Skateboarding as a sport lends itself perfectly to movies. It's fast paced, spectacular to watch, and looks great in slow motion. Just add a star, some sort of plot and you have got yourself a movie with plenty of awesome filler!
Over the last twenty or so years, many films have done just that, some with more success than others. Here is short list of some of the more popular films to feature skateboarding.
1. Back to the Future Trilogy
Who else is still waiting to get a hover board?
Luke Skywalker had his light saber, Indiana Jones his whip, and Marty McFly, the time traveling protagonist of the Back to the Future trilogy, had his skateboard.
Back to the Future has some of the more memorable skateboarding scenes ever put on film including Marty's "inventing" of the skateboard in 1955 when he modifies a borrowed apple crate scooter and who can forget the hover board sequence that takes place in Back to the Future II's fictional 2015. (We are only a year out!). Girl Skateboards did a dope parody skateboard deck of Back to the Future in their Be Kind Rewind series.
As far as movies are concerned it could be argued that Marty McFly is the greatest skateboarder of all time! (Get it?, of course you do.) Nobody can match him in terms of longevity, but the Birdman is getting close!
2. Gleaming the Cube
Speaking of the Birdman, you can check out his acting skills as well as his skating in this 80's cult classic starring Christian Slater and a fresh out of High School, Tony Hawk, as well as other legendary skaters like Tommy Guerrero, Lance Mountain, and Mike McGill.
This film is heavy on the skateboarding action and is fairly entertaining otherwise, with a plot revolving around Slater trying to solve his brother’s murder. Here is a clip of Christian and Tony sharing memories of the filming.
If you like Gleaming The Cube then check out Thrashin' another 80's gem starring a young Josh Brolin and featuring the skating of an even younger Tony Hawk as Brolin's skate double.
3. The Lords of Dogtown
This is a fictionalized take on the legendary Zephyr Skate team that revolutionized skateboarding in the 1970's while growing up on the mean streets of Dogtown in Santa Monica, California.
Starring Heath Ledger and Emile Hirsch The Lords of Dogtown chronicles the teen years of skateboard legends Jay Adams, Stacy Peralta, and Tony Alva and features cameo appearances from all three.
To hear the real story straight from the Z-Boys mouths then check out Dogtown and Z-Boys a great documentary full of vintage footage and pictures of the metamorphosis of skateboarding from fad to action sport.
Paranoid Park is a 2007 film from acclaimed director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho) that revolves around a young skater who's life begins to unravel after he accidentally kills a security guard with his skateboard.
A little more on the serious tip, this film scored big with the critics and viewers alike, scoring a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes and making several year end Best Movie lists for 2008.
Expect some dreamy skateboarding sequences and an appearance by one of the coolest skateparks in the US, Portland's own illegally built, but now city sanctioned, Burnside Skatepark.
This is a movie bound to become a cult classic. This 2011 documentary follows Josh "Skreech" Sandoval, local skate legend of Fullerton, California as he struggles with the life changes brought on by the birth of his son.
Voted "Best Documentary" at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival, Dragonslayer is also carrying an 89% with critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Like most of the movies on this list it also features a pretty decent soundtrack to support killer skateboarding scenes.
There you have it; big name stars, professional skaters, acclaimed directors, killer soundtracks and all. We offered at least one film from every decade since the 80's.
What did we leave off? Tell us your favorite movie featuring skateboarding in the comments below or tell us what you think of ours!