As if performing skateboard tricks wasn’t already impressive enough, how about doing them without being able to see?! 😲
That’s exactly what Ryusei Ouchi (Japan) did to break two world records:
- Most skateboard ollies in one minute blindfolded - 33
- Most consecutive skateboard ollies blindfolded - 142
20-year-old Ryusei is almost completely blind - he has lost 95% of his vision due to the disease retinitis pigmentosa. Ryusei uses a cane while he skates to help him safely move around his surroundings.
Did you know?
An ollie is a trick performed by kicking the tail of the board down while jumping in order to make the board pop into the air. 🛹️
Ryusei was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a young child. His vision wasn't perfect when he first started skateboarding at age 14, but he could still mostly see.
"I went to my friend’s place, and he had a skateboard. And since we had nothing to do, we decided to give it a go."
"It then took only 10 minutes for me to get totally hooked. Not a love at first sight but a love at first ride."
After many months – and many bumps and bruises – Ryusei learnt loads of tricks. 😎
Unfortunately, his eyesight started to get worse over time.
"The more you lose your sight, the more you lose tricks. All the tricks you worked so hard to get are gone... only because you cannot see."
Even though it was becoming harder and harder for Ryusei to skateboard, he didn’t quit.
His parents were concerned about his safety, so they refused to buy a skateboard for him, but Ryusei managed to build one by collecting spare parts from his friends. 🛹️
"I can’t change the fact that I’ve got an illness, so I thought I’m just going to have to live with it."
Ryusei seemed very relaxed during his warmup for the record attempts - he even laughed when he fell off his skateboard. 😂
Even though Ryusei hurt his back a few days before the attempt, he made it look easy and set the record of most skateboard ollies in one minute, doing 33 in total.
The ollie is usually the first trick that beginners learn, but doing it over and over again can be hard work. 😫
"I was already gasping for breath less than 30 seconds in. I couldn’t help but laugh because I wasn’t even halfway. I didn’t know how many times I managed, but all I know is that my legs are so stiff right now."
Although there are record categories for people with visual impairments, Ryusei chose to attempt a record which is open to everyone, which is why he wore a blindfold.
"I want to share and connect with someone through the record. It would be great if people see my record and say, 'I want to try this' or 'I will break this record.' But if anyone breaks my record, I’ll claim it back."
After taking a quick break, Ryusei attempted the most consecutive skateboard ollies blindfolded.
This record was even harder work than the first one - Ryusei was on the skateboard for nearly 20 minutes! 😵
He performed a whopping total of 142 ollies. 🛹️
Ryusei hopes his amazing achievements will inspire other people to chase their dreams and never give up.
“Everyone told me I was mad to continue skateboarding when my eyesight was going. Even my parents didn’t support me back then. But I kept going simply because I really wanted to."
"What I want to say is that if you have something you want to do, then you should do it. No excuses. Many people think up reasons for giving up. But I’d say: if you have time to waste thinking of reasons for quitting, think about how you can achieve it. Keep thinking hard about how you can fulfil your desire to do what you want. I hope my work will make more people realize that."