The Board Blazers Blog


Best Skateboarding Movies

Today our friend David over at Longboards Lab is doing a roundup of the best skateboarding movies - rad! Read on, fellow shredders!

The best skateboarding movies around provide a fun blend of sporting entertainment. There are fantastic scenes of breathtaking stunts, flips, and ollies. Skateboarding skills interplay with genres like drama, action, and even comedy themes sprinkled with a little romance. Whatever your style, be sure to tune in and immerse yourself in the best of half pipes, grinds, grabs and more!


Waiting for Lightning
The 2012 documentary-style personal story, rings true vividly, highlighting the theme from “tragedy and triumph.” Here’s a storyline that most persons can readily identify with or try to emulate in their struggles. The lead character portrays the life of professional skateboarder, Danny Way, who experienced a rough start in life. However, with personal grit and determination, he seemingly defies the odds to achieve his dreams. What better way to rise above any challenge, by viewing the lead actor perform death-defying stunts and tricks after taking huge falls and personal setbacks? To jump the Great Wall of China on a skateboard is no mean feat, but, like most life lessons, Day proves that anything is possible if the mind and will are in sync, despite any obstacles in your way.

Some of the best scenes from the film include Day leaping from a helicopter into a skateboarding ramp and conceptualizing and building the mind-boggling ramp to scale the Great Wall of China. Supporting actors in the film include Laird Hamilton and Rob Dyrdek. The movie provides excellent high-quality digital streaming that puts you right on the pulse of the action.


Skateboard Madness
If you’re interested in how skateboarding started and its progress through time, then Skateboarding Madness is a must-watch. Set in the 1980s, the comedic storyline centers around a less-than-ambitious sports photographer who’s set to lose his job unless he could produce something spectacular in short order.

Amidst the comedy, the film gives one a sense of the early development of skateboarding as a sport. It’s rated among some of the best skateboarding movies around. It also includes scenes of surfing, wind skating, and snowboarding as well as ideas of how the skateboarding craze evolved. The film also provides excellent footage with appropriate background music on skateboarding techniques, stunts, and tricks.

The lead actor himself provides plenty of laughs as he blunders his way to “stardom” after his attempts to cover a skateboarding competition in the San Francisco Bay goes awry. After his assignment goes begging, he ends up on an exciting and informative, yet hilarious road trip to some of the best skateboarding parks around the San Francisco Bay area. The director is Hal Jepson, and the cast includes Kurt Ledterman, Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, Surf Punks and Gregg Ayres.


Stoked: The Rise and Fall of The Gator
The 2002 movie is a documentary about the professional career of skateboarder Mark “Gator” Rogowski and the emerging popularity of skateboarding in Southern California. Set in the early1990s, it presents a gripping, yet haunting tale of one of the most talented and promising skateboarders ever. The film tells the story of the fame, fortune, and tragic fall of a Rogowski, and is a blend of period scenes with memories of skateboarding in it’s “pure” form. A complex portrait of Gator’s stardom, it shows the events that led to his unfortunate demise from the skateboarding arena.

Viewers will get a rare opportunity to see skateboarding through the eyes of many pioneers of the craft and their iconic rise to fame and glory. The film is listed as one of the best skateboarding movies to hit the big screen. It’s choc-full of action, personal interviews, and history of the fast-growing interest in skateboarding as a competitive sport. Directed by Helen Stickler, it stands out for quality, reality, and great entertainment. See the exploits of Gator as he executes his expert half-pipes and other superb skills of a talented but troubled star. Stars in the movie include skater Tony Hawk, Jason Jesse, John Brinton Hogan and Mark “Gator” Rogowski himself.


Thrashin
Thrashin is a 1986 dramatic movie which is also called Skate Gang. The film draws its plot around up-and-coming skateboarder, Corey Webster (Josh Brolin), who dreams of making it big in the future. A highly intense drama unfolds when the leading star’s love interest turns out to be a close relative of one of the most feared skateboarding gangs in Los Angeles. Corey navigates between practicing his downhill stunts while trying to escape with his life on occasions. The emotional upheaval takes a toll on his attempts to stay focused on his dreams. Tensions increase when Corey finally gets the opportunity to out-perform his biggest rival, despite having an injured arm. The action climaxes with him zooming past his fiercest opponent, and wins a contract to start a professional skateboarder career. He also earns the admiration and respect of his enemy and can thrive both professionally and romantically.

