cover image DogTown: The Legend of the Z-Boys

DogTown: The Legend of the Z-Boys

C.R. Stecyk III and Glen E. Friedman. Akashic, $40 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61775-699-3

Veteran skateboard journalist Stecyk and photographer Friedman present a tome of eye-catching images of and articles from Skateboard magazine on the burgeoning Southern California skateboard culture of the 1970s and ’80s. The book documents a group of counterculture skaters called the Z-Boys as they turned the DogTown area in west Los Angeles into a canvas for innovative skateboarding moves inspired by surfing techniques. Friedman, whose work has appeared in the Met and Smithsonian, captures the kinetic energy of the skateboarders as they carve the lips of backyard pools and concrete banks like waves. The articles are enlightening, among them an anecdote about a policeman who shocked skaters by executing a highly technical routine, and interviews with legends like Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva, and Wentzle Ruml, whose answers to questions like “what is the future of skateboarding?” (“what is that question... tomorrow is the future”) sum up the rebellious attitude of the movement. The second half of the book comprises rare color photos taken between 1975 and 1985, showcasing the skaters in motion. This insider’s look at an influential subculture will appeal most to skateboard enthusiasts. (July)