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Same here....., been to Hokkaido 8 years in a row now and this was the worst year we've been. They've said it was the worst on record since they started recording conditions. Last year was epic the best ever.

I'd recommend if you have no prob's with luggage weights to take 3 boards to Japan to cover all bases ie all mountain, freeride and powder. Freeride can probably cover all mountain anyway to a certain degree. I took Fish, Dump Truck and Surfer this year. Rode the Surfer for 70% of the time just because it was new but was glad to jump back on the brilliant freeride certainty that the DT gives.

Anyway nice post JD(y)
 

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So I ended up taking the Terrapin, Archetype and Simple Pleasures.

The conditions this year were nothing like previous years, very little base and frequent warm weather. The night we arrived it was dumping though and the first day was like many I've had over there before, about knee deep light fluffy pow.
I took the SP out in the morning for first chairs but the resort was relatively empty so there was fresh tracks to be had all day. That was the deepest snow I had been on with the SP to date, more on that board later.

We were staying on snow so board swaps were super easy and after lunch I took the Terrapin out. There was still plenty of un-tracked powder and I had never ridden this board before as it had been hanging on my wall for over 10 months waiting for this trip.
I've never owned a rocker board before, this thing is super stiff and wide, possibly the worst combination ever for firm snow. Once I got it into the powder I could see its true potential, still a very loose feeling board, unique you might say. I'd imagine if you went heli-boarding or a week at Baldface this would certainly be a great board. For me the way it rode on the groomed snow and even just getting on and off the lift was a deal breaker, I did 3 -4 pow laps and didn't touch it again for the rest of the trip, it's currently for sale.

We didn't get any more fresh snow for another 10 days or so, I was mostly riding the SP, doing lots of carving and on the days it was hot and slushy I learnt to back 3 on this board off of some side hits. I can't say enough about this board, it's just so good and extremely versatile for what it is, I rode it about 80% of the trip.

After a week we moved from Hakuba to Madarao for a couple of days, the weather was so bad we didn't go out, ice, wind and rain. Then we had a week in Myoko and we got lucky with a two day storm dumping about a meter of snow. First day of the storm I took the Archetype out, I left a long review on how it did in the Archetype thread on here. To summarize though it didn't float well enough in the fresh deep Japow but was excellent later in the day for dipping in and out of stashes.

The second day of the storm we went to Lotte Arai for the first time, what a place! its basically this huge bowl of freeride terrain and they don't groom anything. I took the Simple Pleasures and it handled the deep snow with ease. I'm riding the 151 at 85kg or 187lbs. This was the best day of the trip for me, after lunch most people had gone home and then they pulled down the ropes on this zone that had been closed all day, I almost had the place to myself and just did lap after lap in thigh deep pow with the most amazing tree riding, pretty steep for Japan.

I'm already planning next years Japan adventure. I've decided 3 boards is too much so I'm going to take a directional powder board, probably my Burton Skipjack Surf which I have taken before on two previous trips. The second board will be my all mountain twin I just picked up on sale this week, its a Capita Outerspace Living.
Agree with this. I always just take a pow surfer/carver and a freestyle board. The terrain isnt steep enough to warrant an all mountain board imo.
Didn't get to have a long trip this year only about a month, definitely the worst conditions for a few years for me. Rode my Rome National almost every day and probably could have just rode it on the pow days also.
From your quiver I'd go the spring break and the SP for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I'd recommend if you have no prob's with luggage weights to take 3 boards to Japan to cover all bases ie all mountain, freeride and powder. Freeride can probably cover all mountain anyway to a certain degree. I took Fish, Dump Truck and Surfer this year. Rode the Surfer for 70% of the time just because it was new but was glad to jump back on the brilliant freeride certainty that the DT gives.

Anyway nice post JD(y)
Cheers mate, do you take 3 sets of bindings too? I struggled with 3 boards and 2 sets of bindings with the weight limit but I only carry a 27L backpack as my main bag and load up my board bag until it hits 23kg. We moved 3 times this season too so I don't want to be hustling through Tokyo station at peak hour with too much luggage, the backpack makes it easier.


