In the late 1960s, a group of burnt out teenagers from broken homes ambled together and began to surf along Venice, California's Pacific Ocean Park pier, a ghostly shell of a former amusement park nicknamed "Dogtown." United by their attention to style and willingness to take risks, this group of unruly boys were handpicked and nurtured by maverick surfboard designer Jeff Ho, who christened them the Zephyr surf team (or Z-boys). Originally taking up skateboarding as a distraction for the non-surfing hours, the team ended up revolutionizing what was to become an internationally popular sport, using emptied out pools to create a surf-inspired style that was fluid and vertical and ultimately made them legends.
In this fine, frenetic documentary, director Stacy Peralta (one of the most famous Z-boys) tells the inspiring story of himself and his team. Through interviews, archival film footage, and stunningly beautiful still photographs taken by the Z-boys photographers Craig Stecyk and Glen E. Friedman, Peralta delves into both the large and small of the story--from the personal details of skaters' lives to their lasting impact upon a sport that became a culture. The soundtrack--an expertly chosen mix of classic punk rock and heavy metal including The Stooges, Black Sabbath, and Alice Cooper--is the perfect aural complement to this story, reflecting the rebellious attitude that fueled the boys.