aerial now known as the "ollie" while skating at the Skateboard USA concrete park in Florida; he was recruited as the first member of the Powell-Peralta Skateboards team, later known as the Bones Brigade, after Stacy Peralta first saw him land the trick. The ollie revolutionized vert and bowl skating and paved the way for modern street skating.

Rodney Mullen, an early freestyle pioneer, is credited with adapting Gelfand's ollie for flatland and street skating and later used the trick as a springboard to inventing dozens -- if not hundreds -- of other tricks, including the first kickflips, heelflips and 360 flips. Mullen dominated flatland freestyle competition in the 1970s and '80s as part of the Bones Brigade team and was later involved in founding several companies, including Almost Skateboards.

Bill Cleary

Woody Woodward photo from Skateboarder Magzine, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1965.

Tom Sims, who died in Sept. 2012, was a lifelong skateboarder, surfer and snowboarder. The 1975 world champion marketed some of the first longboard skateboards that same year and also appeared in one of the earliest skate videos, the 1976 film "Freewheelin'." The founder of both Sims Skateboards and Sims Snowboards is also credited with building one of the first snowboards, in his junior high school shop class in 1963, and the first modern snowboards with metal edges, in 1983, among other innovations. "It breaks my heart that he's not here to accept it," says Hosoi. "He's the one who gave me my first big break and my first pro model, and it was a blessing to me to have him as my first pro sponsor."

Laura Thornhill Caswell skated for Logan Earth Skis in the 1970s, when she became the first female skater to have a signature-model skateboard. She was also the first female skater to be featured with a full interview in Skateboarder magazine. "She was always known for her hair flying. She was beautiful in pictures because her hair was always flowing around her as she skated," recalls Brian Logan. "She was a great all-around girls skater and won or placed in mostly all of the women's competitions in the '70s."

Woody Woodward, a 1960s-era skateboard pioneer better known as "The King" and revered for his prowess on both slalom courses and high-jump competitions, was a member of the original Makaha Skateboard Club and later skated for the Logan Earth Skis team in the '70s. Wendy Bearer Bull also rode for the original Makaha Skateboard Club in the 1960s, along with her older brother Danny Bearer (a 2012 Hall Of Fame inductee), and was one of the original Hobie Skateboards team members.

The IASC also revealed the recipients of the 2013 Skateboarding Hall Of Fame Icon Award, including musical group Devo -- their music has been used in the soundtracks of roughly 100 skate videos by our count -- skate/surf photographer Warren Bolster and Jeff Kendall, Richard Novak, Bob Denike, Tim Piumarta and Jay Shuirman of NHS Inc., the manufacturing umbrella behind more than a dozen skate companies including Santa Cruz, Independent Trucks, Creature and Flip.

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