The Z-Boys

Jay Adams, the youngest member of the original Zephyr skate team, performs a “Bert” on an embankment at Kenter Canyon Elementary School in west Los Angeles, 1976. Photograph by Glen E. Friedman. Source: Colin Bane, “Skateboarding Pioneer Jay Adams Dies in Mexico,” X Games, August 16, 2014.

Jay Adams, the youngest member of the original Zephyr skate team, performs a “Bert” on an embankment at Kenter Canyon Elementary School in west Los Angeles, 1976. Photograph by Glen E. Friedman. Source: Colin Bane, “Skateboarding Pioneer Jay Adams Dies in Mexico,” X Games, August 16, 2014.

In the 1970s, Dogtown was full of young surfers hungry to prove themselves. Responding to their needs and talent, Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions shop established the Zephyr Surf Team (the “Z-Boys”). The team surfed the area near the abandoned Pacific Ocean Park Pier, guarding it against visiting surfers unfamiliar with the treacherous waters. The team also took up skateboarding as a pastime when the waves were too calm to surf. Urethane skateboard wheels were invented in 1972, revolutionizing the sport by making skateboarding smoother, faster, and safer. Skateboarding experienced a renaissance, and Dogtown soon became the epicenter of Santa Monica’s skateboarding subculture.