One of the most amazing things about skateboarding is that you get to meet all kinds of unique and interesting people through our shared love for riding a little four-wheeled plank of wood. Transcending language and cultural differences, if you skate, you can relate and are part of the same skateboarding family. And you know that skateboarding has truly become global when you meet skateboarders who travel halfway around the world to Los Angeles California, just so that they can skate Stoner Plaza and the Courthouse and the multitude of legendary SoCal spots(and also maybe meet some of their favorite pros along the way). IFO Skateboard’s Satoshi Ikeda is just one such individual who made the trek from Japan to Los Angeles, and we were fortunate enough to get to spend a couple of months skating and hanging out with him. An immensely talented skateboarder, super down to earth, friendly and humble, we sat down with Ikeda-san for a Youngblood interview at LAX before he caught his flight back to Japan. You can check out Satoshi’s sick Courthouse line in the Krak app and also in Kraked! #15. You’ll definitely be seeing more of him in the future. Satoshi-san, がんばって(Ganbatte)!!! – HK
Okay, let’s start off with the basics. What’s your full name?
Satoshi Ikeda, Ikeda is my family(last) name.
Satoshi, how do we correctly say your first name? Am I even saying it right?
You can pronounce it as Satoshi or Satosh. Both are good.
How old are you?
I am 19 years old.
Where are you from in Japan, exactly?
I’m from Kumamoto City which is in the southern part of the island of Kyushu.
What is Kumamoto City like?
Kumamoto is a small city, the summers are super hot and humid, and the winters are super cold.
You have a really crazy bag of tricks, late flips, nollie inward heels, and more. When did you start skating?
Thank you, I started skating 4 years ago.
Backtail at dusk, Santa Monica, 2015.
Photo: Ryuta Hironaga
Holy crap. You only started skating 4 years ago? I should quit skating now. Seriously.
What’s your favorite skatespot/skatepark in your hometown?
I really like Karashima Park and Shirakawa Park. I skate there a lot.
Kumamoto skate with Satoshi.
Which is the best skate shop in Kumamoto City?
The best skate shop is Murasaki Sports.
Okay, switching gears, which is your favorite skatespot/skatepark in Los Angeles?
My favorite spots are the West Los Angeles Courthouse and Stoner Skate Plaza. The Courthouse ledges are so good, and Stoner Plaza is super fun to skate. Plus, the Stoner Locals are really friendly.
Yeah, I love Stoner Plaza too. I know you have a badass flatground game, but what do you like skating most? Ledges? Stairs? Rails?
I like skating ledges and stairs.
Satoshi Ikeda Chill Skate.
Who do you normally skate with back in Japan? How about out here in Los Angeles?
Back in Japan, I usually skate with my Kumamoto homies Koichiro and Wataru. Here in Los Angeles, I’m always out skating with the Stoner Plaza homies.
Ralphs flat ground sesh with Satoshi, Shinya, Katsuya, and Ramon.
Mandatory question, who are your favorite skaters?
Miles Silvas and Nick Tucker.
Good choices on that one. Miles Silvas and Nick Tucker are sick! So what’s your favorite video part?
My favorite? Nick Tucker in Primitive’s “Pain is Beauty.”
Okay I think I can guess this, but I’ve gotta ask, what’s your favorite trick?
(laughs) Nollie inward heel.
Troy, Satoshi, Noah, Dylan and Katsuya. #StonerLocs
Haha, no surprises there, I totally saw that coming since Nick Tucker is one of your favorite skaters! So how long have you been in Los Angeles?
I’ve been here for 6 months.
You’ve been here for a minute. Why did you come to Los Angeles?
I came here to study at a language school and to skateboard.
You’re a really long way from Japan! Did you end up skating Stoner Plaza or Courthouse every day?
(laughs) Almost every day. Haha.
No wonder I see you at either spot almost every time I’m there. That’s a lot of skating man! We have it so good, we almost take Stoner Plaza and Courthouse for granted. I’m glad you really made the most of being here. Do you like it out here in Los Angeles?
I really like it here. I really like the weather, the people, the skate spots, and everyone’s nice here.
Noah, Satoshi and Katsuya. #StonerLocs.
That’s cool. It is awesome here in Los Angeles. So what’s the secret behind your nollie late flips? I’ve seen you throw them down on flat and across the China gap at Stoner. How did you get them so good? What’s your secret?
I don’t know. (laughs) Maybe just practice and some secret practice. (laughs)
So are you filming for a video right now?
Yes, I’m filming for the IFO Skateboards video, which is coming out soon.
In the meantime, where can we see footage of your skating?
What’s your current setup? Maybe I can finally learn those nollie late flips if I ride what you ride.
IFO deck 8″, Thunder 147 Hi Team trucks, Bones medium bushings, Autobahn Daniel Espinoza Rally 52mm wheels, Mob grip, and “The Bearings” brand bearings(Charlie Trading, Japan). For shoes, I’m wearing the Adidas Busenitz right now.
That’s a sick setup. You gotta tell Soichiro Nakajima(founder of IFO Skateboards) that we need IFO boards out here in the States! Who are your sponsors?
That’s a good one, gotta always thank the parents. So to close this out, who do you want to thank? Shout outs?
I want to thank my family and homies for their support, my sponsors for keeping me skating. And also shout outs to Katsuya, Leo, Noah and to you!!
Oh yeah, I almost forget to ask, what’s your favorite Japanese beer?
Great choice, Asahi’s the best! Alright, I think we’ve covered just about everything. When are you next coming back to the US?
Maybe in 3 years or so? Hopefully after saving some money.
Dang, that’s a long time. Might have to find my way over to Japan then. Alright man, safe travels home. Arigato Satoshi-san! Gokigen yō!!(Thank you and good luck)
Featured action image © Ryuta Hironaga.