2014 Shonan Open in Japan
2014 Shonan Open, Japan
Taking place about an hour and a half from Tokyo, Japan, The Shonan Open is remarkably similar to the U.S. Open in Huntington Beach, California. While a bit smaller in scale they have the same feel, but with obvious Japanese twists. Events on tap throughout the weekend included surfing, skateboarding and BMX. What follows are highlights from the event.
Yohei Uchino is the 2012 Ride BMX N.O.R.A. (number one rider award) Cup winner and possibly the best flatlander in the world, and this is a strange twist on a switch-footed, no-handed dump truck in circles.
Yohei Uchino spins while the eloborate big screen graphic introduces him to spectators who might not know who he is. Ucchie, as he's known in flatland circles, spins a two-footed backyard pivot.
Deco's Tsutomu Kitayama had a good day. Clockwise: getting close to the edge, stoked on a new G-Shock Watch, chilling with Hiroshi and York, and making it happen in the quarter finals.
The surf contest lasts a few days to provide the chance for better conditions. But the small waves on this day didn't stop the huge number of surfers from having some fun.
Rollerskating was not contested at the Shonan Open this year.
Even in one-on-one style competition, the Japanese riders all have tons of respect and support each other. Clockwise: Shinchi Kiba, Yohei Uchino and York Uno take turns going head to head.
Due to wet conditions, the pro skate contest was postponed, leaving the kids a chance to skate the mini while Enoshima Island looms in the background.
These are some things you probably won't see at an America action sports contest. Clockwise: Kendama (think yoyo tricks but with a Japanese twist) is actually so big that guys like Nob are not only sponsored but put on large demos and big events, a Red Bull basketball tournament, and finally, a BMX flatland center stage.
While the typical t-shirts and sticker giveaways are present, Japan favors a modern take on their tradition fan.
Flatland center stage
The flatland comp was the center point of all of Saturdays activities, drawing the biggest crowd and at least three television cameras.