This is the story of the Ollie and the skaters who used it to launch a revolution.

A Secret History of the Ollie skateboarding book


Gold Medal
20th Annual 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards
Chicago, May 2016

Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year
March 2016
(Awards at the American Library Association Conference, Orlando, June 2016)

“Best of 2015: Top 10 Photobooks”
Mother Jones Magazine
San Francisco, January 2016

“Best in Category: General Trade Illustrated”
58th Annual New England Book Show
Boston, 2015

Gold Medal
FAPA President’s Book Awards
Orlando, 2015


ALA 2016 Orlando

alan gelfand bruce walker

[A Secret History of the Ollie] sheds a very bright light on a revolutionary time in skateboarding. Thrasher Magazine

Every culture has a creation myth and skateboarding is no different. The Ollie forged a new identity for skateboarding after its invention in the 1970s, and it lies at the root of nearly every significant move in street skating today. This groundbreaking no-handed aerial has also affected the evolution of surfing and snowboarding, and has left a permanent impression upon popular culture and language. This is the story of the Ollie, the technology that set the stage for its creation, the pioneers who made it happen, and the skaters who used it to start a revolution.

Volume 1: The 1970s, contains a 912-page history of skateboarding, illustrated with over 1200 images and photographs, many of which have never been published before. Contributing photographers include Jim Goodrich, Lance Smith, Bruce Walker, Al Porterfield, Hunter Joslin, Jonathan Utz, J. Grant Brittain, and Nicolas Delvalle.

Reviews & Praise
  • It is seriously the best book I've read yet on skateboarding history. Nezka Pfeifer, Curator, “Sidewalk Surfing: The Art & Culture of Skateboarding,” The Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art
  • [A Secret History of the Ollie] sheds a very bright light on a revolutionary time in skateboarding. Thrasher Magazine
  • This book will rewrite skateboarding history as we know it.Betsy Gordon, Smithsonian Institution
  • It is amazing detective work and a great value.Iain Borden, author of “Skateboarding, Space and the City”
  • This will be the reference point for all other ’70s-era skate histories going forward. Eastern Surf Magazine
  • It is beyond anything that has ever been published before. Michael Brooke, author and publisher of Concrete Wave Magazine
  • [A Secret History of the Ollie] is a wonderful history textbook on 70's skateboarding unequaled and will stand the test of time. Larry Balma, co-founder of Tracker Trucks and former publisher of TransWorld Skateboarding, 1983-1996
  • Craig Snyder's work is much more than a secret history of the Ollie. It is a first-rate account of skateboarding. H. Michael Gelfand, James Madison University
  • A Secret History of the Ollie is truly a masterpiece. William H. Robertson, Ph.D., former pro skater, associate professor in science and technology education at the University of Texas, and author of “Action Science: Relevant Teaching and Active Learning”
  • If you think you need 900(!) pages of 1970s-to-early 80s skate history that shows that a raging world existed outside of Southern California, then make some room for this thang.Bill Daniel, Texas filmmaker, artist, photographer, and skater
  • Just started reading it . . . can't put it down. If I ever get to the point where I can afford employees at the Morro Bay Skatelab Skateboard Museum it will be required reading.Jack Smith, museum founder and director, and former publisher of The Skateboarder’s Journal

A Secret History of the Ollie book display

ipad kindle by kodomut
Please take a moment to share your preferences in this quick survey. No typing is required; just click a few buttons and submit!

Click here to take the survey now!

Photo credits: Image of Martin Rivera, Downtown Bogota, Colombia, 2011, by Nicolas Delvalle; iPad and Kindle image, courtesy of Kodomut.