The Burton Blog

Field Notes from Aomori Spring: The First Asia-Pacific Burton Team Photoshoot

As domestic and international contests start to slow down in late March, Burton team riders from Japan, Korea, China, Australia and New Zealand gathered in Aomori Spring to capture some resort riding photos together.

Believe it or not, this was the first time that riders from the Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions got together for a reason other than competition. That weekend, 16 riders of different countries, generations, and riding styles arrived at the resort for some fun on-snow.

It was a record warm winter and resorts across Japan struggled with less snow than usual during 2019. Though the resort is located on the northern tip of the main island and usually receives lots of winter snow, Aomori Spring was no exception. This meant that the superpipe was closed and their special two-kilometer long terrain park was cut short. We weren’t too concerned about the big features, but we had anticipated unfavorable conditions overall.

During the shoot, the weather kept changing and we had no choice but to accommodate Mother Nature. The three-day mission was full of ideas from both riders and the photographer for making the best possible decisions under variable weather conditions.

R: Yutaro Miyazawa, P: Akira Onozuka

Spring Riding

On the first day, we learned the park wasn’t maintained overnight due to severe rain storm. Instead of calling it quits, the rider immediately jumped in and started looking for alternative zones.

Riders from Japan led the group and had a great spring riding session using the natural terrain. An amazing mixture of top-notch seasoned snowboarding medalists, Olympians, and up-and-comers were showing off their style. It was very unique, and very Burton.

The crew, P: Kentaro Matsuda
R: Minsik Lee, P: Akira Onozuka
It was insane trip! The best moments were riding with light powder and night shooting with delicious food. Thank you, Burton crew, for the great opportunity.
– Minsik

Night Session

Later in the evening, we had dinner and went night riding under the lights just outside the restaurant at the base of the slope. Powder was expected the following day and we were all hyped.

R: Takeru Otsuka, P: Kentaro Matsuda
I see halfpipe riders and ride with them once in a while, but it’s super rare shredding with Yuya or Yuki. It was so fun to watch them ride with good style. This whole session was super inspiring.
– Takeru Otsuka

Deep Winter

On day two, Winter came back overnight with surprising amount of powder. We were planning on hitting the park, but that plan changed immediately after seeing the conditions. We split the group into two to start filming. This unexpected Japow got the Australian and New Zealand team riders especially stoked to hit jumps and ride through the trees.

R: Kurumi Imai, P: Akira Onozuka
R: Carlos Garcia Knight, P: Akira Onozuka
R: Jess Rich, P: Akira Onozuka
Riding with the Burton APAC team was such a cool experience. It’s great to see that, despite being from different countries and speaking different languages, we all share a common love for snowboarding, and that kept a smile on my face for the whole trip.
– Jess Rich
  • R: Jye Kearney, P: Akira Onozuka

    R: Jye Kearney, P: Akira Onozuka

  • R: Yuki Furihata, P: Kentaro Matsuda

    R: Yuki Furihata, P: Kentaro Matsuda

  • R: Taku Hiraoka, P: Kentaro Matsuda

    R: Taku Hiraoka, P: Kentaro Matsuda

  • R: Carlos Garcia Knight & Tomoki Wakita, P: Kentaro Matsuda

    R: Carlos Garcia Knight & Tomoki Wakita, P: Kentaro Matsuda

  • R: Yuya Nakayama, P: Akira Onozuka

    R: Yuya Nakayama, P: Akira Onozuka

  • R: Kokomo Musase, P: Akira Onozuka

    R: Kokomo Musase, P: Akira Onozuka

  • R: Su Yiming, P: Kentaro Matsuda

    R: Su Yiming, P: Kentaro Matsuda

  • R: Takahiro Ishida, P: Kentaro Matsuda

    R: Takahiro Ishida, P: Kentaro Matsuda

Park Riding

From rain to snow and finally… the park! Our last day of filming was at the newly built hip section. Our time was limited for this park session, but thanks to Step On® and a snowmobile driven by the riders, both the riders and filmers left very much satisfied.

R: Yutaro Miyazawa, P: Akira Onozuka
Quick trip back to the top. P: Kentaro Matsuda
I usually see most of these riders at overseas competitions, and it was so cool to ride the whole mountain with them.
– Yutaro Miyazawa
R: Hikaru Oe P: Akira Onozuka

All in all, it was two-and-a-half days of filming with the most variable of conditions and so many unexpected events. These unique and exciting riders reminded each other how fun and creative snowboarding can be. Whatever the conditions, riding is always worth it.

Thanks to everyone who joined us: Su Yiming (CHN), Minsik Lee (KOR), Carlos Garcia Knight (NZL), Jye Kearney (AUS), Jess Rich (AUS), Taku Hiraoka (JPN), Raibu Katayama (JPN), Takeru Otsuka (JPN), Yutaro Miyazawa (JPN), Tomoki Wakita (JPN), Takahiro Ishida (JPN), Yuya Nakayama (JPN), Yuki Furihata (JPN), Hikaru Oe (JPN), Kurumi Imai (JPN), and Kokomo Musase (JPN).