Meet San Diego Original Tony Magnusson – Legendary Skater, Mentor, & Iconic Brand Builder
Although he was born in Sweden, Tony “Mag” Magnusson’s story is pure San Diego.
Tony Mag @Osiris HQ in Carlsbad photo: Chad Thomas
Mag first came to Southern California with a skate buddy in 1980.
After spending three months hanging around Mission Beach, living in a used car they’d procured, he returned home broke but inspired.
Tony circa 1977 -in Sweden, age 14 photo: unknown
Upon his return to Sweden, he got a job and saved every dime he made. The teenager sold everything he had and bought a one-way ticket back to San Diego in 1981.
This began what would become one of the most prolific careers in professional skateboarding.
Tony ripping Buck’s pool in 2015, age 52 photo: Piero
In addition to his own accomplishments in skating and business, Mag is well known for his positive attitude and mentoring young Southern California skaters for over three decades now.
Along with Ternasky, Tony has been credited with discovering and developing many top pro skateboarders.
Among these, the incredibly talented San Diego native Danny Way who was only twelve years old when he was recruited to the H-Street Team and began filming “Shackle Me Not” with the crew.
When we asked Tony about Mr. Way, he said,
“Ternasky and I kept hearing about this little kid slaying Del Mar Skate Ranch and thought ‘how good could he really be?’ [he was12 yrs. old at the time]. Then we saw him ride -it was obvious, we immediately knew this kid was special.”
Today, Danny is widely considered the best skateboarder on the planet. This is but one example of the generosity and positive energy Tony has put into San Diego’s youths over the past three decades.
Iconic Brand Builder
Mag is also one of the founding members of Osiris shoes, one of the most progressive shoe brands on the planet and headquartered in Carlsbad.
Osiris Hi’s photo: Chad Thomas
Their brand “H-Street” featured innovative designs like the ‘Hell-Cave’, a deep concave running from tip-to-tail; a feature which has become the standard among top street and vert skaters.
Furthering the legacy, in the 1980’s, H-Street’s innovative style of filming & DIY editing changed how skate videos would be made for decades to come.
With a ‘riders-eye-view’ and technical trick combinations/ variations, the H Street team videos became instant classics.
They’re still being emulated today.
Between his H-Street and Osiris brands, Mag supports hundreds of amateur skaters in Southern California and around the globe.
Additionally, his brands provide commissioned-based sales rep jobs all over the planet and he has created long-term, permanent positions for ten people here in San Diego.
Whether it’s mentoring kids, supporting local business (which creates employment opportunities for our neighbors) or simply sharing his positive energy with fellow San Diegans – we are glad Mag chose to call San Diego home.
Quick 3 Questions
1) favorite local grub-spot?
TM – GOODONYA Organic Cafe, Encinitas
2) favorite beach?
TM – currently, Dog Beach by Del Mar
3) favorite thing(s) about living in San Diego?
TM – It’s uniqueness-with the great weather you can get out and do whatever you want, whenever you want. It’s so convenient, if you want the mountains are close, as are deserts, Mexico, L.A. if you’re feeling metropolitan; everything’s so close.