On Friday I saw Stacey Peralta
‘s Dogtown & Z-Boys . The film focused on a particular group of surfers turned skateboarders in the mid seventies that changed skateboarding forever. Had it not been for this crew of skateboarders, skateboarding might be regarded as merely a hula hoop-like trend, lumped into the same category as pet rocks and yoyos.
It’s safe to say that the boys from Dogtown gave skateboarding the hard edged look that it still maintains today, rather than the clean cut, pastel look it was beginning to develop. The documentary makes it clear that a group of several young men kept pushing and pushing the sport, building the foundation that is now a rapidly growing and thriving sport shared by 12-15 Million Americans today.
I’d suggest checking out the film, even if you care little about skateboarding. I came away being grateful for the freedoms that Americans enjoy. Had this same group of kids grown up elsewhere, I can’t say they would have succeeded in what they were doing. The film is well designed, flows well, and lives up the acclaim.
And to give you an idea of how skateboarding in the 70’s was getting sucked into the mainstream, check out this old magazine ad.