An all-Tokyo part by the Yokosuka boy, Kouki Arima. Stay Alert; the city is under a state of emergency.
──KOUKI ARIMA (ENGLISH)
Video_A Haters Production
[JAPANESE / ENGLISH]
VHSMAG (V)： Pick Up in 2016 was your first video part, right? How was it like filming for that part?
Kouki Arima (K)： I filmed that part with Hon-D, the owner of ours skateboard & co. I was going to Canada for a working holiday that year, so we decided to film an all-Yokosuka part before I left. I started riding for the shop the year before. It was like I was at the right place at the right time.
V： What do you think has changed since then other than the size of your pants (laughs)?
K： (laughs). I think I can skate different kinds of spots now. I can go bigger that I used to as well.
V： You were based completely in Yokosuka back then, but now you're based half in Yokosuka and half in Tokyo, right?
K： That's right. I decided last year that I'm going to film a part in Tokyo. I was concentrating on that this year. It's good to be based in Tokyo because I can move around whenever I want. It takes an hour and a half to get from Yokosuka to Tokyo, and the transportation costs are quite high. But when I'm in Tokyo, I can go out to film once every two days, and I can meet up with a filmer in 10 minutes or so. So it's great for being productive.
V： You've been super productive this year. I didn't know you had a clear goal from the beginning to film a part in Tokyo.
K： I'm just doing everything I can to reach my goals. There are times when I wonder if I really want to live in Tokyo, but I have more important things to do than thinking about that. I was just trying to do my thing.
V： In the past few years, Yokosuka skaters are killing it.
K： I think Yokosuka skaters are unstoppable right now. We got Shintaro and Masaki Hongo, we got Rio Morishige...
V： Yeah, you guys are killing all the spots in Tokyo.
K： I don't know what the other guys are like, but I knew I had to give it a shot in Tokyo. Shintaro had been working with KE from VHSMAG for quite a while, and that's when I started to put more effort into filming.
V： How did you start filming for this part?
K： Even before we started working on this part, KE and I were always filming. I realized that I can get footage if we had time to film. So we decided to start filming the part when the COVID hit and Tokyo declared a state of emergency. This was at the end of March or the beginning of April. That's how it all started.
V： So that means you finished this part within less than a year. That's super productive.
K： I think it was about eight months. And because of COVID, there were fewer people outside in April and May. I was able to hit spots during the day that were basically night-only.
V： Were there specific parts that you watched while filming this part?
K： I mean, the skate style might be totally different but I was watching Louie Lopez and Mason Silva's part a lot. I've been watching Shintaro, Kaito Sagawa, Sora Negishi and Shogo Zama's VHSMAG parts too.
V： I'm sure you encounter a lot of interesting things when you're out in the streets. Anything you can remember?
K： I was skating this handrail in Shinjuku and there were a lot of young people around. I was skating anyway and checked my phone after landing the trick I was trying. Then I got a DM from a random person saying, "I was just watching you trying a trick on a handrail. Hope you land it." I was hyped. Like, "This is so random!"
V： That's nice. Anything you struggled with for this part?
K： You get kicked out super quick in Tokyo. Basically, people were cold (laughs). So I was like a ninja the whole time, watching out for anything that might happen. That's why I didn't run into any serious problems. And KE's the shit. He's really amazing. Thanks to KE, I was able to choose the right spot at the right time and day (laughs).
V： What do you keep in mind when you're working on a part?
K： I know it's obvious, but I pushed myself to the limit of what I could do. I tried not to do anything half-ass.
V： Was there a trick you couldn't get regardless?
K： Yeah,there was one. I went to this spot twice, and a security guard ran up to me and put a barcode scanner on my face and "beeped" me. I'm not sure what it was, but... I guess he scanned my face. I have no idea. I was too scared to go back the third time. That was super weird (laughs).
V： You were hitting a lot of big spots for this part. How do you deal with those spots when you go film?
K： I like to decide where I'm going to skate on the day of the filming. If it's a normal spot, I don't mind deciding the day before. But if I'm going to a big spot, I have to decide based on the flow and feeling of the day, otherwise I get so nervous that I can't get enough sleep (laughs). And then I get to the spot, I'm so nervous that I can't hit the stairs because it feels too big and I'm afraid of slamming. Of course, big spots like the stairs in Hibiya are on my list, but I feel better if I just go with the flow on the day.
V： Which trick are you most stoked on? Impossible tail grab at the stairs in Hibiya?
K： That was a battle... I think we tried for over an hour... We also got kicked out a couple of times. But I knew I had to make it that day. Physically and mentally, I knew I couldn't carry it over to another day. I was a real wreck, but... I made it at the last minute and pissed blood.
V： Pissed blood (laughs) !?
K： Yeah, I pissed blood... I landed it and I was like "YEEESSSSS!!!" And then I went to go take a leak, and I couldn't see my own piss. I was like, "What the...?" So I put on the light on my phone and realized my piss was all black. I continued to piss blood for about half a day. I was freaking out.
V： You didn't hit your dick or anything, right?
K： I guess when you bail and roll on the ground, your kidneys can get damaged a bit. I think the blood is from that. I never want to skate that spot again (laughs).
V： You won the mental battle. You never had a mental breakdown while trying?
K： I did for sure. I was almost crying the whole time (laughs). But I just had to keep trying. I really wanted that clip. I knew I definitely needed that kind of clip in my part. But really, that was a battle. I'd never want to go back again.
V： I'm amazed you managed to recover from that mental breakdown.
K： When that happens, I always try to think like this. "If I quit, all I'll have left is regret." It's better to try and regret than not to try and regret. But that was completely like a mental training (laughs).
V： Any other trick that you were stoked on?
K： A halfcab kickflip over a gap to rail. I had done a bs 180 kickflip about a year ago, but I didn't think I could do any better than that. But when Leo Takayama and I were filming together at that spot, we were like, "It'd be dope if we could do something fakie." So I started trying and after a few tries, I suddenly landed it. That was the only miracle in this part.
V： Sick. Anything you learned from filming for this part?
K： I've learned to look at my surroundings. I think I've learned how to identify haters. I totally got that from KE. I think I've acquired ninja skills (laughs).
V： What do you want people to see in your part?
K： I did most of what I could do. Wallride, pollie, quick feet, hammer... Also, I think I was able to pull some good tricks at spots that everyone knows. I think I was able to show a new side of myself, and I think that would be interesting too.
V： I'm sure it was a battle after battle. How do you feel now that the part is done?
K： To be honest, I miss the battle already. I feel like I did my best but... I want to start filming again tomorrow.
V： Dope. Anything planned in the near future?
K： Well, I'm going to start filming right after this, so I'm hoping to release another video around spring. I think things will change in many ways, so I'm looking forward to it.
V： You just said you're already missing the battle and want to start filming again right away. Where does the drive come from?
K： I mean, I'm a skateboarder and this is all I can do... I'm 24 and I don't know how much time I have where I can skate at the level that I can be satisfied with. I need to go for it and skate my ass off. I just have to go as far as I can.
Date of birth :
October 2, 1996
Blood type :