Watching the movie will take you back in time to the emerging skateboarding culture and its influence on the punk rock era of the 1980s. It also portrays many popular skateboarding groups of the time such as the Banshees, Vice Squad, and Siouxsie.


Street Dreams
If you’re a die-hard skateboarding fan and love a good action drama movie, then Street Dreams will keep you hooked. It’s a throwback to the 1970’s skateboarding circle in the Midwest where little is known or appreciated about skateboarding. The main character (Paul Rodriguez) plays teenage skateboarder Derrick Cabrera who dreams of making it onto the big stage despite little support from family and friends. Nevertheless, Cabrera draws on his inner strength and continues to sharpen his skills, narrowing it down to one specially crafted stunt. Jealousy soon raises its ugly head when fellow skateboarders realize his immense talent and potential. As the walls begin to close in on him from every angle, and his battles increase, he decides to break free and leave his hometown. Trouble also follows him as he qualifies for the amateur contest in Tampa Florida. Once again, he’s abandoned by people he thought he could trust. However, fate is kind to him and with the help of a few new friends he’s able to showcase the astonishing trick he’s been practicing. A grind down a handrail on a crooked flip at a 360 degrees angle propels him to get the attention of the professionals finally.

One of the best highlights of the movie is the fact that actual skateboarders perform stunts and tricks. It’s a riveting story of self-belief and determination and will appeal to teenagers who have a passion and want to achieve greatness. Supporting roles are by Ryan Schecker, Terry Kennedy and Rob Dyrdek.

Awesome roundup, David! We're ready to set down our boards (and Board Blazers!) and pop some corn instead of ollies for a change. Go catch one of these killer skater flicks and let us know what you think!


Let's hang out!

Hit us up in your favorite spot.

Drop into Discounts!

Snag secret savings, super sweepstakes, and sweet swag!

Got the write stuff?

Now welcoming guest posts from our skate fam! Send us your topic ideas.

Reddit 101 for Skateboarders

The world wide web is such a vast tangle of data and info that it can be mind-bending to try and imagine it. For today let’s imagine the internet as a house with Reddit as the front door. This website bills itself as the front page of the internet with a staggering number of users and an entire subculture with its own acronyms. If you’re new to Reddit the structure is deceptively simple: it’s a collection of forums based around any and EVERY topic you can imagine. Want to chat soccer with like-minded hooligans? There’s a thread for that. Want to debate the death penalty with actual lawyers and judges? You can! And if you’d like to browse endless pictures of cat-breading (yes, that is when you cut a baseball-sized hole in a piece of white bread and place it lovingly on your cat’s noggin), well Reddit has you covered here too.

There are nearly endless threads and sub-threads, but as die-hard skaters, we’re really interested in one thread and one thread only: SHREDDIT, the skateboarding forum. Before we delve into some can’t-miss internet skateboarding wonders, you should know that Reddit has its own lingo. Remember the old instant messaging jargon: brb, lol, g2g, etc? It’s like that, except there are SO MANY MORE. If and when you find yourself lost in acronyms, merely google the string of letters with a comma and then the word “Reddit” and you should see an accurate translation from Reddit-speak to English. You should also know that posts rise or fall on the page based on up or downvotes. Unlike other social media outlets who keep their post algorithms top secret (looking at YOU, Instagram!), Reddit gives total control to the users – power to the people, man! If you see something you dig, vote it up! If you see something annoying (ads!), vote it down.

The majority of the thread is photos and videos people submit of themselves skateboarding — everything from street cruising to homemade skateparks. There are wipeouts and clean landings, skaters of every age and race; it’s a grand melting pot of all things skate. And posers? They get voted down super-fast, keeping the community authentic and focused. You could lose hours eyeballing the rad pics and videos here, honestly. Not to mention the user-submitted art: everything from deck designs to graffiti to oil paintings and sculptures - there's a fantastic amount to see! The only rule is that it must be an homage to all things skate. We can get behind that!

