: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: Entertainment
Browse Entertainment Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

KiC'n It in Okinawa!

By: Chika Kobayashi

Date Posted: 2000-09-29

Kickflip, Nosegrind, Ollie, 180, and Half Pipe are just a few words I added to my vocabulary last weekend as pro-skateboarders from Kyoto, Japan, were doing a demo-ride/photo shoot in Okinawa. The pro team PARTY 103 (Ten Three), sponsored by Hide Life Gear from Kyoto, visited Okinawan clubs and skated throughout the island.

Most people perceive skateboarders as radical individuals who go against the grain of society just to be different. I found the opposite to be quite true. All the skaters I met were extremely friendly and had a great passion in their voice when talking about skateboarding, especially mainland's very popular vert skater, Kaba. Whenever he talked about skating, he expressed his fondness of the sport with much vigor and excitement. You can see his infatuation with the sport has paid off well with just a few of his tricks he pulls of seemingly effortlessly.

It truly is a passion and a way of life. You either love it or you don't. The president of Hide Life Gear, Hideyuki "Hide" Imai, is an ex-pro skater who still takes his board everywhere he ventures. He explained that skating has always been his love and always will be, whether it was as a skater or as a supporter. Hide and his crew got together with local skaters from Chatan to put on a demonstration and discuss different tips and tricks for rising skaters.

Everyone had a good time at the Sunabe Seawall Park and the skaters could not believe how hospitable everyone was. Since they tour on a low budget to promote their beloved sport, sleeping quarters are not always known in advance, however, thanks to some of the local talent, Joel Kirouac and Naoto Kawamitsu, they had a place to stay and their own personal tour guides. Naoto introduced them to Joe Kormis, a local businessman, who supports skateboarders in Okinawa. After long discussions with the local skaters, Hide, and his crew, Kormis decided to start sponsoring contests and events for the skaters through his own skate company O' Threads.

Kormis got together with Keith Ehman and Howard Harford of Blue Wave Construction and started the first of a series of special ramps for all the skaters in the surrounding areas of Chatan. Kormis said it is definitely a team effort and the support he has received has been overwhelming. When asked why he got into supporting skateboarders he said "I used to skate when I was younger. Now my 9-year-old daughter skates. When I saw the talent of the local youth, I was totally impressed. If these kids were in the states, larger companies would definitely scout some of them as future pros. When watching them, it looks like they where born with a board glued to their feet! I just wanted the kids to have a place to skate and have a great time. It's amazing how skating brings kids together! Many times, my daughter is the only American skating, but it doesn't matter. Skating is a universal language and they all get along great and have a good time."

Kormis' O' Threads has announced that they will be sponsoring local skating contests every 3rd Sunday of the month starting on October 15 at 12 o'clock. It's open to everyone and to take part is free of charge. Great prizes, food, and refreshments will be on hand.

O' Threads has received a lot of support from local businesses, GI Bill Pay and Blue Wave Construction, to help defray the cost. We're all looking at having a great time on the 15th of October. It's a good opportunity for all skaters, local and American, to get together, have fun, and help promote the sport. Hide would like to thank everyone for all of the hospitality and warm welcome.

Team PARTY 103 looks forward to coming back in February with a posse of skaters to compete and win in a major SKATEOUT, which is to be held in February arranged by O' Threads. When asked how he thought the skaters from mainland would fair against the skaters in Okinawa, Kormis replied with a smile, " Hide and his boys will be tough to beat, but they haven't seen our best yet. My money will be on the home team." Until then, we'll just have to wait and see….. PS, my money's on the home team too.

Browse Entertainment Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

JU FacebookOkistyleOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker