Rusutsu Ski Resort has just dropped the dates of their planned opening for the upcoming season.
Ride the Niseko powder like the locals! Have you heard of snow surfing?
Snowboarding has been a popular winter sport for decades, but in recent years, a new trend has emerged - snow surfing. A unique blend of snowboarding and surfing, snow surfing involves riding a specially designed board, known as a Gentemstick, down the slopes, mimicking the smooth and fluid movements of surfing. In this article, we explore the history and art of Gentemstick, how it differs from traditional snowboarding, and why it's gaining popularity among winter sports enthusiasts.
With their headquarters conveniently located across the road from Always Niseko, it makes for an excellent place to stop by. Their location has all of their current models on display, with friendly staff that can help choose the best board to suit your style of riding (you can also rent one for a small fee). Upstairs they have a quaint coffee store and plenty of high-quality merchandise that you can purchase and wear with pride.
Gentemstick is a brand of snowboard created by Japanese surfer and snowboarder Taro Tamai. Taro was inspired by the traditional snowboards used by the indigenous people of Hokkaido, Japan, and decided to create a modern version that would allow riders to experience the same sense of flow and harmony with nature. The result was the Gentemstick, a uniquely shaped board designed to maximize maneuverability and responsiveness.
A Gentemstick is quite different from traditional snowboards in terms of shape and design. Unlike traditional snowboards, which are typically symmetrical in shape and have a flat base, Gentemsticks have a distinctive tapering shape, with a wide nose and a narrow tail. This design allows riders to easily float over powder and make quick turns with minimal effort. The board also has a pronounced camber, which provides additional stability and control.
Another key difference between Gentemstick and traditional snowboarding is the riding style their boards promote. Snow surfing is all about flow and fluidity, with riders focusing on making smooth, sweeping turns rather than performing tricks or jumps. The aim is to create a sense of oneness with the mountain and the snow, rather than simply racing down the slope.
In recent years, snow surfing has been gaining popularity among winter sports enthusiasts, and Gentemstick has been at the forefront of this trend. One reason for its popularity is the unique riding experience it offers. Snow surfing is a much more fluid and natural way of riding down the mountain, with the Gentemstick allowing riders to experience a sense of oneness with their surroundings.
Another reason for Gentemstick's popularity is its aesthetic appeal. The distinctive shape and design of the board, coupled with the intricate artwork that adorns each one, make Gentemsticks a true work of art. Many riders appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of the board as much as its performance on the snow.
Choosing the right Gentemstick can be a daunting task, given the wide range of sizes and designs available. However, there are a few key factors to consider when selecting a board. Firstly, consider your riding style and ability level. Beginners may want to opt for a larger, more stable board, while experienced riders may prefer a smaller, more maneuverable one.
It's also important to consider the type of terrain you'll be riding on. If you'll be primarily riding in deep powder, a wider nose and more pronounced taper may be beneficial. If you'll be riding on groomed runs or hard-packed snow, a narrower nose and flatter tail may be more appropriate.
Snow surfing is not just a sport, it's an art form. The Gentemstick allows riders to experience the mountain and the snow in a way that is both exhilarating and meditative. Riding down the slopes on a Gentemstick requires a deep level of focus and concentration, as riders must navigate the changing terrain and adjust their movements accordingly.
The key to mastering the art of snow surfing with Gentemstick is to embrace the flow and let go of any rigid expectations. Rather than trying to control every movement, riders must learn to trust the board and the natural forces of the mountain. This requires a certain level of mindfulness and presence, as well as a willingness to surrender to the experience.
Another important aspect of snow surfing with Gentemstick is the connection to nature. The board's unique design allows riders to feel the snow and the terrain in a way that is much more intimate than traditional snowboarding. This connection to nature is a fundamental part of the snow surfing experience, and one that many riders find deeply fulfilling.
Gentemstick represents a unique and exciting evolution in snow sports. Its distinctive design and riding style offer a fresh perspective on the mountain and the snow, while also connecting riders to the natural world in a profound way. Whether you're an experienced snowboarder looking for a new challenge or a beginner wanting to try something different, Gentemstick is a great way to explore the art of snow surfing.
Blaize is a photographer and content creator from Australia, having worked for our team during the 22/23 winter season. He has an extensive knowledge of the Niseko area, frequently visiting to enjoy the world-famous powder snow.
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