Dogtown and Z-Boys

In the 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 emerge of the Z-Boys, a team of teenaged skateboarders who emerged 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, 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. 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.

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