Damn Am returns to Japan for an INSANE weekend of skateboarding. Here's how it all went down in the finals!
Toshi and Chris Blake flexing for the finals
Sena Watanabe shows off his heelflip skills and throws one into a front blunt.
Every skater in Japan was a big fan of doing this trick. Tre flip front board from Toa to kick off semi-finals.
270 front board from Taiga Nagai
I am allowed to pick favorites because I am not a judge. I think Joetaro was my favorite skater of the week. His kickflip into this backlip was at least 4 feet over the rail before he hit it.
Hideki Ishii was filming all weekend. At one point I saw him focusing the lens on his camera with one hand and live streaming with his phone in the other hand. LEGENDARY SHIT!
The last Japan Damn Am winner Sora Shirai showed up...well kind of.
Kai Suematsu had a solid selection of switch/nollie tricks. Sometimes you just gotta keep it simple - backside switch ollie over the rail.
It was raining dust in the park at one point. Probably from all of the Japanese skaters straight up destroying the place.
Kikujiro has a really solid bigspin front board.
Homies filming the homies!
Ren Suematsu can backside flip nosegrind like nobody's business!
Jinto straight steeze spinning his body before his head can catch up with him 270 lip.
Coming back to the hubba for a front noseslide. Is it obvious that this center piece is all that the kids wanted to skate?
Another rare sighting of a trick over the rail. Kickflip this time around from Takumi
Rio Yashima pressure flip into a lipslide. How? I don't know it made no sense.
I mentioned this earlier - Hideki with the double vision!
Whatever Hideki was filming these kids were down with. The rare making of noise in Japan
Frank Branca running back the footage
Takumi Koyanagi thinking over his run
There was a concrete bowl in this park! The girls were mostly skating it and they were airing out 6 feet above coping. It would have been cool to tie it into runs, but it didn't work from where the judges were posted up!
Our dude Toshi getting those clips from the judges stand for me so that I could keep shooting photos!
Although all of the kids in the contest were doing them, Momohei owns the hardflip backlip.
Got a photo of the all the girls together. Whattup!
I think that Daiki could do this one with his eyes closed. Robotic hardflip
Daiki looking back at the competition as Taiga Naiga shows off his Taiga style
All the homies posted up filming the other homies runs. Ya love to see it!
270 switch front board from Raimu. DJ Wade's favorite from the weekend. I think there is a soft spot for him in my heart because he rides for Flip.
bigspin front board down the kink from the most stylish dude out there Taiyo Ishii!
Taiyo bringing it backside into a nosegrind down the hubba.
There was a film crew out here for the park the entire time. Getting all my angles!!!
Artsy fartsy kids photo
Saw this kid playing video games on the sidelines. Get your priorities straight son!
There were only two people flipping out of crooks this weekend and Taisei Hamamura was one of them. Crook nollie flip on a round rail is nutty. Check the next photo for the flick.
the flick. To bolts. perfection.
Someone pick up the phone. Junnosuke has these frontside flips DIALED.
Switch Barley grind from Taiga Nagai. I saw a kid skating a Donny board this weekend
Barley grind followed up by the back 180 nosegrind on the a-frame rail.
Off to the women's finals! First in was 11 year old Rino Hoshino who was built like a rubber band. She would fall and get right back up
Miyuu Ito back smith down the handrail
Ria Tanno had these braids that whipped around while she skated and it was so sick. Front 50 down the hubba
Ria with a high speed front smith down the rail
Switched over to the fisheye and forgot to crop in before the candid shot of the Damn Am media team. Always a cool look!
Rino Hoshino back lip. You'll definitely be hearing about this girl over the next few years!
I'd like Miyuu to teach my how to back 5-0 because she could do these every time and land bolts.
I think Aoi Fukuda did 50 tricks in her run. It was insane! Front lip
Front 50 on the a-frame from Aoi
then over to the rail for a crook!
Not many kids were throwing down the set but Miyuu Ito was. Hardflip
Daiki chillin in the stands was an odd site to see. See you at Tampa Am!
it's my favorite skater Joetaro back again, this time around with a backside flip
Caught this dude passed out on the ground flat on his back. If I did that at my age I'd have to go to the hospital when i woke up.
Junnosuke bump to bar kickflip backlip
Another angle of Junnosuke's frontside flip. Breaking the fourth wall showing the flashes off in this one.
Paul kept saying Momohei Momobye on the mic. Just thought you should know that. Kickflip backlip
Momohei what's up!
Kairi Matsumoto picture perfect tre flip on the bump to bump
Angle of Kairi's kickflip back tail from the top of the warehouse.
Next time Toa skates a contest I want to hear Ironman by Black Sabbath playing
Sena's heelflip front blunt out the gate in the finals. He tried back smith varial heel out during Best Trick but didn't get it. I was bummed!
boards, boards, boards!
Filmer of the year, Hideki, with the unreleased SPoT Bucket Hat
Everyone was doing hardflip backlip, not Kairi. He went hardflip front board which seems way scarier.
I still can't believe this run. Toa Sasaki 360 kickflip lipslide TO START HIS RUN
followed by a kickflip back noseblunt in the middle of it. This dude is already pro!
this is one of those runs where you know immediately that the skater won. Everyone knew - including his friends
Ren keeping the hype going with a backside flip nosegrind on the bump to ledge
Followed by a Darrell Stanton style noseblunt down the hubba.
Sena and the boys were hyped!
Taiga brought the bigspin blunt to the finals!
Toa with the poker face on the sidelines.
Poker face followed by a cab back noseblunt. I with I could just regular back noseblunt!
Miyuu and Aoi anxious in the stands while they wait for the women's results.
I love this angle of the a-frame rail. It's always cool to get the judge's reaction in the background. Kairi kickflip back lip for 'em
Kairi was showing off on the hubba. Hardflip back 50!
Another kickflip back lip for the judges. This time from Toa
Toshi's Dad Akio helped us out all week with food, travel, and contest assist. He's a legend!
If you won Damn Am you got my signature. It's not worth anything but you've got it!
Paul has to take a photo of the results and enlarge them so his little eyes can read them.
Toshi before he started playing rock, paper, scissors with kids for product.
Chris Blake tried to get in on the product toss. These kids booted him!
Zitzer presenting the gift of skateboarding to a local
Give me dat hat!
Homie had a dusted arm so we hooked him up with a deck for whenever he returns to skateboarding. Bless up
Ayumu Hirano is a Japanese Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding and happened to be the dude that helped get the park built. Thank you Ayumu!
Thank you to the Murakami City Skatepark staff for being so kind and helpful.
Thank you Daisuke for giving us rides in the van, helping us get our visas, and EVERYTHING you do for SPoT!
Niko Sugimoto the second she realized she won the Women's Division
Girl's finals squad!
Daiki didn't make the finals but he didn't leave empty handed. After winning in LA and the Netherlands he left with 2022 Damn Am of the Year
Chris Blake was biting Daiki's style!
Luca and Toa hugging it out for first and second place!
Congratulations to Damn Am Japan winner Toa Sasaki
Toa's mom getting the photo in front of the squad. How embarrassing!!