Sk8face Image


By Bobby LePire | May 26, 2023

SF DOCFEST 2023 REVIEW! Directed by Matt Bass, Sk8face is the first of its kind: a documentary chronicling the history and pop culture prominence of skateboard art. The film begins with a brief overview of how skateboarding came to be and its rise to the mainstream. Then it launches into the art featured on the bottom of the boards. Who first put it there? Did anyone ever launch into the big time by doing skateboard art? How do the skaters feel about the images representing their beloved sport?

Bass wastes no time, as he expertly lies out the chronological history of art through sport. Featuring interviews with Tony Hawk, Neil Blender, Tony Alva (an original Z-Boy), and sports photographer Wynn Miller, no stone is left unturned. Every interviewee (and there are a TON of them) is excited to discuss skateboarding, art, skateboard art, or the general zeitgeist during any given era. See, the film goes all the way to the modern day, where the images that originated on boards can be readily worn on tee shirts. It is this wide-ranging coverage that makes the film so compelling.

“…the history and pop culture prominence of skateboard art.”

Also helping Sk8face keep viewers engaged is how it highlights all the various styles of skateboard art. The ending credits are a highlight reel of multiple artists’ images on boards. However one feels about the sport itself, it is impossible to ignore the impact and statement of these artworks. They are bold, colorful, playful, and crazy, much like the skaters themselves.

Sk8face is an interesting documentary chronicling an underrepresented art form’s impact. While it gets repetitive (seriously, every milestone is touched on in detail), Bass does a fine job letting the skaters, artists, skater artists, and everyone in between speak for themselves. But the ending credit sequence is worth the price of admission all by itself.

Sk8face screened at the 2023 SF DocFest.

Sk8face (2023)

Directed: Matt Bass


Starring: Tony Hawk, Neil Blender, Tony Alva, Wynn Miller, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Sk8face Image

"…the ending credit sequence is worth the price of admission..."

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