di Erika Scafuro
On the notes of Black Sabbath skated three of the top skaters in the world, Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta in the famous movie Lords of Dogtown.
Based on a true story, the movie documents, through the lifes of young skateboarders and surfers in Santa Monica California in the 70’s.
The same place where skateboarding was born roughly two decades earlier with the aim of entertaining surfers even in the absence of big swells. Because it is precisely from surfing that skateboarding, as we know it today, comes. Four wheels put on a wood board and the surfers could find the adrenaline of the waves, descending along paved roads at full speed. The first skaters were surfers whizzing on homemade skateboards when the ocean was flat, imitating the movements between the waves with maneuvers along the roads or on ramps.
Lords of Dogtown shows in particular the time when surfing and skateboarding disciplines have never been so connected.
Thanks to the introduction of new materials, as polyurethane wheels, and shapes, the young skaters managed to revolutionize skateboard world making the same real maneuvers as surfing, but carving with a skate.
Thus confirming that skateboarding can be a real training for surfing in the absence of waves.
The time of great change coincided with the Summer of 1975 that recorded a period of severe drought in California and the prohibition to use water except for reasons of necessity.
So a group of young and talented skateboarders filled the lack of waves spending the hot days in a weird way. Thanks to the drought, the pools inside the villas of the rich people became an excellent park in which to try stunts with their skates and have so much fun. All this in the illegality and escaping to the return of the owners of the villas.
From the testimonies of the skaters who lived that era, we the golden period for skateboarding: since then skaters appeared on the covers of magazines and began to talk about this discipline.
Around the 70s skate parks were built, this is an attempt to create specific places for skaters where they can perform tricks on the ramps; literally waves of asphalt on which to surf with the skateboard and places where, until today, everybody can find a sense of community around skating world.
Lords of Dogtown represents an icon movie for generations of surfers skaters.
A surfboard under the arm, skating towards the ocean to catch waves: this is one of the images that makes surfing and skateboarding so close.