If you’ve never been brave enough to post photos or videos of yourself skating in other corners of the internet, Reddit is a stellar first foray into the world of sharing your shred. Almost all users are super supportive of others, so go ahead and post a skate vid of yourself shredding with your Board Blazers, of course! And anyone caught being a jerk gets down-voted quickly. It’s a great way to build confidence and simultaneously your volume of skating material before launching your personal skateboarding Instagram empire (reach for the stars, peeps)!

The /r/skateboarding thread also has a rad permanent post pinned to the top of the page, “Skateboarding Weekly Discussion Thread.” This is where people post any and all questions about skateboarding. You can ask anything from “Any recs for 60mm wheels?” to “I’m a 76-year-old who wants to get into skating, where do I start?” And here’s the cool part: you can answer too! All that skateboarding knowledge you’ve stored up that your family and non-skater friends don’t appreciate, put it all to use. These are our people, skatefam. We need each other and spending some time browsing this thread is an excellent reminder of the community in our sport. Helping skaters less experienced than you and asking questions to those who’ve been at it longer is a solid way to contribute to skateboarding culture.

If you sign up for a Reddit account, you too can post anything you like in the /r/skateboarding thread to connect with other shredders! The only rules apart from the general Reddit content guidelines are that all conversations, photos, and videos must relate to skateboarding in some way. But doesn’t skating work itself into every conversation anyway? Now get out there and make some SHREDDIT history, skatefam!


Let's hang out!

Hit us up in your favorite spot.

Drop into Discounts!

Snag secret savings, super sweepstakes, and sweet swag!

Got the write stuff?

Now welcoming guest posts from our skate fam! Send us your topic ideas.

How to Become a Pro Skater

If you want to become a professional skater, it’s very important to define and understand what it means to be one! With so many associations trying to establish a hierarchy, crossing the line between amateur and professional is usually done when you are able to earn a living from skateboarding. This basically means you need to be good enough to attract enough attention for a company sponsor you, meaning they will get a return on their investment in you. This article will introduce you to the basic steps to becoming a pro skateboarder!

Tony Hawk sponsors

1. Skate, Skate Skate!!

This first step is no surprise, and there’s no shortcut: you have to become really, really good at skating before you can attract sponsors. The more you skate, the more comfortable you will feel, and the more tricks you will be able to execute. According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery of a skill, and that estimate holds true for skateboarding as well. Spending time practicing is the only way to improve your skills. Dedicate a couple of hours each day for intentionally practicing your skateboarding and make it part of your daily routine. Push your self to improve and practice the hard stuff! 

2. Take care of your health

Being professional means you need to achieve consistency in your performance. While injuries are common in skating, try to avoid long layoffs due to potential injuries or illnesses. Many skaters are reaching a dilemma, feeling that in order to be good you need to risk your health and add dangerous tricks. Every professional skater knows and understands that a serious injury can put his/her career in jeopardy. Taking small steps to keep the risk factors under control are smart alternatives not just for professional skaters, but also for everyone wanting to enjoy the sport. Don’t forget your essential safety gear and always wear a helmet. Always look out for vehicles and if you're skating at night, make sure you’re visible by using a set of Board Blazers!

3. Connect with the community and skate in competitions

Get connected with the local skate community, who can encourage you and spread news of your success. Joining local groups and attending lots of competitions will help you make friends and perform in front of skateboard company representatives. Events of all shapes and sizes are open for amateur skateboarding. Getting experience competing in events is often the determining factor for later skateboarding opportunities. Remember, there is a big gap between skateboarding while practicing and skateboarding inside an event. Being watched and cheered by the crowd is both an exhilarating and nerve-wracking situation, and sponsors want to make sure their skaters can perform under pressure. Check out your local skateboard shop to learn about competitions in your area!

