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Origins of the ‘Front Pop’ with Steve Rocco, Rodney Mullen and Alan Gelfand

The latest in the series of Transworld Skate’s excellent ‘Origins’ series deals with the invention of the now ubiquitous ‘Front Pop’, or frontside shove-it as it’s generally known today. In-depth history awaits courtesy of the likes of Rodney Mullen, Steve Rocco and Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfand. Enjoy your edification…

Hit the text/Rocco photo below to read the full piece.


Wallride crail grab photo by O

Rocco: The first pop shove its were done (frontside) by Alan Gelfand and myself in Venezuela in July 1979 over a 3” or 4” pipe laying on the ground. I believe it was an attempt to stop us from skating across the arena floor. Alan and I took it as a personal challenge and decided to see if we could go right over it without losing speed and therefore reinforcing the old adage the necessity is the mother of invention.Alan was already hitting his tail and getting his board to “pop” without question. But since I had a freestyle board and he had either a (Powell Peralta) Beamer or a Ray Bones Rodriquez model (Ed note: original width for both was about 10”) I was able to pop it a bit higher and make it over first. The first pop shove its were frontside. Backside was a while later. I’m not sure if I did those first. But the non-pop version (frontside) was mine too. I was doing those in 1979 too.

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