guest post: alex olson


 photo: ben colen

These are photos that have influenced me in some way or another. I've looked up to most of these pros and they have my favorite styles in skating.

I'm stoked that there's someone like Chrome Ball for kids now to check out what skating used to be like. I think skate magazines and photography have changed a lot and really seem to be missing something that these old photos have.

Maybe I just sound old now but I wish the creative side of magazines and ads would come back again in skating because there really is nothing that compares to it.

The man that has helped me the most in skating, Scott Johnston.

We all remember this.

Gonz looks like some badass jazz player in this photo.

I remember when I was a kid, I thought he sucked at doing kickflips.

Another great.
Never had the chance to meet Phil Shao but he's one of my favorites.

Hosoi! I've been bugging Spike for this photo for years.

I wish one day that I could get a photo this good.
Side note: this is a Lance Mountain photo.

Another heavy-hitter. The reason I do frontside 360s.

I remember the first time I saw this on my way to school, I told myself, "That is a really awesome cover."

Cards! I love you!

Julien doing a frontside noseslide is one of the coolest things ever.

Ill grunge look going on right here.

This is my favorite Dill.

Dill again and again.

Gino made this trick go to the popular page.

I love this photo because its so simple and looks amazing.
Also the fact that Natas took it is awesome in itself.

I would like a print of this one on my wall.

Awesome photo.

Santa Monica!

One of the greats. It doesn't get any better than this. AVE.
I've always looked up to him in someway or another.

When I saw the Alien video at age 13, I thought this was the best.

People need to see this photo.

I learned this trick because of Tim.

Bootleg the Muska.

90's photos and ads are the best.
Also, Toy Machine was the best around this era.

J.Lee was awesome around this time.

I <3 the 90's.

I don't know who he's ollieing over but I like the way he's doing it!

Sheffey is just one more reason why I skate for Girl.

Another person that I've always looked up to is BA.
He's a big part of Girl for me.

NYC. Young Harold.

Why were skate photos so much better back then!?!


thanks to Mark Whiteley, Nike SB and Alex for taking the time.

...and yes, Alex rides for Nike SB now.


chops said...

big thanks once again to olson stuff for doing this.

I only asked for 10 flicks and he hit me back with 50. super rad.

and between his skating, his photography, his dad, the alva graphic, tg sword graphic, the wheel wells and the fact he does his own blog?
...hell, I'd sponsor this dude if I could.

chops said...

be back next week

SCKLYER said...

Flicking through that one Big Bro ( the one with Cards on the Cover, at Thibeaud's ramps probably, 1996 was it ? I don't know, I wasnae even skatin back then...anyhoo ! )
I just thought to myself the exact same thing...."photos from the 90's had that unexplicable feel and groove, yes mate they did...Our theories was loosely revolving around people shooting film, idiotic 90's images and nike not being around ( Sorry Alex, you're still one of my faves...In my dreams you still ride for Vans, ha ha ! )
I started in 02 and, well, got myself trapped in a 90's old dream for some reason. Plus, ye know, Ethan photos weren't that rare in those days.
Keep on the good work lads
Alister, Lyon, France

Anonymous said...

Nice pics. rick kosick's photos were so bad they were good. his angles and timing were so unique. the complete opposite of say gabe morford or atiba. I'm probably not qualified to say that..

SCKLYER said...

"was" loosely ?! Geez man, stop those friggin typos. Sorry guys.

Keith said...

nice surprise post! Stoked on Alex O. Looking forward to great parts in the Chocolate video and whatever future Nike video.

I agree with 99% of the pics he commented on. Great photographs of skaters with great style.

JayCee said...

Backing this kid big time. He does it the right way and seems damn neurotic. Haha. He just looks right on a skateboard and there's a reason all these people are backing him too. Good call on the guest post, Chops!

ProfessorCJH said...

Skateboarding today is horendous. I remeber in the early to mid nineties....goofy boy pants, size XXL t-shirts, and 39mm wheels. The pro skater of that era was lucky if he could buy a new civic and live by himself. Now...? It is sponsored by deodarant, mountain dew, and redbull....pathetic. The answer the question you asked is simple. The times suck...and the genie is out of the bottle. Thanks to people like Dyrdek, DC shoes, and other greedy types who sold the skateboarding soul to the devil.

Leiv said...

He won me over as soon as I scrolled down and saw Alan Peterson.

I see a lot of shit talking about Alex Olsen but never quite understood the source of the hate.

E.Y. said...

Skate photos from the 90's look better because skating in the nineties WAS better. Many people would disagree, but those people weren't having their way with bust-free, virgin spots all over town after watching videos chock full of never been done shit. I still skate regularly and will always love skateboarding and it's progression but the 90's really were THE shit! Thanks Alex and Chrome ball!

Sean said...

He turned your blog into a tumblr! Nice change of pace though. If a picture speaks a thousand words I think I just read War and Peace. Skating was better in the 90s! But the 80s were even better! and the 70s even better! Just wait until we can look back at krooked, traffic, magenta, anti-hero and everyone else who is killing it right now with rosey oakley glasses.

Unknown said...

legal essa galeraa... anda muitooo

mdspb said...

"skateboarding now is horrendous" followed by rhapsodizing over XXXL pants and 39mm wheels will be the funniest thing I read today.

All eras of skateboarding are/were awesome in their own ways, and each have things about them that are/were unfortunate/regrettable. Whether it's Vita-Pakt juice, Pepsi, Swatch, JNCO, or Monster, Big Money has always wanted to tap into/drain our awesomeness. Thankfully, there's always been dedicated pockets of original thinkers to run counter to that.

