Hosoi started skating at seven or eight years old with veterans such as Shogo Kubo, Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, and Jay Adams as his idols. His father, Ivan "Pops" Hosoi became the manager of the Marina Del Rey Skatepark, and Christian quit school and spent his time there where he quickly developed his emerging talent. In 1979, as an amateur, Hosoi was sponsored by Powell Peralta. He left Powell Peralta a year later when they wouldn't allow him to turn professional and joined Dogtown Skateboards. After Dogtown went out of business shortly thereafter, he turned pro at the age of 14 with Sims Skateboards.
Christian Hosoi emerged as one of the top competitors of vertical riding alongside such pros as Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, Lester Kasai, and Mark "Gator" Rogowski with an eventual rivalry developing with Tony Hawk with contrasting styles in both skateboarding and lifestyles—Hosoi, known for his flair and graceful style, and Hawk raising the bar with his technical ability and difficult tricks. Hosoi invented the Christ Air and Rocket Air, and was renowned for pulling huge aerials; at one point he was the world record holder. Vertical skateboarding grew in spectator popularity with prize money to match. This, combined with major endorsements with Converse, Swatch, and Jimmy'Z, as well as receiving a pro model wheel, the OJ II Hosoi Rocket through Santa Cruz Speed Wheels, earning Hosoi more money than he had ever dreamed of. In 1984 he formed his own company, Hosoi Skates, first distributed through Skull Skates, then through NHS-INC. The board proved to be so popular that it was counterfeited. When street skating began to emerge in the mid-to-late 80s, Hosoi proved a threat as well, winning both the vert and street contests at the Lotte Cup contest in Japan in 1989.
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (August 2009)|
- Placed in top 5 in 1980 Van's/Offshore Amateur State Finals (California) in boys 11-13 division
- 1st in 1985 NSA Summer Series #5 (Vancouver, BC): pro vert
- 1st in 1985 NSA
- 2nd in 1986 Expo 86 (Vancouver, BC): vert
- 1st in 1987 Thrasher Savannah Slamma I, street
- 2nd in 1987 Vision Ramp N' Rage Down South: vert
- 1st in 1988 Vision Skate Escape: vert
- 2nd in 1988 Ohio Skateout: street
- 1st in 1988 Ramp Riot Bells beach(Australia): vert
- 1st in 1988 Titus World Cup (Germany): vert
- 2nd in 1988 Titus World Cup (Germany): street
- 2nd in 1988 Vision Bluegrass Aggression Session: vert
- 1st in 1989 NSA Savannah Slamma III: Arena Street Style
- 2nd in 1989 NSA Gotcha Grind: vert
- 1st in 1989 Japan Slam Jam (Japan): vert
- 3rd in 1990 Disco in Frisco: street
- 3rd in 1990 NSA All Pro Mini Ramp Jam Hawaiian Style: mini ramp
- 1st in 2008 the 10th Annual Tim Brauch Memorial Contest Grandmasters Event
- 1st in 2008 Etnies GVR Skull Bowl – Masters (Lake Forest, CA)
- Overall Best ‘80s in 2008 The “All ‘80s All Day Vert Challenge”
- the 1st annual Team event at the 2009 Ultimate Boarder.
- 2nd in 2009 Pro-tec Pool Party-Master's division
- TransWorld Legend Award 11th 2009
- 1st in 2009 the X Games 15 Skateboard Park Legends contest
- 2nd in 2009 the 11th Annual Tim Brauch Memorial Contest Grandmasters Event
- 1st in 2010 the X Games 16 Skateboard Park Legends contest
Hosoi's pro career began to falter as a recession hit the US in the early 1990s and the new street skating stars began to overshadow vertical riders in media coverage. Hosoi faced bankruptcy after financial difficulties with a series of failed skateboard companies like Tuff Sk8s, Sk8 Kultur, Milk, and Focus, in addition to a growing addiction to drugs.
In 1995, Hosoi was arrested on two minor offences, and a warrant for his arrest was issued for failing to appear in court. To avoid arrest, Hosoi stopped attending competitions and demos, including declining an invitation to the first X Games (then the Extreme Games), which was going to be marketed as a renewed rivalry between Hawk and Hosoi.
Christian was finally captured in January 2000 at the Honolulu airport. He was apprehended while attempting to transport nearly 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) of crystal methamphetamine from Los Angeles to Honolulu. He was charged with trafficking with the intent to distribute. He was sentenced to 10 years incarceration, of which he served 4 and was released from the San Bernardino Central Detention Center in June 2004.
Hosoi is married to a former night club dancer Jennifer Lee and has four sons, James Hosoi, Rhythm Hosoi (from a previous relationship), Classic Hosoi and Endless Hosoi. He is currently living in Huntington Beach, California.
Hosoi became a born-again Christian through the urging of his wife and her uncle, Pastor Christopher Swaim. He also earned his high school diploma. Hosoi continues to be open about his new-found faith, having become ordained as an associate pastor, and has resumed his skateboarding career.
Hosoi was the subject of the 2006 documentary film Rising Son – The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi that detailed his initial success, drug addiction, and conversion to Christianity.
Christian joined forces with Jay Haizlip, Brian Sumner, and others to create The Uprising, a skate based ministry.
In 2008 The Uprising was documented by Steelroots, a Christian Youth Television Network, and made into a reality television show. The first season comprised eight episodes following the ministry around California and England. Season 2, began airing in fall 2009.
- Brooke, Michael (1999). Concrete Wave: The History Of Skateboarding. ISBN 1-894020-54-5.
- Sports Illustrated (June 7, 2004). Skate and Destroy article by Karl Taro Greenfeld
- HosoiSkates.com – Official site
- Christian Hosoi at the Internet Movie Database
- Christian Hosoi Reborn, Theme magazine, February 2008
- The Uprising The Uprising Reality Series on Steelroots.com
- Rising Son – The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi on IMDB.com
- iamsecond Christian Hosoi video testimony on iamsecond.com