10 Best Skate Boarding Books Reviews & Buyers Guide

best skate boarding books

best skateboarding books reviews and buyers guideThere is something each skateboarder can learn from each one of these books that will undoubtedly permit the person to develop himself. So, I have made a list of top 12 best skate boarding books that are a must-read if you are a skateboarder. These skateboard books will without a doubt, develop interest in anybody hoping to get familiar with somewhat about skateboard history.

Skateboard literature is the key to understanding the role of the streets in the development of a unique, trans-generational urban subculture. Unlike surfing, its older brother, the act of skateboarding has already been considered a crime. Any skater will become a better performer if he or she learns more about the sport’s roots.

The story of the rise of skateboarding into an important part of modern culture involves many historical people and many events. This story has been told and documented by various prominent personalities who have vast influential status in the skateboarding world. They have authored many books to tell their stories. We shortlisted some of the books that enable readers to have a 360-degree vision of skateboarding, as an outdoor activity with a strong and vibrant culture and set of values.

These are the publications any skater should own. They not only detail the evolution of skateboarding through time, but they also reveal how design and visually appealing graphics are an integral part of the sport’s DNA.

There are some reluctant readers who only want to read books about skate boarding. This is difficult when the only books I have been able to locate (after much searching) on the topic are the following:

Top 10 Skate Boarding Books Comparison Table

Skateboarder Skateboarder Hawk Occupation
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My Life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor Hardcover My Life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor Hardcover Hosoi 
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The 1970s by Craig B. Snyder The 1970s by Craig B. Snyder A Secret History of the Ollie
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A History of Skateboard Art Paperback A History of Skateboard Art Paperback Disposable
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How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself The Mutt
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An Addiction Memoir An Addiction Memoir Dreamseller
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Photographing One World of Skateboarding Photographing One World of Skateboarding Skate the World
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Skateboard Bible Skateboard Bible The Disposable
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The Legend of the Z-Boys The Legend of the Z-Boys DogTown
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California Skateboarding 1975-1978 California Skateboarding 1975-1978 Locals Only
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Best Skate Boarding Books Reviews

1. Hawk Occupation – Skateboarder

Hawk Occupation Skate Boarding books Key Features

  • For Tony Hawk, it wasn't enough to skate for two decades, to invent more than eighty tricks, and to win more than twice as many professional contests as any other skater.It wasn't enough to knock himself unconscious more than ten times, fracture several ribs, break his elbow, knock out his teeth twice, compress the vertebrae in his back, pop his bursa sack, get more than fifty stitches laced into his shins, rip apart the cartilage in his knee, bruise his tailbone, sprain his ankles, and tear his ligaments too many times to count.No.He had to land the 900. And after thirteen years of failed attempts, he nailed it. It had never been done before.
  • Growing up in Sierra Mesa, California, Tony was a hyperactive demon child with an I44 IQ. He threw tantrums, terrorized the nanny until she quit, exploded with rage whenever he lost a game; this was a kid who was expelled from preschool. When his brother, Steve, gave him a blue plastic hand-me-down skateboard and his father built a skate ramp in the driveway, Tony finally found his outlet--while skating, he could be as hard on himself as he was on everyone around him.
  • But it wasn't an easy ride to the top of the skating game. Fellow skaters mocked his skating style and dubbed him a circus skater. He was so skinny he had to wear elbow pads on his knees, and so light he had to ollie just to catch air off a ramp. He was so desperate to be accepted by young skating legends like Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, and Christian Hosoi that he ate gum from between Steve's toes. But a few years of determination and hard work paid off in multiple professional wins, and the skaters who once had mocked him were now trying to learn his tricks. Tony had created a new style of skating. This is the reason why this book is one of the best skate boarding books.
  • In Hawk Tony goes behind the scenes of competitions, demos, and movies and shares the less glamorous demands of being a skateboarder--from skating on Italian TV wearing see-through plastic shorts to doing a demo in Brazil after throwing up for five days straight from food poisoning. He's dealt with teammates who lit themselves and other subjects on fire, driving down a freeway as the dashboard of their van burned. He's gone through the unpredictable ride of the skateboard industry during which, in the span of a few years, his annual income shrank to what he had made in a single month and then rebounded into seven figures. But Tony's greatest difficulty was dealing with the loss of his number one fan and supporter--his dad, Frank Hawk.
  • With brutal honesty, Tony recalls the stories of love, loss, bad hairdos, embarrassing '80s clothes, and his determination that had shaped his life. As he takes a look back at his experiences with the skateboarding legends of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, including Stacy Peralta, Eddie Elguera, Lance Mountain, Mark Gonzalez, Bob Burnquist, and Colin Mckay, he tells the real history of skateboarding--and also what the future has in store for the sport and for him. And it is one of the best skate boarding books.

