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ABOUT THE BOOK

More than seven years in the making, A Secret History of the Ollie tells in part, how a small, unheralded group of skaters revolutionized skating on both the East and the West Coasts. Although the Ollie is now over 35 years old, its influence on skateboarding remains, and has never been surpassed.

SKATING WAS MORE THAN JUST DOGTOWN

The 1970s were not just the Dogtown era, but skateboarding's Golden Era. The Z-Boys were an important part of the emerging American skate scene during the 1970s, but they weren't the only scene. In the state of California alone, besides Santa Monica and Venice, there were many other hot spots. Some of those included San Diego, Salt Creek, Vista, Upland, Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco—all equally influential and significant for the skaters and innovations they delivered.

But far, far away from California, on the Gold Coast of Southern Florida, thousands of miles from the control of the media and the skate industry, there was another tale unfolding. More obscure and under the radar, the Florida scene would have an immeasurable impact on skateboarding, allowing it to literally take flight. It all started with the invention of the Ollie, a magical no-hands aerial and the signature move that would forever change skating.

THE POP HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

Created in 1978, the Ollie, without a doubt, is the maneuver that changed skateboarding for all time. Author, photographer, and skater Craig Snyder follows this revolutionary no-handed skate trick from its humble beginnings in his hometown of Hollywood, Florida, to the present day in this new historical two-volume work with a story as dramatic and magical as the move itself.

Illustrated in color throughout, A SECRET HISTORY OF THE OLLIE contains rare, never-before-seen photography and historical artifacts—most of which have never been published before and help illustrate some of these critical moments in skating history.

Volume 1, set for release in February 2015, chronicles the origins of the move as well as its subsequent expansion during the 1970s. Volume 2 explores its spread and impact from the 1980s forward.

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ADVANCE PRAISE

"It is seriously the best book I've read yet on skateboarding history—the intimate details as well as the broad view of the industry and pastime is phenomenal."

— Nezka Pfeifer, Curator, Sidewalk Surfing: The Art & Culture of Skateboarding, The Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art



"Craig Snyder's work is much more than a secret history of the Ollie. It is a first-rate account of skateboarding based largely on Snyder's extensive research in boarding magazines and his myriad interviews with groundbreaking skaters, the audiences who studied them, and the photographers who immortalized them. Set against the backdrop of the sun-drenched coastal towns of Southern California and South Florida of the 1970s, this book transports readers to the era in which the acrobatics of today's X Games were born."

— H. Michael Gelfand, James Madison University



"Everyone thinks they know skateboarding's history but what they really know is a series of half-facts compounded by hype and amnesia. This book will rewrite skateboarding history as we know it."

— Betsy Gordon, Smithsonian



Photo credits: South Bowl at Skateboard USA, Hollywood, Florida, by Craig Snyder; iPad and Kindle image, courtesy of Kodomut.