Shogo Kubo was born September 19, 1959 in Kagoshima City, Japan. After moving to the United States at a young age, he began surfing and skateboarding before he even spoke good English. Shogo met Jay Adams, Jeff Ho and the rest of the original Zephyr crew and became a founding member of the Z-Boys when they formed in Santa Monica during the mid 1970s. According to many people from the period, Kubo was one of the most stylish, the most successfully competitive, and photogenic members of the original Z-Boys. He also directly influenced skaters like Christian Hosoi, who witnessed Shogo’s skating often, as he was growing up and learning how to ride on the west side of Los Angeles, along with indirectly influencing the styles of the next generation stalwarts like Ray “Bones” Rodriguez, Steve Caballero, and countless others. Shogo was a master of style.
At his professional skateboarding peak in 1979, Shogo moved east to New Jersey, becoming the local pro at the famed and acclaimed Cherry Hill Skatepark. Not long thereafter, Shogo became disillusioned with the skate scene and moved to Hawaii, surfed a lot, held a normal job, got married and had two children. In 2001, his story was told along with the rest of the Zephyr crew in the award winning Dogtown and Z-Boys documentary, and in 2005 he was portrayed in the feature film version, The Lords of Dogtown. In 2007, Shogo designed his own Nike SB sneaker, the Shogo Blazer, which was based on the shoe he wore religiously in the ’70s. In 2014, Kubo died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 54 while paddle boarding in Honolulu. He is survived by his wife, Michiyo, his son, Shota, his daughter, Meagan, his brothers Yoshifumi and Shinya, and sister, Reiko. Rest in peace, Shogo.