We’re starting to see more and more people take on skateboarding as a hobby and many are determined to get to a professional level. The sport has had a long history and many films have been made to highlight those historical moments. The list below includes the 15 best skateboard movies including those that feature the legendary Z-Boys skate crew, Tony Hawk, and Tony Alva. Enjoy!
Reviews of the Best Skateboard Movies
1. Skateboard (1978)
Skateboard is an American sports drama film starring Allen Garfield and Leif Garrett. Ton Alva makes an appearance in the film as Tony Blue-tile.
The plot revolves around a Hollywood agent who is in debt to a powerful bookie. In order to earn money to pay off his debts, he gathers a team of very talented skateboarders to enter a downhill race. The reward for winners is 20 thousand dollars.
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2. Skateboard Madness (1980)
The movie provides a fantastic look at the skateboard scene back in the late 1970s.
The protagonist is a reporter and photographer for a skateboarding newspaper. He is pretty laid back leading to his job being put on the line.
|Duration||1 hour 32 minutes|
|Director||Julian Pene Jr.|
3. Thrashin’ (1986)
Thrashin’ – aka Skate Gang, is an American skater drama film starring Josh Brolin, Robert Rusler, and Pamela Gidley. The film also features famous skaters such as Tony Alva and Tony Hawk.
Cory Webster is an amateur skateboarder who currently resides in LA hoping to compete and win in a downhill competition with his friends – The Ramp Locals.
Their enemy crew is The Daggers – a tough punk rock skateboard gang who are notorious with the locals at Venice Beach. When the gang leader – Tommy finds out that Cory is in fact dating his sister, the two teams decide to battle it out at the LA Massacre, a skate race down a canyon road.
|Duration||1 hour 30 minutes|
|Studio||Winters Hollywood Entertainment|
4. Gleaming the Cube (1989)
Gleaming the Cube, loosely translated to mean pushing your limits to the edge – is an American film about a 16-year-old skateboarder who sets out to investigate the death of his Vietnamese adopted brother.
Brian Kelly is an avid skateboarder and a high school student in Orange County, California. He frequently gets into trouble and argues with his parents. The only person he is close to is his Vietnamese adopted brother, Vinh – who works as a shipping clerk.
Brian’s life is thrown into havoc when he discovers that Vinh is found dead.
For more action packed movies, check out Bruce Willis movies!
|Duration||1 hour 45 minutes|
5. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)
Dogtown and Z-Boys is a documentary film about the revolutionary Zephyr skateboard team (aka Z-Boys) in the 1970s and how these teenage boarders shape the current skateboarding and – to a lesser extent, surfing culture.
Set in Southern California, the film tells about the history of skateboarding. Surf owners Jeff, Skip and Craig – together found the Z-Boys and integrate the surf moves into skateboarding.
They gradually become known for their incredible skills as they compete in skateboard championships.
Last nut not least, have we mentioned that the characters’ hair look amazing?!
|Duration||1 hour 29 minutes|
|Studio||Agi Orsi Productions, Vans Off the Wall|
6. Grind (2003)
Grind is an American comedy film about four young aspiring skateboarders – Eric, Matt, Dustin, and Lou as they are trying to make it to the world of professional skateboarding.
As recent high school graduates, Eric and his best friends are hoping to go on a summer road trip to hopefully get noticed by the pro skateboarders.
When the legendary skateboarder Jimmy Wilson visits the town as a part of his national skate demo tour, the gang decides to tail the skate team and gets themselves into interesting adventures along the way.
|Duration||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Director||Casey La Scala|
|Studio||Pandora, Gaylord Films|
7. Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator (2003)
Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator is a feature documentary film about the life of Mark ‘Gator’ Rogowski – a professional skateboarding champion of the 1980s who is now serving a life prison term for rape and murder.
In the film, Gator’s life is explored starting with his initial rise to fame after winning many championships, his struggle with relationship problems and then alcoholism, and eventually his murder of Jessica Bergsten.
The movie also features skate legends such as Tony Hawk and Stacy Peralta talking about their first-hand encounters with Rogowski.
|Duration||1 hour 20 minutes|
8. Lords of Dogtown (2005)
Lords of Dogtown is an American biographical drama film that follows a group of young skateboarders in Santa Monica, California during the mid-1970s as they revolutionize the skateboarding scene. The movie uses pretty much the same plot as Dogtown and Z-Boys.
Set in the Dogtown area of Santa Monica, surfers Tony, Stacy and Jay enjoy the good life of skating and surfing alongside the locals and Skip – a board designer. One day, Skip is given polyurethane wheels to try for the skateboards and are amazed at how they make the skateboards have the same effect of the flat ground as the surfboards on waves.
