New Brand Alert - Evisen Skateboards

by Dan Bunn

We've got a load of new brands in store for you to sink your teeth into. First up, indulge yourself in the vibrant culture of Japan with the one and only Evisen Skateboards.

Koichiro Uehara wallie, frontside shuv-it, no-comply, photo by Shinsaku Arakawa - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: Koichiro Uehara with a triple-threat wallie, frontside shuv-it, then no-comply, photo by Shinsaku Arakawa.

We're super hyped to bring you a range of decks from the legendary Japanese brand, Evisen Skateboards. We've been big fans of what these boys have been putting out for a while now so it made sense for us to get some of their decks in and spread the stoke to all you lovely lot. If you're a fan of cutty, quick-footed street skating with an emphasis on quirky trick and spot selection, like Magenta or Traffic, then you're gonna love Evisen.

Kento Yoshioka one foot smith grind, photo by Marimo Ohyama - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: Kento Yoshioka stylin' on you with a one foot smith grind, photo by Marimo Ohyama. 

I may be slightly biased considering I'm a bit of a weeb, but if you ask me, Japan just does everything better. From the food, animation, and even the country's history; Japan as a whole has serious style. So, it's really no surprise that Japanese skating is also some of the best in the game right now, and Evisen are without a doubt among the crème de la crème of that mystical scene. 

What The F Is An Evisen?

As I've already alluded to, Evisen Skateboards is a Japanese skate brand based out of Tokyo. While Japanese skateboarding has recently gained a lot of attention thanks to Yuto Horigome and the rest of their insanely talented Olympic squad, Evisen were arguably one of the first Japanese brands to gain attention overseas in recent years (at least since the legendary 1995 video, 'Far East Skate Network') thanks to their unique visuals and heavily stylised video offerings. Although Japan's Olympians are undoubtedly highly skilled, watching the output of brands like Evisen (and to be honest, any scene video coming out of Japan) can only make you feel saddened by the Olympians' robotic lack of style and creativity; because when it comes down to it, Japanese street skating is nothing if not stylish and creative.

Shinpei Ueno back lip to back tail, photo by Reece Leung - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: Steeze merchant Shinpei Ueno with a shapely back lip to back tail, photo by Reece Leung.

If you need proof of this, just watch any one of Evisen's (or Tightbooth's) videos and you'll soon come to realise that their understanding of 'style' and 'creativity' surpasses any Western perception of these ideals. Packed with outrageous outfits, eccentric arms, and extremely unconventional trick and spot selection; it's safe to say that no other scene in the world comes close to emulating the uniqueness of the Japanese scene. You can instantly tell when you're watching a video from the Land of the Rising Sun. 

Seimi Miyahara front lip pop up to powerslide, photo by Marimo Ohyama - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: Seimi Miyahara showing off his insane bag of tricks with a front lip pop up to powerslide, photo by Marimo Ohyama.

It's not just the videos and skaters which ooze style though, Evisen as a whole shares the same unique steeze which their skaters embody. Their distinctively Japanese aesthetic effortlessly blends hyper-modern visuals with timeless traditional imagery in ways that few attempt and even fewer could pull off. From the bright lights and neon colours associated with modern day Tokyo, to ancient Buddha statues, fans, and samurai helmets; Evisen expertly draw from their rich and varied cultural heritage to produce graphics strengthened by historical significance, as well as looking cool as fuck.

Kotora Mitani kickflip into the bank, photo by Marimo Ohyama - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: Evisen ad featuring Kotora Mitani with a hefty kickflip into the bank, photo by Marimo Ohyama.

On top of this, Evisen are way more than just a simple skate brand. The crew are tightly linked to the broader Japanese scene with many of the team riders working for the distribution company, Kinari, as well as being involved with the Osaka-based Tightbooth crew. The combined squad even have their own shop in Osaka, SHRED, to help keep the local scene fully stocked. Yeah, they're definitely legends.

History of Evisen Skateboards

Evisen was founded all the way back in 2011 by Japanese skater, Katsumi Minami, alongside art director, Kazuhiro Hamaguchi. The brand was initially distributed in Japan by the same company as Palace, before moving over to skater-owned Kinari (who also distribute Free, Vague, and Jenkem) alongside Tightbooth.

