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Skateboarding Movies - Top 10 Movies With Skateboarding

Movies with skateboarding as the major theme

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Skateboarding movies are a little bit rare - there just aren't as many out there as I think there should be. Skateboarding has such a huge amount of potential - most skaters live pretty dynamic lives, and the competitive skateboarding scene is huge! Now just to be clear, this isn't a list of the Top 10 Skateboarding Videos, or Reader Submitted Top 10 - those are videos from skateboarding teams that showcase their skaters. These are full movies that deal with of focus on skateboarding in some way.

10. Wassup Rockers / Kids / Ken Park

Wassup Rockers Logo
wassuprockers.com
In 1995, director Larry Clark made a movie called Kids. Kids tells the story of several skater teens in New York who freely experiment with drugs and sex, and shows a gritty portrayal of what that can do.

In 2002 Larry Clark came out with Ken Park, a movie that tells the story of a group of skaters dealing with the suicide of one of their friends.

Clark came out with Wassup Rockers in 2005, and tells the story of a group of Guatemalan American and Salvadoran American teens in Los Angeles who get into skate punk culture instead of gangs. The boys get harassed for this, and the movie's story comes out of this conflict.

I list all of these together because they feel like a set - all telling gritty teenage skater stories.

9. Dogtown and Z-Boys

Dogtown and Z-Boys
Dogtown and Z-Boys
Dogtown and Z-Boys is a documentary about the same story as the Lords of Dogtown theatrical movie. However, as a documentary, it tells a more objective and complete tale, though maybe not as moving of one!

From the review - "Dogtown and Z-Boys is a documentary that walks viewers through the history and lives of the legendary Zephyr surf and skateboarding team. The film, directed by the famous Z-Boy Stacey Peralta and narrated by Sean Penn, is full of vintage surf and skate video footage, photos, and interviews with the Zephyr team." This is an important piece of the history of skateboarding. Read the rest of the Dogtown and Z-Boys DVD Review

8. Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator

Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator
Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator
Stoked came out in 2002, and is the most dark and serious movie in this list. It documents the true story of the life of Mark "Gator" Rogowski, how he rose to fame and riches in the 80's, but then how his life fell apart. The movie shows drugs and alcohol ripping Gator's life apart, and how he eventually gets sentenced for rape and murder. Not quite the "group of teens trying to go pro" storyline! Stoked is a very dark movie, but one of the best on this list.

Stoked features interviews with people like Tony Hawk, Jason Jessee, Stacy Peralta, Lance Mountain, and Steve Caballero. The movie also includes popular music from the time and culture, like the Butthole Surfers, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag and Naked Raygun.

7. Deck Dogz

Deck Dogz
Deck Dogz
Deck Dogz is an Australian skateboarder movie that came out in 2005. Deck Dogz features guest star Tony Hawk, and stars Sean Kennedy, Ho Thi Lu and Richard Wilson.

Deck Dogz is about 3 teenage skaters who are having problems with school, their parents, some criminals and the authorities. The movie follows these skaters on their journey through Australia. Their dream is get to Beachbowl, a competition hosted by Tony Hawk (playing himself), and to get Hawk to sponsor them as pro skaters.

6. Paranoid Park

Paranoid Park
Paranoid Park
Paranoid Park is a dramatic movie that came out in 2007. It tells the story of a teenage skater who uses his skateboard to fight off a security guard, only to have the guard accidentaly die. The rest of the film is about Alex, the skater, hiding and trying to figure out how to deal with what's happened.

The movie was filmed in Portland, Oregon, and uses the famous Burnside skatepark as the Paranoid Park in the film. The movie revolves around skateboarding and skaters, but uses it more to set up the culture that Alex is part of. Paranoid Park was very well received with critics, but in my opinion is a little slow! Still, it's a serious drama involving skateboarding, that doesn't tell the story of a group of kids trying to go pro!

5. Grind

Grind
Grind
Grind is an American skateboarding movie that came out in 2003. It's more of an adventure comedy, and follows a group of skaters who... get this... want to become pros! This has been basically the storyline for anything to do with skateboarding for decades...

Grind got terrible reception when it came out, but now has actually developed quite a popularity with the same crowd that watched shows like Jackass. The film features Bob Burnquist , Bucky Lasek, Pierre Luc Gagnon and Bam Margera, along with Preston Lacy, Ehren Danger McGhehey and Jason Wee Man Acuña of Jackass fame.

4. The Search for Animal Chin

The Search for Animal Chin
The Search for Animal Chin
The Search for Animal Chin came out in 1987, and was by far the best skateboarding video to come out anywhere near that time. It featured the famous "Bones Brigade" skate team, and it was one of the very first skateboarding videos to have a plot!

The movie starts with Animal Chin, the 62 year old master of skateboarding, going missing. The Bones Brigade (Steve Caballero, Tommy Guerrero, Tony Hawk, Mike McGill and Lance Mountain) go on a search for him. The story is simple and fun, and it's obvious that the team had a lot of fun making it. The video is a must see for anyone who cares about skating - it's different from the skate videos of today, more low, simple, and fun. Read the Search for Animal Chin DVD review for more details.

3. Gleaming the Cube

Gleaming the Cube
Gleaming the Cube
Gleaming the Cube came out back in 1989. It stars a young Christian Slater as Brian Kelly, a 16 year old skater. Kelly is a skater who only wants to skate until his adopted Vietnamiese brother mysteriously dies, and Kelly must grow up quickly to uncover the truth of his brother's murder.

The movie is packed with famous skaters. Tony Hawk, and Tommy Guerrero play friends of Kelly, and skate around with him (at the time, Hawk and Guerrero were in the Bones Brigade). Original Z-Boy Stacy Peralta was the skateboarding technical advisor, and the movie's stunt men include Mike McGill, "Gator" Mark Rogowski, Rodney Mullen, Rich Dunlop, Eric Dressen, Lance Mountain, Mike Vallely, Chris Black, Ted Ehr, Natas Kaupas, Chris Borst, and Steve Saiz.

2. Lords of Dogtown

Lords of Dogtown
Lords of Dogtown
This is easily the best skateboarding movie made so far. It's exciting, packed with drama and emotion, and tells an honest-to-goodness true story.

Lords of Dogtown is set in Santa Monica in the early 1970s, and focuses on three surfers named Tony Alva (played by Victor Rasuk), Stacy Peralta (played by John Robinson), and Jay Adams (played by Emile Hirsch). They enjoy surfing and skateboarding, and hanging out at the Zephyr Skate Shop. A set of new polyeutethane skate wheels transforms what skateboarding can look like, and the three go on to become famous in skateboarding contests, with the wealth and fame then tearing them apart. It's a great true story and helps show the history and evolution of skateboarding. Read the DVD review.

1. Thrashin'

Thrashin'
Thrashin'
Thrashin' came out in 1986, and is a dramatic movie about skaters and their lives. The story follows young skater Cory Webster is an amateur skater who wants to win a big downhill skating competition. He falls in love with a girl named Chrissy, who's big brother is the leader of a mean skater/punk rock band called "The Daggers."

Thrashin' stars Josh Brolin, Robert Rusler, and Pamela Gidley. It also has a lot of big name skaters from the 80's, like Tony Alva, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi and Steve Caballero. The movie originally even had Johnny Depp in it, but the producer axed him. It's also sometimes called "Skate Gang."

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