Pro skater Moto Shibata, Monster Energy’s recent skate addition, is known for finding inspiration in the videos from skateboarding’s golden age of vert, modeling his contest runs on the foundations laid in the ‘80s by high-flying style gods like Steve Caballero and Christian Hosoi. But Shibata’s dedication to this visually appealing era is more forward-thinking than you might expect: The three-time X Games medalist has consistently wowed the crowds by showcasing extreme grace and delivering stylish runs that are ahead of their time.
Shibata started skating at 8 years old after picking up one of his dad’s old boards. A few years later, his family opened their skate shop in Osaka—you’ll see Shibata loyally rocking “Simple City” shirts in his contest runs—and he always helps out there when he’s in town. Today, one of Shibata’s dreams is to build his own vert ramp to help strengthen his local skate scene—because giving back never goes out of style.
We caught up with Shibata recently to talk about his outlook on 2020, how he started riding for Hosoi Skates, and his signature trick, the “Kamikaze.” Read the interview below, and watch his Monster Energy introduction video—shot at the Vans Combi Bowl in Orange, California.