Original Z-Boys skateboarder Chris Cahill died late last month in L.A. at the age of 54, according to several reports.
Although the Z-Boys were immortalized in the film Lords of Dogtown and in the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, Cahill wasn't featured much in either of them. An interview for the documentary fell through, apparently. It's not clear why he didn't play larger in Lords, though not all 12 Z-Boys originals were consistent or major characters in the film.
In his 1970s days on the Santa Monica-based team, however, Cahill was known as a standout with an outgoing attitude among an outgoing crew of skaters from the other side of the tracks in south Santa Monica and north Venice.
In an interview with Juice magazine Cahill said he “hustled my way on” the team.
Nathan Pratt told the New York Times that “Chris was the first guy in the fight. This was a group of guys that had a lot of attitude, and he had the most.”
While skateboarding today is more about acrobatic street moves, the Z-Boys helped to transform the sport from trick-based demonstrations to a more fluid, surfing-inspired endeavor.
Cahill was found in his L.A.-area home June 24. His brother told the NYT he suffered from cirrhosis.