The Top 10 Skateboard Movies

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Cave, Steve. "The Top 10 Skateboard Movies." ThoughtCo, Oct. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/skateboarding-movies-3002807. Cave, Steve. (2017, October 7). The Top 10 Skateboard Movies. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/skateboarding-movies-3002807 Cave, Steve. "The Top 10 Skateboard Movies." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/skateboarding-movies-3002807 (accessed October 22, 2017).

Skateboarding movies are rare because there just aren't as many out there as there could be. Skateboarding has a huge amount of potential, as most skaters live various dynamic lives, and the competitive skateboarding scene is big. The list below does not focus on top skateboarding videos nor reader submitted videos. The latter includes videos from skateboarding teams that showcase their skaters, while the list below includes full cinematic movies that deal with a focus on skateboarding in some way.

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Wassup Rockers / Kids / Ken Park

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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.

Later, in 2005, Clark created the movie Wassup Rockers which 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 evolves out of this conflict.

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.  This is an important piece of the history of skateboarding.

The review expands,

"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."

Stoked came out in 2002 and is one of the darkest, serious movies in skateboarding.

The movie documents the true story of the life of Mark "Gator" Rogowski, how he rose to the fame and riches in the 80's, and follows how his life fell apart. The movie shows drugs and alcohol ripping Gator's life apart, and how he eventually got sentenced for rape and murder. This storyline is not quite the "group of teens trying to go pro" but is one of the best films around skateboarding.

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.

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 three 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 to get to Beachbowl, a competition hosted by Tony Hawk, who plays the character himself. The movie follows their second goal of getting Hawk to sponsor them as pro skaters.

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 accidentally 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 skate park 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 by critics ​but may be perceived as a slow film to watch. Regardless, it's a serious drama involving skateboarding that doesn't tell the story of a group of kids trying to go pro.

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 want to become professionals. This has been the main storyline for anything to do with skateboarding for decades.

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

The Search for Animal Chin came out in 1987 and is considered one of the very best skateboarding videos to come out anywhere near that time. It featured the famous "Bones Brigade" skate team and 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 because it's different from the skate videos of today. This movie is more low, simple, and fun. 

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 Vietnamese 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 the friends of Kelly and skate around with him. Original Z-Boy Stacy Peralta was the skateboarding technical advisor for this movie, and the movie's stunt men included 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.

Lords of Dogtown has been largely considered as 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).

The skaters enjoy surfing, skateboarding, and hanging out at the Zephyr Skate Shop. A set of new polyurethane skate wheels transforms what skateboarding can look like, and the three go on to become famous in skateboarding contests, with the wealth and fame ​tearing them apart. It's a great and true story that helps show the history and evolution of skateboarding.

Thrashin' came out in 1986 and is a dramatic movie about skaters and their lives. The story follows young skater, Cory Webster, an amateur skater who wants to win a big downhill skating competition. He falls in love with a girl named Chrissy, whose big brother is the leader of a mean skater and 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 famous actor Johnny Depp in it, but the producer axed him. This film is also sometimes referred to as Skate Gang.