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Skateboarding's First Wave
by Karen Pecota

The year 2015 commemorates  Palisades Skateboard Team's (PST) 40th anniversary. A short documentary film under  the direction of former PST member Don Burgess was made to reunite the original  team. The members are brought together to discuss the origins of skateboarding,  the sport and how it has changed over a fifty-year period. Not to mention how  the experience changed them.

Directed by Academy  Award nominee Don Burgess Skateboarding's First Wave gives the film  audience a peek into the first skateboarding culture of the 60's. Skateboarding  is the known past-time initially called "sidewalk surfing" by kids  from Southern California. In 1965 a group of neighborhood kids from the  Palisades housing development along the California Coastline formed the  Palisades Skateboard Team. They used the home-made boards on wheels for a few  years and realized other groups of kids were doing the same. The team was  formed in order to compete with other skateboarding neighborhoods. Today it is  a different story but the Palisades is still a known Southern California  neighborhood.

Much to their surprise  the Palisades Skateboard Team's afternoon past-time grew into a major sport  bringing regular media attention. Today, the popular culture of skateboarding  continues to be more than a hobby. It's an invigorating competitive sport in  the U.S. and abroad.

Burgess incorporates  vintage film footage when the kids raced down the long and windy roads of the  Palisades landscape. They was vast, wide and uninhibited by car traffic. A  protected little neighborhood habitat.  A  peaceful local with the sounds and views of the Pacific Ocean from the seascape  bluffs. Even today it is breathtaking.

The cast (Barry  Blackhorn Williams, Scott Blackhorn, Colleen (Boyd) Turner, PhD, Lt. Col.  USAFR, Retired, Peter Burg, Don Burgess, Ric Burgess, Donna Cash Harris, Jerry  Giancola, Kevin Jones, Terry Keller, Tim Keller, Chris Picciolo, Rick Precell,  Suzie Rowland Levin, Burke Murphy, Shane Murphy) of this documentary reminisce  and share stories of the early days of building boards, racing, showing off,  incorporating new tricks and filming the team. The parents were just as much a  part of the sport as their kids by nurturing their hobby and passion. Caring  enough that it led to the enjoyment of the sport for themselves.

Some parents crafted  the first skateboards at the workbench in their garages. They worked hard at  the mechanics and design of the boards to fine-tune them for street and  competition use at the same time teaching their kids the craft. Some parents  were responsible for the initial filming of the team using the old 8mm film  cameras.

An important fact to  acknowledge: since the sports conception, girls were always a part of the  past-time and its competition. They were equal to their male buddies,  counterparts, peers and competitors. They were included and supported in every  way. Also, praised for the amazing feats they accomplished.

To  take a ride down memory lane with some of the best original skateboarders in  the world is a thrill. Thanks to Don Burgess documentary short Skateboarding's  First Wave gives credit to the origins of the sport and respect to its pioneers.