(Credit: www.doitnow.co.za)

4. Construct your image and build a following

Once your competition results prove your ability, take some time to analyze your online presence. Are you repping brands you believe in? Are you able to take a fall and get on your feet with a smile on your face? Are you establishing any connection with the public watching your performance? Successful pro skateboarders are people bright personalities, capable of driving spectators insane with unbelievable skills.

Mike Berdis Instagram

Most importantly, first you need to build a fan base, and then sponsorships will follow. Brands want to sponsor skaters that already have a large following, and one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is through social media. Share clips of your best tricks on Instagram, or tweet at skate companies. Engage with younger skaters on a Facebook page, and try to build a following of engaged supporters.

Most companies will look through a skater’s social media accounts before offering a sponsorship, so be sure to curate a consistent and engaging image, and post your best moves. Be careful too: don’t post pictures of illegal or unsavory activities. Emerging pro skater Mike Berdis is one of the best examples of using social media to attract sponsors, so check out his Instagram for inspiration.

5. Work It

It goes both ways – after you’ve won several competitions and have a few thousand social media followers, brands will begin to approach you with sponsorship offers. However, you can also actively search for sponsorships by introducing yourself to brand reps at competitions and directly emailing skate companies. While money is perhaps the most sought-after type of sponsorship, remember that sponsorships of free product or exposure can also be valuable to building your career. Oftentimes, emailing a company to ask for free product in exchange for promotion on your social media channels is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Paul Rodriguez is pro skateboarder sponsored by Target & Nike! (Credit: http://kingpinmag.com/)

Conclusion

Just like life, to get where you want in the skateboarding world, you need to put in the work & effort to achieve your goals. There are no 100% foolproof methods or recipes for success. But following these steps can set you in the right direction to becoming a pro skateboarder. Luck can be a real component in determining the path of a skater’s career, so always expect the unexpected!

Every skilled skater in the spotlight is a magnet for companies wanting to promote their products or services. It is one of the most organic and convincing forms of advertising. Of course, nobody will sign a sponsorship contract worth millions of dollars from the very beginning and patience should be a virtue for any skater aspiring to become pro. Years of effort can make you tempted to lose hope, but it is crucial to stay positive and hold out for better days! Getting a sponsorship is far from easy and establishing relationships inside your local skating community is essential. Beside skill, technique, and discipline, you will also need show off your pleasant personality and people skills.

Photo credits

Image: Tony Hawk, one of the world’s most famous pro skateboarders. (www.lendio.com)

 

About The Author:

Yogin Patel HeadshotYogin Patel is a serial entrepreneur who currently attends Arizona State University. At the age of 16, Yogin became an independent marketing consultant, along with an avid blogger and online marketer. He builds clean websites, ranks businesses on the first page of Google, and manages social media for brands. In his free time, Yogin likes to read thought-provoking books and play basketball with friends. To learn more about Yogin, or to get in touch with him, add him on his LinkedIn. Yogin blogs at Doolid.com.


Let's hang out!

Hit us up in your favorite spot.

Drop into Discounts!

Snag secret savings, super sweepstakes, and sweet swag!

Got the write stuff?

Now welcoming guest posts from our skate fam! Send us your topic ideas.

Skateparks: Indoor or Outdoor?

Back in the old days, it used to be that you had to sneak by security and risk arrest to find the best spots to skateboard. But with the growth of the sport into an international industry, skaters are overwhelmed with choices: longboard or skateboard, street or vert, commercial or hardcore? And just like everything else in the world of skateboarding, we’re now faced with a choice on WHERE to skate! If you want to cruise down any given street, that’s just fine. But if vert skating is more your jam, you must decide: indoor skatepark or outdoor skatepark? We can’t choose for you, but we can make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make the best decision for your skate style!

When you envision a skatepark it’s probably outside, right? With features like a large concrete pad with ramps, stairs, boxes, and rails, maybe it’s fenced, and it’s lit for night skating. And you wouldn’t be wrong! The very first skate parks were outside since skateboarding is primarily an outdoor sport. And you probably won’t be surprised to know that the first of these parks were in locations like Florida and California. While these places were (and in some ways still are) the epicenter of skateboarding culture, it’s not by random chance. Skateboarding grew naturally out of surfing, and surf culture (read more about the history of skateboarding here!), and climates that support surfing are usually temperate – meaning the weather is great year-round! Why did it take longer for Minnesota to jump on the skateboarding bandwagon? Weather! The invention of indoor skateparks evolved from the need to spread the love of the sport to places where skating outdoors just isn’t possible for much of the year.


