Living Icon C.R. Stecyk, III’s Photos of Legendary Z-Boys Made Skateboarding Into Sport

Erica Iannitti

Known as the Godfather of Skateboard art, C.R. Steyck III is a living legend in the skate world, so much so that he already has a biopic Lords of Dogtown (which he co-wrote), and he’s still living, mind you. Steyck established himself as both a documentarian and a multimedia artist back in the ’70s at the Zephyr Skate Shop, of which he was a co-founder. A lifelong surfer and skater, he is a firm believer in the synergy between skating and the arts. Even so, his proclivities are hardly coincidental: his father was a documentarian, his mother an artist.

Steyck captured and chronicled the skateboard scene (faces like Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva, Jay Adams, etc.) of the ’70s in his ‘Dogtown Articles’ for Skateboarder magazine. His iconic photos of the Zephyr skate team, also known as the Z-boys, captured the essence of the Santa Monica and Venice Beach skate scene and were instrumental in transforming dismissive attitudes toward the sport. Steyck and the Z-boys elevated skateboarding from juvenile hobby to sport in the cultural imagination. Check out Luxuria, a montage of film and photos from Steyck’s archive dating back to 1965, as well as some of his most iconic shots below.