According to many people from the era 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 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 The Z-Boys documentary and in 2005 he was portrayed in the feature film version, The Lords of DogTown, by modern era pro Don Nguyen. Eventually he tested the waters of the skate scene once again and similarly became disappointed in what he saw, but not before designing his own Nike SB sneaker—the “Shogo” Blazer in 2007, based on him having worn the shoe religiously in the ‘70s. In 2014, Kubo died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 54 while paddleboarding 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.