Sabu was about 10 years older than me then, you do the math, I had just turned 21 then. To my surprise he called me a few days later and in our broken japanese and english managed to communicate a time when he would pick me up to take me to a place to skate, which ended up being Bliss. I had no idea how far away it was. I didnt even know this dude that had just picked me up. I didnt know the dudes he was picking up on the way either....... It was a full van load by the time we got there. He drove one of those Hi-Ace toyotas back then. It was full.
We finally arrived at Bliss. I was not good at skating transition at all and at the time all they had was an indoor 4foot ramp with a 5 foor extension. I can remember struggling to do backside 5050 stalls......for some reason I could do blunt rock to fakie though...I think I learned that in Lafayette... Anyway, needless to say, I was probably not that fun to skate with...
He continued to pick me up once a week for about the entire time i lived in Japan. Sometimes we would go out to eat afterwords with his friends. Sometimes we would skate for 4 hours, sometimes only 2 but it was always really fun. Sabu would always do front side salad grinds on the ramp, which seems really weird to be now since nobody really does that...... I learned all my basics on that little ramp and a lot of Japanese too. (as you can probably imagine, this was also my crash course in slang used by 30 year old dudes that skate, drink, and smoke. You know those book they sell about japanese slang with anything from curse words to phrases for picking up women...and more? I didnt need one, I had all the dudes I skated with at Bliss everyweek.....)
Looking back I must have been that foreign dude that they got to say words like....BOOBS.....then laugh a whole bunch....I cant really remember though.
The park has grown a lot since I skated there on the regular. There is a minimini ramp that i forgot to take a picture of and then this ouside section complete with hand poured concrete ramps(and ground!) Brink coping and a steep 2/3ft section too. The 4 ft ramp is now a 5 throughout with much better coping.
It has been about 4 years since I last was able to visit this skatepark/shop in the middle of the country. It brought back a million memories and I am glad it is still around.From the sounds of it, it will be for a while longer, the bowl in the back is about to become partly a spin on one side which will extend to but up next to the farm ground behind the indoor ramp.
I am glad we got to skate this whole place today! It is the middle of the rainy season and I have been so lucky! It is raining now but I needed a break anyway. Motorcycle parts store later today! Thanks Masaru for taking pictures of me and driving me around!
This ramp is really similar to the one that gets moved around Indiana every year. The coping is not as big, flat bottom is longer and its not as steep but still amazing! I would love to have a few heated session with the old crew here!
Smith stall. I cant grind brick. boo-- Owner looking on in the back, probably dreaming about going surfing. Almost all the dudes that come here also surf as much as possible. Wet suits and the whole bit.
Rock^n^roll Masaru! Sorry the picture sucks..
Bliss skate/surf shop and park. Killing it for almost 15 years!