Before the X-Games mainstreamed skateboarding into a nationally recognized sport, a crew of scrappy teens on the southern California coast revolutionized the moves that could be pulled off on a bit of wood and four wheels. Today, skate legend Jay Adams passed away at the age of 53. Tonight, watching Dogtown and Z-Boys is a great way to remember just how badass he and the rest of the dudes were, and how their impact on that niche scene affected global culture then and now.
As far as an intro to the birth of skateboarding—with its evolution from trend akin to yo-yoing in the 1960s to full-blown phenomenon filled with masters of the craft, through parking lots to empty swimming pools to half-pipes—this documentary is a great start. It features talking head interviews with chill bros (and yes, a few chicks) who lived through that evolution and were on the forefront of turning it into a showcase for personal style, both athletic and aesthetic.
The thought that kept running through my head when I watched it: “This is just so cool. These people are just so cool.” Their passion is the kind of stuff that seems like it just runs through veins. It’s real, and it’s awesome, and something to admire. Check it out, and go: Whoa. [Netflix]