Friday, November 30, 2018

Stacy Peralta talks frankly about Tony Alva on his instagram

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Tony Alva circa 1978. Tony is one of the few individuals whose skating talent literally took my breath away. On numerous occasions I saw him do things that stopped my heart dead. He was stunning and spellbinding to watch. He skated with a form of aggression that was backed by pure emotion and furious desire and that was coupled with a physical style that was magnificent in its perfection of the human form. — And yet for so much of the time we spent together I hated Tony. I hated him for his arrogance and his ego and his need to be the center of attention at all times. But I probably hated him most for making me a better skater. He made me better. He made all of us better. He was so deadly serious about what skateboarding meant to him, that if you weren’t living up to how he saw it, then he was going to make you pay by humiliating you with his talent. I saw this happen time and again. — Over the years I’ve come to appreciate Tony for the person he is now and the person he was then. He was chosen to play a very large role in skateboarding and it was a role destined for him. No one else could have done it. His abrasive and intense personality was as important as his skating talent because the young sport needed a compelling rebel figure like Tony to help define it. More than anyone from our generation, Tony had the innate ability to set on fire the hearts and minds of skaters the world over and he did it through his living example. He was the ideal skateboarder in its purest form. And more than anything, and this is where my appreciation reaches its highest level; Tony was able to recognize, develop, contain and focus the extraordinarily powerful gift that was given to him at such a young age. Responsibility comes with gifts; the first is to figure out how to develop that powerful and precious gift, the next is how to share it with the world. Tony did just that, he infused the gift he was given with love and fury and he shared it with all of us, and I believe we are all better for it.

A post shared by Stacy Peralta (@peraltastacy) on

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