I never saw Christian Hosoi in person when he was a little skate rat. I was skating on the east coast or in the military. I think that the first time I saw anything about him was the Ted Terrebonne photograph of him doing a frontside ollie at Marina. He was tiny. I got to see him often enough during the mid eighties during the Virginia Beach contests at Mt. Trashmore. He was already larger than life… He went higher than everyone else and it seemed to me that he was only getting better each time I saw him. I got to know him personally when he came to Woodward Camp in Pennsylvania. He was charming, charismatic and always smiling. He was constantly surrounded by a posse of admirers. It was amazing to ride with him because he would yell and shout for everyone skating in the session. He raised the bar with his skating and his attitude and good vibes.
Rumors always circulated about his generosity and crazy lifestyle. I heard that one night his friends were partying hard at his house and they got a phone call that the North Shore was cranking. Christian wanted to surf and so did his friends. He got on the phone and bought everyone tickets to Hawaii and they all ended up surfing together that following weekend… It almost doesn’t matter if it is a true story or not. It should be a true story. Crazy rumors about his life have always existed. Legendary.
I didn’t see him for a long time and once I moved back to California, I caught up with him again at the Vans Combi contest in 2010. Christian had changed… in some ways. His confidence, style and powerful fluid skateboarding were obviously still evident. When one has so much raw natural talent, it is something not easily shed. Christian’s joie de vivre was the same as it had always been… but he was a bit more serious. Focused. Changes in his life had led him to darkness and back again. John Milton wrote – “Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.” Christian Hosoi has traveled along that buckled and broken asphalt. Men that have wandered such pathways, often leave a portion of their soul behind. For Christian, this is not the case. He is light. Divine purpose. He has the courage of his convictions… It is marvelous. Christian holds hope in the palm of his hand and he wants to share it with everyone.
His fiftieth birthday was celebrated last night at the Vans Combi pool. Drunk Injuns, Powerflex 5 and TSOL all played heavy sets. Mofo was on fire and it was good to see. Chuck Hults lent his dynamic presence to Powerflex 5 and Salba was full throttle. The music was extraordinary. Pops Hosoi created some artworks on site and Steve Van Doren held a BBQ and also floated a huge wad of cash as Christian blasted airs over some onlookers below. It was a great celebration for a great soul.
Skateboarding is lucky to have Christian Hosoi and his positive influence. Thank you to Vans for hosting the event and thank you to MRZ for the images. Skate – Ozzie