Despite the fact that they rarely work, the movie industry will continue to green light movies about skateboarding. Even saying that is misleading because most of the time, skateboarding has nothing to do with the plot in these films—it’s just something the main character happens to do. Before cementing itself in mainstream culture, skateboarding was treated like a fad and thrown into movies when it was on the trend radar. When skating got less popular, rollerblading, BMX or hula-hoops would get swapped in.
Massive changes in the movie industry and skating’s mass market appeal have altered how it’s portrayed, but that doesn’t mean the movies are better. The biggest difference now is that people who actually skate or understand the culture are making movies where skateboarding is part of the bigger narrative.
Documentaries have always handled the serious side of skateboarding much better than movies, but several indie films have been able to convey more than clichés. But sometimes clichés are exactly what you want, too, and when actors unfamiliar with the skate world perform them, it can be so bad that it becomes entertaining. Without one definitive movie about skateboarding—not that their needs to be—here’s a list of the unintentionally funny, completely stupid, and actually good movies about skateboarding.Click to start the list