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BEYOND THE ORDINARY

TOKYO

GUIDE

New sports,

new heroes

and Tokyo’s

best-kept

secrets

#GIVING WINGS TO NEW SPORTS

BRING IT HOME

Kanoa Igarashi faces

the biggest moment

of his career


250ml

気 分 で

えらべる 翼 。

※Purple Edition is only available in Japan.


EDITOR’S LETTER

AHEAD OF

THE GAMES

For 11,000 athletes, this summer could represent the

pinnacle of their career. For 226 of those athletes, the

stakes are arguably even higher. They are set to make

history when their sports – surfing, skateboarding,

freestyle BMX and sport climbing – will get the chance to

shine on the world’s largest sporting stage for the very

first time. In this magazine, we want to give you an

insight into these new disciplines – where they come

from, how they work and, most importantly, their heroes.

CONTRIBUTORS

THIS ISSUE

JUSTIN

JAY

“December is usually a hectic

time for surfers because of the

contests,” says the New Yorkbased

photographer who shot

Kanoa Igarashi for our cover

feature at Hawaii’s North Shore.

“I was thrilled to be able to

arrange a quiet afternoon with

him. Surfing has a dedicated but

relatively small audience, so I’m

excited to see these amazing

athletes perform on the world’s

stage this summer.” Page 16

JUSTIN JAY(COVER)

American photographer Steven Lippman with Letícia Bufoni at Venice skatepark

in Los Angeles, California. “It’s a magical place to shoot,” he says. “The light was

great, the background was ocean and sky – and Letícia is a cool skateboader.”

From profiles of athletes such as surfer Kanoa Igarashi,

who has the chance to make his family’s journey come

full circle (page 16), to special insights about skateboarders

including Sakura Yosozumi, who reveals her bag of gear

(page 48), or our city guide that lists some of Tokyo’s most

exciting hotspots (page 81), this magazine aims to prepare

and equip you for a summer to remember. Enjoy…

MIKE

SUNDA

When offered the chance to

interview Japanese climber

Kai Harada, the Tokyo-based

writer jumped at the chance.

Sunda felt inspired by Harada’s

attitude during the past year:

“Even more so than seeing his

steadfast dedication throughout

a period of such uncertainty, it

was his adaptability and ability

to find creative ways to train

throughout lockdowns that

left an impression.” Page 76

THE RED BULLETIN 03


CONTENTS

SURFING

16 Kanoa Igarashi

He’s been on an upward trajectory

since an early age – now he wants

success on the biggest stage

27 Need to know

Learn all about the sport, from the

key parts of various surf boards to

the rules, format and scoring

28 Carissa Moore

The four-time world champion talks

about a self-discovery process that

she’s hoping helps her to a medal

32 Caroline Marks

The youngest surfer ever to qualify

for the women’s Championship tour

details how she prepares for events

SKATEBOARDING

36 Letícia Bufoni

How the Brazilian-born star became

the most famous athlete ever to

grace women’s skateboarding

43 Need to know

Learn all about the sport, from the

basic components of a board to the

most gnarly obstacles and more

44 Sakura Yosozumi

One of the sport’s most promising

heroes explains how origami makes

her a better skateboarder

03 Editor’s note and contributors

06 Surfing – know your sport: From

Polynesian pioneers to rising stars

08 Skateboarding – know your sport:

Who invented the Ollie anyway?

10 BMX– know your sport: Palm Park

and Schwinn via Nicole Kidman ay

12 Climbing – know your sport: Who

was scaling heights back in 1492?

BMX

52 Saya Sakakibara

How her brother’s bike accident

in 2020 made her more mindful

and faster than ever for 2021

56 Need to know

Learn all about the sport, from the

two disciplines to the number of

athletes, contest format and more

58 Rim Nakamura

The rising rider explains why

motivation can go some way to

making up for natural disadvantages

CLIMBING

66 Shauna Coxsey

The world champion bouldering

specialist explains how she’s had to

become a student of her sport again

73 Need to know

Learn all about the sport making its

debut, from its three disciplines to

the format and scoring criteria

76 Kai Harada

Get to grips with how he goes the

extra mile to score more success,

with training goals, fasting and more

81 City guide: Where to watch the

action, find the best nightlife and

seek out the most exclusive eateries

96 Learn all about various editions of

The Red Bulletin around the world

97 Action highlight: B-Boy Shigekix

looks forward to competitive

breaking making its debut in 2024

GETTY IMAGES, STEVEN LIPPMANN, ANDY GREEN, RICK GUEST

04 THE RED BULLETIN


16

36

52 66

THE RED BULLETIN 05


KNOW YOUR SPORT

SURFING

ORIGINS: The first recorded description of

surfing (or he’e nalu in Hawaiian) was by a

lieutenant aboard James Cook’s first voyage which

anchored in Tahiti in 1769. Surfing was a central

part of ancient Polynesian culture and a popular

pastime often used as part of warriors’ training.

FIRST COMPETITION: The first major surf

competition took place in 1928 in Corona del Mar.

Swimming legend Duke Kahanamoku (the man

credited with popularising surfing) considered the

waves there to be the best on the California coast.

GAME CHANGER: The introduction of wetsuits

in the 1950s made it possible to surf all year and

practise in cold water for longer. This allowed for

the development of new and more radical tricks.

POPULARITY: There are over 25 million surfers

around the world.

FUN FACT: Materials initially invented for use in

the Second World War – such as Styrofoam and

fibreglass – revolutionised the construction of

surfboards, making them lighter and more sturdy.

RYAN MILLER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

06 THE RED BULLETIN


Kanoa Igarashi

is a rising star

of the World

Surf League

Championship

Tour and is

representing

Japan

THE RED BULLETIN 07


KNOW YOUR SPORT

SKATEBOARDING

ORIGIN: The first skateboards emerged in California

in the early 1900s, when kids attached roller skate

wheels to wooden boards and crates. Skateboarding

as we know it today started in the 1940s, when surfers

looked for an activity for when the waves were flat.

GAME CHANGER: Skateboard wheels used to be

made of metal or clay. Polyurethane, a soft rubber-like

plastic, was initially used in everything from protective

clothing to paints but provided the ideal traction for

riding on pavement in the early 1970s. Its introduction

caused a rapid rise in the popularity of the sport.

FIRST TRICK: In 1978, a young skateboarder named

Alan ‘Ollie’ Gelfand executed a popping jump he called

‘the Ollie Air’ in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and thus

invented the sport’s most important trick: The Ollie.

POPULARITY: It’s been estimated that there are

around 85 million skateboarders worldwide.

FUN FACT: In the late 1990s, the US Marine Corps

tested the use of ‘combat skateboards’ for detecting

tripwires and sniper fire inside buildings and urban

settings. The programme was called Urban Warrior.

08 THE RED BULLETIN


KEISUKE KATO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Sakura Yosozumi

reached the top

of the Women’s

Park category

of Global

Skateboard

Rankings in

2020 and

represents Japan

THE RED BULLETIN 09


KNOW YOUR SPORT

BMX

ORIGINS: Around 1970, motocross was at the

height of its popularity and kids in Southern

California were seeking to imitate their heroes by

racing their modified wheelie bikes on dirt tracks.

FIRST COMPETITION: Ron Mackler, a park

superintendent in Santa Monica, organised the

first-ever registered BMX race at the request of

a group of local kids. Mackler, today nicknamed

the Grandfather of BMX in the USA, ran the Palm

Park races from 1969 to 1984.

GAME CHANGER: The Schwinn Sting-Ray was

marketed as “the bike with the sports car look”

when it was released in 1963. With its stronger

springs and tyres, the bike quickly became the

natural choice for early BMX. But some changes

were due: the fenders and banana seat had to go.

POPULARITY: There are around 3.44 million

BMX riders in the world.

FUN FACT: Nicole Kidman landed her first

starring role in 1983 with the film BMX Bandits.

Her stunts in the movie were performed by an

18-year-old man who was wearing a wig because

the production team couldn’t find a female stunt

double that looked like her.

SUGURU SAITO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

10 THE RED BULLETIN


Saya Sakakibara

is a five-time

BMX world

champion who

represents

Australia

THE RED BULLETIN 11


KNOW YOUR SPORT

CLIMBING

ORIGIN: The earliest recorded climb was in 1492:

Charles VIII, King of France, ordered his servant

Antoine de Ville to climb Mont Aiguille, also

known as Mount Inaccessible, a rock tower near

Grenoble. De Ville succeeded by using a

combination of ladders, ropes and other aids.

PIONEER: Walter Parry Haskett Smith became

known as the father of climbing back in 1886,

when he achieved the first ascent of Napes Needle,

a pinnacle of Great Gable mountain in the UK.

GAME CHANGER: In 1953, German firm

Edelrid invented the Kernmantle rope, which

revolutionised the sport by dramatically improving

the prevention of falls. More reliable than its

hemp-made predecessor, the Kernmantle had

a protective, synthetic sheath over woven core,

which made the rope lighter and more elastic.

POPULARITY: There are around 25 million

people who undertake regular climbing activities

in one form or another all over the world each year.

FUN FACT: Certain types of climbing can burn up

to 900 calories per hour, making it one of the best

sports for those who are looking to reduce fat.

SUGURU SAITO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

12 THE RED BULLETIN


Kai Harada is

a bouldering

champion who

represents Japan

THE RED BULLETIN 13


SURFING

MEET THE HOPEFULS, LEARN THE BASICS, FIND THE HOTSPOTS

MARK ALLEN MILLER

IN THIS SECTION

Why Kanoa Igarashi feels one

with the ocean on page 16,

Carissa Moore’s biggest year

on page 28 and Caroline Marks

reveals her training on page 32.

THE RED BULLETIN 15


SURFING/KANOA IGARASHI

16

THE RED BULLETIN


THE

FREE

ONE

For

fast-rising

pro surfer

Kanoa

Igarashi,

home

is where

the waves

are

Words PETER FLAX

Photography JUSTIN JAY

THE RED BULLETIN 17


K

anoa means freedom. It’s

a Hawaiian name that literally

translates to The Free One, which

is a fitting way to characterise the

bare-footed 23-year-old watching

waves roll onto Oahu’s North

Shore. It’s the morning after a

contest at the island’s Sunset

Beach and Kanoa Igarashi is

enjoying a rare rest day, lounging

on the deck of an oceanfront

house that has a panoramic view

of the beach and the break. The

ocean looks like an undulating

patchwork of turquoise and white

froth, and he’s sitting close

enough to the water’s edge to

hear the thrum of the surf, to

smell and taste the salty mist.

Igarashi likes to talk about the

physics and the metaphysics of

the water. “I have a relationship

with the ocean,” he says. “I spend

four to six hours a day in the

water. I feel like I get to go out

there and play games with the

ocean. I have this spiritual

connection, which might sound

like ridiculous craziness to an

outsider, but I really do.”

This isn’t the usual blather

of a professional athlete, but the

lean surfer with the beach-blond

highlights has a candid side

that hasn’t been washed away by

his success. Igarashi has been

foreshadowing and showcasing

elite talent for more than a

decade. His storyline – a lifelong

march to the top of his sport –

sounds like something out of the

Tiger Woods or Serena Williams

mould. Igarashi learned how

to surf as a toddler, he signed

sponsorship deals by the age of

seven, won more scholastic surf

contests than anyone else and

secured his first pro contest

victory when he was only 15.

This is a surfer who consistently

ranks highly on the WSL’s

Championship Tour, the biggest

league in his sport. When

he attacks a wave, even the

uninitiated can appreciate the

extraordinary precision and

improvisation of his movements.

The wave whisperer

Normally, successful athletes

as brilliant as Igarashi are more

reticent and less philosophical

when talking about their ability.

“It’s like a pro tennis player is

not going to talk about caressing

the net, you know?” he explains.

“But when you’re in the ocean,

you’re totally surrounded by it

– you feel it inside your fingers.

The waves are crashing at you

and it’s like this force of nature.

So it might sound pretty weird,

but there are days where I get

out of the water and I just tell

the ocean how grateful I am to

have it in my life.”

Igarashi spends large chunks

of time feeling the love among

“I’ve been coming

here since I pretty

much started

surfing,” says

Igarashi of Oahu’s

North Shore

18 THE RED BULLETIN


SURFING/KANOA IGARASHI

Igarashi finished

the 2019 season

ranked in sixth

place overall

LEO FRANCIS/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

the waves of Oahu every year.

He surfs at Sunset Beach and

legendary local breaks like

Pipeline and Backdoor; he works

out at a local gym and takes

himself off on a long hike two

or three times each week. And

he always focuses his day around

the ocean, of course. “The first

thing I do when I wake up every

morning is to go for a swim right

in front of the house here,” he

says, referring to the morning

rituals which make up his daily

routine. “I always just jump in

and let the water go over me.

No matter what’s going on, as

soon as my feet touch the water,

I know I’m good.”

The island of Oahu is the

perfect place to trace Igarashi’s

journey to this point in his life.

If traffic is light, Sunset Beach

is only an hour’s drive from the

gleaming surfing community of

Waikiki, where Igarashi was

given his first surfboard as a

gift for his third birthday. The

family, on holiday from Los

Angeles, went into a surf shop

and a neon-yellow board caught

the youngster’s eye. “The board

was US $720 – a lot of money for

a family that was barely getting

by on vacation,” he recalls. “I had

no idea how much it cost but

I loved yellow at the time.”

The first time

His parents said no at the shop

but went back the next day

and bought the board. That

afternoon, Tsutomu Igarashi,

a devoted surfer himself, took

his three-year-old son and that

neon-yellow board out on the

predictably placid surf at Waikiki

Beach. “It was like a beautiful

crystal-blue swimming pool

with tiny waves and I loved it,”

Igarashi says. “It was like the

best place to learn surfing ever.”

Igarashi clearly feels at home

on the waves in Oahu. But his

upbringing was complicated. Just

before he was born in 1997, his

parents emigrated to the US state

of California from Japan, so it’s

not surprising that he has a

strong Japanese identity and an

intense connection to his family’s

homeland. But he also has deep

roots in Southern California,

where he grew up. Igarashi was

born in Santa Monica, and the

Igarashi family ultimately ended

up settling just across Los Angeles

in the Orange County surf mecca

of Huntington Beach.

On paper, Huntington could

have been a difficult place for

a Japanese-American kid in an

immigrant family to grow up

– after all, the community is

roughly 80 per cent white – but

THE RED BULLETIN 19


SURFING/KANOA IGARASHI

Igarashi surfing at the age of five – he’s been on an upward

trajectory since he learned to surf when he was three

surfing gave the youngster a

route to success. “Growing up

in Huntington, I always stood

out, because I was Japanese –

I was different,” he says. “But

surfing was the thing that put

that racism aside and brought

my world together. It definitely

helped me fit in.”

Igarashi’s school in

Huntington was close to the

beach – close enough that his

mother could pick him up after

school with his wetsuit and board

in the car, and he could be in the

water five minutes later. “Surfing

was like my playtime, my recess

back then,” he says.

But before long, his playtime

seemed to have serious potential.

He was featured on a local news

show on TV when he was six.

Educated admirers began calling

him “the next Kelly Slater,”

referencing the legendary pro.

Sponsors came. Wins at local

youth tournaments came. Flights

to faraway places came.

By the time Igarashi was in

high school, surfing was a way

of life. He was travelling nine

months a year and the pressure

of balancing that with his

schoolwork was getting rough.

His mother, who prioritised his

academic performance, wanted

him to finish high school but

Igarashi felt he was ready to join

the Qualifying Series Tour, a pro

circuit that is also the pathway to

the World Surf League’s senior

Championship Tour. When he

was 17, he convinced his mother

to let him take the his high-school

equivalency exam. “That was

crazy,” he says, recalling what

happened after he passed. “I was

17. One minute I was travelling

and surfing with friends and

bang, the next minute I’m on

tour. Suddenly I was on a roll,

and it hasn’t stopped since then.”

