Dogtown and the Z-Boys


The other evening I had the chance to watch one of my favorite movies, “Dogtown and the Z-Boys”. The movie, which was made in 2001, is about the history of modern day skateboarding which started in Santa Monica, California – a few miles from where I live. The specific neighborhood is called Dogtown and covers Ocean Park and Venice beaches which were poorer areas at the time.

I first saw this movie by chance flipping channels on cable one day. It is a documentary which was later made into a biographical movie called “The Lords of Dogtown” (2005). I have watched this movie too, but it does not compare to the incredible documentary written by Stacy Peralta and Craig Stecyk . The film is co-produced by Glen Friedman. The reason I mention these names is that these three men all were a part of the Z-Boys (Zepher Skateboarding Team) in some form in the 1970’s when they became famous. Sean Penn narrates the film and it received an award at the Sundance Film Festival. Also please note that Stacy Peralta wrote “The Lords of Dogtown” too.

I have always enjoyed watching surfing and love hearing the history of how skateboarding became what it is today. For the record modern day skateboarding was created from incorporating surfing moves onto concrete. I am a big history buff for my state of California and in particular Southern California. This movie gives you some history on the beach culture of Santa Monica and other towns on the Westside of the city while giving the full history of modern day skateboarding.

The music is incredible, the interviews are incredible, and the footage is incredible (mostly from followers of the Z-Boys back in the 1970’s). I go to the beach where these guys (and one girl) used to surf and skateboard. In particular the movie shows the Z-Boys practicing in a spot, Bicknell Hill, which is right by where I park my car and have walked down to the beach for as long as I can remember. I can only imagine these pioneers of skateboarding tearing up the streets of Santa Monica. Had I been old enough and living in Los Angeles when skateboarding became so popular I would have loved to watch these guys in action skateboarding in empty pools showing off their moves.

I recommend watching this movie if you have any interest in the skateboarding (or surfing) culture or just enjoy watching a well made documentary. This film makes me smile and feel young and inspired whenever I watch the story of the outcasts who made skateboarding the sport it is today. I look forward to when my kids are old enough to watch with me.

(day 155)


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