Approximately 25 miles east of Tokyo’s city center sits Chiba, Japan, a port city that hosted the X-Games in April. In case you missed it, Rayssa Leal and Yuto Horigome took gold in women’s and men’s street. Not a bad way to follow up last year’s contest in Tokyo…
Immediately following the skate events, Nike SB Japan worked with local business owners near the venues to unlock a space historically high on the bust factor. Perfect stairs and marble ledges ripe for ripping—a skateboarder’s dream.
The plan was simple: unlock the spot and skate. No trophies. No Prizes. Just tricks. But the skatepark builder, MBM, and Homma-san from Instant Skate Shop had other plans. Pulling wads of cash from their own pockets, the stakes were raised as rolling away from anything was now rewarded with a high five and crispy yen bills.
Returning the following day with our friends from The Dojo, the rain decided to pull up as well, so we carted ramps and ledges (and a speed gun) to a nearby bridge for protection from the elements and started handing out cash and shoes.
As X-Games spectators exited the stadium on its final day, some discovered a side a skating typically self-contained to this sub-culture’s core. A group of outcasts cheering for each other in a space that, come Monday morning, they’d likely get kicked out of.
Check out some of the essential hub cities that have helped skateboarding grow, while continuing to showcase its diversity, culture, and personality.
We talked with the athletes that descended upon Tokyo to compete in history. Follow along with Nyjah, Pamela, Yuto, Sky, Keet, Oski, Rayssa, Shane, Hayley, Leticia, and Aori as they talk about what it was like skating on the world stage.