We asked vintage Alva deck collector Timo Hillbrecht about his recently exhibited skateboard collection. Here's what he had to say. In his own words...
I started collecting in the late 80s. Mainly old decks from friends. But not only Alva. I grabbed what I could get and what we rode back then: Powell, Santa Cruz, Zorlac, or Vision. I paused collecting in the 90s but started again in the early 2000s.
What Made You Start Collecting Alva?
I started to narrow down my collection to Alva decks because I just had too many. Too many brands, not enough space to store them all. ;-) And when the Dogtown and Z-Boys documentary came out I dug into the whole 70s era and the Zephyr Team with Jay and Tony being the entrepreneurs of this movement.
I read a lot about them and how their individual careers developed. Especially Tony’s with creating his own brand and forming the Alva posse. I love their creativity and how Alva changed the game. The whole community thing around them, building decks together and screen printing these beautiful graphics, is something I can 100% relate too. So, it had to be Alva.
What Was Your First Alva Board?
I remembered how I saw the Alva Posse skating my home skate park in Bremen, Germany in 1988. If I remember correctly it was Dave, Jef, and Bill there that day (maybe Murf too). We were shredding with them and a month or two later (when I’d saved up enough money) I bought a natty Fred Smith Loud One III. Unfortunately, I don’t have this rider anymore, but I was able to find the exact same deck a couple of years back.
Which Alva Deck Is Your Most Prized Possession?
This is a hard one for me to answer and probably hard for every collector. ;-) If I had to choose one it would probably be my NOS 1978 rare Eric Monson Tri-Logo fade which I got through an old collector from the UK. It is set up but never ridden. Only saw a couple in similar condition so far.
However, I still love the natty Fred Smith Loud One III and my natty Eddie Reategui Warrior (Conan). Like I said it’s hard to choose one.
What Alva Deck Was The Hardest To Find?
Well, the hardest to find are the ones I am still missing, I guess. :-) Any leads are very much appreciated!
Do You Skate Your Collection?
As a matter of fact, I do skate some of my old OGs. I just set up a Bill Danforth COS 2 and skated it in the pool the other day. Also, I have two Eddie's (Warriors and Caged Monkey), a John Thomas (Ankh), and a 1977 OG always ready to skate.
When old skate friends come to visit they are always choosing to ride the 80s OGs.
My other Alva riders are mainly re-issues.
What’s Your Top Pick For A New Alva Re-Issue?
I can’t wait to set up my Alva Modern Aggression Fish. I'm looking forward to riding this monster in the pool this season. But my favorite Alva deck at the moment is the smallest version of the Pool King Dead Piranha series. I set it up with wide longboard trucks and soft Tunnel wheels. Totally awkward, but I love how it surfs the streets. My daily rider for the city!
Follow Timo's House of Alva on Instagram.
Photo By Nora Boerding