Five Favorite Parts with Ryuhei Kitazume

🔑 Intro & Interview by Farran Golding
📝 Photo by Changsu

Ryuhei Kitazumi had one of the coolest looking and sounding video parts of last year in Tightbooth’s LENZ III. His style and approach were born out of the black marble of the Japanese seaside plaza, Sega Mae, where the local Chatty Chatty crew set a precedent he keenly studied and would lead to finding kindred spirits all around the world.

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Koichi “Zizow” Kitamura — Chatty Films: Chatty Chatty 3 (2005)

Chatty Chatty are a crew from my hometown [Shonan]. The plaza [Sega Mae] people skate in this video is ten minutes away from my house. That’s where I started skating; that plaza is my home. I grew up there and I learned everything from skating, to cool music. Zizow is the most O.G. guy, my biggest inspiration from back in the day. He was a pro for Western Edition.

Chatty Chatty 3, I think, was released in 2005. I started skating in 2008, so I didn’t experience it in real time, but everyone said they were the best crew in Japan back then. The whole video — I liked it so much and it was happening right there, in front of my house.

A friend told me about the crew, then I started going to the plaza so it was natural how I got to know them. Eventually, we became friends and started filming. Everything at that plaza is tall. They were my teachers. They didn’t [directly] teach me, but I’d follow their lead on how they skate. Now, I’m happy I grew up like that. [Skating high ledges] made my style what it is today. I appreciate the spot for that. Now, the spot is completely fucked. I want to bring that plaza back alive again, somehow.

Back in the day, maybe fifteen to twenty years ago, I think skateboarding was kind of new, so “normal” people in Japan didn’t know how to act towards skaters. It wasn’t easy [to skate street], but it was way easier compared to what it’s like now. Japanese skaters have great talent and potential within skateboarding, but it has become harder to get clips in the streets these days. There are too many people in the daytime, so it’s better to wait for the last trains to finish. It’s better to skate at night, but “worse” because it makes noise, which people don’t like. You have to be like a ninja, you know?

Wade Desarmo — Kayo Corp: It’s Official (2008)

When I started skating, I didn’t have a local skate shop. We still don’t — but I got information from my older friends, like, “You should watch this.” It’s Official was already on YouTube. I watched the whole video so my first introduction to Wade was mind blowing. It’s been stuck in my head forever. I was 14 years old, maybe. The Dunks and baggy clothes were a big style influence.

I wish I could skate like Wade, doing every trick perfectly. We became friends in Barcelona and would sometimes skate MACBA. He was the nicest person I’ve ever met and super humble. He tries his tricks until they’re “perfect,” but in my eyes, he’s already doing them perfectly. He keeps going until he’s happy with how he’s done it. I could say my style is influenced by Wade, but I can’t do that: if I land a trick, I’m happy.

He skates Barcelona, but it was actually watching the Lordz video, They Don’t Give a Fuck About Us, and seeing Bastien Salabazi, Florentin Marfaing and William Pham that made me, like, “I want to to go these ledge spots,” — MACBA and Universitat — because I was skating the ledge spot in my hometown. It was getting kind fucked up, so I started thinking I need to go to Barcelona and skate those marble ledges.

The first couple of Wade’s clips with the black t-shirt and the red sleeves, the line where he does back tail-pop out, nollie varial flip, then backside flips, a couple of my homies were doing the same ‘fit. It was funny. That line is just simple tricks, but he does it cool.

Rodrigo TX — Flip Skateboards: Extremely Sorry (2009)

Tom Penny, Louie Lopez and TX are my favorite parts in Extremely Sorry, but I had to pick the Brazilian guy. How they skate, it’s kind of similar to how the Chatty Chatty guys skated the [Sega Mae] plaza: tall ledges, flip in, flip out.

Rodrigo TX also came to the plaza a couple of times. I saw him in real life and even just him kickflipping was amazing. His flick was so fast and I was, like, “Oh my God, this is what a pro skater’s kickflip looks like.” It was shocking to me. He’s still so good; his last part from Helas was sick. He’s one of my biggest inspirations from back then until today.

