Octogenarian Skateboarder Is Role Model for All

This man is the world’s oldest skateboarder.

Nov 16, 2021
Octogenarian Skateboarder Is Role Model for All | This man is the world’s oldest skateboarder.

Most imagine skateboard parks filled with kids and teens flipping, twisting, and inverting their boards while performing new tricks. But one man is stealing the show near Osaka, Japan.

Yoshio Kinoshita (81) is seen most mornings in his neighborhood skateboarding park, practicing his new moves with enthusiasm, as seen in this NHK World-Japan News video

Embracing the sport with joy, wonder, and bravery, Kinoshita is the world’s oldest skateboarder, according to the World Record Academy. With an infectious laugh and indomitable spirit, he motivates and connects generations.

Kinoshita was recently in special awe of a tiny five-year-old, as captured in the NHK video. He wanted to learn how to do a 180-degree turn and keenly followed the boy’s instructions until he succeeded, receiving a standing ovation from the other boarders in the park. Kinoshita warmly gave his “little teacher” a high five, bridging some four generations.

Kinoshita purchased his first skateboard nearly two years ago, according to Reuters. He bought it at a railway station that was selling unclaimed items and this spontaneous purchase was life-changing.

He claims the sport helps to keep dementia away. “It’s a sport with a sense of tension,” he told Reuters. “Rather than zoning out, I think skateboarding improves the ability to think even just by a little bit.”

At his advanced age, he must practice every day to maintain his progress and to move forward. “For (older) people like me who try to learn new things, if we don’t practice it little by little every day we will forget how to do it immediately,” he explained to Reuters. “That’s why I think I have to (come here) and practice every day.”

The sport requires daring and courage, but Kinoshita is not afraid of falling off the board. He gets his share of bruises and scratches, yet he keeps getting back up on the board. “Anything short of death is just a scratch,” he joked in the NHK video.

Kinoshita has made friends with everyone at the park, many of whom have great respect for the devoted octogenarian. “He works so hard, it motivates us,” a younger skateboarder said.

Kinoshita is a role model for the elderly in a country with the world’s most aged society, according to Reuters. By 2050, it is predicted that 36 percent of the Japanese population will be 65 years and older.

Kinoshita is also living proof that maintaining warm relationships contributes to a longer, happier life, as seen in the famous study on adult development from Harvard. By skateboarding, this octogenarian is embracing a “purpose project,” a longevity happiness tip outlined by Psychology Today. Having a project with defined goals offers the elderly a sense of purpose and combats feelings of isolation.

Kinoshita is doing more than turning his skateboard, he is turning heads. Each day in the park, he sparks motivation and inspiration, awe, and respect. As he glides along the skate ramps, he is all smiles and this alone is positively infectious.

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Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.