Pipeline dreams

Igarashi says he’s come to the

North Shore every year since he

was nine, and you can trace his

rise in competitive surfing over

those years. “I’ve been coming

here since I pretty much started

surfing, and every year I come

here I’m catching bigger waves,”

he says. He caught a wave at

Pipeline when he was nine;

caught a “proper barrel” when he

was 13; and paddled out for

“bigger days” when he was 16.

If anything, his progression

only accelerated from there. Just

two years later, when he was 18,

Igarashi was back at Pipeline as

a pro on the Championship Tour,

and made the finals – beating

his idol Kelly Slater in the semifinals

along the way.

As Igarashi’s consistency and

explosiveness improved, so did

his ranking on the Championship

Tour. In 2017, he finished as the

world’s 17th-ranked surfer and

the following year he concluded

the season in 10th place overall.

2019 represented yet another

breakthrough, as Igarashi

finished the season in sixth place

overall, notching his first

Championship Tour event win

along the way. (After five

competitions of the new season,

he’s ranked ninth.)

There’s a side to Igarashi that

has a sharper edge than his lovethe-water

philosophy. “I love that

feeling of wanting to rip that

guy’s head off,” he says. “I love

that feeling of wanting to be

better than my opponent that

day. There’s this competitive

side of me that’s like this animal

that shines on contest days.”

Nestled somewhere in

between his mentality as a

trained killer and his emotional

connection to the ocean lies

a methodical athlete who’s

20 THE RED BULLETIN


THE RED BULLETIN 21


SURFING/KANOA IGARASHI

realising that it will take more

than simply natural talent and

conspicuous energy to reach the

top of his sport. “I feel like I’m

maturing – I’m professionalising

myself,” he says. “If I’m going to

be completely honest, I probably

put in 60 or 70 per cent effort last

year. And in the years prior, I was

probably putting in about 20 or

30 per cent. I think slowly I’m

getting closer to giving it my all

– I’m going to go all in.”

Turning pro

To that end, Igarashi is focusing

on lots of the granular details

that will bump his effort ever

closer to perfection. He’s working

on getting more regular sleep.

(“I normally get around seven

hours, but I think eight is closer

to optimal. I just spent a week

sleeping nine hours and I didn’t

really like it.”) Igarashi says that

he’d eaten meat every day of his

life until he recently underwent

a two-week experiment with a

vegan diet. (“It felt amazing and

I woke up feeling sharper, but I

had to come out of the water

earlier every day because I felt so

hungry.”) Through nutrition and

weight training, he’s worked hard

to bulk up a little. (“I just got over

170 pounds [77kg] for the first

time and think that something

around 173 would be ideal.”)

Igarashi has the maturity to

understand that he can’t just flip

a switch to become the ultimate

professional who tackles every

detail of his training perfectly.

“It’s going to be a gradual pace

up,” he says. “But I’m committed

to the little things that I think will

make a huge difference.”

Now the biggest challenge of

his career beckons.

This summer, all eyes in the

surf world – and a larger audience

that doesn’t usually watch the

sport – will be on Tsurigasaki

Beach in Chiba, Japan.

“Finally,” Igarashi says

with relief, referring to the

postponement. “My initial

reaction? I was upset and

confused,” he says. “But right

after that, I started to see a lot of

positives.” It gave Igarashi the

opportunity to spend more time

in Portugal, where he has a lot of

GETTY IMAGES

22 THE RED BULLETIN


SURFING/SPORTS GUIDE

Gunma

Tochigi

Ibaraki

Saitama

Tokyo

Kanagawa

2 Chiba 1

“I love going out

into heats with no

plan. You know,

I just let it flow”

Find the best

waves close

to Tokyo

1 Chiba

About two hours from

Tokyo by car, the

Chiba coastline offers

many miles of surf

spots. “It’s a big

stretch of beach,” says

Igarashi. “Saying

you’re surfing Chiba is

kind of like saying

you’re surfing the

North Shore.” One

spot there that’s on

Igarashi’s mind these

days is Tsurigasaki

Beach, the site of the

big competition this

year. ”It’s actually a

very friendly wave to

surf,” he says. “It’s a

forgiving and basic

wave. In the contest,

the neutral wave will

give everyone a level

playing field and a

chance to shine. And

the break is really

close to the beach.”

2 Shonan

Located 60km

southwest of Tokyo,

Igarashi says this is

one of the two best

go-to surf spots near

the city. “It’s all

beach,” he says.

“Depending on the

wind and the swell

direction and stuff, it

picks up more waves

than Chiba.” Shonan

is considered the

birthplace of Japanese

surfing; American

soldiers stationed

nearby in the 1960s

introduced the sport

to locals. Hardcore

surfers flock to Shonan

if a big Pacific typhoon

drives swells into the

reef breaks there, but

many recreational

surfers love the

dependable small and

clean waves. The area

is full of quality surf

shops, and not

surprisingly the water

is crowded on good

surf days.

THE RED BULLETIN 23


SURFING/KANOA IGARASHI

”I feel like I’m maturing –

I’m professionalising myself.

Like I’m going to go all in”

friends and, more importantly,

feels like he’s able to make the

best improvements in his surfing.

“During this extra year, I have

gotten stronger and faster, and

become a better surfer. It was

a step in the right direction to

get closer to my goal of winning

an Olympic gold medal.”

In October 2019, Igarashi was

named in the Japanese team, but

the die had been cast 18 months

earlier, when he announced that

he’d decided to become the first

surfer to represent Japan on the

Championship Tour. Those

decisions attracted a lot of

attention, sometimes for the

wrong reasons. Some people

speculated, incorrectly, that

Igarashi was seeking an easy

shortcut to the event; in the end,

with his impressive year-ending

Championship Tour ranking,

Igarashi would have qualified

for the US team anyway.

Family affair

When asked about deciding

to represent Japan instead of

the USA and all of the resulting

controversy, Igarashi answers

with certainty. “I love Huntington

Beach – it’s always going to be

home in my heart because I grew

up there,” he says. “But if people

ask me where I’m from, it gets

more complicated. Representing

Japan felt like a comfortable,

solid decision. My blood is

a 100 per cent Japanese. That’s

something you don’t change.”

Family is obviously important

to Igarashi, and he understands

how much this opportunity

means to his extended family,

especially his grandparents – who

have a calendar on which they

are counting the days until the

first day of his competition.

They’re among many of his

relatives in Japan who get up

in the middle of the night to

watch him compete over the

internet, but who have never

actually seen him surf in person.

“My grandma told me, ‘All

I want to do is stay alive until the

Olympics, and after that I don’t

care if I die.’ I was like, ‘What?

Don’t say that.’ But she said,

‘I’ve gone through a lot in my

life. I’ve done everything that I

wanted to do. But once they were

announced and you told me that

you were going to be in it, that’s

the last thing on my bucket list.

Then my life will be complete.’”

Igarashi admits that such talk,

even if intended with humour,

stirs a deep sense of national

pride in him. “I feel privileged

and honoured to just have them

be so proud of me,” he says. “It

makes me want to do my best.”

Outsiders might have trouble

understanding how popular

Igarashi is in Japan. He’s the

focal point of a reality show that’s

been on TV for years, he’s got

some major sponsorship deals

from outside the surfing realm,

he’s the first Japanese surfer in

the Championship Tour and he’s

become a breakout star in a surfcrazy

country where the sport

is more popular per capita than

it is in the US.

After one big tournament

result in 2018, Japan’s former

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe asked

to meet with Igarashi and the

surfer still has trouble getting

his head around that high-profile

encounter – on a skyscraper

rooftop with helicopter blades

thwacking, with bodyguards

patting him down and the best

wishes and expectations of

a nation being delivered.

The heat is on

As much as he loves the fame that

comes with his achievements,

Igarashi knows how important

it will be to make the most of

his big opportunity this year.

There will never be another surf

24 THE RED BULLETIN


Igarashi says he’s

“committed to all the

little things” to reach

the top of his sport

THE RED BULLETIN 25


SURFING/KANOA IGARASHI

event in his life like this one.

Igarashi is the kind of guy for

whom every break and every

wave has meaning. But the break

in Chiba isn’t like any other

break. His father, Tsutomu, and

his pals were the among the

surfers who discovered that spot

decades ago. “Yeah it’s true,”

says Igarashi. “He and his friends

discovered that wave. They

climbed through fences and

hiked through the grass to find

it, and they called [it] the dojo

[a Japanese term for a training

facility], and it was their secret

spot. It’s such a crazy full circle.”

When asked to assess the

Chiba break, Igarashi smiles. “It’s

definitely a wave that suits my

surfing,” he says. “It’s technical

and precise. It’s just in my blood,

being Japanese, to be precise and

technically sound. Every little

arm movement and movement

will make a big difference, and

there will be little room for error.

And the break is really close to

the beach, close to the fans.

“I’ve always been kind of a

show-off. I want people to be

close. I want people to feel it.”

One with the water

Kanoa meaning freedom isn’t just

the etymology of his name; it’s

the story of how he lives his life.

When asked if he paddles out

into competition visualising what

he wants to accomplish, Igarashi

shakes his head and it’s very

clear that this isn’t the case at all.

“I love going into the ocean and

going into heats with no plan,”

he explains with a smile. “I take

my heats and competitions these

days as if they’re just another

day of surfing with my friends

– I just go out there and

everything’s just on the fly.”

Igarashi says he doesn’t have a

conventional homeland like most

people do. But he also says he has

a real home: the water.

“People come up to me and

tell me how they can just see

that I naturally look like I’m

really calm in the ocean,” he says.

“And it’s true. No doubt the truest

form of myself is when I’m

surfing in the water.”

The ascendant surfer whose

name means The Free One

stares out across the Pacific

Ocean, where waves tumble

towards the shore, and he

ponders how he’s inhabited the

word Kanoa. “I feel most free

when I surf and I’ve felt this

freedom since I was young,” he

says with conviction. “Being in

the ocean is where I feel free.”

“It’s a huge opportunity for surfers to showcase our sport on a different level,” says Igarashi

26 THE RED BULLETIN


SURFING/EDUCATION

THE RED BULLETIN’S GUIDE TO

SURFING

What you need to know about the competition in a nutshell

40

COMPETITORS:

20 men

20 women

FORMAT

All athletes compete

in one discipline, with

one overall winner in

each gender

SCORING

5 judges use a 0-10

point scale to score

the manoeuvres

performed

DISCIPLINE

SHORTBOARD

COMPETITION STRUCTURE:

3 initial rounds (2-8 heats each) bring

the number of surfers down to 8. In

3 1-on-1 final rounds the winner is

determined. 1 heat lasts 25-30 min.

PARTS OF THE BOARD

Nose

Rail

Rocker

Rules:

• A maximum of 25 waves per heat,

with the 2 highest scoring waves

determining the heat result

• One surfer only is allowed to ride a

wave at any given time. The surfer who

is closest to the peak has right of way

Criteria:

Commitment and degree of difficulty

Innovative manoeuvres

Combination of manoeuvres

Variety of manoeuvres

• Speed, power and flow

Deck

Fin

Tail

Leash

ANATOMY

OF A WAVE

SPRAY

The misty spray

of water the wave

produces when

it breaks

LIP

Top part of the breaking

wave that pitches from

above the surfer

CREST

Highest point of

the wave

BOARD

TYPES

LONGBOARD

Length: 2.5-3m

Waves: All sizes

FUN BOARD

Length: 2-2.5m

Waves: 0.5m and up

SHORTBOARD

Length: 1.8-2m

Waves: 1-2m

FISH

Length: 1.5-1.8m

Waves: 1-2m

FACE

The front part of a wave

that has not broken yet

TROUGH

Lowest region of the

wave (opposite: crest)

BARREL

Hollow part of the wave

formed by the top

travelling faster than

the bottom (also called

tube or curl)

Core (foam)

Stinger (wood)

PAUL DUARTE

TRICKS AND

MANOEUVRES:

1. SUPERMAN

2. AIR/AERIAL

3. RODEO FLIP

4. TUBE RIDE

1 2 3 4

THE RED BULLETIN 27


BACK ON BOARD

FOR THE BIG TIME

As four-time world champion surfer Carissa Moore

has discovered, the quest for greatness sometimes

begins with a journey to figure out who you really are

Words JEN SEE

Photography TREVOR PIKHART

28 THE RED BULLETIN


SURFING/CARISSA MOORE

F

our days before Christmas of

2019, Carissa Moore made an

announcement that shook the

surfing world. Via Instagram,

she explained in a video message

that she’d decided to take a year

off from the World Surf League

(WSL) Championship Tour. “This

is something that I have given a

lot of thought,” said the pro surfer

from Hawaii. The post came only

three weeks after she won the

championship for the fourth time.

Only five female surfers before her

have ever achieved this feat. Being

interviewed right after taking the

trophy, she seemed overwhelmed

and visibly touched. “This has not

only been a year of work but three

years of growing and learning,”

she said. “It’s been a journey.”

Why would a top athlete who

just scored what’s arguably the

most important victory of their

career decide to take a break?

Why not trying to sustain the

momentum and enter the next

season full of self-confidence?

It seemed that Moore had

figured out that balance is the key

to her long-term success. Balance

that she planned to improve in a

year of just being Carissa. “I have

dedicated the last ten years of my

life competing at the highest level

and want to continue to do that

well into my thirties,” she said in

the Instagram video. “This break

is a press-refresh so that I can

come back to the tour happier and

more excited than ever in 2021.”

This is the story of how Carissa

Moore set out to find herself, and

how she turned this past year into

a personal victory.

First steps

Born in Honolulu, Moore learned

to surf at Queen’s Waikiki Beach

when she was four years old. Her

father, Chris, who competed in

open-water swimming, wanted to

share his love for the ocean with

his daughter, so he taught her to

surf. Moore believes that her

father wanted to strengthen the

bond between them. “He wanted

to find a way to keep me home,”

she says. “If I fell in love with the

ocean, I wouldn’t move very far.”

It would be easy to assemble

snapshots of an idyllic childhood.

She surfed in the clear waters of

Waikiki next to the Diamondhead

volcano, where people have surfed

for centuries. Surfing history

infused Moore’s childhood.

But the truth is it wasn’t always

an idyllic childhood. When Moore

was 10 years old, her parents got

divorced. “I didn’t surf when I was

with my mom,” she says. “Just on

my dad’s days.” She bounced

between her parents until her

senior year in high school.

Surfing brought Moore closer

to her dad, who drove her to the

beach before and after school.

When she was about 12, surfing

switched from being a fun afterschool

activity to a competitive

passion. “I remember having

a conversation with my dad on

a car ride home from the beach,”

she says, recalling being asked

how far she wanted to go with

surfing. “I told him, ‘I want to

be the best in the world.’ ”

Moore was a precocious talent

from the start. “We saw her as the

next Kelly Slater when she was 12

years old,” says seven-time world

champion Stephanie Gilmore. As

a teenager, Moore travelled to

contests around the world. By the

time she’d turned 17, Moore had

reached the Championship Tour,

an elite selection of the top 17

female surfers. During her first

year on the tour in 2010, Moore

won two events and finished the

season ranked third overall.

The following year Moore

stormed to her first world title.

She opened the 2011 season with

a win at Snapper Rocks, a righthand

point break on Australia’s

Gold Coast. By year’s end, she’d

won three of the tour’s seven

events. With her world title

secured, Moore accepted wildcard

invitations to compete with the

men at Haleiwa and Sunset Beach

on Oahu’s North Shore. She was

the first woman to compete in

a prestigious Triple Crown event.

THE RED BULLETIN 29


“Look at the surf industry at that

point in time,” she says. “They

were like, ‘Hey if you gain too

much weight, you’re not going

to have sponsors, and if your

boobs are too big, your surfing is

going to be off.’ ” Like many elite

athletes, Moore is intensely selfcritical

and demands perfection

in a way that made it difficult to

shut out all of the criticism.

Food became the one thing

Moore felt she could control. She

fell into an unhealthy cycle of

overeating, starving herself and

overtraining. “No one really

understood why I was gaining

weight, because I wasn’t really

truthful about it,” she says. She’d

binge on food, feel guilty and then

try to deprive herself. Hurtful

comments about her appearance

followed her on the internet. No

matter how beautifully she surfed,

Moore feared that she couldn’t

succeed if she wasn’t thin.

