Dogtown and Z-Boys. A documentary which takes us to the origins of skateboarding as we know it today through the eyes of a group of Californian surfers. In the 1960’s skateboarding was considered to be a fad by most people and by the 70’s its relative popularity had all but died out, aside from a few dedicated skaters in Santa Monica.
For the wave riders skateboarding started out as simply a pass time when there was no surf but became a sport in its own right over time. Word of local skate events quickly spread as their tricks, scruffy image and lifestyle inspired people to go and do what they were doing which ultimately made people like Jay Adams of the Zephyr Skate Team celebrities and pioneers of the extreme sports movement as we see in the film Dogtown and Z-Boys.
Watch this documentary. I'm a middle aged mom from the midwest whose only skating involved wheels on boots and a roller rink and I loved it. Bought it and have watched it many times. It's fun to re-live some of the 1970s and to hear how these kids (who are all just barely older than I am now) changed the sport with their innovations. The music is phenomenal too. Peralta and Paul Crowder do a great job of getting the reality of that time and space on film. They used some then quirky techniques (2000-2001) to tell the story so you felt the edginess. Now you see more innovative editing and techniques-do whatever you feel like doing- in even some of the mainstream films, but they really did try out some new ideas in film making too, so there are lots of reasons to watch this one.
I'm a couple years younger than Jay Adams and remember when we got into skating back in the 70's in Minnesota.
My first board was homemade. I grabbed some old roller skates out of a neighbor's garage (probably without asking) and pounded the truck and wheel assembly onto a piece of hardwood I grabbed from another neighbor's garage.(probably without asking)
One of the first things I tried to do was make it down my driveway and over the curb without crashing. Not too successful right away, but after some bloodshed finally mastered it.
I finally got enough money together to buy a real board with metal wheels. I crashed on that thing so many times that out of necessity (or survival),I had to change to a more low profile style.
We almost never skated upright after that and were always pawing at the street, doing wicked cuts and slides. I finally got a decent board with urethane wheels a few months later and then it really took off.
Never skated a swimming pool, but we did skate big cement drain pipes and other urban architecture. No helmets, no gloves, no pads of any sort.
God that pavement was unforgiving...