An 81-year-old Japanese man accidentally discovered a new passion for a hobby most people his age don’t typically dabble in.
Sk8r boi: Yoshio Kinoshita, who picked up skateboarding two years ago, continuously gets better at the sport by learning from skaters much younger than him, reported Reuters.
Octogenarian buys a board: Kinoshita said he only tried skateboarding after buying a board he came across at a market stall selling unclaimed items found on the railway.
- Kinoshita, a retired technician in the construction industry, practices nearly every morning at his local skate park in Osaka.
- The senior skateboarder, who has two children and two grandchildren, works part time as an attendant at a bicycle parking lot when not riding the ramps.
- He considers all of his younger skating buddies as his “teachers” who provide tips on improving his skills. He also shared that he used to hold onto railings for balance, but with the help of others, he has since mastered different tricks including a 180-degree turn.
- Kinoshita, who bought his board for 800 yen (around $7), recommends skateboarding for older people like him as a means to combat dementia.
- “It’s a sport with a sense of tension,” he said. “Rather than zoning out, I think skateboarding improves the ability to think even just by a little bit.”
- According to Kinoshita, he needs to practice daily because “if we don’t practice it little by little every day we will forget how to do it immediately.”
- “I’m so old that my body just doesn’t function like it used to,” he revealed in a short documentary by Heroin Skateboarding. “There’s no way you can compete with the young ones.”
- Kinoshita’s presence at the local park has inspired other older skateboarders, such as 66-year-old Machio Watanabe, to give skateboarding a try.
A true fan of the sport, Kinoshita said he was in awe of the teen skateboarders who dominated with their performances at the recent Tokyo Olympics.