Damn Am Japan 2022: Qualifiers Photos

Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2022 by Matt Shail

Imagine having to judge the best skateboarders in the world and only being able to choose 30 to go to the finals. Sounds like a tough job to me, but we got it done!

Photos by Matt Shail
Toa Sasaki didn't have to warm up much. He was always turned on. Hardflip back lip out the gate like nothin'!
Kairi Matsumoto backs up Toa with a kicky backlippy
...then proceeds to back up himself with a beautiful kickflip back tail down the hubba. He had these dialed all weekend!
Yuki Sawashima droppin buckets with the hat to match. Nollie back noseslide.
Ichika and friends watching the Qualifiers
Men's top Qualifier Aumi Yamazuki had a smile on his face during his entire run - you can tell the kid loves skateboarding. 180 switch crooks to kick off his run.
Aimu might actually own the varial heel. Is there a way to find that out? Does someone have the skateboarding manual somewhere?
He did varial heel back nosegrind MID CONTEST RUN. And it was balanced!
Haru Urano with a 180 switch back feeble.
Nollie bigspin from Aimu just for funsies
One of the contest favorites, Momohei Yabushita, whips a hardflip over the bank to bank for the judges.
I'm not sure who this guy was but there were mad filmers out here for the Japanese skate scene!
Kickflip front noseslide from Kikujiro Nakamura on the bump to ledge
Taiyo Ishii is one of my favorites from the weekend. It's hard to stick out in a sea of dialed Japanese skaters - Taiyo brought the style and trick selection to make a name for himself!
Glancy in the back like: "No way is Junnosuke about to catch this beautifully tweaked frontside flip!"
One of the most popular tricks and hardest to shoot - cab back lip from Junnosuke
More homies watching the homies!
Junnosuke dappin' up the homies after a flawless Qualifiers run
Sam Bellipanni is SPoT's Jesus and here is the proof!
I wanna fly like an eagle / To the sea / Fly like an eagle, let Ren Saitou's back blunt carry me
Jinto Shimizu puts the pressure in pressure flip down the set
Tatsuma was the only dude out here that was willing (and wanting) to do suicide grinds on this hubba. This isn't a suicide grind, but it is a fakie 50-50 which I know was NOT easy
Two time Damn Am winner Daiki Ikeda keeping his eye on the competition
Sena Watanabe? More like Sena want ta be doin' heelflips into front lips!
Look how tweaked Rio's front noseblunt is!
Another angle of Daiki's kickflip front blunt
We had family and friends of all ages hanging out with us all weekend!
Our friend Daisuke Hayakawa brought his family out and I think I shot a magazine style ad with them on accident
Exchanging IG handles and air dropping clips on the sidelines!
Women's Qualifiers had some new faces and Rino Hoshino was one of them. She is 11 years old and skated with absolutely no fear. It was an incredible sight to see!
Boardslide in da braids from another 11 year old, Ria Tanno
Nonoka takes us over to the handrail with a front lip
Rino took a spill and was down for a second. Luckily Daisuke was there to help her get back up!
Yui ought to see Yui Harada's kickflip front board
Koharu Satou's pop shuv down the set like nothin'
Another photographer homie on the course with us. Whattup!!
Caught Aoi mid blink with the girls in between runs
Miyuu came out swingin' and finished 1st in the Qualifiers. Back crook down the hubba
Backsmith as the cherry on top to end Miyuu's run
One of the least skated obstacles on the course and you can see why. Front board from Niko Sugimoto into the bank
Paul Zitzer on the mic with Akio Homma, the owner of Instant Skateshop which is the largest chain of shops in Japan
Aoi Fukuda had no problem getting the speed to get this bump to crook. You gotta push all the way from the other side of the course to get this one!
Cross locked back 50 from Nanmi Oonishi
Mao Sato was killing it with the front salads. I wish people did these more often!!
Nonoko kickflip front board in the limelight
Aoi Ishimaru full speed switch flip on the euro. This was my favorite obstacle to skate at the park. I promise that has nothing to do with me being 33 and this being a safe bet