Event: Seki Onsen CHAOS jam

As spring breaks in Japan, there comes a time to give up on the powder chasing and get down with some serious spring slush fun. A time when nothing is better than gathering together to session fun features, BBQ, drink beer and do handplants. The CHAOS jam (aka CHAOS Stage 2) held in the characterful Seki Onsen tucked away in Myoko, is just such a time.

It’s a banks and bowl event but this is no old-man slash fest. Sure, you can cut-back slash endless lines through the course, but the features are more skatepark than surf break. No one-turn-and-you’re-finished bowl runs here –  it’s all out freestyle attack on progressive features that can be slashed or boosted off – a three dimensional blank canvas of snowboarding chaos.

If you are going to slash, slash hard. Hayato Mochizuki knows the chaos protocol.

Like a good skatepark, the features all lined up for multiple options every run. Toshiya Mori opted for a hand drag over what was being called the ‘snow boob’. Naughty boy.

All sorts of shapes were being thrown in the bowl. It was a style session over or under the lip:

At an event called Chaos, it’s predictable there was near-carnage with doubles and triples from groups of friends on every featiure. What was remarkable was that for all the near misses, everyone escaped unscathed. There is probably some physics to explain this phenomenon.

As the session heated up under the sun, every corner of the course was getting carved and aired, but who doesn’t appreciate a pair of well-shaped hips? The great thing about the Chaos park was that, like a good skatepark, the features all lined up for multiple options every run:

When Yuki Okamoto isn’t throwing sweet indy tail bones, he runs a ‘yaki-imo’ baked sweet-potato bar in Myoko. Sweet.
The Chaos park features left it up to you how to get down. Takayuki “Kuma” Kobayashi gets laid back along the hip.
Chaos Jam 4375
With such a sick hand-made park, sunshine, a BBQ and beers, the stoke level was already high. The MCs cranked it up another notch by throwing down a sweet Rome powder board for the ‘king of chaos’ – whoever was getting raddest.
This hip was around ten meters long, by about 1 meter wide… with a sweet spot of about 2 meters to land in. Toshiya must be good at math, or just CHAOS theory…
…and yes, he landed it! Check the track – he caught about a foot of transition. This is how you squat out a huge tranny finder.

He celebrated still having functioning knees with a big spray in the bowl:

Masatoshi “Holy” Horiuchi was also fully feeling the CHAOS stoke. Sender ollie just for the sake of it:


The bowl wasn’t just for old-timer slashes. There were multiple lines of attack – often taken by several riders at the same time. Naoki Ito opts for casual skate-style indy in, on his way to hit the opposite wall.
Old school method on powder board into the bowl…
…or lose the bindings and method in on a snowskate!
A rock’n’roll in a vert bowl over head high is hard enough on a skateboard, never mind a snow skate.


Just one more hit… the lifts might have stopped but the riding didn’t.
As Sunday’s session approached it’s end and the beers kicked in, an impromptu game of trying to spray the small band of brave spectators on the lip broke out. Sun-baked slush isn’t light, but after each brutal shower they bayed for more!
Naoki Ito throws up a classic Andrecht for the slush gallery.
They say “No friends on powder days” but friends are great on sunny spring slush days – they can even help you out with those difficult to reach grabs! Teamwork tail grab from Shuji Ito and friends.

Masatoshi “Holy” Horiuchi makes his own Holy Bowly, slashing round the lip, all guns blazing. I don’t know who got more of an adrenalin rush from this – him blasting round the bowl, or me getting as close as I dared with the camera!

Spring break: “Holy” Horiuchi had snapped his the nose of his board previously (not surpsising given his full-on riding style) so he just cut it off, sealed the core and voila; broken board to reverse slush slasher in 2 easy steps.
Inverts are all about the stall – that elusive moment of impossible balance. Shuji Ito posted up a perfect frontside, complete with the pause to refresh.

Corner pocket surf style. You know that felt good.

The light-hearted fun “let’s get crazy” style of the Chaos event, is perfectly illustrated by riders in wearing wrestling masks: The winner leaves the ring victorious, with a trail of carnage behind…

The simple things done fast never grow old.
Vintage snowboard collecting is a big thing now, but some people like to ride them too. Classic Sims Shaun Palmer and Burton Brushies were being aired and slashed hard. I asked the rider on the Palmer, “How is it?” He laughed, puffing out his cheeks, “Heavy”
Hajimehiko Hino takes the styley route back to the lift.

Toshiya Mori picked up the Rome x Snurfer Powder Division for getting most chaotic, while the guy doing one-foot tricks with a broken collarbone also a snowskate for his efforts. Hopefully he can trade it for painkillers:

I’m calling this as one of the best spring views from a resort toilet.

If you want to experience a freestyle based bowl event, and the best of Japanese stoke, get yourself to Chaos 2018, and start looking for wrestling masks now! The happy people who were in the right place at the right time for a weekend of soul shredding:

Thanks to Seki Onsen resort, Myoko, and the Chaos event crew.

Keep up to date at their Facebook event page.