Unwinding Yuto




By Jarren Jose

Breaking down the first Olympic gold medalist, back-to-back Tampa Pro champ, almost 2023 Thrasher’s SOTY, multiple SLS and XGames winner, and Nike SB Dunk fanatic to try and figure out what exactly makes him so damn good.

Yuto drops in


The data for this study was compiled from these 5 video parts that document about 5 years of Yuto's street skating:

- Nike SB | Yuto Horigome | April Skateboards Pro Part - May 2019
- The Yuto show ! - June 2021
- Yuto Horigome's "Spitfire" Part - Dec 2021
- Nike SB | Yuto Horigome in Tokyo - Aug 2023
- Yuto Horigome's "April" Part - Dec 2023

You can dig into the data and check the full analysis on Github here.

The Tricks

In these 5 parts, Yuto performed 150 tricks total. 84% of the tricks were only done once, making his bag of tricks quite diverse and unique. These are the 24 tricks that were repeated more than once:

Horigome trick chart

The diverse selection of tricks is one of the reasons why it’s just so fun watching Yuto skate. You don’t know what’s coming next. He doesn’t have a single "go-to" trick. He’s got the talent to "go-to" all the tricks.

Trick notes:

The Obstacles

So Yuto has got all the tricks on lock. Let's see where he’s locking them:

Yuto skateboarding obstacles
It’s no surprise that Yuto loves rails. But he is no rail jock.

You’ll notice that for a skater who’s extremely techy, Yuto doesn’t do a lot of manuals. We know from the abundance of rails and big gaps that Yuto can overcome fear and handle the hefty landings and slamming potential, but perhaps his manual patience is one of the few areas where he can stand improvement.

Yuto Horigome manual trick
And just a PSA that Yuto rips at vert. We need more vert footage.

Yuto Horigome vert

The Stances

Witness Yuto's stance-count leaderboard:

Stances by video part

Yuto skate stance chart

Some stance by video part observations:

Stances by Obstacle

Presented here is more evidence that sets Yuto apart from everyone else as a remarkably well rounded skater, regardless of terrain. Even the small sample size of manual and transition tricks are feature clips from both regular and nollie stances.

Yuto stances-by-obstacle chart
It should not come as a shock to you that Yuto’s favorite thing to do on a skateboard is to skate rails nollie! But what is a bit more surprising, even knowing the stance data thus far, is that for all of Yuto’s distinctly diverse rail trickery (45 unique rail tricks in the 5 parts), there is not a single fakie rail trick in the dataset.

Taking a closer look, these are the 8 rail tricks repeated (each done exactly twice):

The Flip Tricks

The Rotations

Yuto loves spinning into rails (and sometimes ledges). From the count of 89 rail/ledge tricks:

The Street to Contest Analysis

Yuto's greatness lies not only in his advanced street skating video footage, but how he concurrently released those videos while dominating the contest circuit. How do these two venues for skateboarding diverge, overlap, and otherwise inform each other?

Let's compare openers, enders, and other unique tricks in Yuto’s video parts to the tricks in his contest performances that helped make him a literal, quantifiable champion.

sleep well, Yuto

The Contest Data & Methodology

Data was taken from competition events that fall within the same timeframe as the 5 video parts we just analyzed; starting with the XGames on June 1, 2019 up to Tampa Pro on April 7, 2024. View the Yuto Contest dataset here.

I tried to account for all major competitions between June 1, 2019 to April 7, 2024, but the dataset is not an exhaustive list. Additionally, events where Yuto did not place 3rd or higher were excluded. SLS Knockout Rounds, an event to decide which skaters compete in SLS Finals, were not logged. Lastly, only the highest scoring run was logged as is standard contest procedure. If notable, some events will be mentioned where Yuto did not rank 3rd or higher, but said event is not logged.

Notable Video Part Tricks Seen In Competition

Nollie Backside Suciu Grind
(the 2nd to last trick in Yuto’s 2019 April Pro Debut part)
nollie bs suciu on video gif
This trick was landed only once in competition, at SLS Sydney 2023, where Yuto placed 5th overall.
nollie bs suciu in competition gif (Yuto also bailed this trick to lose to Nyjah in the Best Trick section at SLS São Paulo 2019.)

Nollie Frontside 180 to Switch Backside Feeble Grind to Normal
(the ender in Yuto’s 2019 April Pro Debut part)
nollie fs 180 feeble on video gif
Done casually as the first trick in runs during both SLS São Paulo 2019 and SLS Tokyo 2023.
nollie 180 fs feeble in competition gif (Sure the rails were smaller, but to do that trick in a contest run. With style. Damn.)

Backside Sugercane
(ending rail montage in 2021's The Yuto Show)
bs sugarcane on video gif
Landed mid-run on the main obstacle to secure 1st place at XGames 2023.
bs sugarcane in competition gif

Nollie Frontside Suciu Grind
(also in the ending rail montage in 2021's The Yuto Show)
nollie fs suciu on video gif
Landed on final attempt of ‘Best Trick’ at 2020 Tokyo Olympics for Gold!
(also notable as the only time Yuto has shown emotion in a contest setting). This is Yuto’s contest dagger; he's stomped it 4 different times in ‘Best Trick’ portions of contests.
gold gif

Nollie Backside 270 to Backside Noseslide
(also from The Yuto Show, 2021)
nollie 270 nose on video gif
This beauty has secured Yuto wins in SLS L.A. 2019, Street World Championship Italy 2021, SLS Seattle 2022, XGames Ventura 2023, and SLS Nevada 2024.
nollie 270 nose in competition Yuto’s ability to pull bangers from his video parts and consistently land them in a contest to win is another reason Yuto is one of the best skateboarders alive.

