Day 1 of Practice looked like any other day when it comes to skating in Japan. The heat is turned all the way up. Who's going to take home the top spot?
It's always a good time when DJ Wade is tagging along. Smiles all around!
Obligatory Murakami City Skatepark photo
The Murakami City Skatepark is an olympic training facility. They're got everything here from rock climbing to tight rope walking. How long could you balance on this thing?
If you don't have the balance you can hop on over to something a little more up to your speed.
Sena kicking off practice with a heelflip front lip. That's right. A heelflip into a front lipslide.
Taiga Nagia warms up with a casual front blunt.
Followed by a cab back overcrook. Is that what that is called? Is the internet going to be pissed at me for calling it that?
We've got kids from all over Japan showing up. There's our good friend Daiki up on the deck!
Don't be fooled. Glancy stole all of that Yen out of the registration bag! Maybe if you toss him a few Yen he will take a better head shot photo of you.
Drop by and see Sam, Toshi, and Glancy to get registered for the contest. These guys will make it painless!
The best part about Japan's scene is that there are a ton of women skaters - and they're all REALLY good. Here's Niko Sugimoto front lipping down the handrail with ease.
There he is. Two time Damn Am winner Daiki Ikeda! Kickflip front blunt on lock.
Ichika is one of the youngest kids at the contest - weighing in at 10 years old! This kickflip backlip was first try.
Believe it or not, this is after catching a backside flip. Joetaro has them DIALED. It's absolutely insane to see.
One of my favorite photos of the day. Nollie backside flip from Kai Suematsu
Glancy, Akio, and DJ Wade holding it down at the DJ table.
Chris Blake made it out to Japan with us. He'll be one of our judges for the contest alongside Glancy and our new homie Rob!
Front crook up the rail from Aimu Yamazuki
Families and fans camping out in the stands watching all the insane skateboarding going down!
Kairi hops in the mix and throws a first try flick back tail down the hubba. Not sure I need to mention that it was first try because pretty much every single photo I shot during practice was of a trick being done first try.
Yui Harada kickflip front board with ease
Our boy Glancy just couldn't sit still at registration. No warm up crook up the rail.
Always have to include one artsy photo in my blog posts. Tre flip silhouette shot.
Sena Watanabe owns the heelflip in every variation. Back heel down the set.
This is the moment a kickflip was caught right before going into a noseblunt. What are these kids eating out here in Japan!?
Two of Japan's finest helped us make Damn Am happen at Murakami Skatepark. Daisuke Hayakawa (left) is the Japanese Olympic coach and Akio Honma (right) is the owner of Insant which is the largest skate shop in Japan!
Seto Kitano throws a front feeble down the handrail during Women's Practice. Excited to see how the Women's Qualifiers plays out!
Seto can front feeble really well. As pictured above.
Aoi Ishimaru back board into the bank. It's really hard to take a photo that does this rail justice. You're flying at this thing and going into practice traffic.
Aoi checking in with the girls to make sure they got the clip
Is it obvious which obstacle is the favorite? Joetaro sends out a reminder with this kickflip backlip down the rail.
We are going to need to stop by the store and grab a bag of chips for the amount of dip Ren Suematsu put on this backsmith.
Kaede showing us that the rail and hubba in the center aren't the only obstacles. Gap back tail
Another angle of that infamous Sena back heel
Niko Sugimoto looking to get in on the heelflip action. Bank to bank bolts perfection
Hozumi Kai goes fakie with a halfcab heel down the set.
Let's keep the fakie stuff going. Joetaro halfcab flip tweaked
Daiki adding to the fakie mix with his dialed fakie frontside flip.
Hozumi Kai? More like Hozumi Can back 180 nosegrind like nobody's business.
This varial flip had pressure involved and Jinto brought it.
Hozumi Kai tre flip front board. I am pretty sure the Japanese own that trick. Nobody else can do it AND make it look this good!
The man, the myth, the LEGEND. Paul Zitzer posted up in the media room making sure this contest is as organized as possible.
Paul isn't actually working though. He was keeping an eye on our snacks!
Kanade Nishiyama gets in on the session with some hardflip perfection
The homies watching the homies
Closing out the session with a backside flip from Kanade. See you all at Qualifiers and Best Trick Saturday!