About Ozzie Ausband

I buy books. If there is any money left over, I pay rent then buy food. If I make an ass out of myself, I can be assured that there will always be someone there to ride me. Rimbaud, Rilke, Verlaine, Baudelaire, Howard ... the greatest writers the world has ever known! There is peace in poverty.

Back in the Day / Arthur Viecco

Arthur Viecco

Arthur Viecco

“Moving to a new country at the age of twelve and not knowing the language, I had to find things with which I could immerse myself into the California culture. I began riding bicycles to imitate the local kids, and because of the necessities of transportation. This would help me to get my first job. A paper route, allowed me to earn money to buy my first skateboard. It was a bright yellow GT board, and the love affair began . Skateboarding was as foreign to me as the country that I had just moved to. The boards kept improving and so did I. I was blessed to go to a school in the San Fernando Valley that had a small asphalt banked wall on the playground. It was the place were we improved our moves and style. Skateboarding gave me the ability to communicate in a way I still lacked with words. Skateboarding allowed me to be my own individual person. It allowed me to express myself more like an artist than an athlete. I would skate and would connect movement, speed and style all into one. It was a great feeling to learn at such a young age.”

Arthur Viecco

“When I first discovered pool skateboarding, it was like opening a magical box of never-ending possibilities. Different shapes, transitions, colors. It was a perfect canvas to decorate and explore all of its possibilities. There was a lot of work involved in finding new pools, cleaning, waiting for them to dry and the rewards were well worth it. Some of them we only got to skate for a day but when we were done, we knew the enjoyment they gave us. It would outlast the cement they were built out of. Everything about skateboarding made me an individual. I would spend hours decorating the bottom of my skateboard with stickers or paint it to make my board different than anyone else’s. Skateboarding is still a huge part of my life. It taught me to be true to myself, always develop my own style and look at things with a creative perspective. Skateboarding permeates life at every level. I feel like I am a part of a very amazing community. Thank you skateboarding!”   Arthur Viecco

Thank you to Arthur Viecco for the words and William Sharp for the images. Please join William Sharp, Tony Alva and I on Saturday at Dogtown Coffee in Santa Monica for our launch and signing of Back in the Day. Skate- Ozzie

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Circle

It had snowed. The boy sat on his bed and read through a tattered skateboarding magazine. Skateboard World. He read through the advertisements, letters to the editor and scanned the photographs endlessly. He could quote the captions. It was his Holy Bible. He had started skateboarding in nineteen seventy five on a skateboard that his friend Bradley had given him. Bradley had stood on it once and just as quickly found himself on his back. He was glad to give it away since he didn’t want to ever stand on it again. Learning curve. With this welcome gift, the boy started skateboarding and was surprised that when he stood on it… he could ride. Sure, he fell off, but he realized that he had a natural aptitude for it. He loved the way it was always there for him. He would spend hours, carving and kick-turning around. Growing up, he lived in a small town. There were barely any good sidewalks or places that were smooth enough to skate. The winter snows and ice made the asphalt crumble and buckle. Cinders were spread on the roads and plows gouged the surfaces. He built a small quarter pipe in his dads barn. It was basically a large piece of plywood nailed to two by fours and propped on cinder blocks. He attached a piece of metal pipe on top and bent the nails over to hold it in place. He wanted to grind some pool coping like the skaters in Skateboard World Magazine. Grinds were particularly fun and he slashed at the lip until his shins bled from missed attempts.

His Skateboard World Magazine subscription arrived in his mailbox once a month. He dodged slush and puddles as he crossed the road to retrieve it. The air bit at his lungs and he shivered as the winter wind whipped at his clothing. He peered quickly at the cover. December 1977. Jim Muir. Hot Times In Dogtown. “Oh man…” He quickly made his way back inside the warm farmhouse and up to his room. He studied like a Chemistry student and the magazine was his lab manual. It would always be this way.

Rick Blackhart

Over the next year or two, he saw skateboarding turn in a radical new direction. There were skateparks popping up everywhere in California and the magazines continually showed new tricks being developed and hot new riders were making names for themselves. Several skateparks had pools put in and contests were held. The Hester I Series was a showcase for the heaviest skaters of the time. Tony Alva, Rick Blackhart, Chris Strople, Tay Hunt, Stacy Peralta, Scott Dunlap, Doug Saladino, Steve Alba and others were featured in the magazines. Airs were being done. What the skaters had taken from the banked schoolyards and into empty swimming pools, were suddenly being intensified in the new skatepark bowls and pools. He went to his barn and skated hard. His ramp had now become a halfpipe. It was U shaped and had smooth round transitions. He had installed cinder blocks on top of one deck so he had concrete to grind. It was what he had. He looked at the William Sharp photographs from Skateboard World Magazine and tried to figure out how to do the tricks. He learned airs. He slammed so hard learning rock-n-rolls that he actually pissed bloody urine for a few days and had a hard time doing chores.

Chris Strople

Eddie Elguera

The following summer, the magazines were published with photographs from the Hester II and the Gold Cup Series. Duane Peters, Eddie Elguera, Steve Caballero, Eric Grisham and others were taking skateboarding into fresh new territory. Surfing style and flow were being usurped by tricks and technicality. Inverts, foot plants and back to back airs were becoming the new standard. His barn ramp became a splintered mess as he rode in isolation, trying to keep up. He moved the ramps farther apart and added some flat bottom between them. A new plywood surface gave him more speed. A skatepark opened up a few hours away and periodic trips gave him new perspective. He once felt isolated and alone. Alone with everybody. He walked through school. Head down. Jocks pummeled him into lockers. He smiled inside. He belonged to something special. It was something they could never have… or understand. Skateboarding.

Steve Caballero

Years flew by. Skateboarding had fallen on its face when he was just out of high school. He didn’t stop. Why? Why would he? There was no reason to eliminate the one good and positive thing in his existence. He drove to other towns and visited others like himself. Small plywood half pipes. Scenes. Friends. Skateboarding. It was underground and undernourished. They didn’t care. They rode anyway. After a time– its veins nearly bled dry– skateboarding experienced a new surge and heartbeat. It came back. New magazines brought recognizable faces back into the public eye. There were new heroes as well. Skaters that were young at the first fall, had kept skating during its downturn. They were now on top. They were electric. Lance Mountain, Christian Hosoi, Allen Losi, Neil Blender, Jeff Phillips.

Allen Losi

In time, he found himself in California. College had eased his way into a good job and he soon found himself riding pools and places all over San Diego and Los Angeles counties. He constantly looked for pools to ride. His parched youth in a cold, bleak state had given him an obsession. The hunter. He soon found a house outside of Los Angeles that had a really good pool in the backyard. He had become friends with many of the skaters he once saw in the magazines and they skated the pool together. He eventually met William Sharp. They decided to work on a book project together. They wanted to tell the stories of all of the legends that had paved the way for so many others. They wanted to show respect to as many of these people as they could. They would use the photographs that William had stored away from that seminal time in skateboarding’s history. They wanted to… and they did.

Lance Mountain

Christian Hosoi

Steve Caballero

Eddie Elguera

Pops Hosoi, Rick Stine, Eddie Elguera, Christian Hosoi, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain and Ozzie Ausband

Please join William Sharp and Ozzie Ausband on Saturday December 16th from 3:00-5:00pm at Dogtown Coffee in the original Zephyr / Jeff Ho shop for the book launch and signing of Back In The Day. Thank you to William Sharp for the previously unpublished images and MRZ for the other images. Skate- Ozzie Ausband

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Back In The Day / Chris Strople

Chris Strople / Upland Pipeline 1977

Chris Strople

“The Upland Pipeline raised the bar when it opened. Skate environments were forever changed and the level of skating increased along with them. Backyarders will always be the staple and parks the breeding grounds. This photo was taken about the same time Skatopia opened. Pre-Hester. Obviously the pipe was a game changer for a park. Tay Hunt absolutely destroyed it early on. I remember skaters showing up to skate and being completely intimidated. The biggest rush was carving down the channel at Mach speed and dropping into the fifteen footer. Nothing but adrenaline!” – Chris Strople

 

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Back in the Day / David Hackett

David Hackett / Reseda

David Hackett

“There really is nothing that describes an ‘era gone by’ better than ‘Back in the Day’!  In every sport, art, pastime, and act that was worthy of devoting your heart, soul, mind, spirit and which defined your very being — when you were young — can be described as ‘Back in the Day’.  This photo represents that time period for me. In fact, as I’m writing this, I had to listen to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ with the volume cranked up to ELEVEN, just to feel that vibe again. I think I was about sixteen in this photo and I’d been hanging out with Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Steven Picciolo and Wentzle Ruml quite a bit. We were riding pools like Canyon Pool, Rabbit Hole, Arthur Lake’s and the Keyhole in Beverly Hills. This photo was shot by Bill Sharp at the newly-opened Reseda Skatepark, during a heated night session where ALL the boys were present and ripping.”

