12 Best Skateboard Books In 2021 [Must Read & Listen!]


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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. 

There is something every skateboarder can learn from each of these books that will undoubtedly allow him or her to develop himself. So, I have made a list of top 12 best skateboarding books that are a must-read if you are a skateboarder. These skateboard books will surely interest anyone looking to learn a bit about skateboard history.

Best Skateboard Books

12 Best Books On Skateboarding Reviewed

1. Skate the World: Photographing One World of Skateboarding

Skate the World, Photographing One World of Skateboarding

“Skate the world” was authored by one of the most influential personalities in skateboarding, Jonathan Mehring. He is famous for his contribution to the world of skateboarding, by capturing mesmerizing photographs that depict the heart and soul of the sport. 

The Content

Award-winning photographer Jonathan Mehring aims to capture the exhilarating world of skateboarding in this book by providing the reader with 200 photos of skateboarders in action. 

This book is less about presenting famous individuals displaying their fantastic abilities and more about inspiring the young skaters of the generation to peruse their passion in the art of skating. 

Key Takeaway 

  • This book for skateboarders aims to inspire the new generation to peruse their dreams and overcome obstacles whether it be on board or off. 
  • Each photo captures the heart, soul and hard work of skateboarders from around the world that sure to inspire you in taking on the challenges of life

Recommended For: Anyone who is new to the world of skating boarding.

My Final Thoughts

Whether it is sports or usual life problems, we all need some inspiration to carry on and face our fears head-on. Skate the World promises to do just that and help you become a better person in the process. Click here to bring this book home today and begin self-development. 

2. The Disposable Skateboard Bible

The Disposable Skateboard Bible

After the release of the classic “Disposable – A History of Skateboard Art” back is 2004, Sean Cliver comes back to where he left off for a second chance at publishing the ultimate book that truly represents his vision and passion for the artistic side of the world of skateboarding. 

The Content

“The Disposable Skateboard Bible” aims to educate the average skateboarder on the culture and art of the world of skateboarding in an attempt to widen the level of perception of the reader. It conveys the impact of different cultures on skateboarding and the impact of skateboarding on different cultures. 

Key Takeaway

  • After reading this book you will have an in-depth understanding of the artistic side of the world of skateboarding.
  • This book aims to educate new skaters on the aesthetics of skating and strings the nostalgia of older skaters to help them reminisce about the golden days of skateboarding. 

Recommended For: Skateboarders of all ages who are eager to learn about skate culture.

My Final Thoughts

“The Disposable Skateboard Bible” compiles the awe-inspiring world of skateboarding in a single book. It’s a great little book for new skateboarders to get more involved in the art of skateboarding. Click here to bring this home and learn more about skate culture. 

3. Dreamseller: An Addiction Memoir

Dreamseller, An Addiction Memoir

Brandon Novak has gone to hell and back in his life as a celebrity skateboarder. In this book, the skateboard prodigy spills the truth behind his rise to fame and the good and bad that brought with it. 

The Content

The life of a celebrity isn’t all glamour and fun. In his book, Brandon Novak gives us an exclusive peek behind all the glamour. He speaks of the negative influences that are associated with fame. The book tells a tale of fame, drugs, depression, friendship and recovery of a man who has driven his life to the edge of insanity. 

Key Takeaways

  • After reading this book you will have an in-depth understanding of how success can both form and destroy a man’s life. 
  • Brandon’s story is an inspiration for anyone struggling with addiction or any other crippling life problems.

Recommended For: Anyone suffering from addiction or poor life choices. This book is a beacon of hope for those who have given up on life and wish to recover. 

My Final Thoughts

It’s not easy to look past the dazzling fame and understand the reality of the life of a star. Brandon Novak does an excellent job in that regard by explaining the ugly truth behind the life of a famed celebrity through his own life story. Click hereto learn more about the harsh reality of a life cursed with addiction and its recovery.

4. DogTown: The Legend of the Z-Boys

DogTown, The Legend of the Z-Boys

“DogTown: The Legend of the Z-boy” is a case study of how a sport at the brink of extinction was resurrected back to the streets. This is a story of how a group of passionate kids saved skateboarding from a dire fate. 

The Content

Back in the late 60s skateboarding was slowly losing its popularity. The future of the sport seemed pretty dim. But out of basically, nowhere the Z-Boys come to the rescue of the dying sport. 

In 1975 when skateboarding competitions returned the Z-Boys showcased the implementation of their abilities as surfers into skateboarding that put the sport back into the mainstream. The book gives us a brief glimpse of their journey and monumental influence on the history of skateboarding. 

Key Takeaways

  • Reading this book, you will learn about the history of the revival of skateboarding. 
  • You will learn about the Z-Boys and their influence on the sport. 
  • The book holds various pictures of important moments of skateboard history. 

Recommended For: Those keen learn about the history of skateboarding.