As she claimed her first world

title, she struggled with her

weight and eating disorders

behind the scenes. “I was still

working very hard,” she says. “But

because people were judging a

book by its cover, they didn’t see

all that training behind the layers

of fat that were there because of a

lot of different things that nobody

understood.” Though Moore says

she was heavier than she’d ever

been before (or has been since),

she still won a world title.

Moore, who won

her fourth world

championship in

2019, is hardly

afraid to address

her journey to get

back on top and

find herself

Under pressure

As she rocketed up the rankings,

Moore struggled to navigate life

outside of surfing. The shape of

her body changed very quickly

– unpredictably, it seemed to

her. She was trying to finish high

school and enjoy a normal social

life, but her competitive career

took up an ever larger part of

her life. She missed parties with

her friends and her high school

prom. While she loved surfing,

she felt uneasy about its demands

and uncertain about how to strike

a healthy balance.

With the various stresses of

her life and career escalating,

the relationship between Moore

and her mother, Carol Moore,

deteriorated. They were

frequently at odds, and Carissa

recalls feeling overwhelmed. “And

just feeling like you want that

acceptance from your mom and

that love from your mom, but you

guys are on two opposite ends of

the spectrum,” she says.

Things felt out of control, and

her changing body became the

focal point of her anxiety. She felt

a lot of pressure to excel in her

sport and unmoored in her life out

of the water, despite the support

from her father. Surfing’s culture

imposed its own set of pressures.

Surfing magic

Time has helped Moore move past

the stresses that drove her to

obsess about her weight. She’s

come to understand that her

strong body gives her surfing its

distinctive style. Thinking back

to her first World Championship

victory in 2011 gives Moore some

perspective. “Hey, this body has

won me several world titles,” says

the 28-year-old with a laugh.

An unpredictable dynamism

makes Moore’s surfing magic.

“She’s coiled up and then, when

the right section comes, she’ll just

open up her whole body, her

whole strength and power,” says

Gilmore. But Moore is also one

of the few women who can

consistently complete the aerials

that now define high-performance

surfing. While Kelly Slater’s

30 THE RED BULLETIN


SURFING/CARISSA MOORE

“If you think too much

about the future, you

can get anxiety”

vertical turns set his generation’s

standard, younger surfers such as

two-time world champion John

John Florence have taken surfing

to the air. Moore isn’t far behind.

“She’s willing to risk a good score

on a wave, because she wants to

do an air and prove to everyone

that girls can do this as well,” says

Gilmore. The same power that

Moore harnesses for her big arcing

carves launches her into the air,

where she spins above the water.

Moore achieves her best results

when waves are good and tactical

gamesmanship is minimal. She

isn’t a fan of safety surfing, the

tactic of performing just well

enough to win a heat. “Just doing

the same stuff – I don’t want to do

that,” says Moore. She often feels

torn between her desire to land

big manoeuvres and the need to

win heats that add up to titles.

As Moore has pushed her own

boundaries and expanded her

repertoire of turns and airs, the

sport has grown around her. The

level of women’s surfing is far

higher than when Moore’s career

began, with the likes of Gilmore,

two-time world champion Tyler

Wright and Caroline Marks all

performing well. “The rivalries

aren’t just the two or three girls

at the top,” says Gilmore.

Time for balance

“A lot of people look at pro surfing

and it can seem glamorous, and it

is in a lot of ways. But there is a lot

of blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice

that goes into it,” said Moore in an

interview with The Lineup podcast

in 2019. “It’s a lot, mentally and

physically. These girls are

competing at the highest level,

they give their best every day.”

The constant level of stress and

the constant pressure to compete

led Moore to make a decision a

year and a half ago at the surfing

event in Jeffreys Bay in South

Africa, a moment she considers

the lowest point in her career.

“I lost in the event, I was really

unhappy with everything I was

doing, and it was this turning

point where I asked myself:

What am I doing? This isn’t why

I started surfing. Something’s got

to change,” she remembers.

As a result, she promised

herself to take a time out after

the 2019 season. When it became

clear in early 2020 that the rest of

the world would join her in taking

a break due to the pandemic,

Moore tried to see the positives.

“It would have been really tough

for me to watch the tour happen

and not be a part of it,” she says.

“I knew that was going to be

something I was going to struggle

with. Not to have it happen

allowed me to really just relax.”

In Moore’s case, that meant

spending more time with her

husband Luke Untermann,

who she married in 2017, doing

some skateboarding and bingewatching

Peaky Blinders. But it

was also a challenge for her to sit

still. “I enjoyed my break, but I

also came to a new appreciation

for living the competitive lifestyle

and being an athlete,” she says.

This time, though, her goal

is to re-enter competition with

a new mindset. She works with a

mental coach, is quick to highlight

the importance of mental health

and sounds excited when she talks

about strategies that she’s been

practising recently. “I try to focus

on being present,” she says. “If

you think too much about the

future, you can get anxiety. The

stress can also come from the

past, when you overthink things

that have already happened. But

the present, that’s what you can

control, it’s when you should give

everything that you have.”

This more holistic approach

seems to work for her, and she

scored second place at the first

event of the 2021 WSL season in

Hawaii. “There was expected

nerves and a little bit of cobwebs,”

she says. “But the challenge of

performing under pressure, I

enjoy that.” The successful

comeback has also boosted her

confidence ahead of the big

competition getting under way in

Tokyo. “When I was a little girl,

I never dreamed of competing in

the Olympics. I’m just excited to

be a part of the movement. To

have my name tossed into the

conversation is really special.”

Moore considers the past year

one of the most important of her

career, despite or perhaps because

she didn’t compete in any mayor

tournaments. It’s the mental work

that’s made her a calmer, more

mature and happier person, she

says. It’s also equipped her for

the next season and ones to come.

“I’d love to win another world

title, sure. But more importantly,

I would like to perform at a level

that is timeless, and I want to

continue to help the progression

of women’s surfing,”she explains.

“Basically, I want this to be the

start of my second chapter.”

After a struggle with eating disorders, Moore has found peace:

“Hey, this body has won me several world titles”

THE RED BULLETIN 31


TRAIN LIKE

A PRO

Caroline Marks, 19, is

the youngest surfer

ever to qualify for the

women’s Championship

Tour. Here she reveals

how she prepares for

competition at the

sport’s highest level.

To earn a high score from the judges,

Marks must flow through a series of

powerful turns, performing a quick

dance across the face of the wave as

churning water explodes behind her.

She uses her strong and compact body

to spin her surf board into a tight arc,

throwing her fins up through the wave’s

crest and launching herself into the air.

So far, so good: In 2019, her second year

on the World Surf League Championship

tour, she finished in second place after

fellow American Carissa Moore.

32 THE RED BULLETIN


SURFING/CAROLINE MARKS

GET GREAT

AT PADDLING

“I have to be in great

paddling shape, and you

can’t get that unless you

surf a lot. If it’s flat, I find

it’s super good to bring

out a bigger board and

go for a long paddle.

That helps me stay in

paddle shape.”

SPEED

“I do tonnes

of footwork to

keep me fast”

MENTAL FOCUS

“I have to be

ready to go with

the flow”

PAT NOLAN/RED BULL CONTENT POOL, JONAS JUNGBLUT/RED BULL CONTENT POOL JEN SEE

American surfer

Caroline Marks must

be ready for anything

each time she paddles

out for a 30-minute

contest heat

“Ideally, I surf and do gym work

each day – that’s where I work

on balance and fitness. Let’s

say I’m going to a long-point

break like Jeffreys Bay, South

Africa. I have to make the last

turn as strong as the first turn.

It’s really hard to do, because

my legs get tired. Sometimes,

I have to surf four heats in a

day, and I obviously can’t just

stop. There’s a big agility ladder

at my gym and I try to keep

my feet going as fast as I can.

I want to keep my heart rate

up as long as possible. It’s a lot

of fast-twitch motions, too.”

NUTRITION

“I pretty much

eat whatever

I want to eat”

“I just did some tests with Red

Bull, because I want to learn

more about what I should eat. If

I eat something in the morning

and I win, then I’ll eat that again.

Avocado toast is my go-to in the

morning right now. I just do a

piece of organic toast, avocado,

salt and pepper and cherry

tomatoes. I definitely bring

snacks like trail mix and protein

bars everywhere I go. I don’t

have set things I have to have. If

I really want avocado and turkey

on a rice cake, I’ll have that.”

“A lot of the most important

work is done before the contest

even starts, but I also don’t

like to over-think things and

I always try to keep it simple.

As a surfer, it’s hard to make

a game plan, because you

never know how the waves are

going to be. I have to be on it

even when I’m fatigued during

a heat. At the gym, I stand on

a balance ball on one leg. My

trainer will throw a medicine

ball to me and I have to catch

it one-handed. He doesn’t tell

me which side he’s throwing

to – it’s super random.”

FLEXIBILITY

“I have to make

sure to stretch

every day”

“I try to surf four hours a day

minimum – it’s a really good

work-out that makes you use

your whole body constantly.

I stand really low on my board

and I’m always using my legs.

They get tight, but fortunately

rolling out [my muscles] with

the foam roller helps. I’m still

young and I don’t feel pain or

anything, but I want to avoid

that. Being flexible also makes

my turns better. I stretch my

whole body and use the roller

just about everywhere.”

THE RED BULLETIN 33


PERFECT WAVES ARE HARD TO FIND,

NOT HARD TO REACH.

NIHON MICHELIN TIRE CO.,LTD

日 本 ミシュランタイヤ 株 式 会 社

お 客 様 相 談 室 TEL. --

WHAT ARE YOU BUILDING FOR?


SKATE

BOARDING

MEET THE HOPEFULS, LEARN THE BASICS, FIND THE HOTSPOTS

MARK ALLEN MILLER

IN THIS SECTION

Why Letícia Bufoni is top of

her game on page 36 and

Sakura Yosozumi opens her

bag of tricks on page 48.

THE RED BULLETIN 35


SKATEBOARDING/LETÍCIA BUFONI

GOING GNARLY

Letícia Bufoni is the most famous female skateboarder

in the world, and Ryan Sheckler is a fan of the Brazilian.

This is her success story in 10 chapters

Words JEN SEE

Photography STEVEN LIPPMAN

36


“I just want to be

me – I don’t want

to do what other

people say,” says

Letícia Bufoni


SKATEBOARDING/LETÍCIA BUFONI

1. Getting started

When she was growing up in the Brazilian city of

São Paulo, Bufoni played in the streets with the boys

from her local area. They spent their days playing

soccer, skateboarding and riding bikes. “Everyone

had a skateboard, and after two months I was

begging my parents and my grandmother to buy me

one,” she says. “That’s how everything got started.”

Bufoni was the only girl in the neighbourhood

who liked to skate. Her father wanted her to play

soccer with the other girls. “He didn’t want to see

people calling me a tomboy or a lesbian anymore,”

she says. Bufoni’s dad was so determined to stop her

from skating that he cut her board in half. She cried

for over a day. Then she scraped together parts from

friends to put together a new board. “You know

what? I love skateboarding, and I’m going to skate.”

2. Entering her first contest

Her first contest took place in São Paulo and

included girls who were competing from all over

Brazil. But her father didn’t want her to compete,

so Bufoni almost didn’t get to go at all. A friend

who had seen her skate and believed in her talent

argued that she deserved a chance – he convinced

Bufoni’s father to let her enter the competition.

“He never really saw me skating before that

contest,” Bufoni says of her father. “When he took

me to that contest, he saw that I had potential.”

From then on, her father willingly took her to all

the contests and events that he could. “He started

taking me to the skatepark every day, and he

became my biggest supporter.”

Nike sponsored that first competition in São

Paulo. At the time, she didn’t imagine the brand

would become one of her sponsors.

3. Moving to Los Angeles

At the age of 14, Bufoni relocated to Los Angeles.

From her home country of Brazil, she viewed the

Californian city as the centre of the skateboarding

universe. “Everything happens in Los Angeles,”

she explains. “You’re skating with the best pros

and skating in the best skateparks.” Los Angeles

“I HAVE DREAMS ABOUT CONTESTS

AND EVERY TIME I VISUALISE

MY RUN, I GET SUPER NERVOUS”

always featured in the skateboarding videos she

obsessively watched and many of the sport’s most

important and influential brands were based there.

“LA was always the dream city,” she says.

The city’s pull intensified with Bufoni’s success.

Her confidence in her talent grew, but when she

looked around her home country, sponsorship

opportunities seemed sparse. “I had no sponsors

and it got to a moment where I was like, ‘Should

I keep doing this or focus on school?’” Though her

father continued to support her, Bufoni worried

that her family’s financial resources would run out.

Bufoni’s ticket to LA came in 2007 with an

invitation to compete at the X-Games. Her father

travelled with her and paid their expenses. Once

there, Bufoni knew she had to find a way to stay.

Her eighth-place finish in the X-Games street event

hinted at her future promise, but she still needed to

38 THE RED BULLETIN


Bufoni moved to

Los Angeles when

she was 14 and

mostly fended for

herself after that


“I have a skater’s

eye for everything,”

says Bufoni, who

skates in school

playgrounds when

no one’s looking


SKATEBOARDING/LETÍCIA BUFONI

convince her dad, who was reluctant to allow his

young daughter to move so far from home. After

weeks of cajoling, he relented. “You’re right, you

should stay,” she recalls him saying.

With her family back home in Brazil, Bufoni

acclimatised to her new surroundings. At first the

English language confounded her. “It was really

hard to learn it coming from Portuguese,” she says.

In what would become a familiar pattern, Bufoni

persevered. She wanted to skate professionally and

she believed she could make it in Los Angeles.

4. Breaking boundaries

As she began winning contests and seeking support

from sponsors, she realised that skateboard brands

simply didn’t sponsor women. She recalls a brand

stringing her along for three years, and eventually

walking away without offering her anything. Then

it happened again with another brand. “At that

point, I was like, ‘You know what? If these guys

don’t want to support me, I’m going to make my

own company,’” she says. Bufoni was all set to start

her own skateboard company when Plan B offered

her a sponsorship contract. The brand has sponsored

some of the biggest names in men’s skateboarding

and Bufoni is the first woman to ride for them.

Bufoni’s career stretches across something of

a generational divide in women’s skateboarding.

For teenage girls coming into the sport today,

there are fewer barriers. “It’s changed a lot,” says

Bufoni, who’s now 28. “I remember back in the

day, I was one of the few women who was getting

a pay cheque. Now every company has more women

on the team.” Her pioneering career has helped

forge a path that didn’t necessarily exist before

she kickflipped her way into the spotlight.

5. Skateboarding is

not a crime – usually

Street skating has a specific geography all its own.

As she drives around LA, Bufoni is always looking

for places to hone her craft. She says, “I have a

skater’s eye for everything,” like metal handrails

that are the perfect height and pitch for boardslides.

Any kind of school looks entirely different

through the eyes of a skateboarder. “There’s no

other place that you’re going to find school yards

like you do in LA,” says Bufoni. “Every school

here has perfect spots” – staircases to jump and

picnic benches to tailslide. Designed as temporary

classrooms, pale pink wooden bungalows are

a feature at most schools in LA, and their access

ramps make excellent launchpads for skaters’ tricks.

Many skateparks are often locked or located

on private property. For pro street skaters, avoiding

security is part of the job. “The other day we drove

an hour to get to a spot, and the moment we got

there, security came and kicked us out,” says Bufoni.

Sometimes she has to hit two or three spots before

she can get her clips, which in LA can mean hours of

driving. Typically security guards are mellow and just

ask Bufoni and her crew to leave. “But sometimes

they yell and get really mad,” she explains. Has she

ever been arrested? “Thank God, no, but it could

happen at any moment,” she says, laughing.

