2018 ICON – Jeff Ho

2018 Inductees

Jeff Ho started building and riding skateboards in the 1950s, at first with discarded wooden planks and metal roller skate wheels. By the 60s he was perfecting his style, DIY aesthetic and revolutionary designs for surfboards and skateboards. Others took notice. By the 70s he opened his own storefront and workshop near Ocean Park. The Jeff Ho Zephyr shop became ground zero for a community of likeminded surfers and skaters.

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From his humble beginnings, Jeff always prioritized community and his responsibility to serve it. Founding the Zephyr skateboard team was a given.
Ocean Park was then the low-budget section of Santa Monica and home to artists, musicians, political activists, religious cults, writers, surfers, and skaters. Zephyr sat in the middle of this potent cultural mix. John Baldessari’s art studio shared an alley with Jeff’s workshop; the SLA had a safehouse up the street; Caesar Chavez and Chuck Dietrich walked the beach discussing strategies for the farm workers; Bob Dylan’s new west coast HQ was a block to the south; and a block to the north Daniel Ellsberg was secreting the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times to force an end to the Vietnam War.
The 60s had collapsed. Society was in decay. Perfect timing for Jeff Ho and the Zephyr team to throw down. The Bahne-Cadillac Nationals at the Del Mar Fairgrounds was their strike point. In a few short hours in 1975, they upended the nascent skateboard industry. The Zephyr team introduced a “cocksure swagger” that radically changed the direction of skateboarding. Skateboarding history can only be told in, before Del Mar and after Del Mar. Jeff has never stopped practicing his art or sponsoring skaters.

Jeff Ho is an icon.

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