Agree with this. I always just take a pow surfer/carver and a freestyle board. The terrain isnt steep enough to warrant an all mountain board imo.
Didn't get to have a long trip this year only about a month, definitely the worst conditions for a few years for me. Rode my Rome National almost every day and probably could have just rode it on the pow days also.
From your quiver I'd go the spring break and the SP for example.
I've taken the spring break twin over twice before but didn't end up riding it a lot as it doesn't really float that well, I would have used it a lot this year though!
The Outerspace Living I just bought should float much better than the spring break and its still a board I can progress my freestlye on both in and out of the park. Should be a good board for the Aussie season too.
 

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Cheers mate, do you take 3 sets of bindings too? I struggled with 3 boards and 2 sets of bindings with the weight limit but I only carry a 27L backpack as my main bag and load up my board bag until it hits 23kg. We moved 3 times this season too so I don't want to be hustling through Tokyo station at peak hour with too much luggage, the backpack makes it easier.




I've taken the spring break twin over twice before but didn't end up riding it a lot as it doesn't really float that well, I would have used it a lot this year though!
The Outerspace Living I just bought should float much better than the spring break and its still a board I can progress my freestlye on both in and out of the park. Should be a good board for the Aussie season too.
No just one each normally for my son and me (EST). This year I had to take a reflex for the surfer. I take a few parts as well just in case of a breakage. 3 boards is the extreme (but that's me though) to cover all bases but I remember a couple of years I rode the Custom/CX in Japan on a few bluebird piste days and loved charging hard around Japan on it. However a cambered freeride board will cover this to a certain level anyway. This year we took 5 boards and wifes ski's in 2 wheelie gigs. I break down all the boards and ski's and layer them up in their own bags. First bag 156; 2 boards, 2 bindings, ski boots/bindings/poles and skis, 2nd bag 166; 3 boards, 1 x bindings 2 x boots. They were just over 23kg each.
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Depends on your airline luggage allowances. With ANA (economy) you used to get 42kg per person (sweet as) now it's down to 32kg (with a 23kg OHS bag limit). We went with Cathay Pacific (cheaper by $3k) this year and they were 30kg per person (no bag weight limit). So 3 of us we had 90kg plus 3 carry ons. We were close to the line with 89kg...., so I say if you've got it, use it. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Well as I said the board bag is 23kg but still plenty of room in it for more stuff but that's the weight limit with JAL. My backpack never weighs more than 8kg. I have a small carry on too with my helmet and goggles in it, my helmet is full carbon and very $$$ so there is no way I'm checking that in.

In 2018 I took 3 boards and one set of bindings but found it a hassle as you had to choose your board the night before and a couple of times I made the wrong choice. This year I had 3 boards and 2 sets of bindings but after I stopped riding the Terrapin on the first day I effectively had 2 boards set up with bindings ready to go all the time and that was so much better.

I think we want to go back up to Hokkaido next year, would you recommend Cathay Pacific? did you have to have a stopover in Singapore or somewhere?
 

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Well as I said the board bag is 23kg but still plenty of room in it for more stuff but that's the weight limit with JAL. My backpack never weighs more than 8kg. I have a small carry on too with my helmet and goggles in it, my helmet is full carbon and very $$$ so there is no way I'm checking that in.

In 2018 I took 3 boards and one set of bindings but found it a hassle as you had to choose your board the night before and a couple of times I made the wrong choice. This year I had 3 boards and 2 sets of bindings but after I stopped riding the Terrapin on the first day I effectively had 2 boards set up with bindings ready to go all the time and that was so much better.

I think we want to go back up to Hokkaido next year, would you recommend Cathay Pacific? did you have to have a stopover in Singapore or somewhere?
Cathay Pacific was pretty good but they're based/fly into Hong Kong for stop overs (3.5hrs for us). They were $Au1270 return (Syd to New Chitose) for us for 1st to 3rd week of Jan (booked early April 19).
Their planes were always full except Hong Kong to New Chitose.

