Christian Hosoi started skating at seven or eight years old with veterans such as Shogo Kubo, Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, and Jay Adams. His father, Ivan "Pops" Hosoi became the manager of the Marina Del Rey Skatepark and Christian quit school to spend his time there where he quickly developed his talent.
In 1979, as an amateur, Hosoi was sponsored by Powell Peralta. He left Powell Peralta a year later when they wouldn't allow him to turn professional and joined Dogtown Skateboards. After Dogtown went out of business shortly thereafter, he turned pro at the age of 14 with Sims Skateboards.
Throughout the 80's skateboarding grew in popularity with prize money to match. With major endorsements from Converse, Swatch, and Jimmy'Z, as well as a pro model wheel (OJ II Hosoi Rocket) with Santa Cruz Speed Wheels, Hosoi was earning more money than he had ever dreamed of.
In 1984 he formed his own company, Hosoi Skates, first distributed through Skull Skates, then through NHS-INC. The board proved to be so popular that it was counterfeited.
Hosoi invented the Christ Air and Rocket Air, and was renowned for pulling huge aerials; at one point he was the world record holder. Eventually he developed a rivalry with Tony Hawk; their styles contrasted in both skateboarding and lifestyle—Hosoi, known for his flair and graceful style, and Hawk raising the bar with his technical ability and difficult tricks.
Hosoi was the subject of the 2006 documentary film Rising Son – The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi that detailed his initial success, drug addiction, and conversion to Christianity.
Above photo courtesy of Noneco.
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