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Yuto Horigome just made global debut with his welcome part for Blind. We asked him about how he joined their global team without spending time as flow rider, and also about his ambition and behind the scene story of his part.

Interview by VHSMAG, Photos by Tomonori Taneda courtesy of Advance Marketing

VHSMAG (V): How did you get hooked up with Blind?

Yuto Horigome (H): I had entered a contest held by Volcom and the Berrics in the US last year and I decided to stay there for a while. Luckily I was able to stay at a filmer name Sumi's place and went out and filmed some stuff. Micky Papa was there and as we filmed he asked if I had a board sponsor. I told him that I ride for a Japanese board company and he asked me if I liked Blind. I said, "Yes, I like Blind." That was it but the next time we went out filming and I made a good trick, Micky talked to the team manager and everything started from there.

V: What was your impression about Blind?

H: Technical skaters on the team. I really like Micky Papa, Cody McEntire and TJ Rogers.

V: How do you feel that your on the same team as them?

H: I have so many things I need to learn so I want to do my best to be one of the bests in the team.

V: You had that Berric's Bangin! before your Next New Wave part. How did that come about?

H: I had landed that f/s 5-0 on the long rail and Blind TM asked me to do it again for The Skateboard Mag. I flew over to the US for that and I had time so they offered me that Bangin! and we started filming.

Berrics's Bangin!, featuring Yuto Horigome.

V: So you had the shoot for that big 5-0 and then Bangin!

H: The footage of me wearing blue shirt is when I came back to do it for the second time. The photo used in The Skateboard Mag is the one I landed second time. I had landed it before already. So I landed it once, and then we got stoked and they flew me back to the US and did it again. We only filmed at the first one and had no photographer.

V: How long did it take to land it?

H: First I did a 50-50 twice and I missed 5-0 once, and then made it pretty fast.

V: Did you know that Rob Dyrdek did a 50-50 on that same rail?

H: Yes, I did.

V: How many stairs was that?

H: 20.

Berric's Process, featuring behind the scene of f/s at the long rail.

V: I think it's probably the first time where Japanese skater outdid a trick that's done by American pro at an American spot. How do you feel about that? Also I think it's been a while since Japanese skater gets hooked up officially by a global company with history in Skateboarding.

H: I always try to do my best trick-wise, but I thought that if I did that 5-0, that will bring more attention because it's got so much impact. I guess people work their way up from flow but they've made an exception... I'm really surprised and honored. I'm really happy that I'm skating for Blind. They do so much for me and help out with things that I want. They offer me so much and it's awesome. I want to thank Sumi for opening up this opportunity.

V: Let's talk about the Blind welcome part.

H: The last trick on the ledge was the hardest. It took total of six days to make that trick. I even went to Taiwan to film that trick and tried it like four hours straight everyday but couldn't get it. I came back to Japan and practiced for a little while. I landed it twice at that spot in Yokohama but they were both sketchy. I tried it again like two days later and made it in about 30 minutes. So yeah, that trick was the hardest.

V: Which is harder for you? Technical or banger?

H: Bangers are scary but I think technical tricks are harder.

V: Do you get scared when you skate handrails?

H: It's scary at first, until you get used to it.


V: What was most memorable form the filming?

H: When I was filming in the US, I had tricks that I could film but they were all ABD. It was tough to find tricks at certain spots since so many tricks had been done in the past. It was really hard. Even the tricks that I struggled to get, it was ABD and had been posted up on Instagram and couldn't use it.

V: I saw the rough edit of your part and you had back 3 at Hollywood 16, right?

H: I knew that Moose had done it before, but I wasn't filming for the Blind's welcome part back then.

V: What did you think about the part when you watch it for the first time?

H: It was so different from the rough edit but I was really happy that it came out. I know that I have more tricks that I can get so I'm hoping to do it next time. I wanted to get more tricks for the part but you get kicked out super fast in Japan. There are tricks that I should've filmed while I was in the US.

Blind's welcome part, introduced as Berrics's Next New Wave project.

V: How long did you film for?

H: I had a deadline from the start and we were trying to put it together with footage only filmed in the US by Sumi, but Blind wanted to get it out as a legit full part, so I decided to film in Japan as well. I think we filmed for about six months. I was filming every time I skate so it was tough. There were times that I didn't practice and I couldn't land tricks when I was filming with Sumi. That was like torture. I had to film everyday, and you never know the spot until you go and actually see it. Sometimes it wasn't what I had imagined, and that was tough (laughs).

V: What was people's reaction like after the part was dropped?

H: When I'm skating a parks, people would come up to me and say that they liked the part.

V: Did you have any trouble with food in the US?

H: There was a Japanese supermarket near the place I was staying so I was cooking with Sumi a lot. Fried vegetable everyday (laughs).

V: What would you say the difference between filming in Japan and the US?

H: There's not much school yard spots in Japan but you can skate at schools on the weekends in the US. There are so many spots in the US. You don't really get kicked out that often but downtown LA was really fast. You get ticket for skating.

V: How about language barrier?

H: I guess I just went with the flow with feeling. I can understand simple things like "Where do you want to go tomorrow?", "What do you want to eat", "Tired?" and "Which spot?" Things like that. I was staying at Micky Papa's place too and Sumi wasn't there with me, but everyone was super nice and I had no problem.

V: Then you want to move to the US and skate?

H: Yes, the welcome part is out now and I'm starting to get recognized so I'm hoping to move at this timing... I want to base myself in the US. I want to move to the US after I graduate high school and live there. Santa Monica would be nice. Micky Papa lives there and it's close to Stoner Park and Courthouse. It's really a nice location.

V: Who do you film with in the US?

H: Blind team mostly. I film with Mike Aldape a lot. He films Blind and Plan B riders.

V: By the way, Blind's team manager Bill Weiss used to do 540s butt naked on vert. Did you know that?

H: Yes, I do (laughs). He helps me out so much.

V: Who are some skaters that you got influenced by?

H: Kota Ikeda and Yoshiaki Toeda in Japan. Outside Japan, I really like Shane O'Neill.

V: You entered REAL TOUGHNESS contest recently. How was that like?

H: It was a massive event I was nervous. The approach was a bit short though.

V: Do you think working on video part and skating contest is totally a different thing?

H: You present the best version of your skating and outdo yourself for video parts. Contest is a place you try to do what you can.

V: What do you think about skating being in the Olympics?

H: I think it's good. I'm not aiming for it, but if I can make it that's awesome.

V: What makes pro skater a pro skater?

H: Someone who gets adored and aims for. That's what I want to be. I want to live in the US and try to get a pro board one day. And then get recognized even more, work on better parts and skate more contests.

V: Is there anything you want to do with Blind?

H: There Blind Japan tour in September so I'm looking forward to skating with the team in Japan.

V: Last words?

H: I see a lot of young skaters who are trying hard for just contests, but I would like to see video parts of them!


Yuto Horigome

17-year-old skater, leading the Japanese skate scene. He just joined Blind team officially and achieves good results at contests in and outside Japan.

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