My Final Thoughts

Anyone who has the slightest interest in skateboarding should know about this important moment of its history. The book contains some of the best Dogtown articles and most influential photographs taken in that era. For anyone who considers themselves a skateboarder, this is a must-read. Click here to order it today. 

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

The Mutt, How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself

“The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself” is a biography of the life of Rodney Mullen, the Godfather of freestyle skateboarding. In this skateboard biography book, he tells a story about his rise, fall and returns to the world of skateboarding. 

The Content

Rodney Mullen stunned the world of skateboarding at the very young age of 13 by his innovative freestyle techniques. He invented skateboarding tricks that are popular even to this day such as the Ollie and kickflip. But his fame was short of impressing his father. Years of disapproval and family abuse led him to leave the very sport he helped popularize. 

Many years later he freed himself from the judgmental clutches of his family and returned to the world of skating. Now, he is more popular than he was ever before and following his passion to the fullest. 

Key Takeaways

  • This book provides a deep look into the life of one of the pioneering personalities in skateboard history, Rodney Mullen. 
  • Learn about his rise to fame and struggles of holding on to his passion.

Recommended For: Anyone struggling to follow their passion. 

My Final Thoughts

“The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself” beautifully presents the inspiring life story of Rodney Mullen. His story teaches us that we should always follow our passion whether or not it grants the approval of our peers. Click here to bring this book home today and learn more about the birth, death, and rebirth of Rodney Mullen’s career. 

6. Back in the Day

Back in the Day

Willing Sharp used to work as a staff photographer for Skateboard World magazine. He has taken many iconic photographs throughout his career. “Back in the Day” is a collection of those iconic photographs and many other exclusive ones as well. 

The Content

Beginning as a surfing photographer, Willing Sharp was quick to be drawn to the world of skateboarding. With his skills, it took little time for him to be hired into a popular magazine. Through his photographs, he has captured the evolution of the sport over a span of many years. This book is a collection of those very photographs. 

Key Takeaways

  • This book is a documentation of the incipience and evolution of skateboarding. 
  • Reading this book, you will learn about the humble beginnings of the sport. 

Recommended For: Anyone interested in the history of Skateboarding. 

My Final Thoughts 

Back in the Day” is a collection of breath-taking photographs by William Sharp. It is a clear representation of the sport’s humble beginnings. Before there were skateparks there were the aqueducts in California, the pipes in Arizona and dried pools all over the country. Those were the skateparks of the time. 

This book faithfully depicts that past and presents it at the palm of your hands. Click here, to order it today. 

7. Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art

Disposable, A History of Skateboard Art

“Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art” is a collection of over 1000 photographs of skateboard graphics. It is a fantastic documentation of skate culture compiled into a single book. 

The Content

Sean Cliver, a long-time skateboard artist takes upon himself to collect over 1000 photographs of skateboard graphics and publish them through his book “Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art”. The book presents the growth of skateboarding as a culture and a form of art. It contains various portraits of the work of prominent skateboarders and skateboard artists like Tony Hawk, Andy Howell, Barry McGee, and many others. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Learn about the evolution of skateboard art throughout the ages and its cultural impact. 
  • The book presents stories of famous skateboarders and artists.

Recommended For: Those wanting to learn about the cultural development of skateboard art. 

My Final Thoughts

Skateboarding slips into the world of art with its colorful designs and vibrant patterns. Skateboard art has been heavily influenced by the sense of aesthetics of the era and has changed many times over the years. Read the Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art to learn more about the evolution of this subculture.

8. A Secret History of the Ollie, Volume 1: The 1970s by Craig B. Snyder

A Secret History of the Ollie, Volume 1, The 1970s by Craig B. Snyder

Ollie is one of the most important tricks in skateboard history. Almost every major modern skateboarding tricks are based on this single move. In the book “A Secret History of the Ollie” Craig B. Snyder talks about the history, popularization and cultural impact of this very important move. 

The Content

The skateboard trick book “A Secret History of the Ollie” contains over 1200 illustrations that depict the incipience of the skate culture and the birth of the ollie, the move that changed the world of skating and Surfing forever. The book talks about the history of its creation, the personalities that made it possible and the skateboarders who used it to cause a revolution in the world of skateboarding. 

Key Takeaways

  • Learn about the creation of the Ollie and its impact in skate culture and various other related sports.
  • Learn about the personalities that made the move possible and used it to popularize skateboarding. 

Recommended For: Anyone wanting to learn about the birth of modern skateboarding.

My Final Thoughts

What we now perceive as skateboarding didn’t happen overnight. There was a time when skating was just about gliding on a wooden plank attached to a set of roller skate wheels. Ollie was the trick that transitioned skateboarding to a childish hobby to the world of competitive sports. Read A Secret History of the Ollie to learn more about the history of skateboarding.