Nollie Backside 180 to Switch Frontside Smith Grind
(opening trick of 2021 Spitfire part)
Yuto nollie 180 smith on video gif
Landed in Best Trick section of SLS Jacksonville 2022, giving Yuto an insurmountable lead in the contest.
nollie 180 smith in competition

Nollie Frontside 270 to Switch Backside Lipslide
(the balaclava ender from Spitfire part)
nollie 270 sw lip on video gif
A staple in Yuto’s contest performance, landed a sum of 14 times in contest situations.
nollie 270 sw lip in competition From the Hollywood 16 to having it on lock is another reason why Yuto is so good at skating rails nollie.

Nollie Frontside 270 to Switch Backside Tailslide
(from the ending rail montage in Nike's 2023 Yuto in Tokyo part)
nollie 270 sw bsts on video gif
A step up from the previous trick, landed 4 times in Best Trick (and once with a bigspin out in XGames 2019 best trick jam).
nollie 270 sw bsts in competition

Switch Treflip Lipslide to Normal
(also from the Yuto in Tokyo ending rail montage)
switch tre lipslide on video gif
Yuto has landed this 2 times in Best Trick and then, for good measure, once to end a competition run.
switch tre to lipslide in competition

Notable Street Tricks Not Seen In Competition... Yet

Switch Backside 180 Nosegrind back to Switch
(The Yuto Show part ender)
switch 180 nosegrind gif Yuto attempted this trick 4 times to normal at SLS Sydney 2023 but landed none, resulting in a 5th place finish.

Nollie Backside 270 Heelflip to Backside Boardslide
(Yuto in Tokyo part ender)
Yuto's trick of the year 2023 gif The 2023 SLS Trick of the Year.

Nollie Late Front Foot Flip to Backside Noseslide
(2023 April part ender)
Yuto not the NAC gif

Notable Yuto Contest Tricks Not Yet Seen In the Streets

The Yutornado: Nollie Backside 270 to Backside Noseslide to 270 out
(landed in SLS Tokyo 2023)
yutornado gif

Nollie Backside 270 to Backside Bluntslide
(2023 Tampa Pro ender)
Yuto Tampa 2023 gif

Nollie Late Front Foot Flip to Backside Boardslide
(2024 Tampa Pro ender)
Yuto Tampa 2024 gif

Update from the 2024 Budapest Olympic Qualifiers

Revenge of the Nollie Backside 270 to Backside Bluntslide
Budapest gif

Yuto took his 2023 Tampa hammer to the hefty rail at the final Olympic Qualifying event to secure first place. When you consider that anything less than a total victory in this event would've kept Yuto for attending the 2024 Olympics, we can forgive Yuto for showing a little bit of emotion on this one.

Some other notable progressions we observed during this event:

Budapest 2 gif
Yuto landed the nollie backside 180 nosegrind on the gap to rail for his opening attack in the Best Trick section. This could be considered a 'safety' version of his signature nollie bs 180 Suciu, but without the final revert - a trick that has foiled him in competitions before.

Budapest 3 gif
What have we here in the Run section of the competition? Yuto's infamous nollie fs 180 to Suciu handrail banger. That's right, he's progressed to doing these in his runs now.

So what does Yuto have stashed for the upcoming Paris Olympics? In addition to the nollie 270 bluntslide, he threw out a couple nollie late front foot flip attempts. 4PLY predicts that this trick, on a substantial handrail, will be what makes (or breaks) Yuto into an undefeated Gold Medal olympian.
We'll see you in France (from behind our computers at home).

Contest Trick Analysis

Because why not, let's briefly check Yuto’s most common competition tricks for both 'Run' and 'Best Trick' sections. (This sections does not include the Budapest Qualifyers).

59 total unique tricks have been executed in ‘Run’ sections of contests. These 25 were repeated more than once.
Yuto contest run tricks chart

So much spine twisting.

7 tricks were repeated more than once (out of 13 total unique tricks) in ‘Best Trick’ competition. Only 3 of these tricks are not nollie.
Yuto contest Best Trick chart

Now looking at Yuto's stance counts during competitions as grouped by obstacle type:
Yuto contest stance chart
It’s important to note that the scoring system in modern contest structures cater towards handrail skating, especially in the 'Best Trick' section. These typically default to a handrail trick contest.

Another way to look at this is through percentages.

Across the 5 video parts:

In competition:

Factor in the rotations; Out of 111 competition rail/ledge tricks:

If all these statistics are making your brain do a Yutornado, here is a final stat that completely defines Yuto Horigome as a generational skateboarding champion:

Yuto has won 14 of the 21 contests logged for this analysis. In an era where so many skaters demonstrate unreal technical consistency, a time of "everyone can do everything", Yuto still captures the top spot 67% of the time.

Yuto Horigome wins

But does Yuto’s nollie, spin, and handrail preferences and skills happen to be well suited towards victorious contest performances, or does the necessity of being good at nollies, spins, and handrail skating inform what tricks he practices and thus chooses to try while filming in the streets? If contests heavily rewarded no-comply tricks or manuals, what would these Yuto charts look like?

If anybody out there knows Yuto and speaks Japanese, make sure to ask him for us.
Drinks are on us.

Yuto closing image

4Ply Logo

Coming up: the full Yuto Nike SB Dunk analysis.