What would skateboarding be today if it weren’t for all the great skate videos? What if there were no filmers out there hustling for hours just to get that one trick? No skaters throwing themselves down the same 10 stair repeatedly, just to get one hammer for their reel? Let’s all take a moment and thank those hard working guys and girls for putting it all on film so we can look back at they way things were, and where they are headed today.

We took a little readers poll recently and compiled a list of skate videos that we feel fall under the “must own” list. These videos are all legendary for their own reasons and each helped shape what we know as skateboarding today. Some throwback videos feature then gangly, young skaters who now are household names, some pushed the limits of cinematography and some where downright dangerous. Regardless, the list below will cover almost all the bases so you can build yourself one hell of a skate video collection.

In volume 1 of this article, we will take it all the way back to the beginning, skate videos of the 1980’s.

In dated order, we highly recommend the following…

Powell Peralta The Search For Animal Chin

The Search For Animal Chin

Powell Peralta (1987)

One of the earliest skate videos and definitely the first to have some kind of plot, Animal Chin takes you on a skateboarding journey in search of a wise old man – Won Ton “Animal” Chin. This young group of legends hits skate spots all over Southern California, Nevada and Hawaii and in the end realize they’ve already found the “spirit” of Animal Chin. Starring Lance Mountain, Mike McGill, Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero and Tommy Guerro.

H-Street Shackle Me Not

Shackle Me Not

H-Street (1988)

H-Street’s first full length feature skate video. In an era where big companies were starting to dip their hands into the skate industry, Mike Ternasky and Tony Magnusson made this video happen with nothing but hand-held video cameras and ‘basement’ style editing – proving that you didn’t need the big wigs to make a skate vid happen.  With a hefty team and cameras rolling, the H-Street crew put out what is now one of the most legendary videos ever. With a perfect mixture of street, vert and pool skating, this video captured a time that was so critical to skateboarding history. The technical tricks were beginning – and these guys were doing it all on 10″ boards, not the 7.5″ baby boards you see today. Legends like Mike Carroll, Matt Hensley, T-Magz and Danny Way bless this video with serious style and skill.

Powell Peralta Public Domain

Public Domain

Powell Peralta (1988)

The 4th video for the Bones Brigade crew, Public Domain was a first of it’s kind with a full hour of insane tricks, random crashes, interviews and miscellaneous collage-style clips. This video also has one of the most impressive rosters including Danny Way, Frankie Hill, Jim Thiebaud, Chet Thomas, Ray Barbee, Mike V, Lance Mountain and many, many more. And for the ladies, there is also a sweet little section showcasing some female rippers. Arguably one of the best videos from the Brigade.

H-Street Hokus Pokus

Hokus Pokus

H-Street (1980)

When this video came out, it sold more copies than any other skateboard video had at that time. This was a ground-breaking video with one of the most impressive rosters, and made for one hell of a “sequel” to Shackle Me Not. This video really documents that moment before street skating skyrocketed into what we know today. Tons of great vert footage but you can see the progression happening with all the technical street tricks. OG’s like Ron Allen, Sal Barbier, Kien Lu, Matt Hensley, Danny Way, Donger and Jason Rogers grace this video – all young bucks at the time – and 23 years later, this video is still awesome to watch.

Stay tuned for Volume 2 and 3 where we hit the best of the 90’s and beyond. Now go grab a few of these classics and give yourself a little history lesson.