We’re not in the habit of posting surf footage, but there’s a first time for everything! City schools get out in the coming week, real summer is almost here, and everyone ends up scheming on how to bum a ride to Rockaway. In honor of that, we threw together a greatest hits remix from the past ~year of footage from prolific back noseblunter, #top10 staple, and also the QS office’s unanimous favorite surfer, Shin Sanbongi.
Tell another visitor the truth about street skating in Tokyo and the response is between an eye-roll and defensive denial.
The truth: Tokyo is [deep breath] …not that good for skateboarding.
Ok, wait! Don’t start yelling! Are there spots? Yeah, some. Are there tons of incredible skaters from there? Yes, a lot. Is there a vibrant skate scene? Yes, yes, and yes. Does it have quite literally the friendliest, most amazing locals on earth? Good God, a million times yes. Tokyo has incredible skateboarding culture, but when you find yourself a tourist there, you soon realize this previously unfathomable truth: you’re more likely to come home with five expensive jackets you don’t actually need, rather than five tricks you’re happy with for a video.
This past October was one of those great groupthink travel moments where many diverging crews all happened to be in Tokyo at roughly the same time (a la that one January when literally every New York skater was in Barcelona at once.) As we’d cross paths with newcomers, the following interaction became commonplace.
“Have a you guys been skating a bunch since you’ve been here?”
“Er, um, not really, no.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s um…kind of hard to skate here.”
Cue the “You guys are probably just hungover everyday,” or worse, the proverbial “We’re more ‘core’ than you” subtext that assures the denying party will have an easier time being productive in Tokyo than you have.
Until you run into them the next time, and they concede to reality.
Been slow around here, as recent injuries have taken their toll on office morale, but December is always busy. QS holiday 2017 tees are now available at Supreme Soho and Brooklyn. Arriving at other shops this week and next. Online soonish?
Probably one of the most fried concepts for a recent skate video, but in the best way possible — Kyota Umeki filmed an entire skate video on a Nintendo 3DS with a fisheye taped to it. 90% of it is filmed within like, five blocks of the L.E.S. Park. I also have “Groove Is In The Heart” stuck in my head now, great.
The crew behind Newark’s Shorty’s spot (R.I.P.) was allotted a piece of land by the city, in which they have begun to build a bowl. They’re looking to raise money for supplies, concrete trucks, etc. to speed up the project. If you’ve been to Shorty’s even once, please donate whatever you can so they can continue forward with the Shorty’s spirit ♥
Bobby Worrest has a comprehesive interview with “The Nine Club,” with a detailed discussion re: the lost art of skate spot politics and east coast aversion to wax. (His favorite Bobby Worrest part is also “Looks Ok To Me.”)
QS Sports Desk: Imagine if the Knicks did a subtler trust the process-esque strategy instead of doubling-down on iso-Melo and then trying to force the triangle onto the modern NBA for the past decade? Eh.
Chromeball has a great interview with Thomas Campbell about the early days of skate magazines, which also touches on the making of the first Supreme video / short film from 1996. “Some people had beef with those [Euro] articles because they felt those countries didn’t support skateboarding. Whatever. Who cares. We’re on the Earth. Go skate whatever you want.” You heard your boy Mars got water now?
Japan is rife with vivid recreations of American culture. A pair of Levi’s from the 1940s, a burger spot from the 1950s, a jazz bar from the 1960s — each one’s history is studied in excruciating detail before the Japanese begin creating their own, oftentimes superior version of these quintessentially American things. It should come as no surprise that they are masters of another top-ten American invention: the kickflip.
American kickflips are for the mass market. Sure, there’s Reider up Fish Gap, Westgate over the bump-to-bar or Cyrus 1Oak over the garbage, but most of the time, they’re flipped and thrown in a pile. Our culture is in a constant state of making things faster, bigger, louder, though not necessarily better. First we had big flips, now we have bigger flips. Not better flips, they’re just bigger with more spins. We come from a place of deluxe editions and super sizes, so why not a hardflip revert late flip or a 900 shove-it? Mastering a classic is boring; let’s add a 270 to it.
We are failing to elevate Mr. Mullen’s seminal invention. It is stagnating in the country of its birth.