2. Hosoi – My Life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor Hardcover

Hosoi Skate Boarding Books Key Features

  • A mix of Tony Hawk and Brian Welch comes together in skateboarding legend Christian Hosoi, who reveals everything about his rise, fall, and redemption, in this amazing tell-all—from being named the greatest skater of all time to bottoming out on drugs to finally finding redemption through God.
  • Fans of Slater Kelly’s Pipe Dreams and Brian Welch’s Save Me From Myself, and followers of Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Steve Caballero, will be captivated by this extraordinary, star-studded story, a gripping read that ranges from the heart of the 1980s skateboarding scene to the inside of a prison, from Hollywood parties to intense prayer sessions.
  • Hosoi: My Life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor takes readers to the heart of one little-known world after another—and he portrays them in all their gore and glory for all the world to see. And it is one of the best skate boarding books.

3. A Secret History of the Ollie –  The 1970s by Craig B. Snyder

 Key Features A Secret History Skate Boarding Books

  • The award-winning book on the birth of modern skateboarding. Over 1200 images illustrate the emergence of skate culture and the first aerials in skating and surfing. Regarded by many as “the bible," this is a book that should be in every home, school, and library. BLACK SALT PRESS; Full color, 912 pages; List: $60.00. For more info, visit the Ollie Book website.* BEST IN GENERAL TRADE ILLUSTRATED: 58th Annual New England Book Show, Boston * TOP 10 PHOTOBOOKS, Mother Jones Magazine * 2017 BEST IN SPORTS: Independent Press Awards * 2017 WINNER: NYC Big Book Award* GOLD MEDAL: Foreword Reviews' IndieFab Book of the Year, ALA, 2016* GOLD MEDAL: IP Awards, BEA, Chicago* GOLD MEDAL: FAPA President's Book Awards REVIEWS & PRAISE "Everyone thinks they know the skateboarding's history but what they really know is a series of half-facts compounded by hype and amnesia. This book will rewrite skateboarding history as we know it." - Betsy Gordon. This is the reason why this book is one of the best skate boarding books.

4. Disposable – A History of Skateboard Art Paperback

Disposable Skate Boarding books Key Features

  • Longtime skateboard artist Sean Cliver put together this staggering survey of over 1,000 skateboard graphics from the last 30 years, creating an indispensable insiders' history as he did so.
  • Alongside his own history, Sean has assembled a wealth of recollections and stories from prominent artists and skateboarders such as: Andy Howell, Barry McGee, Ed Templeton, Steve Caballero, and Tony Hawk.
  • The end result is a fascinating historical account of art in the skateboard subculture, as told by those directly involved with shaping its legendary creative face.This is the reason why this book is one of the best skate boarding books.

5. The Mutt – How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself

The Mutt Skate Boarding books Key Features

  • The world–champion freestyle skateboarder and the man who brought the ollie – the trick that revolutionised the sport by taking it from the ground to the air – to street skating shares the history of skateboarding, as he tells the dramatic story of his life.And it is one of the best skate boarding books.
  • At the age of 13, Rodney took the freestyle skating world by storm. He won 35 world titles in less than five years. But through it all, his father looked down on his son's love for skating and pressured him to walk away from the sport and leave behind his fans and status as the most famous skateboarder of his era. After years of stress and conflict, Rodney gave in and promised his father he'd quit for good. But by the time he finally broke free from his suffocating and abusive home life, the popularity of freestyle had waned and given way to vert and street styles. So Rodney picked up his board and started from scratch. With the help of mentor Mike Ternansky, Rodney used his freestyle background to usher in a whole new era of street skating.
  • Today Rodney is more popular than ever. The videos in his series Rodney Versus Daewon are among the most popular skateboard videos ever produced. He won the 2002 Transworld Skateboarding readers' choice award for favourite street skater and is the most popular character on the top–selling Tony Hawk's Pro Skater video games. This is the reason why this book is one of the best skate boarding books.

