Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Ongoing Obsession

for me has been the Z-boys. From my little knowledge about the Z-boys (originating from the surfing group called the Zephyr Boys), they were pretty much the founding fathers of what skateboarding is today. They pushed the boundaries of skateboarding by literally surfing on land and using similar techniques to achieve greater possibilities and creativity within skateboarding. Before that, skateboarding had its waves of coolness, but was very limited in the sense that there seemed to be certain rules or standards in which one could judge how "good" or "talented" one was at this seemingly innocent pastime. After its popularity died down in the late 50s, early 60s, it became popular again during the late 60s, early 70s with the onset of the Z-boys. I guess I feel like I know so much about them because I just watched the documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys" (2001), which was written and directed by Stacy Peralta (one of the original Z-boys). He gives such an intimate look into the lives of these skateboarders, probably as close as possible, and the raw energy and spirit of these young kids from a poor town who never thought their hobby would become something bigger than they could have ever imagined just.. it's unreal. It makes you want to live it, breathe it. The beauty of the origin of a movement is sadly contrasted to its fall in the sense that it becomes mainstream. The original Z-boys become older, some wiser, some not. The decadence of their former lifestyle and hobby next to what they are now and what skateboarding has become makes me kind of sad but also obsessed and amazed at their humble beginnings. It just makes me want to become part of a movement, but truly passionate about the activity itself rather than the outcome. That's what makes a movement so real, so unrepeatable and glorious. I guess that's why the glory days are the glory days.

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