Snowsurf - with Beau Young
In February this year I had the opportunity to go to Northern Japan to ride the famously deep powder snow of Niseko. It’s amazing, the fact that frozen water clinging to a mountain can be ridden in a similar fashion to surfing is unbelievable.
The snowboards I rode in Japan were fishtail style boards, not at all dissimilar to the current outline of fish style surfboards being ridden around the world.
Snowboards are generally more trick style and have more flex in the core of the board. However, snowsurfing and this alternate style of board has been slowly gaining momentum. The big difference between a snowboard and a snowsurf style board is quite obviously the outline of the board. Snowboards, most of the time, have identical twin tips at the nose and tail ends of the board. Snowsurf style boards have a wider tail and a very deep fish style swallow tail outline in the back end.
Snowsurf boards provide a different feeling all together. The boards are designed for carving and arching at high speeds and are ridden in a very similar way to surfing. Upon descent you navigate the terrain as you would a wave, picking your highs and lows throughout the terrain to allow for a maximum amount of turns amongst the lip line of small banks and carving extended turns through the flatter sections for speed.
The six-month period I spent in Niseko was a real eye opener for me. There was a core group of boarders who ride exclusively snowsurf style boards. Taro Tamai is at the core of this group and as one of Japans best ever snowboarders, he and his company Gentem Sticks are a testament to this style of riding the mountain!
If you’re interested in this style take a look at Gentem and the movie “Snowsurf”, due for release at the start of September.
If you're not lucky enough to get down to the snow this season, The Surfboard Warehouse can sort you out with some epic fish shape boards to keep you busy in the waves. Check out the Vessel Eco Bean VX3, Beau Young Signature Series Carbon Jet, Waterborn Cheap Thrills, Vessel Zephyr Carbon Pro or any of the other fun boards that are available at The Surfboard Warehouse.