6. Rolling with the injuries

Bufoni has undergone four or five operations – she

struggles to keep count. She’s broken five bones

during the course of her career. At one competition

in 2014, Bufoni fell on her final run as she was

trying to jump from second into first place. While

her family watched from Brazil, she suffered a

concussion on live television. The risks don’t deter

her, though. She does skydiving for fun because she

enjoys the adrenaline rush that comes with fear, and

she isn’t going to stop skateboarding any time soon.

“I’ve never had a moment that I was like, ‘I’m

going to quit, I can’t do this anymore,’” she says.

“I always love skating so much that every time I get

hurt, I just think about getting back to it right away.”

Bufoni became

a skater way before

the sport achieved

global popularity

THE RED BULLETIN 41


SKATEBOARDING/LETÍCIA BUFONI

“I LOVE SKATING SO MUCH. EVERY

TIME I GET HURT, I THINK ABOUT

GETTING BACK TO IT RIGHT AWAY”

8. Dealing with fame

Bufoni’s Instagram feed depicts a glamorous LA

scene that looks a long way from the gritty reality

of regular street skating. She skates through the a

fancy hotel, with its luxurious décor as her stage.

She takes part in photoshoots for her high-profile

sponsors. And she goes to the beach to do some

surfing before rolling out for a night on the town.

Bufoni manages her own social media accounts,

and she says she posts a largely unfiltered stream

of her day-to-day life. “I always wanted to do all my

own social media, so people can see from my eyes

and hear my own words,” she says. “I just want to

be me – I don’t want to do what other people say.”

Just as she stubbornly resisted her parents’

efforts to end her love affair with skateboarding,

Bufoni determinedly follows her own instincts as

she creates her public profile.

She has 2.8 million followers on Instagram and

her reach extends well beyond skateboarding. She’s

no longer surprised when kids at the skatepark ask

for a selfie. “People are there because they skate,

so they know me,” she says. But she’s still not quite

used to having people ask for a photo with her.

“Somebody coming up to you in an airport, they

have no idea what skateboarding is,” she says.

Bufoni is accustomed to the attention her stardom

commands but remains bewildered by it.

Bufoni has won

11 X-Games medals

representing Brazil

7. Becoming gnarly

To understand what makes Bufoni stand out, listen

to skateboarding legend Ryan Sheckler: “Letícia is

gnarly,” says the three-time X-Games gold medalist.

“She’s really talented. I’m just a fan. If she wants

to learn a trick, she’s going to learn that trick.

She’s also got style – that’s the thing that’s really

appealing about her skateboarding. She looks really

good on a skateboard. It’s fun to watch her skate. If

she continues to go for it, the sky’s the limit.”

9. Explaining those tattoos

The tattoo along the length of her right hand reads:

Trouble. She says it’s because she gets into trouble

all the time. (A counterpoint: Her finger tattoos

spell out Hope.) She also has tattoos of skulls, the

number 13 (because she was born on April 13) and

an aeroplane (because she’s constantly travelling).

An eagle, carrying a skateboard in its talons, covers

her upper arm. “My dad has the same eagle,” she

explains. “He got the tattoo just before I moved to

LA, and it says, ‘Good Luck, Letícia.’”

10. Forging ahead

With skateboarding stepping into the mainstream

this year, Bufoni can’t escape a nagging sense that

something’s being lost. “I feel like many kids now,

they’re only thinking about being a professional

skateboarder to make money and win – but when

I started, it was like, ‘I skateboarded because

skateboarding is awesome,’” she says, pointing out

that she viewed it as a lifestyle rather than a sport.

She wanted to be out in the streets, skateboarding

all day, exploring with her friends, getting kicked

out of school playgrounds and car parks. She looked

at skating and saw a way of life and a culture that

she wanted to join – and to spend her life chasing.

That isn’t to say that she doesn’t like competing.

“Every time I compete, I compete to win,” Bufoni

says. “A lot of people like competing and all, but

they don’t really care – they just go to have fun.”

The chance to represent her country this year

is beyond anything Bufoni has ever imagined.

“Every athlete, they dream to be in this event,” she

says. “I just want to win the first medal.”

42 THE RED BULLETIN


SKATEBOARDING/EDUCATION

THE RED BULLETIN’S GUIDE TO

SKATEBOARDING

What you need to know about the competition in a nutshell

80

COMPETITORS

40 men

40 women

FORMAT

20 athletes compete

per category; two

overall winners in

each gender

PARK

CATEGORIES

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Park competitions take place on

a hollowed-out course featuring a

series of complicated curves –

some resembling large dishes

and dome-shaped bowls.

Rounds: 2 (prelims and finals)

Prelims: 20 skaters (4 heats of

5 skaters)

Finals: 8 skaters (from the combined

ranking of the heats)

Scoring: In each round, the skater’s

best of three 45-second runs count

as their final round score.

5 judges use a 0-100 point scale.

Criteria:

Difficulty

Quality of Execution

• Use of course

STREET

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

This competition is held on

a straight ‘street-like’ course

featuring stairs, handrails, curbs,

benches, walls and slopes.

Rounds: 2 (prelims and finals)

Prelims: 20 skaters (4 heats of

5 skaters)

Finals: 8 skaters (from the

combined ranking of the heats)

Scoring: In each round, the skaters

will perform two 45-second runs

and five tricks.

5 judges use a 0-10 point scale.

Criteria:

Difficulty

Execution

Use of Course

• Flow

TRICKS

(CATEGORIES)

1. OLLIE

2. GRABS

3. FLIP TRICKS

4. SLIDES AND GRINDS

5. STALLS AND

PLANTS

1 2 3 4 5

SKATEBOARD PARTS

Skate deck (1)

COMMON

OBSTACLES

Handrail, half pipe,

quarter pipe, funbox

Trucks (2) Risers (2) Wheels (4)

Bearings (8)

Hardware (8)

PAUL DUARTE

THE RED BULLETIN 43


NEW KID ON

THE BLOCK

A whole new generation of

skateboarders is taking control.

They’re athletic, focused, disciplined

– and love competition. Sakura

Yosozumi is one of the sport’s

brightest new heroes. Here she

explains why bloody knees

aren’t her thing and how origami

makes her a better skater

Words HISANORI KATO

44 THE RED BULLETIN


JASON HALAYKO/

RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Sakura Yosozumi is

an up-and-coming

skateboarder from

Wakayama, Japan

SKATEBOARDING/SAKURA YOSOZUMI

Skateboarders in the 1970s might

were usually considered misfits.

This was especially the case in

California, where the sport was

invented, and where the Z-Boys

crew (named after the Zephyr

Surf Shop in Santa Monica) were

notorious for their guerrilla

approach to the sport. They

would scour their neighbourhood

looking for empty swimming

pools to use as secret skateparks,

sometimes even carrying pumps

with them to drain the last drops

of scummy water. Coinciding

with the advent of punk music,

which was a perfect match with

new and aggressive style of

skateboarding associated with

the Z-Boys, this nascent and edgy

subculture soon took the USA

and the world by storm.

Today, skateboarding still has

an aura of rebellion about it, even

though it’s become established as

a mainstream sport that features

in the some of the world’s biggest

events. In recent years, a new

generation of skateboarders has

sprung up, with its practitioners

focused on the sport’s athletic

and competitive nature instead

of its old subcultural elements.

Child prodigy

One of the most promising stars

coming out of skateboarding’s

bold new era is Sakura Yosozumi.

She started her journey at the

age of 11. After three years of

honing her craft, she won the

All Japan Ladies Skateboarding

Championship, followed by

victories in major international

competitions, including the

Vans Park Series, the X-Games

and the Park Skateboarding

World Championship.

For a 19-year-old, that’s quite

an impressive inventory of

achievements. So where does she

get her love for crazy tricks and

this steely determination to be

the best skateboarder from, you

wonder? The answer can

be found in her childhood. At the

moment when her older brother,

who is 13 years older than her,

picked up his skateboard.

Getting hooked

“We used to play together a lot,

but once he got hooked on

skateboarding, he didn’t have

time for me anymore,” says

Yosozumi with a grin. “I thought

that if I get good at skating, he’d

hang out with me again.”

Sure enough, her plan worked.

“Even when I was starting out, I

could easily jump over a plastic

bottle – that impressed my

brother,” she says. “At first, I just

wanted him to pay attention to

me, but at some point, I just

wanted to improve.” That’s when

her passion for skateboarding

went into overdrive. She began

getting out of bed at 6am each

day to practise before school.

After a year of hard training,

Yosozumi was certain: she

wanted to become a skateboard

pro. But her dream didn’t fall

on sympathetic ears initially

because her parents – like most

– weren’t fond of the idea.

The objection from her parents

stemmed from the fact that

Japan’s skateboarding scene is

still very male-dominated. They

felt like it was a too-dangerous

hobby for her and that the

daredevil image of the sport

wouldn’t suit their little girl. As

her parents didn’t want to simply

prohibit her from skateboarding,

they gave her challenges they

thought were unachievable, such

as executing a trick which

involved jumping over a plastic

bottle 50 times in a day. If she

managed to complete their tasks,

she was allowed to continue.

Yosozumi easily cleared every

one of their challenges – and

instead of discouraging her, they

improved her technique.

THE RED BULLETIN 45


SKATEBOARDING/SAKURA YOSOZUMI

Against all odds

Yosozumi’s parents watched with

astonishment and gave in. If they

couldn’t stop her skateboarding,

they decided the best course of

action was to give her their full

backing. They wouldn’t do things

by half-measures, either, and

they hired a construction

company to pour concrete over

their garden to build their

daughter her own skatepark.

But the Yosozumi family soon

ran into obstacles in the form of

financial difficulties. It’s easy to

think that all you need to go

skateboarding is the board, but

that doesn’t help you achieve the

status of a top athlete. A board

can end up worn out after a few

days of intense practice. Plus,

there were the travelling costs.

As she outgrew the skatepark

in her back garden, her mother

drove her to a bigger park located

in Osaka – a one-hour drive away

from their home in Wakayama –

almost every day. The costs

associated with those journeys

soon started to add up quite

substantially, and the savings

that the family set aside for

skateboarding were quickly

depleted. But against all odds,

Yosozumi kept pushing forward.

She was invited to take part in

a high-profile competition

overseas and won. The prize

money from that victory allowed

her to attend another big

tournament, so she gradually

started getting sponsored by

companies and was able to

concentrate solely on competing.

Yosozumi enjoys the new freedom of having her very own

skatepark (above) to prepare for the event this summer

Next generation

Yosozumi is driven to take part in

contests and improve her skills

while avoiding injuries. This

would be considered lame by

skateboarders from the 1980s

and ’90s, but she’s undeterred.

“Skateboard magazines

sometimes show pictures of

skaters covered in blood – that’s

a part of the culture,” she says.

“People who think that’s cool are

probably more ‘street’ than me,

but I think it’s scary – I don’t want

to get hurt. Also, I promised my

parents that I would always wear

[protective] gear. I just want to

enter as many events as possible.”

As a result, Yosozumi doesn’t

live the hedonistic life often seen

in skateboard videos. When she

wants to take a break from her

tough training schedule – a

minimum of five hours of every

day – instead of partying, she

does origami. (“My grandmother

taught me that origami is a way

to keep my calm and in control

of my mind.”) She also plays

with her brother’s children, and

sharing her skateboarding skills

with the next generation is one

of her goals outside of her career.

“One day I want to teach kids

that age to skateboard,” she says.

“I want to see one of my future

students reach the top as well.”

That ambition might have been

accelerated by chance as a result

of the pandemic. With skateparks

46 THE RED BULLETIN


SKATEBOARDING/SPORTS GUIDE

In 2018, Yosozumi

won a gold medal in the

park event of the Asian

Games in Indonesia

JASON HALAYKO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

closed, Yosozumi asked around

and found a sake distillery that

allowed her to turn a warehouse

into a skatepark. With a range

of ramps, it’s the ideal place to

prepare for this year’s big event.

“Right now, I’m busy training,”

she says. “But one day I’d love to

use the space to hold skateboard

workshops for kids if possible.”

This is the kind of positivity her

parents wanted for their daughter,

and it’s why they named her

Sakura, which means cherry

blossom in Japanese. “We wanted

her to be [like] a cherry blossom

that never wilts and is always is

in bloom,” says her mother. With

Yosozumi’s career on the up, that

name seems like a wise choice.

Get on your

skateboard

1. Bashi Burger

Chance Kawaguchi

Bashi Burger Chance

Kawaguchi is where

you’ll find Sakura when

she’s in Tokyo. “It’s

easier to concentrate

and get a good session

in at spots that I’m

used to,” she says.

“That’s why I always

come here when I’m in

the Kanto. Not only

does Bashi Burger

have great facilities,

you can also have

delicious burgers

during practice.

And Bashi, the owner,

is the best! It’s like a

dream spot for skaters

and BMX riders!”

The location also

offers classes

once a month for both

kids and adults to

learn skateboarding

and BMX riding.

Address:

332-0003 Saitama,

Kawaguchi 5–15–14,

Higashiryoke

2. Kugenuma Seaside

Park Skate Park

This is the largest

skateboarding and

BMX facility on the

Kanto plain. The vast

15,000 square-metre

space is equipped with

a variety of sections,

large and small, for all

levels, from beginner

right up to top street

skater. In November of

2018, construction of

the Kugenuma Combi

Pool, one of the largest

skate bowls in Japan,

was completed.

Located basically on

the Kugenuma coast,

it is also a choice

destination to get out

and enjoy nature.

Address:

251-0037 Kanagawa,

Fujisawa 4– 4–1,

Kugenumakaigan

Gunma

3. Komazawa

Skate Park

In the Komazawa

Olympic Park in

Setagaya Ward lies the

Komazawa Skate Park.

It consists of ramps,

kickers, benches and

manny pads, Here’s

the best thing: It’s free

to use. And because

it’s close to the

Shibuya and Harajuku

fashion areas, it’s

a gathering spot for

some of Tokyo’s most

interesting street

skaters. It’s also

a place where you

can see members of

the new generation

of skateboarders

doing their thing.

Address:

154-0013 Tokyo,

Setagaya City, 1–1

Komazawakoen

Saitama

Tokyo

Kanagawa

2

3

Tochigi

1

Ibaraki

Chiba

THE RED BULLETIN 47


A. Pads

Vital gear Yosozumi

always wears while

skating, a nonnegotiable

promise

made to her parents.

B. Mouthguard

“I’ve been using this

since my dentist told

me that I can exert

more power with it.

Also, it is my lucky

colour – pink.”

C&F. Tools

“I always carry these

with me because

I need them to

assemble a deck.”

D. Wax

This is used on the

deck and trucks for

grinding and sliding

on rails and boxes.

“Rubbing this on the

parts allows me

to slide smoother

with less frictional

resistance. I’ve used it

a lot, so it’s hard to

tell what it is, but when

I bought it was a cute

bear shape.”

A

C

D

E. Keychain

“I’ve been teaching

girls younger than me

how to skateboard

lately. One of those

girls gave me this

keychain as a gift, and

she even wrote my

name on it.”

B

E

F

What’s in

Sakura

Yosozumi’s bag

when she goes

to work?

FLIPPING GEAR

48 THE RED BULLETIN


SKATEBOARDING/SAKURA YOSOZUMI

L

G

K

G. Glove

Worn during warm-ups

and when assembling

a deck for safety. “I like

for the gloves to have

holes in the fingertips

so I can do more

detailed work.”

H

M

H. Contact lenses

“Parks near the sea

have strong winds that

make my contacts

come out, so I always

carry one-day type

back-ups with me.”

I

J

I. Adhesive bandages

“When you do grab

tricks [where your

hands touch the

board], sometimes

your hand gets cut,

so I always carry some

bandages in my pocket

with me.”

J. Compress

K. Skatepark ticket

L. Tape

N

YUSUKE KASHIWAZAKI

M. Hair band

N. Stickers

“I carry stickers from

my sponsors to put

on my deck in case

one comes off while

performing a trick.”

THE RED BULLETIN 49


BMX

MEET THE HOPEFULS, LEARN THE BASICS, FIND THE HOTSPOTS

MARK ALLEN MILLER

IN THIS SECTION

Saya Sakakibara faces her

big challenge alone on page

52 and Rim Nakamura lives

up to his name on page 58.

