Isamu Yamamoto: the future of freestyle skateboarding

July 28, 2020 | Skateboarding
Isamu Yamamoto: one of the world's best freestyle skateboarders

He has the world at his feet. Meet Isamu Yamamoto, probably the most talented freestyle skater that has ever lived.

He might be responsible for resurrecting a skating discipline that has been stagnant for decades, and one of the finest products of Japan's ever-growing skateboarding scene.

Isamu Yamamoto was born on April 26, 2003, in Otsu, Japan.

He started skating at the age of eight after his father Shoji showed him videos featuring skateboarding star and leged, Rodney Mullen.

Shoji was also an enthusiastic skater, and so he quickly got his son into the sport.

Isamu further developed his skills in skateparks located in the Nara Prefecture. In some of them, he has the perfect conditions for creating outstanding tricks.

Isamu Yamamoto: he won his first World Round-Up Freestyle Skateboarding Championships titled aged 14 | Photos: World Round-Up

World Champion at 14

Yamamoto won his first world title aged 14.

The talented Japanese skater placed first at the 2017 World Round-Up Freestyle Skateboarding Championships.

The four-day competition features the world's best flatland freestyle skateboarders and is held at the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair, in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Athletes are invited to perform their best and most creative tricks and maneuvers on a smooth, concrete floor, specifically designed for flatland freestyle skateboarding.

Isamu Yamamoto was the first competitor to win the world title using two skateboards during his performance.

"If skateboarding were to disappear, I feel like whatever I were to do, I would have this built up energy and never feel satisfied," Yamamoto expressed in "Isamu: a Short Skate Film."

"And when I'm riding, I feel good. That feeling of accomplishment, I can't imagine my life without it.

In 2018 and 2019, the young gun repeated the feat and took home another two world titles in the professional division.

The highly-skilled Japanese has had the opportunity to meet his idols - Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen - on several occasions.

"It's beautiful to watch the way he links his tricks together and the speed of them. He has talent beyond his years." Mullen said.

"Isamu has prodigy style, but also the wisdom of someone much older. You can see symmetry and consistency, continuity, tempo, and acuity.

"He is one of the most impressive freestyle skaters of his generation, and he strings things together with competence, flow, and unparalleled timing."

Blending Old and New School Styles

The prodigy is capable of mixing and combining old school moves with his own laboratory tricks - one-foot 360 spins, hang ten 540s, and switch backside 180 flips combined with frontside flips, rail-to-rail stunts, are only a small fraction of his act.

Training and practicing have become an obsession.

But on rainy days, Yamamoto spends his time indoor drawing cartoons and graphics on his skate decks.

His mother says his acute interest in art has a synergistic effect on his freestyle skateboarding style and performances.

Isamu is also a fan of Manga.

Despite citing Rodney Mullen as his major influence, the talented Japanese skater is also inspired by the likes of Yuki Koyano, Gou Miyagi, Daewon Song, Chopper & The Osaka Daggers, and his father.

Isamu Yamamoto will not unveil his expertise at Tokyo 2020 because freestyle is not one of the two skateboarding disciplines chosen for the sport's Olympic debut.

However, his highly technical and intricate tricks will continue to grow and get better.

Isamu Yamamoto: the Japanese skater creates and executes otherworldly tricks | Photos: World Round-Up

Spreading Isamuism

His focus is on completing his school education and steadily developing his professional career as a skateboarder.

Will he make a move to street or park skating? Probably not.

"I have been focusing on freestyle skateboarding, so it would be hard and odd to switch my style to park or street now," states Isamu Yamamoto.

The young regular-footed skater has already locked in a series of high-profile sponsorship deals with some of the world's top skateboard brands, including Powell-Peralta, All One Universe, and Bones Bearings.

But he has already kicked off his own skate company - Isamuism.

Whatever the future holds for the freestyler, expect him to continue jumping against the direction the board is turning and executing otherworldly tricks.

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