About the Author

Award-winning author, photographer, skate/surf historian, and lifelong skateboarder CRAIG B. SNYDER grew up skating with Alan "Ollie" Gelfand, Rodney Mullen, Mike McGill, Mike Folmer, Mark Lake, and many of Florida's other pioneers and skate stars. His work has been featured in Der Spiegel and ESPN Magazine as well as in top skateboarding publications such as TransWorld SKATEboarding and Concrete Wave Magazine. He also worked as a staff photographer for Skate Rider, and was a contributor to SkateBoarder Magazine, National Skateboard Review, and Wave Rider.

BIOGRAPHY

As a pre-teen, Snyder grew up near the beach in
Hollywood, Florida, spending his weekends and summers body surfing, riding surf mats, and learning to skateboard on his Hobie Super Surfer. In high school a friend introduced him to 35mm photography. After securing a loan from his father, Craig purchased his first single-lens reflex camera, a Canon FTb. With this new tech in hand, he combined his passion for photography with his love for skateboarding, photographing his friends and the revolution that was taking place around him. Craig also photo-documented the early punk scene, including acts such as the Ramones, Iggy Pop, U2, 999, The Psychedelic Furs, and various local punk bands. Snyder went on to work in publishing, designing magazines, record covers, T-shirts, publicity materials, fliers, and posters. He also collaborated on the punk zine Suburban Relapse as a writer, photographer, and graphic designer.

In 2011, Craig was inducted into the
Skateboarding Hall of Fame in Florida for his contributions as a photo-journalist and industry member. Besides photography, Craig designed and manufactured skateboard decks with freestyle pioneer Bobby Little out of Little's garage in Hollywood, Florida, under the brand LITTLE Skates. He also hand-picked and managed the LITTLE skate team which had sponsorship from VANS and Megatron Trucks.

In 2013, Craig founded
Skateboarding Heritage Foundation (SHF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and museum dedicated to the preservation of skateboarding history and culture.

That same year, Craig and co-founder
Shannon Bruffett spearheaded the effort to get the Bro Bowl, a historic 1970s skatepark in downtown Tampa, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Out of the hundreds of skateparks that had been been built around the world during the 1970s, the Bro Bowl (est. 1978) was one of the last remaining parks—most had been demolished by the early 1980s. Their efforts were successful and as such, the Bro Bowl became the first structure related to skateboarding history and culture to get listed on a national historic register. It was unprecedented.

Craig and Shannon broke new ground with the listing of the Bro Bowl and they paved the way for other skate-related cultural sites around the globe to gain recognition and protection. In 2014,
The Rom Skatepark (est. 1978, London) was successfully listed and Southbank (est. 1970s, London) became a protected site. In 2015, Craig worked alongside authorities in Western Australia to get the Albany Skate Track (est. 1976) listed on its register of historic places, just in time for the park's 40th anniversary. Craig's pantheon of skateboarding history and skate culture, A Secret History of the Ollie, became a crucial piece of documentation used in the preservation efforts for these skateparks.

In addition to his nonprofit work through Skateboarding Heritage Foundation, Craig serves as a Trustee and Board Member of the Surfing Florida Museum and volunteers his time as design director, exhibition designer, and historian.

Some Favorite Quotes

"We are not makers of history. We are made by history."
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Riding a skateboard doesn't make you a skateboarder. Being unable to stop riding a skateboard is what makes you a skateboarder."
—Lance Mountain

“I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors…If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t.”
—Elena Ferrante
craig snyder
Home sweet home, at the library. Photo: Jeanie Giebel

Stacks Image 3943
First skateboard and some navy blue boat deck shoes (before VANS!!!).

downhill skating
Craig B. Snyder, vintage downhill, Gainesville, Florida

A SECRET HISTORY OF THE OLLIE
VOLUME 1: THE 1970s • CRAIG B. SNYDER

BLACK SALT PRESS
Hardcover
912 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1930287003
ISBN-13: 9781930287006
Dimensions: 9.3 x 7 x 2.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds
Retail: $60.00
Printed in the U.S.A.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
• TOP 10 PHOTOBOOKS Mother Jones
• BEST IN GENERAL TRADE ILLUSTRATED 58th Annual New England Book Show, Boston
• GOLD MEDAL Foreword Reviews: Book of the Year Award in Sports
• GOLD MEDAL FAPA President Book Awards
• GOLD MEDAL 20th Annual Independent Publisher Book Awards
• BEST IN SPORTS NYC Big Book Awards
• BEST IN SPORTS Independent Press Awards, New York