Speed Freaks – Santa Cruz – 1989


Speed Freaks from Santa Cruz Speed Wheels, circa 1989. This was the first video ever made by a wheel company. It gave Santa Cruz the ability to bring skateboarders from different board companies, and put them on their videos. This makes the video that much better, with a great mix of street and vert skating. Santa Cruz also put out Streets On Fire in 1989, which featured some of the best skating to date, especially Natas Kaupas’ groundbreaking part. More about the 80s and skateboarding after the jump.

In the early 1980s three skateboard manufacturers handled most of the skate market, Santa Cruz, Powell Peralta, and Vision/Sims. By 1983, Santa Cruz was feeling the upsurge of skateboarding’s popularity. Santa Cruz picked up large accounts such as Madrid Skateboards, who had been making skateboards since the late 60s. Santa Cruz even made decks for Skip Engblom’s Santa Monica Airlines.

The early 80s were not the best years for America. There was a recession, unemployment was reaching an all-time high, the Cold War was reaching a fever pitch, and we had Ronald Reagan in office. Skateboarding and Punk Rock were slowly becoming more intermixed with the help of people like Steve Olson, Steve Alba, and Duane Peters. These guys were all rippers on their own accord, and had the true Punk Rock ethic so few hold.

Featured Skaters: Jimmy Acosta, Steve Alba, Ron Allen, Neil Blender, Brian Brannon, Eric Dressen, Don Fisher, John Gibson, Jeff Grosso, Jeff Hedges, Christian Hosoi, Jason Jessee, Natas Kaupas, Jeff Kendall, Tom Knox, Tony Magnusson, Ken McGuire, Arron Murray, David Neilsen, Monte Nolder, Corey O’Brien, Scott Oster, Bryan Pennington, Jeff Phillips, Anders Pulpanek, Rob Roskopp, Reese Simpson, Butch Sterbins, Jim Thiebaud, Mike Vallely, Danny Way, Art Godoy, Steve Godoy, Claus Grabke, Rob Mertz, and Tod Swank

run time: 1 hour 12 min 45 sec – Check it out


  1. Grosso really hams it up in this one.

  2. Roskopp owns Santa Cruz bicycles now, I just read an interview with him. He said he hated his part in this video and that he practiced forever for it (?!) and had better stuff but all they filmed were the airs.

  3. Link to the interview! Where’s your manners?

  4. john aguilar(veteranosk8) on February 16, 2007 - Reply

    Neil blender backside ollie in his mini mini ramp!!!! insane!!!!!

  5. Dressen’s part is so boring

  6. …but Dressen was wasted, stoned or drunk, for every minute of it…considering that its actually kinda good…I need to link to that interview too I guess. He was a good all-around Dogtowner. Steve I bet you a guy like Mertz is more your cup o’ tea.

  7. that’s a joke, right? Dressen’s part is mindblowing. he showcases what a true all round skater he is. Street, mini ramp, pool, vert. He skates it all.

  8. True. His section actually makes me want to go skate. There’s lots of just rolling, like through that school building. Someone saying they don’t like it makes me realize how lost this type of skating is.

  9. Eric Dressen’s footage in this video is excellent. This guy can skate anything and he attacks everything. Yes, the editing was what it was, but this is a skate video that is nearly twenty years old !

  10. […] features J Mascis, whom ever since 1989 when I bought the Skateboarding Video Speed Freaks has been a hero of […]

  11. Can anyone tell me what the song frm the intro to Speed Freaks is? The dodadodabaa one? Been looking for it forever.

  12. jakeferranti on January 9, 2009 - Reply

    found that the band is the tar babies but cant find the name of it.

  13. Zach Friendly on January 27, 2009 - Reply

    I have been having the same problem with that tar babies song. Look up their discographyand find the albums closest to 89. I think I’m just going to start buying their records. Its been driving me nuts!

  14. What is the name of the song in Jason Jessee’s Part i cant seem to find it anywhere

  15. Does anyone know the name of the song in Jason Jessee’s part? I cant find it anywhere.

  16. I’ve owned this video since my 8th birthday (im 28 now)

    Watched it everyday for at least 9years. This video really is an epic in every sense of the word.

  17. this is thee most rad vid evr! i wish i never got rid of my vhs. i want it back!!!!!!! arggghhh!!

  18. […] for the next video that either Dirty Tom or I pull together. The first skate video I ever had was Santa Cruz’s Speed Freaks, in retrospective I loved the rough cut videos incorporated with the raw music.  This is the style […]

  19. Does anyone know the name of the band & song in Jeff Grosso’s part???

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