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In France, as everywhere on the western side of the world, Asia never ceases to fascinate. Over more than 40 years, Japan by distilling a part of its culture outside its borders, via various mediums such as manga, cinema, animation or its literature, has taken a special place in the West. But despite social networks, the language barrier limits the exchange and strongly restricts the diffusion of more confidential or marginal fields of interest. This is of course the case of fingerboarding.

By the way, thanks to my friend Hikari, who made the translation of the following interview possible !

However in Japan the phenomenon has been growing strongly for a few years, and there is no lack of high-level riders. Some of them are making their place on the international scene by showing more skill and originality. This is the case for example @jap_fb and of Hooded. So, here is an unseen interview with @hoodedfingerskateboards a.k.a the godfather of Fb in Japan, a hardcore activist !

Fingerboardz : Hi Masashi and thank you very much for taking the time to participate in this interview ! Hooded's fame has spread far beyond Asia. You are accumulating prestigious collaborations, and more and more people in the West know your work. But can you introduce yourself a little bit for those who don't know you yet, and also introduce Hooded ?

Masashi Terada : Thank you for the invitation. My name is Masashi Terada and I run a fingerboard brand in Japan. I'm 38 years old this year and I'm a fingerboard deck shaper. I make "Hoodeck" fingerboard, here in Japan. They are made from Japanese cypress, that is light and bouncy.

We also have a store that offers fingerboard products from all over the world. I have a lot of respect for all the great stuff that each manufacturer produces all over the world. I love the fingerboard culture and scene in Europe and around the globe. I also organize competitions and activities to spread the culture of fingerboarding to as many people as possible.

“Age doesn't matter when it comes to fingerboarding ! I think it's a great way to communicate with people all over the world beyond the language barrier.”

98% of my customers are Japanese. That's why we do not already have a website to sell internationally. We have collaborations with BLACKRIVER in Germany, YELLOWOOD in Portugal, and CLOSEUP in France. ASIBERLIN sells our grip tape, a product we are very proud of. Thanks to them for supporting us. If you are interested in our other products, and you are not in Japan, please contact me directly. I'm working on a new website to bring our products to more people.

FBZ : Why did you choose the name "Hooded" ?

MT : I grew up with the street culture of the 90s. Art, music, movies, skateboarding, fashion, etc. influenced me a lot. When I started Hooded, it was winter. When I was thinking about the brand name, I was always wearing a hoodie.

In street culture, skaters, graffiti writers, and rappers all wore hoodies. Big size hoodie and cap style. I really liked that style. You know what I mean, right ?That's when it hit me. Just as each culture has its own style of hoodie, I wanted to make the hoodie style a standard in fingerboard culture as well. "A hoodie that you wear every day = every day Fingerboarding is HOODED".

FBZ : When did you create your brand ? At that time, in Japan, a lot of people were already interested in fingerboarding, or it was something underground ?

MT : Hooded was launched in January of 2011. At that time, it was a very, very niche scene in Japan. Here, there was a first boom around 1995. I was in high school. At that time, everyone was using Techdeck. There was no YouTube, so I didn't know how to play fingerboarding. I didn't even know how to make a kickflip. After the first boom, I think everyone forgot about fingerboarding. I was just like them.

Around 2007, I happened to see a video on youtube about fingerboarding. I was so shocked at that time. In the video, he did all kinds of tricks. I was so hyped ! The video was called "Opus 0 Alexis Milant". It was so cool and awesome ! It still has a lot of influence on me.

Opus 0 Alexis Milant - 2007

After that, I tried to find a store that sold fingerboards in Japan, but I couldn't find any. There were no professional fingerboards in Japan because it was still too unknown. So I decided to import them myself. After a while, I met a Japanese guy who has been fingerboarding since the first boom ended. At that time, he was a rider for CLOSEUP. Do you know him ? (NOTE : This is @fb120s) Then I met Damien from CLOSEUP. I learned a lot about Fb from them. I have a lot of respect for them.

I started selling CLOSEUP fingerboards at a clothing store I was working at the time called PROSPECT. The first wooden fingerboards in Japan spread. And the riders of the first boom came back little by little. I also collaborated with CLOSEUP and PROSPECT. This is the first fingerboard I designed.

Then in January 2011, I started Hooded with a set of fingerboard skate dice and some wooden decks. Now, 10 years later, we have a lot of professional Japanese riders. Check out our team riders, they are amazing. (NOTE: Check out the links at the bottom of this article)

“When we are through this pandemic period, I want to go to many countries and do fingerboarding. Come to Japan and visit me ! Let's fingerboard together ! ”

FBZ : You are a fingerboarder yourself. When did you start ? What was the brand of your first fingerboard ?

MT : I started seriously in 2007 when I saw the video "Opus 0 Alexis Milant". That's when I bought my first TechDeck Zooyork model. This is where it all started. I'm looking forward to seeing the growth of the fingerboard scene around the world. I'm one of those riders. It's not just me, but I feel that more and more people are playing with fingerskates everyday !

FBZ : In Japan, thanks to you, the Fingerboard phenomenon has grown a lot ! How is the Japanese scene ? In the West there are now people of all ages, children, young adults and also old people like us two haha ! Is it the same in Japan ?

MT : Of course ! Japan is the same as Europe and America. There are kids as young as 6, and also fingerskaters in their 60s. Age doesn't matter when it comes to fingerboarding ! I think it's a great communication tool, and I think it's a great way to communicate with people all over the world beyond the language barrier.

FBZ : Thank you so much Masashi for taking the time to answer my questions, it's really an honor for me. BIGUP to you ! If you want to say something to finish this interview, go ahead !

MT : When we are through this pandemic period, I want to go to many countries and do fingerboarding. Please come and visit me in Japan. Let's fingerboard together ! I hope that everyone will be safe in the future. Thank you for reading my interview until the end, and thank you MILK from the bottom of my heart. Thank you ! Let's connect ! I'm always looking forward to hearing from you.


@southtac @jap_fb @y2boy @fb120s @bombwalker @kokkin13_fb

@aym.fb @mactera1983 @kenchimuyo

My complete review of a Hoodeck board on YouTube :

( Don't forget to activate subtitles )

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