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DCP

INTERNATIONAL TEAM RISTO MATTILA SETH HUOT DCP MATT BEARDMORE ALEXIS WAITE PATRICK MCCARTHY ALVARO VOGEL MATIAS RADAELLI BASTI KUHN GIAN SIMMEN

NEW ZE A L A ND SNOWBO A RDER , ISSUE # 5 3 , J UL / A UG / SE P T 2 0 1 0

DCP RIDING WITH DECADE SL BOOTS

THE ZONE

SNOWMOBILE MISSION WITH NICK HYNE & CREW

TAKE IT ALL IN 

A SOUTHERN ROAD TRIP WITH THE JACKWAYS BRO’S

STYLE COUNCIL

53

WITH KAZUHIRO KOKUBO

nz$9.90 incl. gst issue #53 JUL/AUG/SEP 2010 www.nzsnowboarder.co.nz


YOU COULD SAY 21-YEAR OLD KAZUHIRO KOKUBO FROM HOKKAIDO, JAPAN RE-WROTE THE BOOK on style when it comes to halfpipe riding! The first time I saw Kazu ride was at the US Open in 2003, he came out of nowhere all the way from the pre-qualifying rounds to land himself a spot in the finals. Even back then he was doing ridiculously massive airs and his signature huge McTwists, stomping the shit out everything with legs of steel – as Japanese riders seem to be able to do. A few years later he turned up in New Zealand and systematically destroyed the 90-foot Burton booter at Snow Park, on his own, at about 5pm in the evening – just imagine ‘solid as concrete’ landing! He threw every spin in the book at it and didn’t falter once. Come 2010 Olympics, apparently Kazu caused a bit of a stir in Japan for not wearing his Team Japan uniform correctly and then telling the media that The Olympics was ‘just another snowboard competition’. Incidentally he and two other coach / managers were barred from the Opening Ceremony. He went on be one of the standout riders in the finals adding flair and originality to his routine. Next stop was the US Open in March where he scored what some would say was a ‘controversial’ victory, with style reigning supreme over technicality. Not that his run wasn’t tech, but he didn’t adhere to the double-cork-a-thon that’s been gaining momentum. VB shot this rad sequence of Kazu outside the constrictions of comps and halfpipes, smooth as butter and stomped as ever! I caught up with Kazu real quick to get his thoughts By DB on the matter….

Style Council with

Kazuhiro Kokubo

How did you find the Olympic experience? I really enjoyed it. Formal people managed the competition, but once I started riding those things didn’t matter. You won the recent US Open, congratulations. How was the Open different from the Olympics? The Open is free, the Olympics is strained…. But both are fun. What are your thoughts on how double corks have changed competition? I think it’s a good thing. It’s interesting when new tricks come out, and the speed in which everyone catches up is superimpressive… but I don’t like it! How important is style to you, compared to technical tricks? Both of them are important, but I choose style. You’ve been to New Zealand a bunch of times, any plans to return this year? I have my wedding this year, so I can not make it this time, but I’ll be there next year. Are we going to see more backcountry riding from you in the future? More than now for sure, but I will continue to compete in pipe contests. You’re well known as having great style when you ride, any tips to people about having their own style? Ride how you like, and spend a lot of time riding, then find your style. Thanks - Kazu SPONSORS: Burton, Oakley, Hurley, Shift, Shy Dental Lab, Seven Samurai. 38 NZSNOWBOARDER


Kazuhiro Kokubo never ceases to define style in his own unique way. Backside 900 in the Tahoe backcountry, USA. SEQ: VAUGHAN BROOKFIELD


121:40:45W

48:51:43N

Nick Brown, frontside 7, Mt. Baker Resort, Washington, USA. PHOTO: GREG ROEBUCK

46 NZSNOWBOARDER


By Shane Orchard CAPTIONS RUARI MCFARLANE

IT’S A LONG WAY TO GO TO OBSERVE THE INSIDE OF A CLOUD. AND ALL IN THE HOPE THAT ONCE IN A WHILE THE MOUNTAINS MIGHT SHRUG OFF THEIR SHROUDS, AND ALLOW THE FEW HUMANS AROUND A CHANCE TO GO EXPLORE. BUT SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT, SO WITH AIR TICKETS JUST TWO WEEKS OLD AND TRUSTY TOOLS OF THE TRADE PREPARED FOR TAKEOFF, I HEAD FOR THE DEPARTURE LOUNGE…

11:00 A.M. MARCH 29 “What do you mean 23kgs?” I thought it was 32. “Oh, I can take my laptop plus 7kg cabin baggage?”… “Great, I’ll just repack a bit and come back in a minute.” Holy smokes, I was yet to pass stage one! I hastily looked for anything small and heavy I could hide in the bottom of my laptop bag. Crampons might fit in, and yip, a camera lens could go too. I put on an extra jacket then made sure the carry-on weighed a good 7kg and fronted up again. “24.5… oh, I think that’ll be okay” the nice lady said, “have a great trip”. I was on my way. 11:10 A.M. MARCH 29 “Is this your computer case sir?” Oh no, the crampons… duh! “Umm, is there a problem with those? I couldn’t fit them in my other bag.” That required checking, apparently, and five minutes later I got a reply. “We don’t allow crampons in the cabin but no problem, we’ve contacted an airline representative who’ll check them in for you.” It looked like my planned crampon-wielding takeover of the in-flight bar was off the cards! Shortly afterwards the same nice lady from check-in found her way through security, crampons in hand. “No problem she said, we’ve located one of your checked bags… do you mind if we unzip it and pop these inside?” “No I don’t mind at all,” I said hastily, “sorry, I was a bit rushed…” And with that and a friendly wave from the security officer, I was a lot closer to AK. 5:00 P.M. MARCH 29 LAX. Not the flashest place to hang about. I’d already inquired if the last plane to Seattle was full. It was. So it was back to the original plan of a 13-hour book reading stint, perhaps broken by sleep if possible. Come midnight the crowds thinned, as did my enthusiasm for the book. Then I spotted those comfy looking curved couches in the foyer. Empty at last! I quickly scuttled over and tried to work out how to lash four bags of various sizes around me in some configuration able to thwart any sneaky thief. The solution was to lie on all of them, and whilst doing this a couple other kids came along and started setting up their versions of the same. At least they’d be a few pairs of friendly eyes about, so I made some small talk, and settled down for some airport sleep time. This is where that oversize snowboard jacket comes in handy. I pulled the hood over my face for a lights out effect and dreamt of the morning.

66 NZSNOWBOARDER


Sooner or later, you’re bound to end up right place, right time. This line epitomized rare, perfect Alaska; sunny, steep, stable, deep, watched by curious mountain goats and merely en route to an even sicker, bigger peak! PHOTO: SHANE ORCHARD


DCP

INTERNATIONAL TEAM RISTO MATTILA SETH HUOT DCP MATT BEARDMORE ALEXIS WAITE PATRICK MCCARTHY ALVARO VOGEL MATIAS RADAELLI BASTI KUHN GIAN SIMMEN

NEW ZE A L A ND SNOWBO A RDER , ISSUE # 5 3 , J UL / A UG / SE P T 2 0 1 0

DCP RIDING WITH DECADE SL BOOTS

THE ZONE

SNOWMOBILE MISSION WITH NICK HYNE & CREW

TAKE IT ALL IN 

A SOUTHERN ROAD TRIP WITH THE JACKWAYS BRO’S

STYLE COUNCIL

53

WITH KAZUHIRO KOKUBO

nz$9.90 incl. gst issue #53 JUL/AUG/SEP 2010 www.nzsnowboarder.co.nz


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