“Barriers were being destroyed by the minute! This is in the second bowl and its a high speed ‘One Wheeler’. This was a big move at that time. We used to try and ‘One Wheel’  EVERYTHING back in the day! This photo is a real time capsule in terms of the equipment too. I was given that deck by Tony Alva, and he rode it for probably a couple weeks testing it for his soon to be released ALVA SKATES company. The first concept was to have a “Model “A”, and a Model “T”- This was the first Model “T” Prototype. An 8.5 x 33″ solid oak deck with routed out wheel wells, set up with state of the art Bennett Hijackers and Road Rider 4’s. Tony drew the Swastika, not in a racist gesture, but as a big middle finger to anybody that would be offended by it. Maximum Shock Value!  Jay Adams loved to do that kind of thing as well. Back in the Day… We got away with a bunch of shit!  Anything was possible.” – David Hackett

We will be posting Guest Posts from some of the skaters in the book ‘Back in the Day’ in the weeks leading up to our Saturday December 16 launch and book signing at the original Jeff Ho Zephyr shop in Santa Monica. It is now called Dogtown Coffee. Books will be available for purchase that day. William Sharp and I are excited and hope to see everyone there. We will also be having a book signing at Val Surf in January. Details to follow. Thank you to David Hackett for the memories and William Sharp for the previously unpublished image. Skate – Ozzie

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Back in the Day / William Sharp

Legendary skateboarding photographer -William Sharp

In doing the book, William Sharp and I tried to include as many skaters as we could. I was adamant that we look through everything. We ended up with 103 skateboarders in this book. If you aren’t in the book, it is not for lack of trying on our part. It isn’t because you weren’t ripping. It is simply that William wasn’t there or the photographs are lost to history. The following list was drawn up today. These people are included in the book ‘Back in the Day.’

Jay Smith, Jerry Valdez, Johnny Altieri, Tony Altieri, Danny O’Kane, Marc Smith, Tony Alva, Kent Senatore, Dave Ferry, Arthur Viecco, Wally Inouye, Stacy Peralta, Jeff Tatum, Sam Durick, Gunnar Haugo, Murray Estes, Art Rat, Jim Sigurdson, Jon Warneke, Steve Archer, Kevin Anderson, Henry Ward, David Paul, Brad Bowman, Jay Adams, Shogo Kubo, Steve Picciolo, Shreddi Repas, Tim Marting, Peter Gifford, Gregg Ayres, Terry Bixler, Stan Sharp, Moses Padilla, Jim Muir, Ray Flores, Steve Lippman, Deano Mueller, John Harris, Art Dickey, Bob Biniak, Billy Yeron, Jimmy Plumer, John Palfreyman, Wes Humpston, Arthur Lake, Paul Constantineau, Chris Strople, Ralph Valencia, Dan Mackey, Rodney Jesse, Marty Grimes, Steve Alba, Scott Dunlap, George Orton, Doug Saladino, Steve Olson, Micke Alba, Ray Bones Rodriguez, Eric Grisham, Alan Gelfand, Eddie Elguera, Dennis Martinez, Scott Foss, Bobby Valdez, Mike McGill, Darrell Miller, Dave Andrecht, Pat Ngoho, Duane Peters, Steve Caballero, Brenda Devine, Kim Cespedes, Terri Lawrence, Allen Losi, David Zakrzewski, Rod Saunders, Steve Hirsch, Neil Blender, Lonnie Toft, Paul Hackett, Bert Lamar, Mike Weed, Kirk Talbott, Waldo Autry, Frank Blood, Charlie Ransom, Doug Schneider, Tay Hunt, Tom Fain, Jack Waterman, Curt Cortum, Chris Cortum, Darren Ho, Eric Dressen, Rick Blackhart, Scott Parsons, Doug de Montmorency, George Wilson, Dennis Agnew, Teddi Bennett, and Eric Anderson. Thank you – William Sharp and Ozzie

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Back In The Day / Kent Senatore

Kent Senatore

“I’m not one to promote things, but a book full of previously unpublished skateboarding photos doesn’t come along often. In fact, I can’t remember another book full of unpublished skateboarding images, especially when it comes to the golden days of skateboarding history, can you?”