Kris Gurley said...

When you stand far away, only the brightest lights will shine. That's why all the 90's photos seem so good(I will say that there is a valid point on the film vs. early digital debate). There was a lot of garbage in the 90's. The endless pressure flip combo sequences are but one example. At any point in time there are good spots and bad spots in skating. However we are lucky enough that the bad points usually sink into their own mire while the good points stand out with the passing of the years.

Super post Alex and a Super site you run here Chops. Consistently a high point in week. Please don't ever stop.

wyatt lee said...



Enough said. Alex knows.

Anonymous said...

What, no Steve Olson? Love the Blender and Natas... and Guy, Carroll, Howard... well just about them all. Good post. Skateboarding is/was good in every era.

Loo Ganida said...

Got so stoked on these!Skateboarding needs more Alex Oslons (well, glad there's a least one) and less Pudwells (can't believe he won with that run.... zero flow)........
ah well contests suck!
there should be skate photo contests........
awesome post, Alex! made my day.

Anonymous said...

ethan fowler.
alan peterson.
julien stranger.
ethan fowler.
ethan fowler.
ethan fowler.

i_love_patinar said...

Amazing Blog!
I identify myself a lot with your blog, we have a lot identical taste in regard to skateboarding.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

i miss those 90's slap magazines

Anonymous said...

Great post. So hyped Gino was in there. These are the guys I looked/look up to. This is what skateboarding is supposed to look like, in any era.






DefJef said...

Photos looked better because they were shot on film. No immediate results or tweaking of the lights. Shit was a crap shoot, and sometimes you got lucky

Anonymous said...

This post rules. Thanks Chrome Ball! It's great to get insight from a skateboarder like Alex. And yeah, I agree with all the positive comments here and the photos. Who cares if there is hate for Alex. He probably doesn't care and neither should anyone else who is a fan/admirer. We know what's good, and those who don't....well, don't.

mitchell said...

I grew up skating in the '90s and it's definitely my golden era. to those talking about nowadays and the mountain dew and street league and whatnot; the beauty of life with the internet is you dont have to pay any attention to that shit .. there are so many different little genres of skating now to be hyped on and a lot of cool shit happening especially oversees like Palace and now pontus av's polar skate co. also deluxe and workshop and most of girl/chocolate and some other companies still keep it gutter with super good raw skating..

stephen said...

One thing i liked better about STREET skate photos in the 80s and 90s is that they were creative and technically good without being too contrived. Starting around the turn of the millennium medium format film and location studio lighting just took a lot of he rawness away from all of the shots. Yeah, I know dudes were running slave flashes and posting up at the bottoms of rails and shit back in the 80s and 90s too but what I'm saying is that skate photography kinda went into this formulative routine around this time and it really shows in the photos for me. For instance you would never see that sheffey bs bench Ollie in a mag today... but I love it. On the other hand I'm pretty much immune to a perfectly lit skater k/f bs nose blunting a triple kink rail popping out of a purposefully underexposed background composed of the setting sun on the ocean. It's too much... There is a way to do it nice and not over do it I think.

tuck knee andrecht said...

I back Alex 100%, he's a nice guy and he's got solid style and taste as well as love for the arts. I hope more pros with those qualities come up. Progression isn't always what it seems.

(On a side note, if anyone knows and can tell me what the first song from Gonz's extra in Super Champion Funzone is, where he's in NY skating w/ a hoodie and delivering the shirts, I'd appreciate it a lot. I know I seem like a fucker asking about songs, but I can't find it anywhere.)

BLINK said...

I loed all the pics, but were Dyrdek in that state in that photo?

White Ninja said...


You can do no wrong as always. killer post.

And Alex will go down as one of the best to do it. kid has such a fluid style.

davis said...

I always suspected he was on the right track. Alex gets it.

Anonymous said...

nice taste, that dyrdek pic is too good

Bif Allen said...

I never really liked Alex Olson. He always comes across as an unappreciative baby throwing temper tantrums (his intro in "Fully Flaired" is a good example of what I mean). He always puts a bad taste in my mouth, so when I saw he was doing a guest post I prepared myself to be annoyed. To my surprise, I agreed with what he had to say (I feel kinda sick to my stomach for saying that) and it was a pretty good read, aside from the horrendous typos. Alex, I have Dyslexia and suck at spelling, but I proof read my shit before sending it out. Spell Check is there for a reason. Hahaha!

That's for letting Alex do this post Chops. I'm still not a fan of his, but I don't detest him like I use to. 

Anonymous said...

Maybe I have dyslexia but I don't see any typos.

Great post Choppers and Alex.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Stoked on this. All the best skaters and love the 'Talk to the Hand' article especially, that one must have slipped by me. It's all about the attention to detail! Good stuff Olson stuff.

Anonymous said...

Barley backside smith grindin' waaaaaaay before it was "cool"...

scott said...

damn fine selection, alex. damn fine selection.

Anonymous said...

Great collection of pics! I can see some of these influences in Alex's skating. He's def one of my faves as of lately. Good flowing powerful style, skates like a grown-ass man, sick of all these little robotic kids with their switch and nollie flips. Not many stylee tall dudes gracing the pages of mags these days.

Anonymous said...

You know one reason skate photos were better back then? FILM!

Anonymous said...

The Rob D, young Harold, Mike Carroll first SLAP cover, AVE switch flip, and the Gonz Kflip were just the best.