THE RED BULLETIN 51


BMX/SAYA SAKAKIBARA

CHASING SAYA

The going had to get tough for 21-year-old

BMX superstar Saya Sakakibara to really get

going. Here’s how her brother’s bike accident

made her more mindful – and faster than ever

Words BEN SMITHURST

52 THE RED BULLETIN


In January, 2020, BMX racer

Saya Sakakibara was at a

BMX track near her home in

Helensburgh – 40km south of

Sydney, Australia – with her

brother, Kai. When we met up

with the siblings there for an

interview and photoshoot,

they were among the top 10

BMX racers in the world and

brimming with excitement in

anticipation of the months

ahead. The top goal, of course,

was winning a medal in Tokyo.

But two months later the

circumstances changed

drastically. All events were

postponed or cancelled and

Kai, at 23, was fighting for his

life after a sickening mid-race

crash ruined his chances of

riding his bike competitively

– and, perhaps, ever again.

ANDY GREEN/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Not for the faint hearted

“BMX racing is a contact

sport,” said Saya on that hot

day in 2020 before tragedy

hit. “It gets violent. Eight

riders, everyone’s trying to

win. It’s carnage.” Her

brother added: “It does feel

like a fight, especially in the

first two-and-a-half seconds

– it’s a battle to get to that

bottom of the hill and in front

of the person next to you.”

BMX racing: it’s not for the

faint hearted. Pro BMX events

are held on Motocross-style

tracks, 300m-400m in length,

over berms and whoops and

jumps. Each race begins with

the field jostling for position

down an eight-metre entry

ramp into their first jump,

a 10-metre gap. Tangles are

common: handlebars, elbows,

knees. Launching skywards

at 55kph, one rider’s pedal

interlocked with an adjacent

bike’s frame, results in

spectacular crashes. Races

are 30-second adrenaline

hits. Mayhem is unavoidable;

THE RED BULLETIN 53


BMX/SAYA SAKAKIBARA

Saya Sakakibara’s brother Kai

crashed his BMX last year and

suffered serious injuries

it’s part of the sport’s thrill.

“But I think that’s the beauty

of BMX,” said Saya. “There’s

a lot of unknowns.”

BMX racing has been an

official event since 2008, but

Freestyle BMX will make its

debut in Tokyo. “Introducing

Freestyle into the Olympics

is not a mistake at all,” said

Saya, “but I feel like, if you

have more knowledge of

BMX, racing is still cooler.”

Born to a Japanese mother

and British father, the

Sakakibaras have always been

about as different as two

siblings could be, even if

they’re both pro athletes.

From the start, Saya was an

overachiever. But Kai – older,

fastidious and obsessive – was

a committed over-analyser.

Sibling symbiosis

Saya and Kai’s relationship

had its tensions. As in most

sports, graduating to the elite

division is a baptism of fire.

Three years Saya’s senior, Kai

reached the professional

ranks before his sister. His

was a typical story of rookie

shock: clambering onto to

the main stage only to be

pole-axed by the big boys.

He was slowly learning to

compete on the big stage.

Elite-level rookie success

seemed impossible at the time

for Saya. “It wasn’t for me,”

she said. But even though she

was still a rookie at the time,

Saya managed to claim Junior

Elite BMX Supercross podium

54 THE RED BULLETIN


“I HAVE DREAMS ABOUT CONTESTS.

AND EVERY TIME I VISUALIZE MY

RUN, I GET SUPER NERVOUS.”

was just like, why does she

train half as much as me,

but is so good?” he said.

Kai had talent and a

monster work ethic. Saya had

incandescent talent, but a

tendency to rest on her

laurels. With the big event

looming, though, they

realised that they’d only be

able to succeed if they figured

out how to get the best out of

each other. For example, Kai

would introduce Saya to new

routines, such as consuming

protein powder supplements

after training, while she

would calm him down during

contests when he felt tense.

Saya took Kai’s advice

to heart. She trained and

trained. She visualised and

diarised. Slowly, things

started to come together in

2019, and her performance

level improved and became

steadier with each event.

literally. No coach, no teammates

and, most crucially,

no brother. When events

called off, she decided to

knuckle down. “Before,” she

says now, “I was very much

piggybacking off Kai. Just

plodding along, doing what

I needed to do. All these years

I’ve grown up having an older

brother and now it feels like

those roles have changed and

I don’t have that person to rely

on anymore. I struggled with

that – sometimes I

still do.”

More ready than ever

By necessity, says Saya, she’s

“kind of inherited Kai’s more

intense characteristics” –

being more independent and

more self-driven, and keeping

herself accountable for every

aspect of her training schedule

and her personal life. “Kai

was motivating us as well as

motivating himself,” she says.

“But now I need to own it.”

It was tough year for the

athlete and blanking out her

brother’s accident during

training has proven

understandably difficult.

“I was worried about what

would happen when I had

my next crash,” she says.

But that hasn’t happened yet.

And for now, Saya considers

herself ready to take on the

challenge of representing

Australia this summer – more

ready than ever. “What I can

say,” she says, ominously, “is

that I’m definitely faster now

than I was last year.”

ANDY GREEN/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

places at her two World Cup

appearances, finishing with

four podiums in her first year.

And she missed only two

finals. Amazingly, in the final

event of her rookie year, Saya

scored first place. “I wouldn’t

really say I was coasting, but

I definitely didn’t expect it,”

she said. “I definitely wasn’t,

you know, going after it.”

According to Saya, her

big brother was frustrated,

irritated and even a little rude

about Saya’s early success. “It

On her own

Then disaster struck. On a

windy February 2020 day at a

World Cup event in Bathurst,

Australia, Kai went down

heavily, his bike folding

beneath him. Saya – who was

awaiting her own race – saw

him fall. A year after Kai’s

crash, the recollection remains

raw for Saya. “I knew it was

bad,” she tells us over the

phone. “I knew straightaway.”

After his crash, Kai was

airlifted to an intensive care

unit in Canberra with critical

head injuries. He didn’t leave

that hospital for two months.

Kai’s recovery – what Saya

calls his “new normal” – is

painstaking. Re-learning to

use his limbs, being able to

speak and dealing with alienlooking

equipment.

All through the pandemic,

Saya trained alone – often

THE RED BULLETIN 55


BMX/EDUCATION

THE RED BULLETIN’S GUIDE TO

What you need to know about the competition in a nutshell

66

COMPETITORS

33 men

33 women

FORMAT

18/48 athletes

compete in each

category; two overall

winners from each

gender

PARK

BMX

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Riders perform tricks over ramps and

transitions.

Participants: 18 (9 men; 9 women)

Competition structure:

2 runs per rider

• 1 minute per run

Scoring: 5 judges use a 0-99 point

scale to score both runs (the average

of the score from both runs decides

each rider’s final score)

Criteria:

• Style

Height

Variety of tricks

• Creativity

Originality

BMX RACING CLOTHING

AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Helmet:

Full-face, with padding and

mouthguard

Clothing:

Gloves, long-sleeve jersey,

long trousers

Footwear:

Closed-toe shoes

CATEGORIES

RACE

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

The goal is to cross the finish line

before anyone else. Tricks aren’t

taken into account and speed is

the only factor that matters.

Participants: 48 (24 men;

24 women)

Race time: Around 40 seconds

Competition structure:

• Quarter-finals: 24 athletes

(4 heats of 6 riders)

• Semi-finals: 16 athletes

(2 heats of 8 riders)

• Finals: 8 athletes

THE TRACK

Overall length: 370 m (men);

350 m (women)

Start ramp: 8m high

First straight 8-10m wide

Rest of the track: No thinner than

5m wide at any point

THE FLAGS:

Green flag: The course is not

obstructed and racing can begin

Yellow flag: The course is

obstructed, competitors should be

held at the gate

Red flag: All competitors

must stop racing instantly

and return to the start to

await further instructions

TRICKS

(PARK)

1. TAILWHIP

2. BACKFLIP

3. TOBOGGAN

4. BARSPIN

5. DOUBLE PEG

1 2 3 4 5

PAUL DUARTE

56 THE RED BULLETIN


RISING HIGH

Kyoto might not be the epicentre of BMX

culture, but that hasn’t kept Rim Nakamura

from chasing his dream. Here, the rising

rider explains how his name shaped his

career and why motivation can make up for

natural disadvantages

Words MIKE SUNDA


BMX/RIM NAKAMURA

SUGURU SAITO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

59


BMX/RIM NAKAMURA

Nearly two decades ago, Rim Nakamura’s father

picked out two kanji characters [Chinese characters

used in Japanese writing] for his son’s first name

that reflected his own long-standing passion for all

things BMX: “wheel” and “dream”. It’s these two

characters that comprise the name Rim, and, as the

19-year-old Japanese rising star goes from strength

to strength, lighting up competitions throughout the

world with his incredible combinations of tricks,

there could not be a more textbook example of

nominative determinism in action.

Not only that, but as he prepares for the big

competition in his home country, in the year that

freestyle BMX makes its big debut, it’s also

remarkably prescient that the first character in

Nakamura’s first name has another meaning that

would seem to suggest that fate is in his favour

when it comes to this summer’s most anticipated

sporting event: “ring”.

“I get asked this a lot recently,” explains his

father, Casa Nakamura. “I never thought about all of

that when I gave him the characters for his name.

But I do think I did a good job in choosing them!”

Like father, like son

It’s fair to say that Nakamura senior deserves to

give himself a pat on the back, even if he’d probably

point out that his son’s accomplishments have

resulted from a combination of absolute talent

and sheer hard work, rather than merely that

fortuitous name. But his father has been an

ever-present pivotal figure in Nakamura’s life,

and integral to his son’s interest in all things BMX.

An institution in their hometown of Kyoto, Casa

built a skatepark for local university students by

hand, and the BMX shop that he still runs to this

day continues to be a beacon for all the riders in

the neighbourhood’s BMX community. It was in

this niche that Nakamura was raised.

“I’ve been BMXing since I was three years old

– it’s something I’ve been doing my whole life,”

he explains. “From as far back as I can remember,

I would be in my dad’s shop with my friends, where

we’d watch BMX DVDs and hang out. Even when

”THERE’S SOMETHING ‘COOL’

ABOUT BMX, IT’S ALL ABOUT

CHALLENGING YOURSELF“

60


JASON HALAYKO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL


BMX/RIM NAKAMURA

I was still in school, it was a completely separate

world to my school life. BMX was my world.”

It’s rare to hear stories comparable to

Nakamura’s. The culture surrounding BMX in

Japan remains one that exists firmly outside of the

mainstream, and its community is a tight-knit one,

attracting fervent enthusiasts rather than fairweather

riders. “If the environment here was better,

then the level [among local riders] would naturally

be higher,” Nakamura suggests. “There isn’t much

infrastructure around, so even if you buy a BMX,

there aren’t enough places to practise, and that

doesn’t help the scene’s growth. I hear a lot about

places like California and the Gold Coast in

Australia, where the environment for BMX is

great and the level is really high as a result.”

But inclusion in the big events is helping the

sport attract a broader audience. The second annual

Ark League, an international competition in

Samukawa, Kanagawa, comprising flatland BMX,

skateboarding and breakdance competitions,

attracted an audience of 25,000 people over three

days in 2019, and recent public demonstrations of

flatland BMX in prominent areas like Shibuya’s

Stream Square will only help raise awareness.

Innocence and experience

Nakamura, however, has had a head start, inheriting

his father’s love for BMX, and then also finding

himself inspired by big-name international riders

that would occasionally pass through Japan.

“Dennis Enarson has long been a favourite of mine,”

Nakamura says. “I saw him live in the flesh when I

was younger, when he came to Kyoto, to our local

skatepark. Watching him, you get the feeling like

there’s absolutely nothing that he isn’t able to do. He

can do everything. That’s something I aspire to, also.”

Nakamura speaks with such youthful exuberance

and single-minded passion about the sport of BMX

that it’s easy to think of him as someone taking his

HOW TO BECOME SUPERMAN

The Superman is one of the most iconic air tricks in any freestyle BMX rider’s repertoire, but

it’s also a trick that requires serious panache to pull off. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

2

As you’re jumping,

at the peak of your

elevation, kick your

legs out backwards.

3

Push your arms

forward horizontally,

forming a straight line.

4

As you snap your

elbows and

knees, bring your

bike back down.

1

As you go up the

lip, pull up and

back hard

enough that

you’ll get extra

air than normal.

RIM NAKAMURA’S ADVICE:

The most important thing about the

Superman trick is you really want to

look like Superman. It’s a simple trick

on paper, but if there’s any bend at all

in your arms or legs, it doesn’t look

cool, so you need to make sure you’re

completely straight!”

5

Go straight

back to your

pedals.

PAUL DUARTE


BMX/SPORTS GUIDE

GARTH MILAN/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

first steps into the competitive arena, but his

attitude belies the wealth of experience that he

already has under his belt.

Despite his young age, he’s already registered

major victories at domestic tournaments such as the

All Japan Championships in 2016, and the prestige

of an X Games gold medal only narrowly evaded

him at Minneapolis 2019, when he came second in

BMX Park. “My main goal has always been to win at

the X Games, and that’s something that I’m striving

towards constantly,” he says. “It’s just a case of

training, being disciplined, and utilising the

experience that I’m constantly building up.”

Pushing the very limit

While eagerly training to achieve another big goal –

a medal this summer – he suffered a tough setback:

In September, he broke a bone in his left heel while

filming a BMX video. “As soon as I hit the ground,

I knew I broke my heel, and I was like, holy crap,” he

says. After the surgery, he found himself on crutches

with his foot in a brace. Only months before the

Games, this could be a spirit-crushing outlook. But

Nakamura found a way to use the unfortunate

situation to his advantage. “I’ve never been a gym guy

before, but due to the accident, I had to refocus, put

all my effort to work on my physical fitness properly,”

he says. “It was a great way to realise the importance

of physical training. I feel very confident now.”

BMX in Japan might not yet compete with the

sport’s traditional heartlands abroad, but it’s this

kind of indestructible positive attitude that sets

Nakamura apart from many of his international

peers. His motivations even transcend the material

side of the sport. “Of course, there’s something

inherently ‘cool’ about BMX, but more than that, it’s

about challenging yourself to do things that you

wouldn’t think you’re able to do,” says Nakamura.

“It’s about finding the satisfaction of accomplishing

things that you’ve been practising for so long and

pushing yourself to the very limit.”

Nerima

Suginami

Setagaya

Nakano

The BMX spots

where Rim rides

1. Murasaki Park

Tokyo

Murasaki Park is one

of Rim’s favourite BMX

spots in Tokyo, and

home to a strong local

community that often

congregates there.

Located in an area

called Kita-Senju, the

outdoor skatepark

boasts a larger

repertoire of street

and transition

obstacles than most,

and lays claim to a

four-metre vert ramp

that’s much bigger

than other ramps in

the city’s other parks.

There’s also a section

for inline, with spines,

jump ramps and

banks that are lined up,

park style, making this

one of the city’s best

locations for beginners

and advanced BMX

riders alike.

Address:

120-0024 Tokyo,

Senjusekiyacho,

19−1 Amazing Square

2

Itabashi

Shibuya

3

Toshima

Shinjuku

Meguro

Bunkyo

Chiyoda

Minato

Shinagawa

Ota

Kita

Chuo

2. Trinity B3

Skate Park

Easily accessible

from some of Tokyo’s

biggest transit hubs

like Ikebukuro and

Shinjuku, Trinity B3 is

an all-weather indoor

skate park in Itabashi

that caters to

practitioners of all

types of action sports,

and across all levels.

They also have a

school with instructors

for both street and

flatland styles of BMX,

making this a great

spot for young budding

riders.

