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PART ONE: #SKATECOPA The Skip Factory...

    Written by
  • Sean Holland
    Photography by
  • Andrew Peters
  • Marimo Ohyama


I wake up to my first day in Tokyo. I’m 24 floors above the world famous Shibuya crossing and the Excel Hotel air-con is cranked to Arctic. This may be an over-reaction to the unexpected heat and humidity that coward punched me as I stepped off the plane at Narita airport approximately who cares how many hours ago… I say ‘who cares’, because hours and the constraints of Greenwich Mean Time no longer exist. Reality is out the door, we’re in Tokyo! Glorious, wild Tokyo….

We arrive at SKIP FACTORY skatepark on the outskirts of the city to a crew of psyched locals and complimentary burgers made and served with love in equal parts. The temp inside the skatepark is oppressive to say the least and grey marle t-shirts fall victim by the minute. The park has a bunch of new freshly painted obstacles installed – each one is a replica of a classic and now ‘banned’ Tokyo spot, including the Mita rail, Shinjuku bank, a double set at Kogakuin, and Odaiba up-ledge. The smiles on the faces of the older crew speak volumes of how cherished each of these spots was to them.

Silas and Alec, are the first to step right in to it and I over hear someone say,” I guess you don’t need to warn up when it’s this hot” The rest of the crew follows and for the next hour or so it’s hard to know where to look as the heat gets thrown all over the park. Spectators dream/filmers nightmare.

As the fatigue hits the demo crew – it’s the locals turn to throw down for cash and the standard of skating is incredible. The bodies fly, as do the wads of yen. This is followed by the worlds most polite ‘product toss’ where boxes of product are put out and every steps up calmly and takes one item and one item only.

High fives and farewells are had as the heat affected posse retreats to the bus, complete with temperature control, fully functioning/stocked fridge and coffee machine… Gotta love Japan.