Now not all indoor skateparks exist just because of bad weather. In fact, some of the most famous indoor skateparks in the world were built in southern California and Florida! As skate parks emerged and tried to distinguish themselves from one another, some chose to become more about group skating. Some became primarily bowl focused or filled entirely with ramps and rails. Like most industries, its expansion and popularity brought different desires from riders and parks aimed to meet those needs. So if you’re lucky enough to have the choice between indoor and outdoor parks in your area, here are some things to keep in mind.

COST: Most indoor parks will charge an admission fee. And as unfair as that seems, they need to because it quite literally costs money to keep the lights on and cool/heat the room. If you’re short on funds, look for an outdoor park which is most often a city park, kept up by taxpayer dollars or federal funds. City parks mean it’s free to you!


QUALITY: On the flip side of the cost coin, you will almost always get better quality ramps, rails, etc. at an indoor park. Since your admission goes to upkeep, owners and operators have an incentive to keep the park in peak condition. While outdoor parks aren’t necessarily poor quality, at an indoor park you’re almost always guaranteed to get the best of the best when it comes to equipment.

SAFETY/SECURITY: While many outdoor parks do have floodlights and sometimes safety patrol, if you choose to skate outside at night you choose to assume a certain level of risk. Indoor parks can sometimes be a better choice for skaters who are younger or just not as secure about being out alone after dark. If you are out there night shredding though, make sure to bring your Board Blazers along!


CROWDS: Nobody wants to wait in line for their favorite skatepark feature, yet it’s a sad reality of this sport. If you’re not into lines or waiting your turn, definitely don’t visit an indoor park on the weekend. Because these parks tend to be limited in size (although some super rad indoor parks are HUGE!), you’ll end up with more people, and that means more waiting in line. Outdoor parks still have their crowded moments, but you’re more likely to get to ride your route without a wait if you skate under the stars.

To skateboard or not to skateboard? That choice is easy. But when you’re deciding where to skate it can be a bit trickier. As you make your decision, consider the weather, your distance to each park, your finances, your safety, and your patience for waiting in lines. It’s hard to make a wrong choice because either way, you’re going to spend your time shredding. Give each type of park a try at least once. Find out what you and your crew like about each place and then decide on your home turf. And if a new park opens up, absolutely be the first in line to check it out. Whether outside or indoors, get out and skate every day!


Let's hang out!

Hit us up in your favorite spot.

Drop into Discounts!

Snag secret savings, super sweepstakes, and sweet swag!

Got the write stuff?

Now welcoming guest posts from our skate fam! Send us your topic ideas.

Skateparks: Do's & Don'ts (feat. Tech Na$ty!)

Headed to the skatepark? Like any social setting, the skatepark comes with its own set of spoken and unspoken rules and social codes. If you aren’t in the know, you could land yourself in some hot water. But never fear! Board Blazers has enlisted the help of our favorite pro skater, Tech Na$ty, to unlock the mystery of the skatepark social scene. Read on to find out what to do and what NOT to do at the skatepark!

DO go to the skatepark. This tip might seem like a no-brainer, but cities and municipalities don’t want to waste care and upkeep on a park that no one is using. The more demand there is for the parks, the more likely the city is to keep your park in good repair. Show up, skatefam!

DON’T over-wax the ledges. Over-waxing leads to super slick surfaces, and that leads to dangerous falls. You can apply some to the coping to smooth out the run (after all, rain and weather can cause rust & cracks), but only if you need to. If you’re worried about a smooth grind, just up your confidence and make your approach faster – it’ll result in a slicker ride. Or consider applying the wax to your board instead of the spots at the park.