9. Hosoi: My Life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor

Hosoi, My Life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor

“Hosoi: My Life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor,” tells the story of Christian Hosoi, one of the greatest skateboarders of all time. He tells the story of his rise in the world of skateboarding, his downward spiral into addiction and recovery through the help of love form his wife and from God. 

The Content

Christian Hosoi was dubbed one of the greatest skaters of all time. But his fame brought about a life of drugs and poor life choices that eventually pushed his career to the brink of ruin. He got convicted for trafficking drugs and was jailed. In jail, Hosoi had a stark realization and with the help of his wife, Jennifer he paved the way to his comeback through the power of faith.

Key Takeaways 

  • Reading the book, you will learn about the rise, fall and return of one of the greatest skaters of all time Christian Hosoi. 
  • Learn the inspiring and powerful story of the return of a man from the brink of ruin by the power of faith. 

Recommended For: People interested in learning about one of the greatest skateboarders of all time, Christian Hosoi. 

My Final Thoughts 

It’s easy to lose yourself to fame. And there is no better example of this than Christian Hosoi. Even so, his life story is not one of tragedy but hope. Read Hosoi: My Life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor to learn more about how one man found redemption through his faith. 

10. Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder

Hawk, Occupation, Skateboarder

If there is one skateboarder everyone and their grandma knows about, it’s Tony Hawk. In “Hawk” Tony tells you how he came to be the most famous skateboarder of all time. His story comprises of hard work, pain and rather odd encounters that one would not expect to have in their lifetime. 

The Content

Calling Tony Hawk famous would be a major understatement. With a series of movies, video games and TV-shows under his belt Tony Hawk is an icon of modern pop culture. In the book, Tony talks about his mischievous childhood, his hard work to receive the respect of his heroes and crazy life experiences. 

Key Takeaways

  • Learn about the hearth throbbing and adrenaline fused story of Tony Hawk’s emergence into the world of skateboarding. 
  • Learn how Tony Hawk dealt with embarrassment, loss and health issues to become one of the most influential personalities.

Recommended For: Anyone interested in learning about the history of Tony Hawk. 

My Final Thoughts 

There is no doubt the Tony Hawk is every modern skateboarder’s hero. And why wouldn’t he be? Being the inventor of over 80 moves if you see a modern skateboarder doing tricks then there is a huge chance that he is doing one of Tony’s. If you have even the slightest interest in skateboarding then Hawk is definitely a must-read.

11. The Skateboard: The Good, the Rad, and the Gnarly: An Illustrated History 

The Skateboard.The Good, the Rad, and the Gnarly. An Illustrated History

The Skateboard” was authored by Ben Marcus to encase the history of skateboarding. It shows how skateboarding transition from an underground sport to an international phenomenon through a number of impactful illustrations and photographs. I call it a good skateboard history book so far.

The Content

In the skateboard history book, Ben Marcus shows us the history of skateboarding through illustrations of adds, posters, and memorabilia from the past and also photographs of star skateboarders like Tony Hawk, Jeff Ho, Stacey Peralta, and many others. This is a tribute to the classic American sport. 

Key Takeaways 

  • See photographs of important moments in skateboard history. 
  • Learn the humble beginnings of skateboarding and its evolution to becoming one of the most competitive sports. 

Recommended For: People interested in the history of skateboarding.

My Final Thoughts

The story of skateboarding is one of the small beginnings. It took many years and lots of hard work and innovation by famous skateboarders to put this sport into the mainstream. Reading The Skateboard and going through its illustrations you will learn about the sport’s success story every step of the way. 

12. Locals Only: California Skateboarding

Locals only california skateboarding

“Locals Only” is a collection of photographs taken by Hugh Holland that captures skateboarders in action in the suburban streets California, San Francisco, Venice Beach, and many others. His photographs depict the emergence of the skate culture and the people who made it possible. 

The Content 

The book contains various photographs of young teens skateboarding in the unruly streets all over America. It tells a story of where skateboarding was born and the people responsible for it. Before there were the skateparks there were the pipes, the streets, and the dried pools. This is what the book is all about.

Key Takeaways 

  • Learn about people and cultures that gave rise to modern skateboarding. 
  • Learn about the roots of skateboarding. 

Recommended For: Those interested in learning about the history of skateboarding. 

My Final Thoughts 

A picture can say a thousand words. Maybe even more. Each of Hugh Holland’s photographs tells a story. The story of the people who were passionate about a rather small sport and the streets that paved the path to its success. Locals Only is a must-read for anyone interested in learning about the roots of skateboarding. 

Few Alternatives (Audio Version) to Regular Skateboarding books

Besides the books about skateboarding mentioned above, there are few other alternatives to skateboarding novels. You must have an interest in audiobooks. If I’m right, please check out the following few options that I recommended:

Conclusion 

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 who 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 12 best skateboarding books. Hope you enjoy them just as much as I have. Best of luck.

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