Wednesday, June 25, 2014


-from his SkateBoarder magazine interview-

I heard the news pretty early on and did not believe it. "Red Dog" told me he got a text from his son, I wouldn't accept that as proof, I asked him to please speak to someone, not via text, but voice or face to face. This is not something we need to rush to tell the world about, we need to know what has actually happened to the fallen brother... As the day went on indeed the words and call were true. Shogo it appears was stand up paddle boarding in Hawaii, where he's lived for many years now, and had a heart attack (UPDATE: brain aneurism), he was 55 years old.

I knew Shogo from my days at the Kenter banks before I even had a camera, up through the heyday of DogTown, his time as the best contest pool rider to come from the original ZEPHYR team crew, to when he moved out to Cherry Hill skatepark in New Jersey, around the same time I was forced to move back to New Jersey to finish High School.

-Cherry Hill Skatepark 1979-

Shogo Kubo, for those who do not know, was one of the most stylish and flowing pool and half pipe riders you'd ever see. To me Skaters like Ray "Bones", Steve Caballero, and Christian Hosoi, to name a few, were cut from his cloth. Shogo was an original, an innovator, and a competitor like none of the other "Z-Boys", and he was radical too. We created a lot of cool images together during that hey day. All the images you see above and below come from a few of our outings... he will be missed by many.

-the original Dog Bowl - Santa Monica, 1977-

-Trespassing in West Los Angeles, 1978-

dig it.




  1. damn, GEF, shogo was too young to go. Heart Attack at 55? Plus he seemed like the picture of health in recent years.....I just don't get it. My thoughts are with you and Jim, The family and La familia as it were. Happy you were able to high-light some of Shogo's great-ness both on and off film. As for the shots always incredible, but there is also that word: "photogenic" ---lets face it, Camera's loved Shogo, Always the Style Dominator. All ways. RIP Shogo.

  2. A huge big loss to the skateboarding world !

  3. Shit, your joking! A other legend passes,
    Hope that bowl in the sky is screeching to the sound of your wheels

  4. I used to see Shogo at Cherry Hill Skatepark. What a great skater and cool dude. RIP

  5. Wow, sad news.
    Can't claim to have known Shogo well, though us Revere rats sure admired his style... in fact I'm pretty sure Revere is where I first saw him skate, blowing us kids away with his fluid Berts' on the inclines.

    Thanks, Glen, for passing on the news, and take care.

  6. I'll go ahead and tell the story here, although it may not be flattering to a certain other skate legend...

    It was early in the summer of 1978, and Shogo was on tour, "performing" in a travelling skate show called "Skate America". Also included in the show were Tony Alva, Dennis Martinez, Russ Gosnell and a number of other top skaters of the day. The Skate America show I attended was in Baltimore, at the Baltimore Civic Center. Because of timely proximity to the show, the cast of characters gained Chris Chaput, localing Gaithersburg, Maryland at the time, and high-jump world record holder Ernie Martin, who lived not too far away in New Jersey. Because Ernie was present, the show added a high jump demonstration that would include Ernie, T.A., and anyone else in the show who might want to try. Chaput knew I was a high-jumper, and was in the audience, so he invited me down to the show floor and set me up with one of his Chapstick longboards.

    I've since learned, in my maturity, that demos are not competitions, and that if there is a "star" taking part in the demo, it's kind of improper to beat him. I'm not going to go through the whole demo here, but, suffice it to say, I did not beat Ernie Martin, but I did beat Tony Alva, and boy, did that make Tony mad. When he missed his final attempt, with me still in it, he fell on his ass and sat there angrily slapping his hands on the floor.

    So, all good, right? Wrong. After the show, I, otherwise just a 15 y.o. kid, from the east coast, who happened to be good at high jumping, was still an Alva fan, and joined a long line of people waiting for Tony's autograph. As the line progressed, I could see Tony regularly looking into the line to see where I was. When I got to the front of the line, Tony looked at me and said something like, "Well, that's it. No more," and walked away. Maybe I shouldn't have been, but I was crushed.

    From several feet away, up stepped Shogo. "Man..." he said, "That was about the most uncool thing I've ever seen. I've got this." He took the Crofton skatepark flyer, on which I'd been collecting autographs, and disappeared into the backstage area. A few minutes later, he reappeared, walked back over to me and handed me back the collection of autographs. He had signed it, himself, before I'd gone to the line for Tony. Nonetheless, when I got it back, there was Tony's signature. Looking back, I'm not sure I should have really still cared about Tony's autograph, but I did, and what Shogo did for me that day was alert, attentive and kind. I've since lost (or seriously misplaced) that piece of paper, and the autograph I will always miss the most, among the many on that paper, is that of the great Shogo Kubo... Gentleman.

  7. R.I.P. To the legendary Shogo Kubo!!
    Along with Tony, Jay and Paul... another major influence on my skating!!!
    You'll be missed and Never forgotten brother!

  8. Shogo had the greatest frontside style ever. I watched him figure eight carve a pool that most people couldn't hit tile on, and you all know what I mean when I say "carve a pool" in the same sentence with the name Shogo Kubo attached to it He ripped it to shreds at top speed, and had a smile and a laugh for everyone there. He made every session more intense and Aloha at the same time. If laid-back surfing legend Phil Edwards is right - and I live my life by these words - "the best surfer is the one having the most fun" then Shogo was one of the best ever.

  9. Glen thanks for this tribute. He was a good friend to Mark and I and were saddened to hear of his passing. He was full of fun and talent but humble as well. We had some fun times laughing together and nice sushi lunches when he came to town with his boy. I still have some prototype art he sent us when he was trying to get his company off the ground called Ronin. I don't know if he ever did but it was really cool designs on decks and apparel. We lost the biz around that same time so I never knew what happened and we lost touch. He will be missed. Rest in peace, homeboy.