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'Z-Boys' skateboard pioneer died off Portlock

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:56 p.m. HST, Jun 25, 2014

A 54-year-old man who died while paddleboarding off Portlock has been identified as skateboard pioneer Shogo Kubo, a member of the Zephyr surf shop's Z-Boys skateboarding team. reports Kubo was one of the original members of the skateboarding team formed in Venice, California, in 1975. The team is credited with pioneering a new wave of skateboarding with their moves, some borrowed from surfing, that featured aerials and other tricks.

The team also started skateboarding in empty swimming pools.

Their story was documented in the 2001 film "Dogtown and Z-Boys," a documentary made by Stacy Peralta, a member of the original skateboarding team.

The documentary was later made into a Hollywood movie, "Lords of Dogtown," starring Heath Ledger. Kubo's character was played by professional skateboarder Don Nguyen, according to

In a 2002 interview with the Honolulu Advertiser, following the release of the Dogtown documentary, Kubo said, "We were aggressive and confident and stood out because we were so different, like beach bums."

Tributes were posted online following reports of Kubo's death. said Kubo was known as the "layback master" whose aerial and sliding skate moves were the basis for aerial skateboading today.

An autopsy will be performed by the Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office to determine the cause of Kubo's death.

Kubo, who lived in Hawaii Kai, was found unresponsive at a surf spot known as "Seconds" at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday by another surfer.

Emergency Medical Services personnel treated Kubo at the beach, where he was pronounced dead at 8:53 a.m.

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