It's about life - not "lifestyle"
DOGTOWN AND Z BOYS is a movie certainly worth watching for anybody interested in surfing or skateboarding. It is at once historical and informative, with applications to current extreme sport enthusiasts.

Sadly, acrimony over money via rights to personal images has arisen to drive wedges between some of the principal figures. This backchannel soap opera has become a major drama in itself, garnering news stories and probably flame wars on internet sites devoted to the subject. While the whole thing is interesting, don't let it get in the way of seeing an enjoyable romp through the distant past...and a front seat to the inception of Extreme Sports.

Surfing is unquestionably the starting point for extreme sports. Skateboarding is the first crossover or hybrid sport species. This short period chronicled in this movie is the absolute genesis of the whole phenomonon - good, bad, and ugly.

You can see the Good all over the faces of the young team members. You can see the Bad and the Ugly in the faces of the three men who fostered the experience and then watched as what they built burnt to the ground in front of their eyes. There is pride there, and some bitterness. It's one thing to watch the glories and failures of your own youth, but it's much harder to watch others do things which in the end may cause them pain. I suspect I hear a twinge of just that when Jeff Ho speaks of the aftermath of Money and Fame entering the arena, when what appears to have been something between a "team" and "family" broke apart.

There is some vintage surf action, including a couple of shots of  a Dora in his mid-30's if I'm not mistaken, and some skateboarding of the period which shows the incredible performance differences between skaters. People may go harder and higher these days, and spin around more, but the gap between the best of the Dogtown riders and the rest of the world at that point is nothing short of breathtaking.

It's a good one to see. If you must delve into the behind the scenes action of 2002, try to keep it apart from this great look at the period, places, and people.
Surf Media
Copyight (C) 2002. All rights reserved.