Skateboarding videos and footage are extremely important for skaters’ careers, not only because it is the evidence of their progress and skills, but also because it’s a record of their long journey inside their very lives on and off the board. As it continues to grow the skateboarding community redevelops a sense of identity, which demands a perpetual record of its people, culture and facts that orbits around itself. This is later revealed in full or short length films that try to capture the background behind all of it: the personal lives of elite skateboarders, a newbie’s trial, an amateur’s training or even historical or social facts concerning skateboarding in the past and in present day. Here are 5 documentaries that expose different faces and perspectives of how the skateboarding community sees itself that every skater should watch at least once:
5. Bones Brigade: An Autobiography
Directed by none other than Stacy Peralta, this documentary shows the origins of the now all-stars team Bones Brigade, when they were a bunch of teenagers and skaters that after their biggest breakthrough started a prestigious legacy and reinvented the concept of skateboarding style and culture. It’s the story that bound them together and that shaped their now well-renowned careers.
Directed by Tristan Patterson, this film follows the everyday life of legendary Californian skater Josh ‘Skreech’ Sandoval, who’s personal interest, lifestyle and still urging skateboarding thrives collide with the reality of being a newly formed family man. Skreech must struggle everyday with his present self and face quarrels within his family, for even if he knows he needs to settle down and achieve a fair parenthood he must also wash away the dreams he perused as a young skater which made him who he is.
3. Minding The Gap
Directed by Bing Liu, an Academy Award nominated documentary that follows the lives of three runaway young men that love skating. This journey is a coming of age story, where the three friends must endure a premature adulthood while learning how to survive in a world without any parental figures. The skateboarding is not a mere sidekick, instead it is the foundation that pushes the kids forward in an everlasting friendship and love of skateboarding.
2. All This Mayhem
Directed by Eddie Martin. What happens when fresh young men enter successfully into the dark side of the skateboarding world? Just what happens in any other scene were big promises and triumphs are tattered by exploitation, deceit and substance abuse. This is seen through the eyes of siblings Tas and Ben Pappas, who’s young lives are tarnished by excesses that, even thought they despise it can’t control whatsoever while hanging on to their boards.
1. Dogtown and Z-Boys
Directed by Stacy Peralta, Dogtown and Z-Boys still is to this date the holy grail of skateboarding accounts and documentaries. A mixture of interviews, rare footage, present day testimonies and never before released Z-Boys videos. The film is a rock-solid testament that captures the weight of history and culture of skateboarding since it’s relapse in the 70’s with legendary skaters that shifted the paradigm forever more.