The Top 2 Skateboarding Documentaries

What the world knows as modern skateboarding entered the scene in the mid 1970’s in southern California. Since then, this alternative sport has become popular across the globe. Not only that, but it’s a culture that has left its influence on the youth of the world, in music and clothing apparel. Over the years, there have been a few very important movements in the story of what skateboarding is today. Fewer still are the film makers and photographers who captured the essence of what these events consisted of. Two skateboarding documentaries stand out, and you should watch them if you want to learn about this sport’s history. They are “Dogtown and Z-Boys” and “Rising Son: The Legend Of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi.”

Dogtown and Z-Boys

Narrated by Sean Penn and directed by Stacy Peralta (one of the original Z-Boys), the film covers the origin of modern day skateboarding. With strong influences from surf culture and a poverty stricken neighborhood, a group of teenage boys make up the Zephyr Skateboard Team. They would not have been chosen to succeed, as they were poor and from the wrong neighborhood. They snuck into empty pools to skate. At the time, they had no idea that what they were doing was actually innovative and revolutionary. As they started going to local contests, the members of the team gained strong reputations and national attention for performing tricks no one had seen before. They went on to become some of the biggest influences and are now considered the grandfathers of skateboarding.

The Z-Boys influenced skate parks.
Modern skate parks probably wouldn’t exist without the Z-Boys.

With a rock and roll soundtrack, raw footage, interviews with original members and other notable names, this is truly one of the best skateboarding documentaries. It’s a thrill from beginning to end, with enough heart to bring a tear to your eye and plenty of inspiration for believing in the youth of our day. This film is a must watch.

Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi

Another one of the best skateboarding documentaries out there, this is an autobiography detailing the life of Christian Hosoi. He was on his way to becoming the world’s most famous skater. But, due to his drug addiction and partying at a young age, his skateboarding career was cut short.

In the 1980’s, if you were into skateboarding, you were either rooting for Tony Hawk or Christian Hosoi. They were the best of their time and truly pushed the limits and boundaries of the sport. This film shows Christian Hosoi’s legendary unmatched style, authentic skill, and free spirit. He was winning every competition and every company wanted to sponsor him. And yet, he turned to a life of parties and drugs. He was eventually locked up in jail and vanished from the skateboarding scene overnight. This story does not have a sad ending, though. While he was behind bars, Christian Hosoi became a Christian. He’s now a pastor of a church in California and travels around to tell his story. To learn more about him and find out why this is one of the most acclaimed skateboarding documentaries, watch this film.

There are plenty of stories and films about the world of skateboarding and other sports, but you won’t find any that have been as crucial and enjoyable as these two.