Damn Am Japan 2023 Practice Photos

Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2023 by Matt Shail

Trains, abandoned skateparks, and 12 year olds doing kickflip front boards, oh my!

Photos by Matt Shail
Cheers to another year of skateboarding in Japan with our friends! We brought Chris Blake and Kelly Hart along for the ride this time to join our judges panel.
Damn Am crew catching up at the train station while waiting to board the bullet train to Murakami City
DJ Wade was there!
Alright, there's our train. Let's head out!
First thing we did was setup registration. These kids were ready to go!
Japan is the only stop with a Women's division and they showed up
We hooked up with our local homie Hideki to get the clips this time around. He killed it!
Toshi helping out Sam with translating. Thanks Toshi for always coming through.
There were these super rad vans all over the parking lot. People had the backs popped open and were grilling out and sleeping in them. I want one.
We heard there was an abandoned skatepark and decided to go check it out before practice started.
I saw these flowers and thought they were pretty so here they are
We had to stop by Jurassic Park real quick so that Zitzer could ride down the slide.
More flowers
SPoT team rider Marse Farmer came along on the trip to assist in every way possible.
SPoT Life behind the scenes filming with your host Paul Zitzer and our guest Chris Blake
Paul had to help Chris up after he flew down a slide into a puddle for the SPoT Life Day 1 intro. Peep it on our YouTube channel
There it is in all its glory. The first level of THPS 1
Wait a minute.. I thought there was supposed to be a skatepark in here.
Oh wait there it is. Just had to climb up a few things.
First thing I stumbled upon in this abandoned skatepark was an Alien metal band.
The bowl was still in tact...well until Marse did this nosegrind through the corner.
You can see the jet lag in his eyes. I was feelin' it too.
We found all this crazy shit in here. Including a rail that could be raised up and down. Marse back crooked this thing through a layer of rust.
Paul Z astonished that we found an entire VERT RAMP in a warehouse!
Paul with a front rock and no pads. My first ever vert photo.
Ski jump training outside for the local Japanese olympians
Dropping by the campers before heading inside for practice. What up Ginpei!
First trick I saw going down was Rio throwing a fakie tre down the set. This is tied with my favorite photo of the weekend. Read through the rest of my blog posts to find out which one is the other.
Yumeka Oda was one of the best skaters out there. She rips!
I am not sure how many photos I have of Taiga doing a back 180 nosegrind, but I am not complaining.
Taiga came back 5 seconds later and did bigspin blunt shuv. I'll have whatever he is drinkin'
Back heel from Kurisu Yu
Shout out to all those sponsors!
Ginpei owns the pressure flip. If you have done one in the last five years you owe him money.
Toa Sasaki hopping in on practice and prepping himself for the Skater XL Best Trick with a cab back noseblunt. Every try. Insane
Toshi was feeling sick all weekend, but still came out to support. Hope you're feeling better dude!
Ren Matsujawa has front smiths dialed on the a-frame rail
What is this a skateboard competition full of kids or somethin'!
Ria Tanno blitzed this handrail and all I caught was her front lip.
Rino backed up Ria with a kickflip frontboard. Rino is 12 years old
We got a session going. Yumeka front blunt
Over to the other side of the set with Ren for this nosegrind.
2022 Damn Am Japan winner Niko Sugimoto bringing the heat to practice with a kickflip front board.
Bump to ledge crook from newcomer Yuno Takahashi
I wish I had the steeze that 16 year old Yumeka Oda has. Back tail down the center piece with ease.
Break ya neck!
Miyuu learned kickflip front blunts since the last time we saw her. Look at that catch!
Toki Kakitani brings the attention over to the bump to bump with this kickflip shifty.
Toki front nosegrind into the bank.
Followed by a frontside flip down the set. Toki was owning every inch of the park.
Kai Suematsu could nollie flip this thing in his sleep. Luckily I was awake to capture it
Like I said earlier, I can never have too many photos of Taiga Nagai doing back 180 nosegrinds.
Look at the catch on this back heel from Luca Hirata. Sheesh!!
Ichika has crazy steeze. He looks under the hubba before hitting it.
Brought our friend Toshi a board from home. See you all at Qualifiers!