Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the mid-'70s, skateboarding was widely seen as a fad of the 1960s that had all but died out, except for a handful of committed fans in California. But that began to change with the emergence of the Z-Boys -- a team of teenaged skateboarders from a decaying urban community in Santa Monica, CA. Hard-core surfers who sought to translate the hot-dogging stunts of world-class wave riders onto their skateboards began hanging out at the Zephyr Productions Surf Shop, a store that stocked top-grade equipment for local surfers and skaters, and with the help of the store's owner Jeff Ho, twelve of the skaters organized themselves into a team to compete at local skate events. Soon the radical moves and scruffy-streetwise style of the Zephyr Skate Team -- the Z-Boys for short -- upended public preconceptions of skateboarding as a sport and a lifestyle, and the wild style of Z-Boy skaters such as Tony Alva, Jim Muir, and Jay Adams made them celebrities who blazed the trail for the extreme sports movement. But while the Z-Boys' success brought them a measure of fame and fortune -- lucrative endorsement contracts, deals to manufacture their own custom skateboards, and even movie roles (Tony Alva starred opposite Leif Garrett in Skateboard, while Z-Boy Stacy Peralta was top-billed in Freewheelin') -- their fame proved to be fleeting, and several of the Z-Boys fell prey to drugs, crime, and ego. Dogtown and Z-Boys is a documentary by former Z-Boy Stacy Peralta that chronicles the glory days of the Z-Boys through footage of the skaters in their prime and interviews with the pioneers of the Southern California skate scene. Rock musicians and noted skate enthusiasts Ian MacKaye, Henry Rollins, and Jeff Ament also appear to discuss the importance of the Z-Boys' legacy; Sean Penn narrates.
skateboarding, legacy, pioneer, rise-to-fame, ego, skate-park, street-culture, street-smart, surfing, teenagers, endorsement, crime, drugs, celebrity