The ensuing events are the highlights of skateboarding history as a new skate team Z-Boys is founded and starts to gain popularity with the locals.
9. Deck Dogz (2005)
Deck Dogz is an Australian skater film starring Sean Kennedy, Ho Thi Luu, and Richard Wilson – with a guest appearance of Tony Hawk. The film sets include Adelaide and Sydney, Australia.
Three young Australian skaters Richard, Sean, and Luu – nicknamed Poker, Spasm, and Blue Flame – are from the rough suburban streets aspiring to make it to professional skateboarding.
Along the way, the need to overcome several obstacles including disapproving parents, the law, petty criminals, and their own shortcomings to finally meet and compete with the skateboarding legend, Tony Hawk.
|Studio||United International Pictures|
10. Paranoid Park (2007)
Paranoid Park is a psychological drama film set in Portland, Oregon based on a novel of the same name by Blake Nelson. The story is about a teenage skateboarder (Gabe Nevins)
Paranoid Park refers to a rough skateboard park in Portland, Oregon where Alex – a 16 year-old teenage skateboarder frequents.
The movie revolves around Alex’s troubled mind and heavily guarded secrets as detective Lu investigates a tragic death of a train security guard in a yard nearby Paranoid Park.
|Independent Spirit Award||Won|
|Boston Society of Film Critics awards||Won|
|Cannes Film Festival 60th Anniversary Prize||Won|
11. Street Dreams (2009)
Street Dreams is an American drama about a budding skater who has to overcome many obstacles to pursue his skateboarding dreams.
Derrick Cabrera (Paul Rodriguez) is a skateboarder with an ardent dream of one day becoming a professional skateboarder. Coming from Chicago, Derrick’s close ones don’t seem to support his passion – including his parents, the local police, and even his long-term girlfriend.
Determined to prove himself, Derrick sets off with his teammates to compete in the Tampa Am contest – where he could be the next star.
|Duration||1 hour 28 minutes|
12. Waiting for Lightning (2012)
Waiting for Lightning is a documentary about the life of a skateboarder named Danny Way whose upbringing is fraught with unfortunate events, and how he overcomes those adversities to, later on, become a professional skateboarder.
A major stunt chronicled by the documentary is about Danny’s attempt to jump across the Great Wall of China in the year 2005.
|Duration||1 hour 36 minutes|
13. Hardflip (2012)
Hardflip is a movie about a young skateboarder named Caleb (Randy Wayne) as he tries to become a sponsored skater considering he has no father and his mom is working two jobs just to make ends meet.
As his mother falls ill and passes away, Caleb is distraught and embarks on a journey to find his long-lost father. The overarching theme of the film is around forgiveness – even towards those who may have hurt us.
|Duration||1 hour 53 minutes|
14. Skate Kitchen (2018)
Skate Kitchen is an American teen drama film starring Rachelle Vinberg as Camille – a teenage girl who becomes friends with a group of teenage skateboarders in New York City. The plot is inspired by an actual group of female skateboarders in NYC who call themselves ‘Skate Kitchen’.
Camille is an 18-year-old living with her mom in Long Island – who recently takes a break from skateboarding after an injury. Realizing her love for the sport is too great; she decides to attend a meeting in NYC to meet with the Skate Kitchen and gradually ventures deeper into the subculture of NYC as well as learn more about the true meanings of friendship.
The hairstyles of the characters in this movie were quite unique.
|Duration||1 hour 46 minutes|
|Studio||Bow and Arrow Entertainment|
15. Minding the Gap (2018)
Minding the Gap is a documentary film directed by Bing Liu that revolves around the lives of three young men growing up in Rockford, Illinois who share a common love for skateboarding.
Bing, Keire, and Zack all grow up in abusive homes and have difficult childhoods who bond over skateboarding. As they become adults, each young man has to juggle with new responsibilities such as relationships, finances, and education – which threaten their decade-long friendship.
|Duration||1 hour 33 minutes|
|U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award||Won|
|Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature||Nominated|
|Critics’ Choice Awards x 5||Nominated|
Most would agree Rodney Mullen is the number skateboarder of all time. Other potential candidates are Tony Hawk and Bam Margera.
We can refer to them as ‘skaters‘ or ‘boarders’.
The best skate videos include Baker, Enjoi, Emerica, Girl, and so on.
Bottom Line: Best Skateboard Movies
So far we’ve done a flip through the history of skateboarding with the most iconic movies mentioned in chronological order. Whether you’re an avid skateboarder yourself or just keen on watching movies featuring skateboarding, we hope that the films above keep you entertained. Have fun watching!