Address:

174-0041 Tokyo,

Itabashi,

Funado 4–12–20

Taito

Adachi

Arakawa

1

Sumida

Koto

Katsushikaiku

Edogawa

3. Setagaya

Skate Park

Whereas the majority

of public parks in

Tokyo are notorious

for their ubiquity of

signs that decry ‘no

ball games’, ‘no

skateboarding’, and,

essentially, no fun,

Setagaya park is

both delightfully

idiosyncratic and

also still conveniently

located in the west

of the city. It’s home

to a mini steam train

that loops around the

park grounds (a

favourite for small

children), a DIY

playground for older

kids and a skatepark

that has a flatrail, a

manny pad and lots

of curb to grind on,

making this a great

option for a quick

ride at weekends.

Address:

154-0001 Tokyo,

Setagaya,

Ikejiri 1–5–27

THE RED BULLETIN 63


COMMITTED.

There’s only one way to reach the top. You try and try again. There’s always failure. You learn

from your past mistakes. Train some more. Gain experience. Then you try harder. Fail and fall

again. You take a beating. Get hurt. And keep coming back. But in the end, when you pull past

the point of no return, steady your breath, and stare down what’s between you and success,

you know what you have to do. Commit. We know what it takes. At Black Diamond, we’re

committed to catching the falls along the way.

BD Athlete Adam Ondra, Hachioji, Japan

Lukas Biba


CLIMBING

MEET THE HOPEFULS, LEARN THE BASICS, FIND THE HOTSPOTS

MARK ALLEN MILLER

IN THIS SECTION

Shauna Coxsey reveals how

injuries make her stronger

on page 66 and Kai Harada

explains why setting himself

new challenges helps him

achieve his goals on page 76.

THE RED BULLETIN 65


CLIMBING/SHAUNA COXSEY

THE ONLY WAY IS UP

Shauna Coxey’s bouldering skills have made her the UK’s

most successful competition climber. Now she faces a new

challenge: This summer, Coxey and her peers will compete

in three disciplines, two of which she has no high-level

experience in. This is the story of a world champion that had

to become a student again. Words MATT BLAKE Photography RICK GUEST


Gripping stuff:

Coxsey has her eye

on the gold medal

67


CLIMBING/SHAUNA COXSEY

“IT’S ONLY

20 PER CENT

ABOUT STRENGTH”

hauna Coxsey has no respect for

gravity. The most successful

competitive climber in British

history has spent her entire life

flouting the Earth’s planetary

pull. Right now, she’s dangling

breezily from an overhanging

wedge of artificial rock at a

bouldering cavern in Plymouth,

Devon. Yet Coxsey seems as

relaxed as a bat at bedtime.

She hoiks her right foot onto

a fluorescent pink handhold

above her head, sways her body

right, then left to gain momentum

– setting her long, blonde ponytail

swinging like a pendulum – and

launches herself into the air with

a dynamic move that appears to

be another breach of natural law.

Then, using just three fingers

on her right hand, she catches

herself on a hold the size of a hot

cross bun. Climbers call this a

‘dyno’, but to mere mortals she

might as well be flying.

The 28-year-old from

Runcorn, Cheshire, is the best

female climber there is right now.

Or, more accurately, the best

female boulderer. Bouldering is a

climbing discipline that involves

the gymnastic negotiation of

short routes, or ‘problems’, close

to the ground and without a

rope. This demanding sport

68 THE RED BULLETIN


equires climbers to think quickly

in competition to plot a route to

the top of a wall, against the

clock – and Coxsey excels at it.

In June 2017, she won the

Women’s Bouldering title at the

International Federation of Sport

Climbing (IFSC) World Cup

for the second year in a row.

Then, in 2019, she won two

bronze medals at the IFSC

Climbing World Championships

in Hachioji, Japan, in bouldering

and the combined event. She’s

also the third woman ever to

scale a V14-difficulty rock face.

Oh, and she has an MBE for

services to the sport.

Three is the magic number

But, surprisingly for someone at

the forefront of a professional

sport, when in August 2016 it was

announced that climbing would

make its debut this summer,

Coxsey knew that she would have

to become a student again for

what will be, without doubt,

the toughest test of her career

so far. The catch is: athletes

must compete in three separate

climbing disciplines – lead, speed

and bouldering – and Coxsey has

almost no top-level experience in

two of them. “It’s like asking Usain

Bolt to run a marathon, then do

an egg-and-spoon race,” she

laughs. “They’re not just different

disciplines, they’re completely

different sports.”

Unlike bouldering, lead

climbing requires competitors

to tether themselves to a 15m

wall for safety as they climb as

high as they can. Competitive

lead-climbing events were first

established in the mid-’80s in

Italy and were staged on real

rock, but in their modern form

they take place on towering,

eye-catching structures. Then

there’s speed climbing, which

is not only the oldest of the

disciplines – its competitive

origins date back to 1940s Russia

– but also the most explosive

as climbers scurry up 15m-high

walls in under eight seconds.

The triathlon format has

proved controversial; purists

have branded it a gimmick that

ridicules the art of each specialist

discipline. But, after a lot of

thought, Coxsey has accepted

the challenge. “In a lot of ways

it makes sense,” she says. “It will

showcase our sport. And I never

imagined in my wildest dreams

that climbing would be an

Olympic sport. It’s such a young

sport. This is like someone going,

‘Oh, you can go to Mars if you

want.’ It feels that unlikely.”

Coxsey decided to approach

the task with characteristic gusto.

“I can’t think of one person

who stands out in all three

disciplines. But I’ve always

been a person who, if I’m

motivated to do something, is

willing to give 110 per cent.”

THE RED BULLETIN 69


Coxsey has been

climbing since the

age of four


CLIMBING/SHAUNA COXSEY

“IT’S ALMOST

LIKE PLAYING

CHESS AGAINST

THE WALL”

Finding her forte

Coxsey has always been this way

when it comes to her sport.

“Asking me what I love about

climbing is like asking someone

why they like walking or

breathing,” she shrugs. Her

obsession began at the age of

four. “She was sat on my knee,

watching TV,” recalls her dad

Mike, an IT consultant. “And a

film about [French freeclimber]

Catherine Destivelle came on.

Shauna looked up at me and said,

‘Daddy, can I do that?’ I said,

‘I don’t see why not.’” And so it

began. “It became a thing we

did on a Sunday,” recalls Mike.

“She’d come over and we’d spend

all day climbing. She wanted to

learn. She never tired of it. Not

once.” They would spend the

next decade driving across the

UK, to and from competitions. As

bouldering became more widely

recognised as a distinct climbing

discipline thanks to YouTube

videos and specialist blogs,

Coxsey was part of an explosion

in popularity of this accessible,

equipment-light sport. By the

time she was 19, it was clear she

had a rare ability to overcome its

mental and physical tests, and

she decided to spend her gap year

seeing if she could make it as a

pro. Nine years on, Coxsey still

hasn’t made it to university. As

well as advancing her own skills,

she’s furthered her sport by

founding the Women’s Climbing

Symposium, an annual event

aimed at inspiring more women

to take up the sport that now

attracts hundreds of female

climbers each year.

Winning is about

mind and body

So what makes Coxsey better

than all those other dedicated

climbers? “A lot of people

think climbing is about upper

body strength, but you don’t need

to do a pull-up to climb a wall,”

she says, before effortlessly

performing a pull-up to prove her

point. “Bouldering is only 20 per

cent about strength. To win, you

have to be in control of your

mind even more than your body.

It’s about working out routes

before you climb, like a puzzle.”

This, it seems, is one of the

things that sets Coxsey apart from

other climbers. “What makes

Shauna the best isn’t her

strength,” says her trainer and

long-term friend Leah Crane. “It’s

an understanding of the climb

before she does it. It’s about route

reading, finger strength and

coordination. And it’s the ability

to bring them out first go – not

third go and not fifth go – that’s

leaving everyone else behind.”

When Coxsey looks at

a boulder, she doesn’t see a

boulder but a Rubik’s Cube –

unfurled and made of plywood

and resin. And her ability to

quickly solve these mental

conundrums translates into

physical grace: she doesn’t so

much climb a wall as dance across

it, swinging, twisting, thrusting

and gliding. “When I’m on a wall,

I’m not thinking about what I

need to do because I’ve already

worked it out,” she says. “It’s

almost like playing chess against

the wall. You’re always thinking

two or three moves ahead.”

71


CLIMBING/SHAUNA COXSEY

At 163cm tall, Coxsey

is petite but strong,

and her muscular grip

and agility are key to

her success

Injuries are a blessing

There are few people who could

be described as having athletic

fingers, but Coxsey is one of them.

They’re key to her success, as well

Coxsey knows from trying to get

by without one of them. In

January 2018, she snapped the

tendon inside her right ring

finger almost clean in half. “I was

climbing outdoors and I went to

go for a move and it went bang!

Actually, it was more of a pop;

a really loud, satisfying pop.

Everyone heard it go. It turned

out to be a rupture of my A2

pulley tendon.”

There aren’t many sports in

which a pulled finger would be

more disruptive. But Coxsey finds

new possibilities in such setbacks.

“Injuries are always a blessing

in disguise,” she says. “They

give you an opportunity to work

on something you wouldn’t

otherwise have time for.”

That injury forced her to work

on “glute strength, leg strength,

explosivity”. That, and climbing

one-handed. “Not being able to

climb makes me want to climb

even more,” she says. Over the

years, the world champion has

had plenty of practice at resisting

that urge. She’s broken her leg,

dislocated shoulders, had a litany

of muscle tears up and down her

arms, damaged cartilage in her

knees and ruptured fingers.

“If you can stay positive, you can

make use of the time and come

back stronger,” Coxsey says.

“I never want to come back and

just be as good as I was – I want to

come back better. And now I am.”

Learning and improving

Like many people, Coxsey saw

her optimism tested in 2020.

When COVID-19 struck, events

were called off and most climbing

centres in the UK were closed.

On top of that, she and her fiancé,

fellow climber Ned Feehally, had

to postpone their wedding. “I am

good at focusing on what I can

control and accepting what I

can’t,” she says. “For sure it hasn’t

been easy during the pandemic,

but I have been focusing on what

I can train at home. Physically

I am way fitter on the wall than

I have ever been and that’s entirely

down to my coaching team being

so innovative and passionate.”

Although her training routine

has changed in a lot of ways, her

goals haven’t changed at all. “The

focus still remains for me and my

team to ensure that my body is as

resilient as possible and that I feel

healthy, fit, strong and, most

importantly, happy [competing]

across all three disciplines,”

she explains.

A victory this year would

be the pinnacle of a climbing

career that already contains some

extraordinary accomplishments,

but Coxsey isn’t counting. So

what is it about her approach

that brings her so much success?

The Games still feel so surreal to

me and there is a lot of pressure,”

she says. “But I just want to be

the best possible climber I can be.

Learning and improving are all

that motivate me.”

HAIR AND MAKE-UP: KATIE BEVERIDGE USING CLINIQUE

72 THE RED BULLETIN


CLIMBING/EDUCATION

THE RED BULLETIN’S GUIDE TO

SPORT CLIMBING

What you need to know about the competition in a nutshell

40

COMPETITORS

20 men

20 women

FORMAT

Athletes compete in

all three disciplines,

one overall winner

in each gender

SCORING

Calculated by taking the

multiplication of the

climbers’ rankings in

each climbing discipline,

with the best score being

the lowest one

Qualification

round:

20 athletes

Final round:

8 athletes

DISCIPLINES

BOULDERING

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Climb as many problems as

possible in the least possible moves

Wall height: 4m

Rope: No

Time restriction: Four minutes

for each problem

Skills needed: Power, flexibility,

dynamic, technical

SPEED CLIMBING

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Two competitors; fastest to

the top wins

Wall height: 15m with 5-degree

overhang

Rope: Yes

Time restriction: N/A. The

current world record is 5.48s

Skills needed: Athleticism,

explosive power

LEAD CLIMBING

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Climb as high as possible in

the time limit

Wall height: 15m with

at least a 7m overhang

Rope: Yes

Time restriction: Six minutes

Skills needed:

Power, endurance

EQUIPMENT

Shoes

Belay device

Rope

Harness

Quickdraws

Chalk bag

SHOW THE

ROPES

LENGTH

Ropes range from 30-80m in length; a length

of 60m is considered standard.

THICKNESS

Generally speaking, a thinner rope is lighter.

The diameter ranges from heavy-duty ropes

(10-11mm) to standard (9.5-10mm) and skinny

(8-9.5mm) being the weakest type.

COILING

Beginners use the butterfly coil to

avoid twists; advanced climbers prefer

the mountaineer’s coil.

HOLDS

1. PINCH

2. UNDERCLING

3. CRIMP

4. JUG

5. SLOPER

6. POCKET

1 2 3 4 5

A hold you need

to ‘pinch’ with

the whole hand,

requiring a lot

of strength.

The hold’s

grabby bit faces

downwards, so

bicep strength

is beneficial.

A small and

shallow hold

that can only

be held by the

finger tips.

Shaped like

a cupboard

handle; only

the fingers

can fit inside.

A hold with no

obvious gripping

point, held using

the friction of

your hand.

6

Holds with

an opening,

grip with

three or

less fingers.

THE RED BULLETIN 73


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BEYOND

THE WALL

Kai Harada has gone

to great lengths to

earn his reputation

as one of Japan’s

best young climbers,

from setting himself

mammoth challenges

in the gym to fasting

for two weeks – get

to know him here

Words MIKE SUNDA

76 THE RED BULLETIN


CLIMBING/KAI HARADA

SUGURU SAITO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Should you ever feel like you could

do with a jaw drop, watch one of

Kai Harada’s climbing videos.

There’s this particular

one from the 2019 World

Championship’s Men Finals in

Hachioji, Japan, where Harada

hangs in the overhanging wall,

contemplates for a moment,

looks up and then, with an

energetic outburst, lunges onto

a small hold one metre up and

then pulls his body up with

only two fingers. Gravity?

Absent, apparently. Even the

commentator is flabbergasted:

“Ohhh! I do not know how

he held onto that,” he shouts.

“Breathtaking stuff from

Kai Harada, you can see world

champion calibre here.”

A year before that, the then

19-year-old Harada unexpectedly

won the Bouldering Climbing

World Championships 2018 in

Innsbruck, Austria, beating title

contenders like Adam Ondra

and Tomoa Narasaki. For Harada,

who’s admired by his peers for

his quick moves and calmness

during competitions, this victory

marked the first first peak of

a journey that started when he

was ten years old in his home

of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Now Harada is intent on

establishing his name among the

pantheon of climbing’s top stars.

THE RED BULLETIN 77


CLIMBING/KAI HARADA

the red bulletin: How did

you first get into climbing?

kai harada: When I was young,

I always loved playing outdoors,

and I just loved sports in general.

It was actually by chance that I

got into climbing at ten years old,

when I went to a climbing gym

near my house. I thought I’d just

try it out, but from the first day

I was hooked – I stayed there the

whole day and that was it.

What did you enjoy about it?

It was just simply the thrill of

climbing up something tall. It

doesn’t take much more than

that when you’re a kid.

What was the climbing scene

like back then?

It wasn’t popular at all back then

– my friends had no idea what

climbing even was. There

basically weren’t any other kids

“It’s going to be very special

to compete at home”

my age at the climbing gym

I went to – just guys in their

twenties and thirties, but they

were all welcoming and really

supportive.

Why did you decide to start

your own YouTube climbing

channel? Was it to give back

to the community?

The main thing was just that

I wanted more people to know

about climbing. I couldn’t find

any other climbers making videos

on YouTube, and I thought it

could be useful for people getting

into the sport. There’s more

than just the competitive aspect,

though – there’s also the beauty

of the outdoors, along with all

SUGURU SAITO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

78 THE RED BULLETIN


CLIMBING/SPORTS GUIDE

of those other amazing aspects

that draw people to climbing too;

they’re all important to share.

When did you realise that

climbing could become more

than just a hobby for you?

It’s actually only very recently

that I started to think about

dedicating myself and my future

to the sport of climbing. I’ve been

participating in competitions

since I was in high school, but

even then, I hadn’t thought about

it as a career – that’s a decision

that’s come about recently.