6. Dreamseller – An Addiction Memoir

Dreamseller Skate Boarding books Key Features

  • At seven, Brandon was a skateboard prodigy. By the time he was fourteen, he was living the dream. Discovered by skate legends Bucky Lasek and Tony Hawk. Touring the U.S. with the elite Powell-Peralta team. Signing autographs and appearing in films and magazines. Brandon had it all. Then he got hooked on heroin.
  • Soon the up-and-coming star was living a down-and-out life in a garage, begging for change, and hustling to score his next fix. He stole from his family and friends. He pushed the fantasy that everything was okay, that he was going to rehab, getting help, and getting better. But it was all a lie.
  • This is the story of an addict—a dreamseller who stopped believing the lies he was selling and started believing in himself. With the help of his celebrity buddy Bam Margera of Jackass fame, Brandon joined the cast of MTV’s Viva La Bam and made an honest reach for sobriety. The road was hard, and he had some falls. But like any great skateboarder, Brandon Novak was always determined to get up again. This is the reason why this book is one of the best skate boarding books.

7. Skate the World – Photographing One World of Skateboarding

Skate the world Boarding books Key Features

  • In this dynamic National Geographic sports photography collection of the world’s greatest professional skateboarders in action, award-winning photographer Jonathan Mehring sets out to capture the heart and soul of skate culture. Hit the streets with 200 exhilarating photographs that take us from New York to Hong Kong to Istanbul and beyond. Featuring stars like Tony Hawk, Nyjah Huston, and Eric Koston, Mehring’s images have been published in top skateboarding magazines, and ESPN named him one of the sport’s ten most influential people. Now, in his first book, Mehring invites us along on his thrilling photo adventures on six continents around the world. This is considered one of the best skate boarding books.
  • By capturing these experiences on camera and including complementary images contributed by other top skate photographers, Mehring presents an exciting and artful look at skate culture around the world. With an adrenaline rush on every page, this book celebrates the joy of skateboarding and its power to inspire young people to overcome obstacles—on the board and off.This is the reason why this book is one of the best skate boarding books.

8. The Disposable –  Skateboard Bible

The Disposable  Skate Boarding books Key Features

  • With the release of Disposable - A History of Skateboard Art in 2004, author Sean Cliver made a brilliant attempt at artfully cataloging every important skateboard deck ever released. In the process, he created a classic, but was left feeling less than satisfied. Ever the completist, the gaping omissions in the first book gnawed at him and drove him to envision compiling the ultimate encyclopedia of Skateboard decks. While Disposable was beautiful, capturing the essence of the aesthetic, The Disposable Skateboard Bible sets out to be the ultimate guide. The author's industry insider status (in 1989 he landed his first job as a designer at Powell-Peralta) allows him to guide readers through the culture and experience, the art and the mania of the skate world with authority and expertise. While the boards take center stage, fascinating vignettes and recollections by an A-list of skateboarding personalities from Tony Hawk to Mike Vallely, Mark Gonzales to Stacy Peralta and more.

