I don't skate, but I've kissed a few skater boys in my lifetime, so I think I know what I'm talking about when I say that some of them have some mad style. At least those inspired by skate and surf's early beginnings. I'm not talking about the boys in the baggy pants and the DC Shoes. I'll pass on that. No, I'm talking about the California cool kid set known as the Z-Boys of 1970’s South Santa Monica and Venice Beach. This group of young surfers who took their impeccable moves and newly invented tricks to the concrete streets and empty backyard pools started a revolution that turned their hobby into the world-renowned lifestyle and multi-million dollar industry it is today. The 2005 movie Lords of Dogtown introduced the Z-Boys to a newer generation, bringing to life the colorful beginnings of this influential group of kids who lived for the thrill on the board. But the Z-Boys didn’t just have sharp skills on the board; they also had a sharp sense of style. They dressed for movement, but most of all they dressed to assert their independence.
For those of you who are already familiar with the Z-Boys, the famous movie, and the 2001 documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, then you know the unmistakable uniform of these kids who made the ocean waves and city streets their home away from home. Rugged slim cut jeans, low-slung cut-off shorts, dusty bandannas tied around their foreheads, t-shirts, ankle socks, and flat tennis shoes were regular attire amongst this crew. Wrists and necks were adorned with beaded bracelets and necklaces stacked one on top of the other. Their girlfriends looked like bohemian flower children in light washed flare jeans, embroidered tunic tops, whimsical earrings, and slouchy braids in their hair. And the girls who skated, too. They were probably the coolest. Breaking boundaries.
If it weren’t for the Z-Boys, today’s surfers and skaters may never have learned those awesome aerial and sliding moves that would turn skating into one of the most exciting extreme sports today. And they may never have learned to look as cool as they are with heads of shaggy hair and roughed-up Vans sneakers on their feet. It sure as hell inspires me every single summer. Now if only I didn't have such a shitty balance and coordination on a board, and I'd be all set.