Taking any sport from hobby

to pro level obviously requires

an incredible amount of focus

and training. How have you

kept yourself motivated?

Since the very beginning it’s

always been as simple as just

setting myself challenges in the

climbing gyms and then trying

to overcome as many of them as

possible. If it’s set up as a route in

a gym, then I figure that it should

be doable, so I always approach

it from that perspective and then

I get really annoyed if I’m not

able to complete it. And then

that becomes the fun part in itself

– figuring out what I need to do

to overcome that challenge, and

then the next one, and the one

after that. It’s never-ending!

Speaking of taking on new

challenges, is it true you

undertook a two-week-long

fast. What was that about?

It was actually my first time

trying it, and it was not so much

me doing it specifically for

climbing-related reasons; rather,

it was more of a holistic approach

to making sure that my body was

detoxed and to make sure that

I’m physically in peak condition

to then step up my training.

Is this something that athletes

typicially do a lot in the

climbing community?

I haven’t really heard of anyone

else in my peer group doing

similar – I think I’m the first!

How are you feeling about the

big event ahead?

It’s going to be very special to

compete at home, but I don’t feel

any extra pressure in terms of

expectations with it being here.

Gunma

Climb like Kai

1. B-PUMP Ogikubo

Situated out west in

the quiet confines of

Ogikubo, B-Pump is

one of the most wellknown

climbing gyms

in Tokyo, offering

something for both

beginners and

seasoned climbers

alike. “I like B-Pump

because you can do

everything there,”

explains Harada.

“Whether it’s the

size of the walls, or

the breadth of inclines

that you’re looking

for, B-Pump has it

all, which makes it

somewhere I often

go to train.”

Address:

167-0043 Tokyo,

Suginami City,

Kamiogi 1−10−12,

Ogikubo Toa, 3F

Saitama

Tokyo

Kanagawa

1 2

Tochigi

Ibaraki

Chiba

2. Rocky Climbing &

Fitness Gym

Of all Tokyo’s 23

wards, Shinjuku could

be the one that least

promotes a healthy

lifestyle, given its

reputation for nightlife.

But it’s also home to

one of Tokyo’s largest

climbing gyms, Rocky

Climbing & Fitness

Gym, which spreads

over 500 square

metres. Harada trains

there frequently: “I just

practised there today

– it has relatively large

walls and lots of

inclines, which makes

it great for the more

punishing, physical

aspects of training.”

Address:

162-0066 Tokyo,

Shinjuku City, 14-6

Ichigayadaimachi, B1

THE RED BULLETIN 79


GUIDE

TOKYO’S FINEST RESTAURANTS, (SPORTS) BARS AND NIGHT CLUBS

GETTY IMAGES

IN THIS SECTION

How to start your night on page

82, where to watch the action

on page 90 and what to do for

a big night out on page 92.

THE RED BULLETIN 81


EAT&DRINK

From intimate gig venues to fancy eateries and stunning

rooftop bars, Tokyo has got it all.

CÉ LA VI TOKYO

Even though Cé La Vi Tokyo opened

quite recently (December 2019), it feels

like a throwback to the sort of nightlife

institutions that thrived during the city’s

economic bubble in its hedonistic heyday

of the late 1980s. With a smart-casual

dress code, a panoramic cityscape view

and a sophisticated mixology lounge,

Cé La Vi Tokyo brings back an air of

extravagance that was largely absent

during the country’s so-called ‘lost

decade’ that took place following the

Japanese asset price bubble’s collapse in

late 1991 and early 1992. Try the bar’s

signature cocktail, Nagomi, which uses

generous amounts of top-quality matcha

(green tea) powder from one of its

spiritual homes, the hilly terrains of Uji

in Kyoto, or their bao burgers, which

feature premium ingredients like softshell

crab and Japanese wagyu beef.

Address

150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Dogenzaka 1−2−3, Tokyu Plaza Shibuya 17F/18F

Website

celavitokyo.com

Tokyo’s branch

of Singapore’s

popular rooftop

bar covers the

the building’s

17th and 18th

floor and offers

stunning views

of the Shibuya

skyline

82 THE RED BULLETIN


EAT & DRINK

AZUMAYA

Wander up the gentle slope of

Dogenzaka, Shibuya’s main road for

nightlife, and at the top, just off to

the right-hand side, you’ll find O-East,

a sizeable live music venue. Although

known for attracting head-banging

rockers to its frequent punk shows,

these days you’ll also see a more

unassuming crowd wearing stylish

plain-black T-shirts and jeans. That’s

because tucked inside O-East is

Azumaya, a techno-oriented club space

that’s at the forefront of a new wave

of Tokyo’s music bars. The focus here

is firmly on local DJs: from techno

mainstays like Wata Igarashi to younger

crews such as CYK, everyone gets

a turn here. On top of all that, there

are licensed sake sommeliers working

behind the bar who will happily

recommend bottles that aren’t

listed on the menu.

Address

150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Dogenzaka 2−14−8, TSUTAYA O-EAST 2F

Website

azumaya.jp

LIVING ROOM

CAFE

Unless the founders of Living Room Cafe

are living in a radically different world to

the rest of us, its title is quite the misnomer.

Boasting a huge 1,200 square metres of

floorspace and 300 seats, this live music

venue in Shibuya is bigger than most

Tokyoite’s apartments, let alone their

living rooms. But the whole thing makes

for a fantastically comfortable and

convenient option for whenever you’re in

the neighbourhood and fancy sitting down

for a concert. The venue is split into six

different sections, so ask to be seated in

the Patio, which offers the best view of the

stage, and from which you can expect to

hear classically trained pianists and jazz

ensembles in the vein of a classy hotel bar.

Built on the

concept of

artists inviting

their friends into

their apartment,

Living Room

Café is a unique

gem, even at a

place that is rich

with live music

venues like

Shibuya

Address

150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Dogenzaka 2−29−5, Shibuya Prime 5F

Website

livingroomcafe.jp

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EAT & DRINK

NISHIAZABU

IMADOKI

TRIP BAR

Since opening in October 2019, Trip Bar

in Nishiazabu has claimed to be Tokyo’s

first ever VDJ Bar and Lounge, which

refers to a DJ that mixes tracks with

a combination of both live visuals and

audio. The former are displayed across

seven different oversized screens

throughout the bar, making this a multisensory

experience even before you

engage your taste buds – no wonder the

menu skews towards attention-grabbing

dishes, like a delightfully rich caviar

and sea urchin tagliatelle, as well as

a premium katsu sandwich made with

the highest-quality Hida beef, from

cattle raised in Gifu Prefecture.

Address

106-0031 Tokyo, Minato City,

Nishiazabu 1−14−17, WAVE Nishiazabu 1-2F

Website

nishiazabu-tripbar.com

Imadoki is an example of an izakaya,

a Japanese establishment that’s halfway

between a restaurant and bar, where

you’ll typically go with a group of friends

and while away an evening by sharing

numerous small plates of food and even

more numerous rounds of drinks. This

particular izakaya is swankier than most,

located in central Tokyo’s Nishiazabu,

one of the posher parts of town. The

top-quality sashimi and wagyu beef on

the menu is befitting of the location, but

Imadoki’s surprising speciality is actually

motsu-nabe, a hotpot filled with a variety

of offal and tripe cooked in a style that

originates from Hakata, Fukuoka, which

is on the northern shore of Kyushu.

Address

106-0031 Tokyo, Minato City,

Nishiazabu 2−25−19, BARBIZON28 1F

Website

imadoki.jp

M E Z Z O

With its glitzy, golden sign and its

location right in the ‘middle’ of Roppongi

(from which it derives its Italian name of

mezzo), this relatively new addition to

the area’s bar scene is impossible to

miss. Despite its upscale branding,

the ambience on the ground floor is

welcoming and unusually wholesome,

with a fresh fruit buffet (to go with

your fresh-fruit cocktails) available on

weekdays. The upstairs is another story

entirely, ramping up the exclusivity with

a VIP members-only section that requires

an exclusive PIN code to enter. Book

ahead and reserve a table if that’s more

the atmosphere you’re looking for – just

make sure you have a notepad on hand

to jot down your PIN code, which you’ll

receive when you make the booking.

Go to Mezzo in

Roppongi for

exclusivity and

fresh fruit;

and don’t miss

the venue’s

exclusive bar

upstairs that

requires a PIN

code to get in

Address

106-0032 Tokyo, Minato City,

Roppongi 5−1−7, Roppongi Street Building 1F/2F

Website

mezzo.tokyo

84 THE RED BULLETIN


EAT & DRINK

THE RED BULLETIN 85


EAT & DRINK

PLUSTOKYO

Much like some of the obscure,

exclusive bottles hidden away at the

back of his bar, Japanese mixologist

Shuzo Nagumo is a rare breed indeed.

Both an ideas man and an intensely

driven entrepreneur who brings those

ideas to life, Nagumo is learning that the

success he’s found doing the latter has

radically impacted his day-to-day routine.

“I used to spend hours every day

dreaming up new cocktail creations,”

says Nagumo. “Whereas now I can barely

find time between running the business.”

It seems that Nagumo’s imagination

is the thing that initially propelled him to

stardom in the global bar scene, where

he became known for cocktails that were

brimming both with technical expertise

and whimsical creativity.

In particular, it was his adventurous

attempt to take the essence of savoury

foods and dishes, and turn them into

cocktails – from a foie-gras-infused

vodka martini to a Tom Yum Goonginspired

mojito – that captured hearts

and gluttonous palates alike.

“Because I have to be so efficient with

all of my ideation, I’ve really gone from

experimenting with all kinds of different

ingredients behind the bar to then

conceptualising the drinks in my mind,

and making notes like crazy,” he says,

referring to various examples on his

smartphone, including a cacao-based

cocktail that represents one of Nagumo’s

latest brainwaves.

After working his way up from being

a trainee bartender at Nobu London

to reaching the top of his game and

becoming a respected mixologist,

Nagumo is currently responsible for six

different bars across Tokyo, the business

aspect of which now occupies much of

his time. Each of these bars has their

own identity, expressed by a specific

With crazy

concotions like

foie-gras-infused

cocktails and

cool concepts

with a focus on

sustainability,

Shuzo Nagumo

is a bona-fide

innovator in

Japan’s quirky

bar scene

86 THE RED BULLETIN


EAT & DRINK

”I used to spend hours every

day dreaming up new cocktail

creations”

thematic direction: from Mixology Salon,

in Ginza, which incorporates fresh green

tea powder sourced directly from tea

shops in the Japanese hinterlands in its

signature cocktails, to PlusTokyo, which

has a menu that uses the domestic

staples of Shochu (typically distilled

from rice, barley or sweet potatoes)

and Awamori, an indigenous Okinawan

beverage distilled from rice.

These are Japanese products that

are historically significant, but most

people now only consume the cheap

bottles, or order drinks like a lemon sour,

where they’re mixed with fruit juice,”

says Nagumo. “I want my customers to

understand that there are all sorts of

high-quality Shochu and Awamori, which

informed the theme behind this bar.”

To that extent, Nagumo frequently

travels all around Japan, visiting local

distilleries and educating their staff

about the sort of products they should

be aiming to make, both for bartenders

such as him, and to keep up to date with

current consumer trends.

With the opening of several more

bars in the very near future, Nagumo is

also managing to turn his attention to

something that his industry is grappling

with all around the world: sustainability.

“Whether it’s the bottles that the

beverages themselves are packaged in

or the use of certain ingredients, all kinds

of bars around the world are far from

being sustainable or environmentally

friendly, and it’s a real challenge to turn

that around,” he explains.

With his newest venture, Nagumo

translates this philosophy into action: at

memento mori (Latin for ‘remember that

you must die’), his focus lays on pairing

the use of fresh herbs and locally grown

botanicals with avoiding packaging and

material that isn’t recycleable – an

innovative approach that once again

affirms Nagumo’s role as a visionary of

the Tokyo bar scene.

BOTANICAL

WING

A recipe by

Shuzo Nagumo

40ml NEMA

(non-alcoholic gin)

5ml Lemon juice

5ml Fresh ginger juice

120ml Red Bull

Moderate amount of

mint leaves or mint

purée (to taste)

Pour the ingredients

in the above order into

a glass with ice, gently

mix together, and

then garnish with the

herbs in a bouquet.

This tastes like a nonalcoholic

version of the

Garden Buck cocktail.

Type of glass: Tumbler

Type of ice: Crushed

Address

104-0061 Tokyo,

Ginza 1−8−19, Kirarito Ginza 12F/RF

Website

plustyo.com

THE RED BULLETIN 87


EAT & DRINK

UORIKI

SHIBUYAYOKOCH0

The Shibuya Yokocho, or Shibu-Yoko

for short, is a long stretch of drinking

establishments and eateries that runs

adjacent to the recently developed

Miyashita Park shopping complex, and

arguably rivals any yokocho in Tokyo

for sheer selection and variety. Whether

it’s regional ingredients flown in from

deepest Hokkaido or Okinawan

specialities true to the island’s food

culture, you can run the gamut of

Japanese cuisine in the hundred-or-so

metres that comprise Shibu-Yoko. If you

don’t want to move even a little, then just

sit yourself down at Uoriki and let them

bring you a selection of fresh fish that

will cover the length and breadth of the

country. They receive the freshest

supplies directly from all across Japan,

from fugu (blowfish) from Yamaguchi

and oysters from Hiroshima, through to

a delicious soup stewed from monkfish

caught in Kuji, making for a dining

experience that will undoubtedly include

some rarities to delight even the most

well-travelled connoisseurs.

Address

150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Jingumae 6−20−10,

South 1F Rayard Miyashita Park

Website

mitsui-shopping-park.com/urban/miyashita/

store/1568925.html

Uoriki is every

fish lover’s

dream come

true, serving

delicacies from

all over the

country

88 THE RED BULLETIN


EAT & DRINK

NIKUMARUEN

NIKUYOKOCHO

From the giant ‘niku’ (‘meat’) kanji

character that makes up the restaurant’s

logo to the way that it describes itself as

a ‘theme park for meat’, Nikumaruen is

truly a carnivorous affair that eschews

subtlety in every aspect of its being. Any

first-time visitor should try the shimofuri-don

– a dish truly representative of

the restaurant’s philosophy, comprising

a rice bowl topped with hearty amounts

of raw mincemeat and garnished with

a raw egg yolk. Follow this up with some

of their giant-sized cuts of fried chicken,

which are served with wasabi-infused

mayonnaise, and wash it all down with

anything that takes your fancy under

the establishment’s reasonably priced

all-you-can-drink policy. You can find

Nikumaruen, unsurprisingly, bang in the

middle of Shibuya’s niku-yokocho (‘meat

street’) – where else could it be?

Address

150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Udagawacho 13−8, 2F/3F

Website

nikuyokocho.jp/shop/shop-maruen/

NIKUSUSHI

SHIBUYA

DOGENZAKA

As the restaurant’s moniker suggests,

Nikusushi is an izakaya-style eatery that

serves the finest cuts of raw meat in the

style of sushi. Wagyu beef is very much

the name of the game for the most part

– renowned around the world for its

exquisite marbling, it’s impossible not to

be struck by the sheer aesthetic beauty of

the cuts of meat when they’re served raw,

and the taste is even better. That’s not to

say that there isn’t more to the menu: just

as a sushi chef would serve up the freshest

fish based on seasonality, the Nikusushi

chefs are always updating their specials

– last summer, their recommendation was

a hearty plate of raw horse-meat to keep

the body full of nutrients.

