Last week, I received the invitation to compete in Japan’s premiere freestyle championship in Saitama. We’re talkin’ about the highest ranked freestyle skateboarding contest in the country with the most talented freestylers in the world! Gah! This is possibly the largest freestyle event in the world and the most restricted event for foreign competitors. I was thrilled and flattered and honored and so many other things when I received my invitation to the event. The opportunity to compete, to visit as an ambassador of the US FS community, and to learn more about the Japanese scene is incredible.
All that being said, this is not a cheap trip. I am fortunate to have support from sponsors who keep shoes on my feet but flights, entry fees, hotel costs, time away from work, etc. are a major hurdle that I must overcome if I plan to compete in Saitama in November.
At first, I was hesitant to create a crowdfunding page for this trip. I often see accounts created to pay off serious medical bills, or to help communities in crisis. I am in neither position, so asking for your help seemed inappropriate. However, I believe that this trip represents an opportunity for a greater number of skateboarders than just myself. Besides the goal of competing in the largest freestyle event in the world, I hope to spend my time in Japan working with and learning from the brands and organizers of Japan’s freestyle community. It is a chance to better my understanding of the deep roots that keep the Japanese freestyle community unconstrained by outside influences, and to learn how freestyle skateboarding may grow its participation as we inch toward the 2020 Olympic games (where skateboarding will make its debut).
Your contribution to my and competition fund will help pay for flights to and from Tokyo, hostel accommodations in Tokyo and Saitama, railway fare from Tokyo to Saitama, entry fees for the Japan Freestyle Championship, and minor equipment costs (ie. trucks, hardware, griptape).
And your contribution won’t go unmatched! Donations of $60 or more will receive a Daruma Tee. Daruma Dolls are a traditional talisman of Zen Buddhism. A gift of good luck and perseverance when pursuing a goal; a Daruma doll is usually given with blank white eyes. The recipient fills in one eye as a symbol of the goal at hand. Upon achieving that goal, the other eye is filled in and the doll is complete. Visiting Japan for a world-class event has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember. To achieve this with your help would be a dream come true.