Katsumi Minari kickflip, photo by Marimo Ohyama - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: Evisen gaffer Katsumi Minami with a backside kickflip, photo by Marimo Ohyama.

The name Evisen apparently comes from the English word 'everything', but pronounced in a Japanese accent. It also references a popular Asian snack, Kappa Ebisen, which is basically like a prawn cracker. The Kappa Ebisen slogan is something along the lines of 'can't stop, can't give up, Kappa Evisen', so the guys at Evisen thought it also worked as a reference to their addiction to skateboarding. Definitely got a more complex etymology than Fucking Awesome.

Laurence Keefe nose manual to nosegrind to nose manual, photo by Marimo Ohyama - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: Laurence Keefe nose manual to nosegrind to nose manual, photo by Marimo Ohyama.

Although Evisen has arguably come to overshadow Tightbooth, it was actually Tightbooth which came first. The Tightbooth crew came through with their first video, 'Dialogue Between Insiders' in 2007 which featured some of the boys who would later go on to join Evisen both behind and in front of the lens. Following this first video, the crew went on to film the iconic Japanese scene videos, 'Lenz' and 'Lenz II', which featured even more of the legends you now see on the Evisen team, including Seimi Miyahara, Koichiro Uehara, and the man himself, Katsumi Minami.

While Evisen was founded in 2011, their first full length didn't hit screens until 2017 when they released the self-titled 'Evisen Video'. Filmed by Koichiro Uehara and edited by Katsumi Minami with some additional help from Shinpei Ueno (all of whom have bangin' parts in the video, we highly recommend watching Shinpei's in particular), the video features pretty much everyone involved in the company down to the store manager and dudes from the warehouse. The boys would all work in the day, before hitting the streets at night to stack clips for the video. Now that's dedication.

With full parts from Shinpei Ueno, Katsumi Minami, Laurence Keefe, Koichiro Uehara, Seimi Miyahara and more, the video encapsulates the singular approach of the Japanese skate scene. From lipslide wizardry of Seimi Miyahara and Shinpei Ueno, to Shor West and Maru's ATV charging, each part is entirely unique and thoroughly enjoyable. Even the editing is next-level with Spirit Quest-esque transitions and some sick motion graphics that provide humour as well as drawing upon Japanese culture and imagery, all the way from Godzilla to geisha.

More recently, Evisen welcomed Japanese trend-meister, Kento Yoshioka, to the team with a hectic welcome part filled with some proper head-scratchers. Not gonna lie, this guy's a bit new-wave for my taste but some of the tricks he does are straight up bonkers.

They also recently rounded up the crew and headed down to Australia with Kento Yoshioka, Laurence Keefe, Seimi Miyahara, and their newest recruit: pre-pubescent power-hucker, Kotora Mitani. The older boys did their best to hunt out the cuttiest spots Oz had to offer, while Kotora opted to fling his youthful carcass down the biggest sets he could find. Feels kinda surreal seeing someone skate stairs and handrails in an Evisen video but, as they say, variety is the spice of life.

Evisen Product

As with their videos, all of Evisen's product is heavily stylised and distinctly Japanese. Ranging from traditional Japanese imagery like Kabuto helmets and old-school door knockers, to hyper-modern designs with bold colours and neon lights as well as more lo-fi aesthetics; their graphics are about as unique as their skaters.

Evisen Spring 2022 Skateboard Decks - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store

As if their graphics weren't crazy enough, their range of decks also packs some hectic shaped boards. From the monstrous old-school shaped 9.81" 'TV Party' deck, to the 8" bullet-shaped 'Frame' deck, Evisen's range of skateboards are guaranteed to be some of the most unique and varied you've ever laid eyes on. Even their top-graphics are nuts.

Evisen 'Frame' 8" Skateboard Deck Top Graphic - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store

That's enough chit-chat though. Browse all Evisen skateboards to browse the full range of Evisen skateboard decks and buy now from CSC. Or, find out more about our newest brands on the CSC Blog. Safe.

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