The chefs at

Nikusushi use a

unique cooking

method called

“vacuum lowtemperature

cooking” for

their meaty

sushi dishes

Address

150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Dogenzaka 1−11−2, 1/2/3F

Website

nikusushi.ne.jp/shoplist/dougenzaka

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WATCH

Soccer, screens and drinks. The holy trinity of sports bars is

alive and well in Tokyo with British and American pubs

If you want to

enjoy watching

football, rugby

and baseball

games with likeminded

sport

fans, look no

further than

British-style pub,

Hub 82, which

has around 110

stores in Japan

Get your fill of

Americana at

Hooters at

several locations

in Tokyo and

watch a litany of

sports at Dazn

Circle in Shibuya

or 99 Sports Bar

in Minato City

90 THE RED BULLETIN


WATCH

TASUICHI

HUB+82

SHIBUYA PARCO

BRANCH

In a city where you could drink at a

different bar every night and still never

run out of options, it might seem strange

that one of the most well-known and

well-loved institutions is actually a chain

of faux-British pubs called Hub. But

there’s something inherently appealing

about Hub’s kitschy take on British pub

culture, both when it replicates it

accurately (a range of perfectly poured

pints) and also when it throws a cultural

curveball, such as offering deep-fried

spaghetti as one of its go-to beer snacks.

And if you go often enough, you might

even find yourself eligible for Hub’s

coveted gold card, which is surely the

coolest loyalty club in town.

Address

150-8377 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Udagawacho 15−1,

Shibuya PARCO B1F

Website

pub-hub.com

FURTHER BRANCH:

HUB SHIBUYA CENTER-GAI BRANCH

Address:

150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Udagawacho 22−2

SHIBUYA NISHIMURA SOUHONTEN BLDG. B1F

A long-standing Shibuya staple, Tasuichi

is a no-frills drinking establishment that

has retained its patch of prime real

estate on Center-Gai – the pedestrian

shopping street that starts directly

opposite the famous Shibuya Crossing

– even as other shops have come and

gone around it. The selection of drinks

is fairly rudimentary, but considering a

glass of nama-biiru (the Japanese phrase

for ordering whatever draft beer happens

to be on tap) is ridiculously cheap, and

live sports shown on a number of TVs

dotted around the room, it’s no surprise

that this standing-only bar is almost

always packed full to the brim, skewing

particularly towards expats happy to

embrace its deliberately rowdy nature.

Address

150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Udagawacho 33-14

Website

tasuichi.co.jp

HOOTERS

GINZA

Although Hooters is known all over the

world for scantily clad female staff, its

Tokyo branches are far from raunchy

when you compare them to the litany

of strip bars scattered throughout the

city. Instead, they offer a fun slice of

Americana that extends to the food

menu, which authentically replicates

that of the chain’s motherland.

And given the paltry number of chains

offering American classics in Tokyo,

when someone here says they want

to go to Hooters just for the wings, they

might actually be telling the truth.

Address

104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo City, Ginza 8−5,

GINZA NINE 1-2F

Website

hooters.co.jp

THE RED BULLETIN 91


PARTY

Find out about Asia’s largest disco ball, Justin Bieber’s favourite

after-show hang-out and Tokyo’s most luxurious VIP rooms

WOMB

Rising to fame after being featured

prominently in Alejandro González

Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning film, Babel,

Shibuya nightclub Womb opened in

2000, and two decades later still

remains a lynchpin of the capital’s club

culture. As well as attracting big-name

international DJs every weekend, Womb

boasts an additional three floors, with

a genre policy spanning everything from

tech-house to drum-and-bass, and is

even home to Asia’s largest disco ball,

hanging over the centre of its main room.

Address

150-0044 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Maruyamacho 2-16

Website

www.womb.co.jp

Each night of the

week has a

different theme,

that’s the motto

of Tokyo’s

longest running

night club which

ranked 47th on

DJ Mag’s worlds

best clubs of

2019 list.

92 THE RED BULLETIN


PARTY

NISHIAZABU

A-LIFE

A-Life is a Roppongi staple, never far

from the top of the list when party-goers

are planning a night out in this part of

town. Its size and the variety of

dancefloors and chill-out spaces –

ranging from the eight hundred-capacity

main room to more intimate nooks and

crannies spread across its three floors

– make it the perfect choice for people

who want to socialise as well as dance,

and the bartenders are famously friendly.

And with a special offer on weeknights

(except for Fridays), where entry before

11pm is just ¥1,000, and comes with

three drink tickets, it’s also an

exceptionally economical option.

Address

106-0031 Tokyo, Minato City,

Nishiazabu 1−7−2, ECONACH NISHI-AZABU Bldg.

Website

e-alife.net

PARADISE

LOUNGE

At an imposing 229-metres-tall, the

recently completed Shibuya Scramble

Square is the highest building in the

ward, towering over the nearby Scramble

Crossing and offering panoramic views

of the whole of Tokyo from its outdoors

observation deck. Also on the 46th floor,

along with the observation deck, is the

Paradise Lounge – a relaxed music bar

that unsurprisingly offers views that are

simply unparalleled. The styling might

scream out ’50s diner, but one look at

the 12-inch vinyls displayed on the wall

– spanning Flying Lotus and Jamie XX

– and you can rest reassured that the

music selection is more contemporary.

Conceptualised

by famed British

industrial

designer Tom

Dixon, Paradise

Lounge serves

stunning views

and tunes alike

Address

150-0002 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Shibuya 2−24−12, Shibuya Scramble Square 46F

Website

paradiseloungetokyo.com

THE RED BULLETIN 93


PARTY

1 OAK

Decked out in gold and silver from the

floor to the ceiling, and with a huge Roy

Nachum painging hanging above the DJ

booth, 1 OAK is aimed firmly towards

big-spenders, with an emphasis on the

VIP-table experience. The music policy is

straightforward hip-hop with a splash of

EDM, just like at 1 OAK’s legendary

flagship venue in New York. The sound

system is top notch: The loudspeakers

by Germany’s iconic hi-fi company d&b

audiotechnik guarantee that you not only

hear the bass sound on the dancefloor,

but that you feel it in your guts.

Address

106-0045 Tokyo, Minato City,

Azabujuban 1−4−5

Website

1oaktokyo.com

HARLEM

Sandwiched between a number of love

hotels (which offer double rooms for

short periods of time) in Shibuya’s

infamous back streets across from

Dogenzaka, Harlem is a veritable

institution of this trendy neighborhood’s

club scene. As its name suggests,

Harlem nods to the US hip-hop scene

with its music policy, and depending on

the night you might hear anything from

chart-topping anthems and retro

throwbacks to the latest tracks coming

out of the contemporary Japanese rap

scene. Resident DJs Hazime and Watarai

take to the decks on Saturday nights,

making their night a safe bet both for

track selection and overall vibes, while

on other nights you might also come

across scantily clad dancers, or even

live skateboarding showcases.

Address

150-0044 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Maruyamacho 2−4, Dr. Jeekahn’s 2F/3F

Website

harlem.co.jp

With two

dancefloors,

three bar

areas and one

restaurant, V2

caters to the

revellers’

various moods

and desires

94 THE RED BULLETIN


PARTY

JOYSOUND

SHIBUYA

MINAMIGUCHI

Karaoke is Japan’s favourite pastime,

and what better way to hang out with

friends than by spending hours cooped

in a booth together, downing drinks and

belting out your favourite songs?

You can replenish drinks without leaving

the room, and it’s not uncommon for a

one-hour evening session to end up in

a raucous all-nighter, with everyone

stumbling bleary-eyed into the morning

light having collectively screamed out

the chorus to Evanescence’s Bring Me

To Life for the third time that night.

This branch of Joysound has decorated

many of its ninth-floor rooms with visuals

referencing the legendary animated

series, Neon Genesis Evangelion, on the

walls, so even if you’re flying solo, you

can still serenade protagonist Shinji and

his sidekicks all night long.

Address

150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya City,

Dogenzaka 1−3−1, Shibuya Ekimae Kaikan 9F

Website

shop.joysound.com/shop/joysoundshibuyaminamiguchi

V2

WARP SHINJUKU

V2 Tokyo is a typically flashy offering

by Roppongi standards, with an

ostentatious interior, premium VIP

experience and EDM blaring from the

speakers most nights. It has a sizeable

1,000-person capacity, and you might

even find yourself rubbing shoulders

with the likes of Justin Bieber and

members of One Direction, who have

been known to hang out here after

playing their Japan shows. Outside

of its core club offering, V2 Tokyo also

cooks up innovative molecular cuisine

at its restaurant in the evenings, and

it even hosts a DJ school that gives its

students a chance to play not only at V2

Tokyo, but also at sister venues such as

Mezzo Tokyo.

Address

106-0032 Tokyo, Minato City,

Roppongi 7−13−7

Website

v2tokyo.com

Despite the area being one of the most

heavily frequented parts of Tokyo, and

littered with more bars than you could

ever hope to drink at, Shinjuku has never

been a destination known for clubbing.

Warp looks set to put a change to that,

with a sprawling underground space that

eclipses the majority of nightclubs in

Roppongi or Shibuya for size alone. Its

other selling point is the unusually early

opening time of 7pm every night of the

week, so you can clock off from work and

be dancing to techno, house or drum

and bass mere minutes later.

Address

160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City,

Kabukicho 1−21−1

Website

warp-shinjuku.jp

THE RED BULLETIN 95


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BULLETIN

The Red Bulletin

is an international

active lifestyle

magazine, published

monthly in six countries,

delivering thrilling

stories from the world

of Red Bull and beyond.

Head of The Red Bulletin

Alexander Müller-Macheck, Sara Car-Varming (deputy)

Editors-in-Chief

Andreas Rottenschlager, Andreas Wollinger (deputy)

Editor-in-Chief (Tokyo Guide)

Florian Obkircher

Creative Directors

Erik Turek, Kasimir Reimann (deputy)

Art Directors

Marion Bernert-Thomann, Miles English, Tara Thompson

Designers

Martina de Carvalho-Hutter, Cornelia Gleichweit,

Kevin Goll

Photo Editors

Eva Kerschbaum (manager), Marion Batty (deputy),

Susie Forman, Tahira Mirza, Rudi Übelhör

Digital Editors

Christian Eberle-Abasolo (manager),

Lisa Hechenberger, Elena Rodriguez Angelina,

Benjamin Sullivan

Special Projects

Arkadiusz Piatek

Managing Editors

Ulrich Corazza, Marion Lukas-Wildmann

Sub-Editor (Tokyo Guide)

Joe Curran

Translation (Tokyo Guide)

Jenn Yamazaki, Less Rain GmbH

Printed by (Tokyo Guide)

Sagawa Printing Co. Ltd., 5-3 Inui Morimoto – Cho

Muko, Kyoto, 617 – 8588 Japan

Publishing Management

Ivona Glibusic, Bernhard Schmied, Anna Wilczek

Managing Director

Stefan Ebner

Head of Media Sales & Partnerships

Lukas Scharmbacher

Project Management Co-Publishing,

B2B Marketing & Communication

Katrin Sigl (manager), Mathias Blaha, Katrin Dollenz,

Thomas Hammerschmied, Teresa Kronreif (B2B),

Eva Pech, Valentina Pierer, Stefan Portenkirchner

(communication), Jennifer Silberschneider

Creative Services

Verena Schörkhuber-Zöhrer (manager), Sara Wonka,

Julia Bianca Zmek, Edith Zöchling-Marchart

Executive Creative Director

Markus Kietreiber

Art Direction Co-Publishing

Peter Knehtl (manager), Erwin Edtmaier,

Andreea Parvu, Dominik Uhl

Commercial Design

Simone Fischer, Martina Maier, Alexandra Schendl,

Julia Schinzel, Florian Solly, Stephan Zenz

Subscriptions and Distribution

Peter Schiffer (manager), Marija Althajm,

Nicole Glaser, Victoria Schwärzler, Yoldaş Yarar

Production

Veronika Felder (manager), Friedrich Indich,

Walter O. Sádaba, Sabine Wessig

Repro

Clemens Ragotzky (manager), Claudia Heis, Nenad

Isailović, Sandra Maiko Krutz, Josef Mühlbacher

MIT Christoph Kocsisek, Michael Thaler

Editor and CEO

Andreas Kornhofer

Editorial office

Heinrich-Collin-Straße 1, A-1140 Vienna

Phone +43 1 90221-0 Web redbulletin.com

Published by Red Bull Media House GmbH,

Oberst-Lepperdinger-Straße 11–15,

A-5071 Wals bei Salzburg, FN 297115i,

Landesgericht Salzburg, ATU63611700

Executive Directors Dkfm. Dietrich Mateschitz,

Dietmar Otti, Christopher Reindl, Marcus Weber

THE RED BULLETIN

Austria, ISSN 1995-8838

Editor

Wolfgang Wieser

Proofreaders

Hans Fleißner (manager),

Petra Hannert, Monika Hasleder,

Billy Kirnbauer-Walek

Publishing Management

Bernhard Schmied

Media Sales & Partnerships

Thomas Hutterer (manager),

Alfred Vrej Minassian, Franz Fellner,

Ines Gruber, Thomas Gubier,

Daniela Güpner, Wolfgang Kröll,

Gabriele Matijevic-Beisteiner,

Nicole Okasek-Lang, Britta Pucher,

Jennifer Sabejew, Johannes

Wahrmann-Schär, Ellen Wittmann-

Sochor, Ute Wolker, Christian Wörndle,

Sabine Zölß

THE RED BULLETIN

Germany, ISSN 2079-4258

Editor

David Mayer

Proofreaders

Hans Fleißner (manager),

Petra Hannert, Monika Hasleder,

Billy Kirnbauer-Walek

Country Project Management

Natascha Djodat

Media Sales & Partnerships

Thomas Hutterer (manager),

Alfred Vrej Minassian, Franz Fellner,

Ines Gruber, Thomas Gubier,

Daniela Güpner, Wolfgang Kröll,

Gabriele Matijevic-Beisteiner,

Nicole Okasek-Lang, Britta Pucher,

Jennifer Sabejew, Johannes

Wahrmann-Schär, Ellen Wittmann-

Sochor, Ute Wolker, Christian

Wörndle, Sabine Zölß

THE RED BULLETIN

France, ISSN 2225-4722

Editor

Pierre-Henri Camy

Country Coordinator

Christine Vitel

Country Project Management

Alexis Bulteau

THE RED BULLETIN

Switzerland, ISSN 2308-5886

Editor

Wolfgang Wieser

Country Project Management

Meike Koch

Media Sales & Brand Partnerships

Stefan Brütsch (manager),

stefan.bruetsch@redbull.com

Marcel Bannwart,

marcel.bannwart@redbull.com

Christian Bürgi,

christian.buergi@redbull.com

Jessica Pünchera,

jessica.puenchera@redbull.com

Goldbach Publishing

Marco Nicoli,

marco.nicoli@goldbach.com

THE RED BULLETIN

United Kingdom, ISSN 2308-5894

Editor

Ruth McLeod

Associate Editor

Tom Guise

Chief Sub-Editor

Davydd Chong

Publishing Management

Ollie Stretton

Advertising Sales

Mark Bishop,

mark.bishop@redbull.com

Fabienne Peters,

fabienne.peters@redbull.com

THE RED BULLETIN

USA, ISSN 2308-586X

Editor

Peter Flax

Deputy Editor

Nora O’Donnell

Art Director

Tara Thompson

Copy Chief

David Caplan

Publishing Management

Branden Peters

Media Network Communications

& Marketing Manager

Brandon Peters

Advertising Sales

Todd Peters, todd.peters@redbull.com

Dave Szych, dave.szych@redbull.com

Tanya Foster, tanya.foster@redbull.com

Subscribe

getredbulletin.com,

subscription@us.redbulletin.com

96 THE RED BULLETIN


ACTION HIGHLIGHT

LITTLE SHAO/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

He got game

When it was announced last December that competitive breaking will make

its debut as a new sport in 2024, its practitioners all over the world swooned

in excitement. Just a week earlier, one B-Boy in particular proved that he

will be a force to be reckoned with: Shigekix. The 18-year-old from Japan

became the youngest ever B-Boy to win Red Bull BC One, the world’s biggest

one-on-one breaking contest.

For more stories

beyond the

ordinary, go to

redbulletin.com

THE RED BULLETIN 97


魅 魅 惑 惑 的 的 な、 な、 魔

紫 のレッド ブ


ブル、 新 登 場 。

魔 法 法 の の 翼 翼 。 。

※Purple ※Purple Edition Edition is only is available only available in Japan. in Japan.

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