DO respect people’s stuff. Another no-brainer, but lots of people at skateparks and guilty of this one. Don’t take things that aren’t yours; respect other people’s property. If someone’s gear is in your way, politely ask them to move it. Being courteous is a sure fire way to make sure your day stays rad.

 


DON’T snake/tailgate people! Snaking and tailgating is crazy annoying and can also be dangerous. In case you need a little refresher, snaking means cutting another skater (yes, just like cutting in line) and taking your run in the bowl or on the ramp before them. Be courteous and take turns; try to be aware of the order and your place in line for each obstacle. Wait and be patient. Tailgating is the same at a skatepark as it is in your car. Riding too closely behind another skater isn’t just a major eye roll. When you don’t leave appropriate distance between skaters, you’re just asking for an accident. All it takes is one stumble, and both skaters are down. Snaking and tailgating waste people’s turns and cause accidents. You might do it unintentionally, but it’s still rude. Ultimately, always be aware of who and what’s around you.

DO pick up your own trash. If everyone left their trash on the ground, we’d all be drowning in litter. Do your part and pick up after yourself. If your skatepark has no trash can, or you’re not skating at a skatepark, pack out what you pack in. At the very least, make one pile of trash so that litter services doesn’t have to run around chasing your garbage. Being kind to the places where you skate ensures that they last!

DON’T graffiti. It might sound fun to tag your park, but it creates a major headache for you and anyone else who uses the park. Cities typically have a zero-tolerance graffiti policy. This means that as soon as it’s reported, the city has to come to sandblast the graffiti off the surfaces. Then the park has to close for a day (lame!), and the residual sand makes the ledges lose their wax, plus the grit gets in everyone’s bearings. Don’t tag, guys – it hurts us all.

 


DO vibe it out. Every park is a different community. Just because you know your park’s unspoken rules doesn’t mean it’s the same at the park 5 miles down the road. When you arrive at the skatepark (especially if it’s a new haunt for you), vibe it out - get a feel for the place and don’t rush people. Once you’ve got a read on the situation, find an opening in a run or wait in line at an obstacle to join in the fun.

DON’T Bondo or change a non-skatepark skate spot. While this isn’t specifically skatepark related, it bears mentioning. When you permanently change a surface (like when you use Bondo) people are more likely to notice the presence of skaters. Lots of rad skate spots don’t really want us around, you feel? The more attention you attract, the more you ruin it for the rest of us. Don’t give them a reason to hate. Skate it, love it, and then move on. Don’t mark it permanently and ruin it for everybody.

DO use a spotter – be safe, bros. When attempting crazy stunts, you put yourself, pedestrians, and vehicles around you at risk. Not only can you take a good stumble, but your board can shoot out and cause an accident with other people or a vehicle. Skating is risky and fun - definitely try the crazy rad tricks! But don’t do it without another skater spotting you and your board – just in case.

 


DON’T sit on ledges. DUDES, this is the worst. The right place to relax at the skatepark is on a bench. People come to skate the obstacles, so don’t park yourself on them. Sitting on rails & ledges is the ultimate in very lame. If you’re waiting for your turn, don’t sit on a ledge, bro.

DO play it safe. Come to the skatepark fully prepared (see our article on what to bring to the skatepark!). At the very least, bring your helmet & safety gear, snacks, and your Board Blazers!

DON’T play S.K.A.T.E. at a small skatepark. While it’s a rad game (see our article full of tips and tricks for S.K.A.T.E.!), it takes up a ton of space, and you’ll want to leave yourself some room. Either choose a park with enough flat skate space that you aren’t taking over all of it or find a parking lot - someplace with enough space for you and your homies. If your park is super crowded, consider heading to a different spot.

While there are lots of unspoken social codes in the skater world, Tech Na$ty’s above rules should help you win friends and respect at any skatepark. Now that you’ve got all this new knowledge, grab your board, your Board Blazers, and a few friends – get out there and shred!


Let's hang out!

Hit us up in your favorite spot.

Drop into Discounts!

Snag secret savings, super sweepstakes, and sweet swag!

Got the write stuff?

Now welcoming guest posts from our skate fam! Send us your topic ideas.