CHRISTIAN HOSOI SESSION 1
J: So I have a bunch of questions written up mostly they are ones a lot of my friends wanted to ask you I just organized them and added so they would hopefully flow a little bit.
J: So this is for Ventilator mag have you heard of it? Maybe from Jennifer?
C: She told me something about it but no, nah I never heard of it.
J: Its like an online punk zine and a physical mag, sold in stores out of San Francisco. And I m gonna be posting the interview on my site too and hopefully get it linked from DLXSF and maybe Think. Lets start it up:
Is there anything in prison that you wanna skate? Things you see or anything?
C: Yeah. Everything that I see
J: Everything smooth?
C: From the tables in our place theyre all metal theyre all stainless steel bench tables Id say about 8 or 10 feet long that are perfect metal. And then our bunk beds you know you could flop that over and we could skate on those.
C: But other than that, not much.
J: Mostly ledge stuff huh?
J: Where would you skate today if you could? Would you skate ramps, would you skate streets?
C: Well the basketball courts are pretty smooth for flatground stuff they got a little grass area, pull-up bar, couple basketball courts.
J: I know you look at it, every skateboarder does looks at stuff like that just on the bus or whatever.
C: Oh yeah.
J: Thinking, oh I could ollie that
C: They got a little drainage ditch that we walk by every single day thats only about a foot tall you know -- its a bank only about a foot tall . . . . . one of those half-moon styles.
J: Parking block.
C: Yeeah and then at the very end theres a hip (laughing) and like a drain and then another bank so I was like uhh from here to there, no problem.
C: and then theres another plastic bench out there that.
J: How has being a skateboarder affected your view on imprisonment? Just being a skateboarder, the act of constantly pushing yourself
C: A lot of freedom.
C: You know, when youre outside you dont really
think about how much freedom you have when I was outside I didnt
realize how much freedom you have to actually do what you want and not
um alone being a skateboarder doing your own thing its
not a team sport you do it with your friends but you do it solo
when youre outside before skate parks were open
again it was freedom to do like you said how in here you look at everything
you can skate cuz thats our life is to look at anything possible
every obstacle in your way you wanna create something to do on
J: Where is the prison at?
C: Its in San Bernardino.
J: I just wanna get a little history of why youre in there. Like what happened and stuff.
C: Well I havent gone to court yet
J: - so its kind of a touchy subject?
C: Yeah, well I made some bad mistakes. I was addicted to drugs
you know when youre addicted to drugs you make foolish
mistakes you have bad judgment. A year ago I didnt have
any foundation spiritually and I was caught up in the world and you
make critical mistakes that can cost you a lot of time. And thats
what happened to me. I believe there are statistics involved that really
make it - - its not this isnt my lifestyle
Im not a dealer I was addicted to drugs and I was basically
making bad judgment calls it cost me this.
J: Do you think being so famous and being such a big name skater led you into that lifestyle?
C: Well, no it does have a little bit to do with fame
J: like being a rock start you know?
C: It does have a little bit to do with that because you are so attached to those worldly desires, you know, money and fame, and just flirting with disaster its a form of thrill seeking but its not what its cracked up to be. Its a road to destruction. If you think about it you need to preserve your life, you need to think about your children if you wanna have children, you need to think about your family if you have family
C: You know you need to really cherish them and really
keep in contact with them so that you have a family that you love and
that love you and then I think you wont have these problems.
Like me, when my dad and mom were living in L.A, I had a real good foundation
and it would keep me grounded and keep me from falling into those traps
you know of doing drugs constantly and falling into the darkside, getting
J: Yes they do. There are a lot that do yes.
C: Theyre just caught up. Theyre making a lot of money. I remember making a lot of money a lot of fame, hanging out in L.A. chilling out with all the famous people. But youre missing something that keeps you grounded and thats a foundation with the Lord or at least your family. You need to be grounded with some love. When you dont have that, you tend to slip away and you can get caught up.
J: Is your family still in L.A.?
C: No, my mom got married 5 or6 years ago. She moved to Virginia, out near DC. My dad lives in Hawaii. His father passed away, so he moved out there and moved into his place. I was out here by myself with no family just trying to run away from the authorities because I was scared to death. And then I wound up just wanting to move away from this town because it was all catching up with me. And I wanted to get away from doing drugs and I was told to just go home and then I messed up in a situation. See how easy it is to just lose everything? And thats where Im at.
J: Are you Japanese.
J: Full Japanese or hapa?
C: Im _ Japanese, Scotch-Irish, French, Chinese, Hawaiian.
J: Same with me. My moms Cantonese and my dad is Scotch-Irish German and Finnish.
C: Alright, hapa haole!
J: I kinda wanted to see how you felt about that kind of an upbringing with mixed race parents.
C: My parents were wonderful and they were loving and caring
and supportive and everything throughout my whole life. And thats
what gave me the drive and the motivation and the encouragement and
the insight to actually search out my goals and to conquer my goals,
and then to actually accomplish the dreams that I dreamt from when I
was a little child looking at a skateboard. And then from that wanting
to be a good skateboarder, and then from there, wanting to be the best
skateboarder and then from there wanting to push that limit and push
skateboarding to another level.
J: Well all the kids that looked up to you definitely were rooting for you, and still are.
