Alan Gelfand Biography
Birthplace: New York
This New York skateboarding legend invented the ollie. We pay homage to one of the true pioneers of skateboarding!
Alan Gelfand - Growing Up
Alan Gelfand was born in New York but moved to Florida when he was just four. He started to skateboard as an 11 year-old after his father bought him his first skateboard. The sport was beginning to gain popularity and in 1977, a skatepark was built right in Alan's hometown of Hollywood, Florida. It was there that young Alan and his skating buds would invent and perfect new tricks.
Alan Gelfand - The Ollie
The origin of the ollie was the result of a creative skateboarder and an imperfect skatepark. In the summer of 1978, Alan made the best of the poorly built park. He credits the less-than-perfect walls and the over-vertical sections of the bowl as reasons why he even attempted to come up with the now famous stunt in the first place. An ollie is a no-hands ariel trick, where it looks like the skateboard is stuck to your feet in the air, but is not attached by anything at all. Alan's friends named the trick after Alan's nickname "Ollie", which was given to him just months earlier. The ollie serves as the basis for many of the basic tricks in skateboarding today.
Alan Gelfand - Where is He Now?
After quitting skateboarding in 1981 due to knee injuries, he turned his attention to racing cars. In 2001, Alan returned to the skateboarding industry, opening Olliewood, a world class skateboarding facility in his hometown of Hollywood, Florida.
Alan Gelfand Says...
"Don't be a follower, be a leader!"