In 1977, at the age of nineteen, Tony Alva shunned the major skate companies to form his own skateboard company, Alva Skateboads. Alva Skateboards was the first company ever run and owned by a skateboarder and one of the first brands to use layered Canadian maple plywood for the skateboard decks. Alva Skateboards was aslo a pioneer of the rip grip product, a material that could stick onto the underside of a skateboarder's deck making it easier to not lose grip on an aerial trick. Tony Alva, one of the original Z-Boys, is considered to be one of the most influential skateboarders ever. He holds the highly respected position of the first ever professional skateboarding world champion, won in 1977. See all Alva products below.