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post #51 of 121 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:28 PM
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In japan you dont really NEED to go back country. There is plenty of off piste action inside the resorts that will keep you happy for a long long time. Save the backcountry travel till you have a few years of boarding under your belt and have done the proper training.
You are in snowboarding heaven, enjoy it.
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post #52 of 121 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 12:13 AM
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Hey Youjimbo,

No I haven't ridden either of those boards. But like ETM says, they're is plenty of off-piste action. There has been so much snow this winter in Hokkaido that you've got very good odds of getting thigh to knee deep powder (literally) if you duck a rope at the right resort and you know where to go. It's only in the last 10 days that I've actually had difficulty finding untracked pow in and around the resorts.

I don't know a whole lot about the Billy Goat, but I think the Hovercraft would be great fun to ride around the glades, and maybe just above the treeline. The board looks like it's got a lot of float and to be very nimble. I'm riding a T.Rice 156 which is awesome to ride on any piece of terrain I've taken it through, but it really feels the best above the treeline on steeper runs.

If you can afford it I would seriously look into a split-board. Unless you've got a snowmobile, snowcat, or helicopter you'll be using snowshoes every time you go BC. With the split you won't need to lug around snowshoes, and you can use skins to make your ascent. On the downside the bindings for splits are usually more expensive, and skins aren't cheap either. Furthermore if everyone in your group is wearing snowshoes it may be more beneficial to hike straight up the mountain rather than doing switchbacks which is more common with skins.

Personally I've never ridden one, but I would love to have a go, and am probably looking at getting a split for my next deck. Just think about what kind of terrain you'll be taking your board through before you buy it. I'm really happy with my deck which I bought when I was living a couple of hours out of Tokyo last year. If I knew I'd be moving up to Hokkaido and doing BC fairly regularly I might have gone with a split.

Before getting into the BC I would recommend riding through wherever the powder is at a hill near you, maybe you have some local mates that might show you some powder stashes. If you do come up to Hokkaido there's plenty of powder off piste in Rusutsu, although not any really big lines. You can also go through the gates to some outbound runs in Niseko and it's a bit more open than Rusutsu. There's also a gondola that takes people about 3/4 of the way up Asahidake (biggest mountain in Hokkaido) which is great for powder runs, and longer lines than you'll get at Niseko or Rusutsu.

After you can ride the slack country powder is when you want to take a look at some BC tours. There's a couple of crews up in Niseko that run guided tours, and one of my mates in Sapporo does as well.
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post #53 of 121 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 05:14 AM
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thanks for the reply ETM and onji.

After doing some looking around online, I think my skills and my budget just won't allow me to get into the backcountry next season. Maybe one day. For now, I'll settle for whatever powder I can find at the skijo. Ducking ropes, finding tree runs and powder stashes. It's true, Japan is perfect for that sort of thing.

I'll still probably go for a pow specific board, I'm leaning heavily towards the Jones Hovercraft. As I mentioned, Hokkaido is on my Itinerary as well as Zao.

Now all that is left is to start a list of all the best powder resorts in Japan and try to get some inside information about which ropes to duck. can anyone help me out with this?

peace!
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post #54 of 121 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 06:37 PM
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What is your height and weight?
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post #55 of 121 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 05:38 PM
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Anyone going to be in Nozawa Onsen over the next couple of weeks?

Im heading up there 4-12 March if anyone is keen to hook up for a ride send me a PM.

Last edited by RaID; 02-28-2012 at 05:44 PM.
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post #56 of 121 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 11:54 PM
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What is your height and weight?
Hey ETM. I'll sound really dumb if this question wasn't for me. But I'm 5'9" 145 lbs. with a size 10 boot.
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post #57 of 121 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 02:17 AM
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Haha I did mean you. At your stats I would seriously consider the 2013 burton cheetah. It is the best looking pow board I have seen in a long time but will only come in a 159 which is too small for most but at 145lb will be awesome for you.
I wish they made a 180 I would snap one up in an instant.
Click the link below and scroll down till you see the all blue board.

SIA Snow Show 2012 | Blog | Stylesight
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post #58 of 121 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:38 AM
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Now all that is left is to start a list of all the best powder resorts in Japan and try to get some inside information about which ropes to duck. can anyone help me out with this?

peace!
I'll list my fav resorts for pow riding but the scope of my comment is limited to Hokkaido.

1. Asahidake
2. Rusutsu
3. Niseko

Bear in mind Asahidake has only 1 lift, a gondola, that runs once every 30 mins. It takes you up to 1600m which is about double the altitude of the next highest resort in Hokkaido. This resort is designed for off-piste. I haven't heard of any avalanches this year, but a significant part of it is within avy country.

Rusutsu is a bit less touristy than Niseko and the snow is of equal quality IMO with endless tree runs.

Niseko.... Pretty much a bigger Rusutsu, the park is better, it's got bowls you can ride some slack country terrain in (make sure to take a buddy everytime you go slack country or deeper)
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post #59 of 121 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 02:41 AM
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@ETM

Those Smith goggles look nice

But I don't know how useful that R8 will be at packing snowboards and kit into the boot for the weekend... I think Audi turned up to the wrong convention
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post #60 of 121 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 03:47 AM
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@ETM


But I don't know how useful that R8 will be at packing snowboards and kit into the boot for the weekend...
You have all your gear pre shipped to the desination
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