He’s also nice, so he’s my image of what a professional skater should be. He went to the States through skating and got famous, kept making banging video parts, and he’s also helping the local scene back in São Paulo. That stuff is also an inspiration.

It’s hard to pick only five parts. I really like Brazilian skaters, like Tiago Lemos, and there are so many Brazilian people I watch. But TX was first, so I picked his part.

Jahmir Brown — “DC” Part (2020)

This was also hard to pick, because at some point, I started watching east coast videos a lot. I’ve been a fan of [videographer] Brian Panebianco for a few years; I’m a big fan of the Sabotage series. I had to pick one Philly guy for this and I was thinking John Shanahan, Kevin Bilyeu, or Jahmir. His switch backside noseblunt on Pyramid Ledges at the end was like an ender clip that I’d want to get. I don’t know how to do that trick; I thought it was super sick.

It’s Philly skating that I’m into specifically [from the east coast]. Their love for ledges, how they treat ledges, it’s real, you know? They take care of their ledges. I’ve never been to Muni, but that thing of running from the cops — it’s similar to Tokyo.

Simple tricks on rough east coast spots are super sick. It’s a type of skating I want to do and want to watch.

Didrik Galasso — “Deedz Deedz Deedz” (2022)

I’d been watching Wade, Brazilian guys or Philly skaters – quite typical ledge skaters – but two or three years ago, I saw Deedz skating in person. I was at the same spot. He skates in a way that was completely different to what I was usually into. Loose trucks, big wheels; it looked so fun to me.

I was someone who cared about how a ledge grinds or slides, but Deedz doesn’t seem to care about any of that. He doesn’t care how rough the ground is, he looks like he can skate anything. The part is sick, but I like watching his “Rough Cut.” Seeing how he skates spots like that is super fun.

He skates crazy surfaces and made me think that if I could skate stuff like that, I’d be a better skater. Watching him skate in real life, it got me thinking, like, if a ledge is good but the ground sucks and I up my wheels to 56mm, I can approach things similar to how he does. I don’t mean to say skate exactly like him, but you could skate something a little differently in way that might be NBD.

I started to care about new spots. With my type of skating, I’m not super technical and I have to find a spot that fits me. So, if I can change something up and get a clip as a result, I’m happy. That’s an influence from Deedz.

Honorable Mention: Seisho Hayashi — Chatty Chatty 3 (2005)

Previously: Sarah Meurle, Vitória Mendonça, Andrew Wilson, Ben Kadow, Chandler Burton, Pedro Delfino, Johnny Wilson, Nick Michel, Wes Kremer, Jordan Trahan, Ariana Spencer, Elijah Odom, Greg Hunt, Zered Bassett, Neil Herrick, Trung Nguyen, Nick Boserio, Elissa Steamer, Casper Brooker, John Gardner, Bobshirt, Brandon Turner, Shari White, Nick Jensen, Tony Hawk, Naquan Rollings, Jack O’Grady, Josh Wilson, Maité Steenhoudt, Jahmir Brown, Una Farrar, Chris Jones, Mason Silva, Beatrice Domond, Mark Suciu, Justin Henry, Breana Geering, Sage Elsesser, Bobby Worrest, Nik Stain, Anthony Van Engelen, Dom Henry, Bing Liu, Andrew Reynolds, Cyrus Bennett, Jacob Harris, Jamal Smith, Paul Rodriguez, Gilbert Crockett, Ben Chadourne, Tom Knox, Louie Lopez, The Chrome Ball Incident, The Bunt, Lacey Baker, Andrew Allen, GX1000, Brian Anderson, Gino Iannucci, Josh Kalis, Sean Pablo, Wade Desarmo, Chris Milic, Chad Muska, Hjalte Halberg, Danny Brady, Bill Strobeck, Aaron Herrington, Jerry Hsu, Brad Cromer, Brandon Westgate, Jim Greco, Jake Johnson, Scott Johnston, Josh Stewart, Eric Koston, Karl Watson, Josh Friedberg, John Cardiel, Pontus Alv, Alex Olson, Jahmal Williams

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