POSTED: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 8:41pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 10:52am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — For the past few weeks the Vans Bus Tour has circled the nation to give thanks to its supporters. Today, the bus pulled up at Rukus Skate Shop on O’Neal with skateboarding icon Tony Alva in tow.
“He’s one of the forefathers of skateboarding,” Ronnie Saurage, co-owner of Rukus Board Shop, said about Alva. “He took skateboarding to a different level and made it what it is today.”
Alva was born in Santa Monica, California and is known for his participation in the Venice Beach skate culture during the 1970s. Alva began creating his own special boards in 1977 after achieving worldwide recognition.
“Basically, we’ve been a big part in the evolution of skateboarding because we were one of the first companies to actually make boards out of laminated wood,” Alva explained.
Much of his success and fame was documented in the film “Dogtown and Z-Boys,” which was released in 2001. Alva admitted that the most popular question he’s asked by fans is about his current relationship with his old-school group.
“We don’t all hang out together every day like we used to but there’s definitely a camaraderie and there’s definitely a lot of good friends I grew up with that I stay in contact with.”
Nowadays, Alva likes to spend his time with the future generation of skaters.
“What we do is we go out and we try to give back to the community, especially skateboarders and retailers by bringing some of the product we endorse through Vans.”
Although the bus is now gone, the good times for skateboarders in Baton Rouge is not over. On Saturday, March 23, the BREC Skate Park will host the RAT Tour, which is a massive annual skateboarding competition.