Skateboard (1978)

PG   |    |  Drama, Sport

Skateboard (1978) Poster

A Hollywood agent finds himself in debt to a powerful bookie. To make a fast buck, he creates a team of exceptionally talented skateboarders and enters them in a downhill race. If they win, they will get $20,000.


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10 April 2004 | vertigo_14
| Skateboard, you've come a long way, baby.
Skateboarding is a pretty ancient depiction of both skateboarding culture and technology as manufacturers somehow hit upon the new, revived fad that was gaining more interest than it had when skateboards first made an appearance in the late 50s and early 60s.

The movie itself is rather stupid, especially when you have Dogtown's Z-boy Tony Alva only playing a supporting role while a wiener like Lief Garret got something of a starring role as a burgeoning member of the skate team. With Alva, they wouldn't have needed stunt men.

Manny Bloom is a washed up promoter of many failed opportunities. Owing a large debt to a bookie, he surmises that his only shot at squaring his arears is to promote a skate team. Now, being that this is the early days of skateboarding, Manny seemed like a fellow out of his mind for taking such a big risk on a sport that was still developing, never having had the extreme commercial following it does today. But Manny finds a bunch of misfit skateboarders (boys and girls) that he convinces to join a team with him as manager. As the story rolls along, Manny looks pretty pathetic, and fails to earn any respect from his team, which likewise have their own assorted problems. So, in that Mighty Ducks kind of tradition, he has to work hard with the team, so that they may win the championship that Manny has bet everything on.

Though terribly corny, the movie is a rather good look at the early days of skateboarding. More like when the sport modeled gymnastics as competitors in their goofy uniforms and flimsy protective gear rolled around on shiny maple floors with their twenty-four inch boards doing nose wheelies and hand stands. To think, Tony Alva, was part of the skating team (the Z-Boys of Dogtown) that competed against fool skateboarding like that and helped turn the entire skateboarding culture upside down (see the documentary, Dogtown and Z-Boys).

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