Eito Yasutoko is one of the most talented and dynamic skaters in the sport of inline skating. He was born July 29, 1983 in Osaka, Japan to professional roller skating parents. His name, the "cute" form of the Japanese pronunciation of the word Eight, comes from a maneuver his father made famous. With his little brother Takeshi by his side and his little sister learning to skate the halfpipe at just five years of age this family has become an institution within the skating world with Eito leading the way.
Eito began roller skating when he was two and half years old. He switched to inline skating when he was eight. In 1995, at just 12 years of age, he joined the US pro tour, two years later he won his first First Place finish in an ASA pro tour competition. Every year since then has seen him grow as a skater, claiming more prizes each year. On tour today, the biggest threat to his capture of a First Place finish is his little brother Takeshi.
Eito is first and foremost dedicated to vert, skating in a halfpipe, as opposed to street, speed or big air. On a vert ramp, his style is best contrasted with his brother Takeshi's or compared to one of his rivals, Taig Chris. Eito goes big. He is famous for pulling tricks that other skaters are unwilling to attempt, at least in competition. Further, he can stack the most difficult tricks into one run, where other skaters will save the toughest tricks to cap a run, as a finale. For a time he was the only one pulling Flat Spin 1080's and Double Backflip 180's, until, emboldened by his success and needing to keep up to compete, other skaters followed suit. He is credited with inventing the Double Flat Spin, the 1440 Flat Spin and is still the only one pulling his signature trick, the 1080 California Roll.
Top Finishes / Records
Given the nature of the sport, with as many competitions and exhibitions a dedicated pro may choose to attend, below is a detailed summary of Eito's career. An exhaustive record is well beyond the scope of this article.
ASA Pro Tour
2004 - Buffalo 1st, Cincinnati 2nd, Dulles 2nd, Sacramento 2nd
2003 - Buffalo 1st, Cincinnati 1st, Dulles 1st, Milwaukee 1st, Finals 1st - Tour Rank 1st
2002 - Atlanta 2nd, Baltimore 3rd, Cincinnati 2nd, Dallas 1st, Milwaukee 3rd, San Diego 1st - Tour Rank 4th
2001 - Anaheim 1st, Baltimore 2nd, Bristol 3rd, Dallas 1st, Huntington Beach 2nd, Louisville 3rd, Milwaukee 2nd, Rome 5th, Finals 3rd - Tour Rank 1st
2000 - Hermosa Beach 1st, Lake Havasu 1st, Milwaukee 1st, Ontario 1st, St. Petersburg 1st, Toronto 2nd
1999 - Frankfurt 4th, Stockholm 3rd, Toronto 1st, World Championships 3rd - Tour Rank 4th
1998 - Toronto 2nd
1997 - B-3 1st
Asian X Games
2004 - 1st
2003 - 1st
2002 - 1st / 1st Doubles / 3rd Street
2000 - 2nd / 1st Doubles
1999 - 2nd
1998 - 1st
2004 - 3rd
2003 - 1st
X Games Global - 2nd
2002 - 2nd
2001 - 4th
Planet X Games - 4th
2000 - 1st
1999 - 1st / 3rd Triples
1998 - 4th
2003 - 1st
2002 - 7th
2001 - 5th
2000 - 3rd
1999 - 4th
Other Notable Competitions
2004 - Nokia Core Tour 2nd twice / 2nd High Air, LG World Championships 5th
2003 - LG World Championships 1st, MSS 1st in all three events
2002 - TAZ Team Challenge 1st twice
2001 - TAZ Team Challenge 1st, World Team Challenge 2nd
For the years 1995-1999 Eito was active, and placing highly, on the NISS tour, JASPA tour and in numerous other competitions. Only incomplete records are available.
From Here, Forward
Given the nature of these competitions Eito's record is amazing. His consistently excellent performances, and consequent top finishes, is a credit to his professionalism and desire. Given his gracious nature in winning and in losing, his strong work ethic and generally humble nature he is sure to continue succeeding. He is aware of his role-model status and works to live up to it. Aside from his desire to be respected as a top professional, he also hopes to one day open his own skate park where he can train and bring up the next generations of skaters. He moved from Japan to California in order to work on his sport and is now dedicated to becoming a legend in inline skating.
The Yasutoko Brothers
If you compare Eito's record with Takeshi's you will notice that many times when Eito finished in 2nd or 3rd, it was because his little brother ousted him for the better finish. These two skate together in almost every competition and in almost every competition finish side by side at the top of the standings. They are doubles partners in doubles competitions and until recently were also training partners. With their father Yuki taping every competition from the sidelines, training the Good Skates team (which will soon include their little sister) and helping them to grow in their sport they are more often referred to as "The Brothers" than individually.
and my own observations of, and history with, the sport of inline skating.