The children of the 70’s that roamed Venice beach became the teenagers of the 80’s that found Hardcore Punk, Hip Hop, Break Dancing and Gang Culture. Two things that we never let go of were skateboarding and surfing, because they were in our blood. It’s hard to separate the Z-boys from the Dogtown skaters; they were almost one and the same – we all called Venice and Santa Monica home. Each generation had its own crew of skaters – in the early to mid 80’s, many of the Break Water locals started skating for Dogtown. I’m talking about people like Aaron Murray, Scott Oster, Eric “Tuma” Britton, Tim Jackson and Pep. “DIY” was not a term we used, it was just something we did, so when the skate parks shut down we would build our own ramps that most of time were set up at the Pavillion. In the 80’s, shit really got gnarly, that’s when Christian Hosoi, Jesse Martinez, Z – Boys (which included the hardcore homie Pat Berry – more about him in the future) and the Dogtown crew. You had different photographers on hand that captured this history as it unfolded: Chuck Katz, Block and Josh Klassman. No matter how much time has passed, what makes growing up in a place like Venice special is that we are all family, which is evident in the photos you about to see. Josh, I have to say thank you so much for doing what you did to capture our culture and history. The 2nd and 3rd generations of the Z – Boys and Dogtown are stories that have still not been told – these pictures are only a glimpse into our world.
All photos by Josh Klassman