Deshi: Skateboard File III

, 2010/03/18

“I grew up in nature- my house was surrounded by it, I used to play in the mountains and venture into caves and spent endless hours at the beach swimming and trying to catch sea urchins.” Its been years, since the second grade, when Deshi moved from Ehime prefecture to Tokyo with his family. Growing up in West-Tokyo ward Ota, Deshi took up skateboarding when he was thirteen years old and recalls the spark that lit the friction, “When I was living in Ota-ku, I remember being in my earlier teenage years and I was hanging out at the local arcade. One day I saw some gangster-type kids skateboarding. One of them was actually pretty good and when he popped a kickflip I was totally stunned. I knew I couldn’t do something like that but witnessing it was just etched into memory.” Deshi continued his story as Paper Sky listened. I guess you could say my main interest in skateboarding peaked when I actually got a skateboard and started watching videos like the first Transworld Video, Uno, and Girl’s Mouse. Over and over, I just kept watching them, especially Guy Mariano’s section- it was so good and when I started skating, it was all street style. I just wanted to get out there and push. Then I started learning simple tricks like nollie shove-its.

Eventually I moved up to Saitama where I currently live and these days I just come to Tokyo for filming video parts. Although, about four years ago, I ended up meeting a pro by the name of Rich Adler when he came out to Tokyo. We got along really well and started sessioning together. At that time he was riding for Traffic Skateboards and still is today. Rich was out here filming some parts for a video and I actually ended up getting some of my own video parts included in that video.  Looking back, it was quite a significant moment for me because it was through Rich that I got on the Traffic team. I ended up having a small part in the first Traffic video and in 2008, I ended up visiting Rich in Philadelphia and got a chance to connect and skate withRicky Oyola– a living legend in most parts and the man behind Traffic. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Oyola and to be on his team is actually an honor for me. And even though I am based in Tokyo and not Philadelphia, I feel my role on the Traffic team is to create more Traffic-style skaters in Japan.

In terms of skating, I don’t think there were that many differences between the scenes. When I was in Philadelphia, I noticed that street skaters just pushed everywhere- all city, while kids in Tokyo I think tend to take the train between most distances. Actually, living in Japan is as special as being anywhere else- I didn’t really think of it as different. Earth is Earth and scenes are scenes- it’s just all connected. If I was in The States, then sure I could get more exposure as a skater but I want to emit from Tokyo because this is simply where I am at. If there’s one difference I noticed while being back and forth, it’s that Tokyo can often be a city without individuality because there’s always a trend.

Regardless of where you are, it is style that doesn’t and shouldn’t change. My thoughts on style are that, well, I think style is when someone does what they want and can really get a feeling out of what they’re doing- even if nobody else is doing it. As long as the individual is completely into it 100%, then nothing else matters. There also an element of purity to style- when I see someone do a trick with a clean and simple approach, or just straight and raw, it’s the best as long as you can sense the realness of the skater’s emotional honesty. I think that is what we are all aspiring to as an end in someway. Personally, I don’t even have a favorite trick per se, it really depends on the spot. There are times when something just as simple as a clean ollie would feel the best.

My main place to skate these days is Ikebukuro and it is actually where I have been skating since I was in high school. It’s where all my buddies are and it is not so much about the gravity of a particular spot but that there is just such a wide array of spots there that I like. Combine that with being able to see my friends and its simply the best. And for anyone coming to Japan to skate, I’d just point them in the direction of Ikebukuro and tell them to just go and explore like it was anywhere else.

This April 2010, Deshi will have his first pro model released on Traffic Skateboards.



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