Epic, hand-dug snow bowl and snake run set deep in the woods of Japan gets a proper seeing-to from some Japanese all-stars…
The roots that snowboarding shares with skateboarding are well-documented, but it’s arguably the Japanese who have done most to popularise true skate-inspired bowl riding. Unlike the halfpipe or many of the rail features we have these days, there’s less bastardisation when it comes to snow bowls and banks – replace concrete shapes with snow and wheels with P-Tex and you’re good to go draw your lines.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, a core crew of Japanese riders have been crafting insane end-of-season bowls inspired by 70s ‘crete, with names like Hayato “Bubbles” Maruyama, Goro Komatsu and Shuji Kajiura responsible for popularising the movement. In fact it was these guys efforts – notably The Wall – that prompted event organiser Krush Kulesza to work with them, enlist the support of Lib Tech, and unveil the first ever Holy Bowly at Hakuba’s Happoone resort back in 2012.
There have also been European efforts at crafting such kinds of terrain – notably the End Section creations that the Wängl Tängl used to evolve each year, and of course that time Nike dropped a mil on Montafon for a bonkers park setup including a snow pool complete with diving board. But such efforts have by their nature required cat hours, support from the resort and sponsors and were as such a world removed from such setups’ roots – namely when the snow turns slushy, grab a bunch of homies, some shovels, and dig that shit.
The Yadokari bowl, however, is what it’s all about. You can only imagine the blood, sweat and tears required to carve this thing out, but it’s clear it was all worth it when you see what the guys were able to put down through it. Carves, slashes, airs, jibs… the works. Kampai!
RIDERS: Kohei Kudo, Shuhei Sato, Keisuke Yoshida, Takaharu Nakai, Kazuya Doumae, Motoki Takahashi, DKC, Uemura Yoshinari, Teddy Koo, Taniguchi Takahiro, Yuuri Ookubo, and Ryosuke Horii