Dan Pape Recently picked up and moved to Japan to live his dream and begin working on a new section of Skate Slate in Japan. Last week we got a moment to ask him why he's left us, what his plans are, and why he loves Japan so much! Check out the quick back and forth below:
J: What first introduced you to Japan and why do you keep going back?
D: In 2002 I visited Japan with a handful of boards to show people in Japan. I lived there for about a year teaching English. The alternative plan was always to get all types of riding enthusiasts excited about skating longer style boards. Skateboarding, Surfing and Snowboarding here is very popular. I thought if only a few of those riders were introduced to the freedom of riding down a freshly paved road that they would be hooked forever. Being a rider yourself, I know you can relate Justin. We all remember our first time. I keep going back because I've been determined to bring my vision to fruition where the Skate/Surf and Snowboarding enthusiast here finally see the light. That, and I have a lot of respect for the Japanese Culture and feel a certain obligation to help build it so that when it does pop, it pops in a way that it can enjoyed long after I leave this earth. Sustainability is a top priority.
J: Are you living there full time now?
D: Yea I'm living the dream... My dream anyhow. I quit my high paying steady union job with full benefits to live a more simple life. I had a lot of material possessions in my previous life but wasn't always happy knowing I could at least be trying to make difference somewhere else in the world. Call it my creative itch, or whatever. But I'll never be a Monday to Friday guy. We discussed Japan ad a team and it was now or never. 10 years in the making I guess. Huge thanks to all the crew at Skate[Slate] for helping us get this off the ground. My moving here is only 1 piece of the puzzle and it wouldn't have been possible without their blessing!
J: What pushed you to release a Skate Slate Japan and has it been successful so far?
D: The roads here are amazing. Dreamy. One day Longboarding here is going to go off in a big way. My research on this project has shown that other "trends" here have blown in up incorrectly killing them forever. Longboarding is not a trend. Naysayers from before the Coast Longboarding days are regretting not taking us more seriously when we told them it was a ton of fun and that they should get involved, you know, go out and ride with us. For those that know me well, know that I'm a nostalgic kind of guy. I guess this is our way of helping build something from nearly scratch. Just like the OG Coast Longboarders did. Is it successful you ask? Well, I think so but it's only been live for 3 weeks. I'm happy to see we surpassed 1000+likes on Facebook and the traffic to the site is consistent. Community is very important here. Probably the most important. So considering that part of it, I would be say it's been an extremely successful project not because of me, but because the skateboarders here have accepted me as one of their own. Feel like CLBC in the early years!!! When is Rayne coming bro?
J: We'll be there just as soon as we can! I know a couple people were talking even this year but who knows what this season will bring. Thanks for answering our questions, always stoked to hear about people doing what they want to do!
While they only have a couple articles up its growing quickly with content every day. They even have a bunch of Rayne stuff up already some new some old but all worth checking out. We're a fan of the Rayne Darkside review they did in particular, check it out: http://skateslate.jp/2014/01/22/rayne-darkside-review/
Thanks to Fifer Figueroa for the shot of Dan's smiley mug!