“These were street kids. This was a whole new thing.”
Gabriel Rodriguez, Paulo Diaz, Rudy Johnson, and Guy Mariano were only kids when they filmed their four-minute part for Powell Peralta’s 1989 skate video “Ban This,” but those 240 seconds have arguably gone down as one of the biggest contributions to the history of skateboarding. What the boys lacked in age, they more than made up for in originality and innovation, and, just as important, camaraderie. With every trick they filmed, you could almost hear them rooting for one another, pushing each other to try something new. At a time where vert skating was giving way to street skating, they showed what was possible both on and off a board, and they helped define the direction street skating would take in the future. The documentary ‘L.A. Boys‘ takes these now grown men to the spots they helped make famous, to discuss the filming of this iconic part.
The impact of the boys part in “Ban This” still resonates today.
“Ban This” might seem tame in comparison with today’s skateboarding, but this part was way ahead of its time in terms of style, tricks, and overall aesthetic. Filmed before sponsors could throw millions of dollars at pros, this part captured four boys from L.A. — three of them Latino — just having fun, skating from spot to spot, not worried about the future, but defining it with every push. “L.A. Boys” is required viewing for anyone interested in the history of skateboarding.
The documentary is available now.