Mountain Wave 2018 part 2 featured image

Events: Mountain Wave 2018 – part 2

The Mountain Wave 2018 Part 2 event went down in Hakuba Goryu, and what better way to round out the season than throwing out some methods and railing some turns?

The Mountain Wave crew have been creating fun springtime events in Hakuba for several years now, and this year they stepped it up to include a banked slalom race. The banked slalom run was super fun, but soaring temps made for challenging conditions for the organizers. The flow and speed were still there, but one turn became a monster, chewing riders up and spitting them out, with almost the whole women’s field falling victim to it before it was re-shaped. With time running short, the survivors of the first run went into a super final where it was all or nothing for the win. The organizers were bummed but there just wasn’t enough time for everybody to get a second run. Next year we’re sure the Mountain Wave crew will have gotten the kinks out to ensure a smooth event. After the race, the focus moved up to the ‘3D chikei park’ (3D terrain park) for the the tongue-in-cheek named “World Method Championships” on the snow-cano feature. The park was made up of hand dug transitions for maximum fun on snowboard or snowskate, with a DJ in a teepee providing good tunes, and epic views making ideal conditions. Read on for our photo round-up of the spring fun:

Trading his camera for a megaphone, event organizer Hiroaki Yonekura getting the riders ready to drop in:

The women dropped in first in perfect conditions, blazing sun and fast spring slush:Mountain Wave 2018 part 2 opening womens

Wakana Hama coming out of the top section. She has had an amazing season on the Freeride World Tour, and capped off her year with a 6th place finish:

The women were unfortunately the guinea pigs on the day as their race was marked by one nasty corner that took out 90% of the field. After the first ten crashes people started telling them not to take the DQ after a crash and to scamper up and around the pole.

Hitomi Konno looking good until a second later she too got gobbled up by the course:

Head snowboards rider Yuri Yoshika, made it through the corner of death to qualify for the final and eventually take 3rd place:Mountain Wave 2018 part 2 Yuri Yoshika

Keeping it in the family, her sister Rina, also riding for Head, made it through too..

…and took 2nd with this run:

Ride snowboards rider, Sayaka Kato spends her winters freeriding in the powder but can handle spring park or banked slaloms alike. She put down this smooth run to take 1st place:

Good vibes, local gear, and a miniature version of park sculpted while waiting to drop in:

After the women’s qualification run, repairs were made on the DQ corner and then the men’s open began:

K2 ambassador & 241 Clothing rider, Toshitaka Nakamura:Mountain Wave 2018 part 2 Nakamura

Ride snowboards rider, local crew Hachi member and Epic snowboard mag’s Masaki Kitae:

K2 rider and fellow Hachi crew member, Keita Yamazaki visualized his run and brought his surf-style attack to the course:

241 rep Yoichi Ishikawa takes a break from the outerwear booth:

Ex-pro boardercross racer Shuichi Kumaki might have desk job now but he’s still a perennial podium threat and took 3rd:

Volcom & Jones rider, Ruiki Masuda, was fresh off a strong second-place finish at Tenjin Banked Slalom

..and he cruised into the final here too:

Ruiki’s trademark powerful and clean style on show in his winning run:

People with spring styles old and new:

The entirely non-FIS affiliated “World Method Championship”, where all manner and shapes of snowboarding’s most stylish grab were being thrown:

The kids showed they can get down too – Haruki, son of Burton AK457’s Masa Takeuchi, throws a turned-down tweaker:

Shun -P shows off next year’s Rome x KM4K (read as Kamoshika) colab board:Mountain Wave 2018 part 2 ShunP

Nothing says ‘spring riding’ like gloveless methods and dirty snow:

Taking a snowskate melon over the hips… and avoiding the bushes trying to answer the call of spring in the landing:

Powder boards aren’t just for keeping on the snow – Tia Tan kicking out her Winterstick:Mountain Wave 2018 part 2 Tia

Extra style points for boosting off the hip for a second helping of tweakage too:

After all the tails had been kicked out, slushy crashes and cheers,  the winner was declared to be Ruiki Masuda…taking home all the prizes! Can’t complain though, with a method like this:

As the tents were packed up and everyone headed down to the green valley below, a lone rider was still feeling the spring vibes – Hiroki Suzuki squeezing one more hit out of the park:
Last hit Mountain Wave

Thanks to the Mountain Wave crew. See you next winter!