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Skaters in the Media. By Joe Schulte Chris Abele Billy McLaughlin. Thesis. Skateboarders are commonly viewed by the media and general public as pot smoking, alcoholic punks. . Example 1 Jackass.

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by joe schulte chris abele billy mclaughlin

Skaters in the Media

By Joe Schulte

Chris Abele

Billy McLaughlin



  • Skateboarders are commonly viewed by the media and general public as pot smoking, alcoholic punks.

Example 1


  • Jackass was a show formerly on MTV about a group of skateboarders taking part in juvenile acts and ridiculous stunts.
  • In the show, stunts such as dancing at random pedestrians, running around in undergarments, and blowing things up were common. The people who did these things were often skateboarding and drinking. Many of the stunts ended in arrests.
  • 3 of the members of the cast were actual professional skateboarders. These characters were Bam, Steve-O, and Wee man. Other professional skaters have also appeared on the show.
  • The acts committed on the show by these people may have caused people to link skateboarding and crime.

Example 2

Viva La Bam

  • Viva La Bam is a spin off of Jackass.
  • It features the daily life of Bam Margera.
  • Bam is constantly causing trouble for his family and community.
  • He is seen waking up his parents with loud music or fireworks, turning his house into a skate park while his parents are away, creating a mini pipe in a parking lot, and saying rude things in front of people that he probably shouldn’t say.
  • Bam is also seen drinking at times which can make people believe that all skateboarders do this.
  • This show also portrays skateboarders as hoodlums.

Example 3

Lords of Dogtown

  • Lords of Dogtown is a true story about the lives of three skateboarders from California. The movie shows the “Z-Boys” getting in fights, drinking, getting high, and having sex.
  • At one point, one of the skaters punched a judge of a tournament in the face because he eliminated his friend from the competition for an illegal move.
  • The movie shows the origins of skateboarding and how it became a popular pastime. By showing viewers that skateboarding began with drinking and fighting , people get a bad view of skaters.
  • Overall, this movie shows skateboarders as violent people who like to wreak havoc and destroy things.

Tony Hawk Video Games

  • Tony Hawk video games are some of the most widely known skateboarding video games.
  • In some of the missions you have to vandalize property or get away from the cops.
  • In Tony Hawk’s Underground there is a part where the character wakes up late for something he needed to be at because he was up partying too late.
  • Also in Tony Hawk’s Underground, the character steals a tank from the Russian military and has to find a hangover cure for someone so he can get him out of Russia.
  • These video games portray skateboarders as delinquents.

One Scholarly Opinion

  • Columnist for the Concordia Newspaper David Bouthillier said:
    • “The stereotypical image of skateboarders that’s been portrayed by mainstream media has changed many times throughout the years. It started with barefoot surfing hippies, followed by the "skate or die" punks, and now it’s supposed to be an extreme sport. But despite the changes, the one constant has been the wild misconception that skaters are troublemakers and subversive members of society.”

This article disagrees with the common perception that skateboarders are bad people who like to cause problems in society.


Another Scholarly Opinion

  • According to the book “Contemporary Youth Culture” by Shirley Steinberg:
    • “Skaters are portrayed as slackers or Gen-Xers devoid of any real meaning or purpose.”

The author supports our thesis that skaters are portrayed as bad people by the media, regardless of how they actually act.