It is with heavy hearts that Vans, the global leader in skateboarding for more than 50 years, unveils the series finale of Love Letters to Skateboarding, dedicated to its host, beloved skate legend, historian, gatekeeper, and longtime Vans family member Jeff Grosso. True to Jeff, and his strongly held belief that skateboarding belonged to the kids, this special final episode is hosted by his son, Oliver, among other friends and skateboarders who remember Jeff and his contributions to skateboarding.
Heartfelt accounts from fellow skate legends and lifelong friends John Lucero, Eric Nash, Lance Mountain, John Cardiel, Ray Barbee and Jason Dill, as well as the younger generation of Vans team riders including Lizzie Armanto, Yndiara Asp, Pedro Barros, Breana Geering, Pedro Delfino, Poppy Starr Olsen and Kokona Hiraki, illustrate the wide impact that Jeff’s friendship, words and mentoring had on multi-generations of the skateboarding community across the globe. The episode highlights some of the most powerful moments in the series’ history, including Jeff’s advocacy for women skateboarders, the LGBTQ+ community and countless others who he connected with throughout his career and time hosting the Love Letters.
“For 10 years, we got to make Love Letters to Skateboarding with Jeff; it was the best job ever,” said Six Stair Production’s Coan “Buddy” Nichols. “We had so much fun and got to meet people all over the world — but best of all, we got to tell stories about this thing we all love.”
Jeff’s genuine love for skateboarding shined through in everything he said and did, and his support for the community–especially the up-and-coming generations—came from a true belief that skateboarding belonged to the kids. There was nothing Jeff wouldn’t do to uplift skateboarding and the people in it. Gaining notoriety in the 1980’s within the competitive scene, he quickly became one of the most recognizable faces in skateboarding with the onset of skate videos that highlighted his skill along with his sardonic wit and audacious spirit, entertaining the masses with a self-deprecating humor. In the span of his influence on the sport, Jeff also became the unofficial skate historian, helping to create Vans’ Love Letters to Skateboarding with his unique and raw commentary on the industry. One of his most-shared quotes illustrates this unflinching dedication to skateboarding: “All I ever wanted to do was ride skateboards and talk about skateboards and love skateboards and skateboarders.”
Created in collaboration with Vans and Six Stair Productions founders Nichols and Rick Charnoski, Grosso’s Love Letters to Skateboarding has gone on to chronicle and pay homage to some of the most influential people in skateboarding over the past decade. The compilation will continue to serve as an encyclopedia of everything skateboarding holds dear, and a reminder of Jeff’s lasting impact on the sport despite his untimely departure in March 2020.
“It’s you, your skateboard, and the world. So go out and make it your own.”
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