Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ali Boulala.

Burn No Bridges.

Ali is from Stockholm, Sweden. He was more or less your normal skate rat until he came to the states and started hanging out with what would become the Baker team in the late 1990s. The crew included Jim Greco, Andrew Reynolds, Shane Heyl, Dustin Dollin, and a whole bunch more. Ali and Jim started rocking gear inspired by Johnny Thunders and early punk rock. The pants got tighter and leather jackets became a prominent fashion item. Depending upon your outlook on things, this either evolved or devolved into outfits that vaguely resembled something a pirate might wear.

Of note in his part for Sorry are Ali's two tries at jumping down a massive set of 25 stairs. He was not successful. Otherwise his part has a lot of scary drop ins and big gaps. He also displays some good technical board control and bangs out a few smooth switch lines.

Unfortunately, there is a sad side to Ali's story. The crew was partying a lot as young men with disposable income are prone to do. As time went on this started to include harder drugs and more booze. In 2007, Ali was involved in a motorcycle accident that claimed the life of Shane Cross. Ali was driving the bike and crashed into a wall with Shane as a passenger. Both had been drinking prior to the accident. Shane was a talented young skater from Gold Coast in Australia who was starting to find fame in the US. Ali sustained serious injuries from the crash and was in a coma for a few months. He was subsequently sentenced to prison time for his actions. He served two years and was released in 2010. Flip kept his board in production the entire time and he is currently listed as still being on the team. I don't think we've seen much from Ali as of late and given all that he has been through, that makes sense.


Note: One thing I noticed about Sorry was that everybody was wearing beefy shoes. Even the pirate was rocking some big Circas or Vans, which looked a little odd with his form fitting trousers.

Ready Yet: Thrasher - March 2002 Volume 22 Number 3

Sex, Drugs & Rock n' Roll: Thrasher - April 2002 Volume 22 Number 4

Independent: Thrasher - July 2001 Volume 21 Number 7


nonickname said...

Flip baffles me sometimes, the 2nd ad has a dig at Transworld, yet both Rowley and especially Penny have stated that Transworld really helped them when they first came over to the States with things like getting covers and lots of coverage. Obviously both would have received coverage anyway but it seems petty/trying too hard to promote the image.

natenola said...

Don;t think Ali can physically skate, i saw a tour where they met him and he walked with a limp. When he was in jail he was so physically messed up that he couldn't even tie his shoes cuz his motor skills were so messed up.

Anonymous said...

Ali was interviewed on Swedish TV the other day, mostly about his drug addiction. He labels himself an addict, but hasn't touched drugs nor alcohol in many months. He also discussed the Shane Cross accident, which shook him hard. He said he still thinks it should have been him dying, not Shane. In prison he continued taking drugs, and could only stop once he was released. He is a lot more toned down when sober...

Justin said...

Baffle would be the right word. After putting all of these scans together, I'm inclined to say I'm not a fan of the company as a whole. Team rips, but the whole thing is dull. It does seem like their graphics have gotten better in the last year or two. Arto is taking some good photos.

I thought the wall crawler ad was the Transworld alternative to the Sex, Drugs & Rock ad. The wall crawler ran in both TWS and Thrasher. There might be a censored version of it in TWS, but I don't see what really could have been edited. There's no booze or smokes or anything. Transworld was thick back then and I was just trying to finish this project off so I didn't check every page. Blitz did themselves no favors by how they rotated ads.

I didn't think Ali was able to still skate either. I was hoping that enough time had passed and there weren't any updates that maybe he was able to roll a little. I can't imagine the demons he has to live with.