9. DogTown – The Legend of the Z-Boys

Dog Town Skate Boarding books Key Features

  • "Photographer Glen E. Friedman has taken some of the most iconic photos in skateboarding, punk rock and hip hop. Known for capturing the raw energy of a counterculture generation in its prime, his photography helped shape the way people view punk music and redefined the sport of skateboarding." This is the reason why this book is one of the best skate boarding books.
  • "Veteran skateboard journalist Stecyk and photographer Friedman present a tome of eye-catching images of and articles from Skateboard magazine on the burgeoning Southern California skateboard culture of the 1970s and '80s. Friedman...captures the kinetic energy of the skateboarders as they carve the lips of backyard pools and concrete banks like waves...This insider's look at an influential subculture will appeal most to skateboard enthusiasts."
  • "In 2000, Friedman teamed up with journalist C.R. Stecyk III to produce the iconic book, DogTown: The Legend of the Z-Boys, which has just been reissued in a bigger, newly designed edition by Akashic Books. Now spanning 1975–1985 and beyond, the book features DogTown articles written and photographed by C.R. Stecyk III along with hundreds of images from Friedman's archives, many of which appeared in the 2001 documentary film, Dogtown and Z-Boys."
  • "Glen's reputation was built on documenting the cultures of hip-hop, punk and skateboarding but his photography is far from simple snapshots; it's the work of an artist who possesses the craft to make you experience that singular moment his camera caught each and every time."
  • "Nearly two decades after the release of the landmark DogTown: The Legend of the Z-Boys, the photographer is back with a revised and expanded edition."
  • In the early 1970s, the sport of skateboarding had so waned from its popularity in the 1960s that it was virtually nonexistent. In the DogTown area of west Los Angeles, a group of young surfers known as the Zephyr Team (Z-Boys) was experimenting with new and radical moves and styles in the water, which they translated to the street. When competition skateboarding returned in 1975, the Z-Boys turned the skating world on its head. DogTown: The Legend of the Z-Boys is a truly fascinating case study of how an underground sport ascended in the world. These are the stories and images of a time that not only inspired a generation but changed the face of the sport forever.
  • This volume has been described as "the DogTown textbook" and an indispensable companion piece to the Sony Pictures Classics film Dogtown and Z-Boys. Now spanning 1975–1985 and beyond, the first section of the book includes the best of the DogTown articles written and photographed by C.R. Stecyk III as they originally appeared in SkateBoarder Magazine. The second half compiles hundreds of skate images from the archives of Glen E. Friedman--many of which appear in the movie. (Stecyk and Friedman acted as executive producers and advisors for the film.)

10. Locals Only California Skateboarding 1975-1978

Locals Only Skate Boarding books Key Features

  • One afternoon in 1975, a young photographer named Hugh Holland drove up Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles and encountered skateboarders carving up the drainage ditches along the side of the canyon. Immediately transfixed by their grace and athleticism, he knew he had found an amazing subject. Although not a skateboarder himself, for the next three years Holland never tired of documenting skateboarders surfing the streets of Los Angeles, parts of the San Fernando Valley, Venice Beach, and as far away as San Francisco and Baja California, Mexico. During the mid-1970s, Southern California was experiencing a serious drought, leaving an abundance of empty swimming pools available for trespassing skateboarders to practice their tricks. From these suburban backyard haunts to the asphalt streets that connected them, this was the place that created the legendary Dogtown and Z-Boys skateboarders. With their requisite bleached blonde hair, tanned bodies, tube socks and Vans, these young outsiders are masterfully captured against a sometimes harsh but always sunny Southern California landscape in LOCALS ONLY. LOCALS ONLY features more than 120 beautiful color images plus a Q+A format interview with the artist.

Buyers Guide to choose a book

Here are some of the guidelines that you should keep in mind before buying a book.

Passion Topics: Kindergartners are naturally mysterious, and books with information that children wonder about are inherently motivating to read. As kids get familiar with topics of interest, they regularly become “information searchers” who produce new inquiries concerning their creating interests. Pick instructive books with sensible pictures those current realities in an unmistakable, engaging and exact way.

Series: Just like adults, children develop preferences for certain styles, themes and authors. Consult with your local librarian or go online to explore additional titles written by your child’s favorite authors or by authors that share a common approach. Variety is important, but it can be fun to take a deep dive and enjoy a home-based author study.

Chapter Books: Enjoy chapter books over time. Choose chapter books with plots that will prompt your child to ask questions and make predictions about what will happen next. Discussing books helps children see reading as an active and social experience.


Skateboarding began as youngsters goofing around by nailing their roller skate wheels on a wooden plank and riding it like a surfboard. Slowly and steadily this so-called childish game developed into a full-on competitive sport. But this didn’t happen overnight. It took many years for skateboarding to become what it is today.

It is important for a skateboarder to learn about the history of skateboarding. The stories of the ones who made it, their stories of hard work, failure, achievements they all inspire us to follow our passion.

No matter whom you are or what sports you like there will always be a book to inspire you into becoming a better version of yourself. I’d advise you to start reading and start training your mind as you train your body.

So, we are at the end of our list of the top 10 best skate boarding books. Hope you enjoy them just as much as I have. Best of luck.

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