“Yes, there’s been a lot of great skateboarding books published in recent years which were mostly comprised of photos that have been published over and over again, and rightly so, because they’re iconic images. I’d be happy to look through a book full of those previously published images too, “but yeah… a book full of unpublished William Sharp photos of all our heroes and brothers from back in the day with stories about the friendships, the epic sessions, and the pools, parks and pipes?”

Kent Senatore

“Come on, seriously? Don’t forget the contests, and the rivalries. The words come from interviews with the legends themselves.  The forward was written by the infamous Jerry Valdez, and chapter prefaces written by Ozzie Ausband. Truly, this is something special, unlike any of the books we’ve seen yet, and I don’t know about you, but I’m frothing!”

If you haven’t already pre-ordered, you should, here’s a link to get you there- BACK IN THE DAY

Back in the Day will be in the warehouse the first week of December and we are expecting to begin shipping directly. William and I will be having Guest Posts from several of the legendary skateboarders in this book and I’ll be posting them up during the next few weeks. Thank you for the support. – Ozzie

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Christian Hosoi

Birthday Blaster

I never saw Christian Hosoi in person when he was a little skate rat. I was skating on the east coast or in the military. I think that the first time I saw anything about him was the Ted Terrebonne photograph of him doing a frontside ollie at Marina. He was tiny. I got to see him often enough during the mid eighties during the Virginia Beach contests at Mt. Trashmore. He was already larger than life… He went higher than everyone else and it seemed to me that he was only getting better each time I saw him. I got to know him personally when he came to Woodward Camp in Pennsylvania. He was charming, charismatic and always smiling. He was constantly surrounded by a posse of admirers. It was amazing to ride with him because he would yell and shout for everyone skating in the session. He raised the bar with his skating and his attitude and good vibes.

Rumors always circulated about his generosity and crazy lifestyle. I heard that one night his friends were partying hard at his house and they got a phone call that the North Shore was cranking. Christian wanted to surf and so did his friends. He got on the phone and bought everyone tickets to Hawaii and they all ended up surfing together that following weekend… It almost doesn’t matter if it is a true story or not. It should be a true story. Crazy rumors about his life have always existed. Legendary.

Eric Dressen

Tristan Rennie

Bucky Lasek / Christian Hosoi

I didn’t see him for a long time and once I moved back to California, I caught up with him again at the Vans Combi contest in 2010. Christian had changed… in some ways. His confidence, style and powerful fluid skateboarding were obviously still evident. When one has so much raw natural talent, it is something not easily shed. Christian’s joie de vivre was the same as it had always been… but he was a bit more serious. Focused. Changes in his life had led him to darkness and back again. John Milton wrote – “Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.” Christian Hosoi has traveled along that buckled and broken asphalt. Men that have wandered such pathways, often leave a portion of their soul behind. For Christian, this is not the case. He is light. Divine purpose. He has the courage of his convictions… It is marvelous. Christian holds hope in the palm of his hand and he wants to share it with everyone.

Mofo / Drunk Injuns

Chuck Hults / Salba Powerflex 5

TSOL

His fiftieth birthday was celebrated last night at the Vans Combi pool. Drunk Injuns, Powerflex 5 and TSOL all played heavy sets. Mofo was on fire and it was good to see. Chuck Hults lent his dynamic presence to Powerflex 5 and Salba was full throttle. The music was extraordinary. Pops Hosoi created some artworks on site and Steve Van Doren held a BBQ and also floated a huge wad of cash as Christian blasted airs over some onlookers below. It was a great celebration for a great soul.

Pops Hosoi artwork

Pops Hosoi artwork

Christian Hosoi rises above it.

Steve Van Doren / Christian Hosoi / Currency

Skateboarding is lucky to have Christian Hosoi and his positive influence. Thank you to Vans for hosting the event and thank you to MRZ for the images. Skate – Ozzie

Christian shares his experience, strength and hope

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