The energy in the room was electric last Saturday when the doors opened on the Sydney House Of Vans, in COMMUNE in Waterloo. Herds of Vans fans had lined up since early in the morning for a day of workshops and exhibitions, plus the opportunity to meet the one and only Tony Alva.
Vans had completely decked the COMMUNE out! As we first walked up the stairs, upcycle skate deck workshops with artist and maker Callum Preston grabbed our attention, as did the grip tape design workshops with Jimmy Roche.
As we wandered through the vast photo exhibition, we ran into to Mr Tony Alva, who told us about Vans, his relationship with Steve Van Doren, the significance of the Era, and the then-groundbreaking experience of skating inside empty swimming pools. As he explained, ‘We started hitting the walls, and pretty soon we had pools that were like concrete waves. Then it really became off the wall because the inertia started to throw us into the air. We started learning how to catch our boards in vertical situations, to where we were actually airborne. Miraculously, we started landing and riding the wake in situations like that. That’s where the spirit of Off The Wall comes from.’
After our chat with Tony, we went downstairs to watch some of the ripping Vans Australia team hit the street course. We ate from the food trucks, sipped on the drinks provided, and spent our afternoon listening to the insightful Q&A between Tony Alva and Life Without Andy founder Mitch Tomlinson. We then stood in the crowd as Andrew Mapstone, Vans skate team manager, introduced the new Australian skate video Welcome to Church.
As the crowd hooted in excitement, we looked around and couldn’t help but see why the House Of Vans event is so important to the Vans family. The event finished with performances from The Chats, West Thebarton, Pist Idiots, and Totty — which didn’t disappoint.
Thanks to Vans for having us, you’ll be sure to see us at the next House Of Vans Event.
We suggest that you keep a closer eye on the @vansaustralia instagram to ensure you know when the next event is.
Our full interview with Tony Alva is set for release in Issue 41 of Sneaker Freaker magazine. Keep your eyes peeled.