ANA were $2250 for same flight but their flight schedules are really good ie overnight and arrive dawn next day. ANA were $1250 in early Feb for 2 weeks return. I'd recommend 1st weeks of Feb as it's outside Aussie/other Countries School Holidays. Unfortunately my wife's a Teacher so we kind of go in the Jan' Holidays. Every few years I get her to use some of her long service for a Feb trip.
 

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Scotty...., these might be some of those useless Buller staff you tell us about going on their cheap overseas pissup aka ski trip after working their arse off harassing holidaying families on the lifts through our Aussie winter.
Haha, yeah that'd be right. Happy to close that chapter of my life - I went up to Buller a few times at the end of last season (not enough to make good on my season pass), and with all the conrete-tastic development in the village, all geared towards non-lift ticket buying sightseeing tourists, thought to myself "screw this sh7tty, sh7tty place". Didn't bother get a season pass for this year, even with the early bird savings.

I've never owned a rocker board before, this thing is super stiff and wide, possibly the worst combination ever for firm snow. Once I got it into the powder I could see its true potential, still a very loose feeling board, unique you might say. I'd imagine if you went heli-boarding or a week at Baldface this would certainly be a great board. For me the way it rode on the groomed snow and even just getting on and off the lift was a deal breaker, I did 3 -4 pow laps and didn't touch it again for the rest of the trip, it's currently for sale.

I'm already planning next years Japan adventure. I've decided 3 boards is too much so I'm going to take a directional powder board, probably my Burton Skipjack Surf which I have taken before on two previous trips. The second board will be my all mountain twin I just picked up on sale this week, its a Capita Outerspace Living.
Damn, that Terrapin, sorry to hear about your pretty poor experience with it. I couldn't hack something that rode that poorly on groomed snow, esp. when sunny Japow mornings make for awesome on-piste afternoons.

I get Craig's bringing 3 decks and 1 set of bindings, however for me, 2 decks and 1 set of bindings is enough (pow/carver + something playful that can still put an edge in).

That Skipjack Surf looks freakin' unreal! How does it carve on groomed?
 

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Discussion Starter #30
That Skipjack Surf looks freakin' unreal! How does it carve on groomed?
The profile is flat to rocker in the nose a lot like many other Burton powder boards including the fish but on the table it has about 3mm of positive camber. It certainly can carve but my simple pleasures is superior in that area. The Skipjack is better in powder than the SP though, I did a full 3 weeks on it in Japan back in 2017 as my only board, enjoyed it enough to take it again in 2018 along with 2 other boards.
 

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The profile is flat to rocker in the nose a lot like many other Burton powder boards including the fish but on the table it has about 3mm of positive camber. It certainly can carve but my simple pleasures is superior in that area. The Skipjack is better in powder than the SP though, I did a full 3 weeks on it in Japan back in 2017 as my only board, enjoyed it enough to take it again in 2018 along with 2 other boards.
Nice. Damn, now I want another directional + tapered + camber w/ early rise Burton board.
 

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Great seeing the Aussies out on force on SBF. (y)
Haha! I've been MIA for a while - been watching Angry's stuff (even managed to participate in a whole day's worth livestreams, despite the time difference!!!).

I've been getting into "longboarding" a bit, recently, and I'm a convert. I'm interested to see if it's had a positive effect on my snowboarding, next time I strap in (didn't go to Japan this year, as I'm intending to put in a solid number of days in Aus, instead).
 

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Falls Creek or Hotham???
My man, you just KNOW it's gotta be both! Work is a bit of a question mark at the moment (I work remotely, company in the midst of change), but if things pan out like I hope they will, I'm looking to move to Myrtleford or Tawonga or something like that, this year.

LOVE Falls - great variety and their cat-tracks are super fun. And I haven't seen too much of Hotham (had a bad back last year), but that Summit run - SO wide, so well groomed and all crowds (ski schools) seem to be organised VERY well by staff... never thought I'd hear myself say "that beginner run is fcking amazing!"

And of course, Perisher. It'll be a humbling drive up, but this year marks the 10th anniversary of me and my dad, driving from Melbourne up over the Range. The bushfire damage will most likely have us in tears, but it'll be a solid reminder as to why people and memories are so damn important.
 
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