C: Its just truly, truly amazing how much He was in my
life, the Lord Jesus was just walking with me through my life. Ive
been around the world 12 or 13 times you know, Ive been everywhere
and you can imagine how many incidents Ive had that were just
so close. And Ive just been blessed with such a graceful life
and now I just need to thank Him for all those times and just concentrate
on His word. And thats what I do every single day.
J: They definitely need it something definitely needs to be done.
How were you spiritual in skateboarding before?
C: Well my whole life it was Christ (? Stairs?) and crosses
and my name is Christian and you know I always knew there was a higher
source of spirituality and I believed in God, but I didnt have
a foundation, I didnt have a relationship with Him. And that right
there its night and day. Now I can actually speak to Him
and talk to Him and relate to the realities of it. When you read the
Bible is when you find the truth and the true understanding, and the
wisdom, and you can apply it to your life.
J: What would you say to some of these other pro skaters that are kind of living the life right now? One name comes to mind, just off the top of my head like Muska They have a lot of skill and a lot of people looking
C: I just talked to Muska the other day. And hes been
a true bro, you know? Hes helped me out a lot since Ive
been here. You know they did the graphics and Ive been getting
a lot of feedback from that. And thats awesome. I believe there
is something there that was really revitalizing and really recognizing
me. And Im really thankful b/c I think its awesome. He [Muska]
just recently kicked me some money to help me out with my court situation
and me attorney fees. Hes just being a real friend.
J: I just ask because I noticed in skateboarding theres this whole new trend that everybody be a punk rocker and be just drunk all the time and on drugs all the time and skateboarding. Its kind of like you have to \do these things to throw yourself down huge gaps and 15-stair railings and do flip-tricks. Its like this whole punk rock attitude thats been taken on from the old school.
C: But then you get hurt and can never skate again. Thats the skater thats going to be a one trick wonder. But then theyre going to be wondering why theyre so careless. Youve got to learn; some people have to learn the hard way. Some people dont. Like Geoff Rowley. He didnt learn like that. He learned gradually, slowly building up, working his way up till he gets it wired and then he just does it fluently. Thats why he can do it. You got guys like Aarto Saari, you know those guys are just amazing when it comes to handrails and types of tricks that kids cant really relate to yet but theyre trying them right off the bat anyways you know youre gonna break your leg or crack your head open.
J: Yeah they see it in videos
C: And they do it Ive seen it and seen them in stretchers all bloody and knocked out but they learn how to fall and everything. Like when you go to a martial arts class, they show you how to fall first before you get thrown to the ground and break your ankle or your wrist. Just like skateboarding on a ramp, youve got to learn how to fall before you go up and learn some tricks and its something that skaters dont really think about. They just think "oh Im gonna try it" then they accidentally fall ok and think they should try it again. But really if you ask pros who have been doing it for 20 years like Tony Hawk and Lance Mountain and Steve Caballero theyll tell you its a dangerous deal.
J: If you got out right now right now would you skate for Lance Mountains company The Firm because its Christian?
C: I would love to talk with Lance and share some scriptures
with him and be on that level with him because me I was so flamboyant,
so enthusiastic about life at the time and skateboarding, we were just
skateboarding together. You know weve always had a great time
skateboarding together since we were 11 or 12 years old. So, weve
been skating contests since we were 12 years old together. Its
amazing to see how far hes come and Tony and Cab and all the boys
its truly amazing to see how far theyve taken it
and its good to see hes got that foundation and Im
so glad for him and I bless him in every way.
J: I got some questions about some of your older stuff that some younger kids asked me to ask you: Who are your favorite skaters?
C: It goes on and on I tell you Its hard to say one because then Im gonna have to tell you them all.
J: We could get the list out in writing later too
C: When I was a child there was Tony Alva, Jay Adams, Shogo Kubo, Polar Bear who else did I like back then, it was the DogTown team, Jim Muir, George Wilson, Eddie El Gato Elguera, Dwayne Peters, the Salba brothers. When wed go to Upland, what, I was 11, 12 years old and I got like 3rd place skating against John Gibson and I dont know who it was, and like doing acid drops in the corner, at 12 years old hahahah. Then I look back and I go what a nut we really were at such a young age, I dont see anybody skating vert at such a young age
J: How do you think that the skateboarding scene has changed from then to now; do you get skateboarding magazines to keep up with the skateboarding scene? How do you think the scene has changed, in terms of attitude and tricks?
C: Yeah, Ive got subscriptions to all the mags. I think
skateboarding will always be on the up and up of the cutting edge of
a lot of things, but it was just a lot more innovative back then, a
lot more on the cutting edge of innovation of every day, every month
there would be something new coming out, a new trick, a new maneuver.
Now, only the top guys come out with new tricks, its hard to invent
tricks when theyve done them all.
J: Where do you see it going now? Its so commercial and so big right now, do you feel that maybe with this oncoming economic depression it might drop off again? Or do you think its going to keep going strong?
C: No, no I dont think so cause theres skateparks out there now. Because skateboarding is just fun, its like snowboarding, its like surfing. Theres a strong force behind it now, and for kids its not a fad anymore, its actually something that people know is cool and know is gonna stay.
End interview tape 1.