The Gokuraku Banked Slalom is a grassroots snowboarding event at a small resort in Toyama prefecture, Tateyama Sanroku, made up of the Gokurakuzaka and Raicho Valley ski areas. Far from the famous resorts on international go-to lists, local rider Daisuke ‘Dai-chan’ Mizuma and his supporting crew of local riders kept their annual banked slalom stoke alive for the seventh year and Japan Grabs was there to capture it and share some turns.
Live DJ and drum collaborations from the geodesic shred tent kept the stoke high and vibe relaxed around the start gate.
Moss demo fleet for testing alongside K2 and Secca boards, and Mori store serving coffee too. Local events like this bring together the brick-and-mortar shops, brands, riders and regular weekend warriors.
Mori store boss and K2 rider Masato Morikawa takes a break for a snowskate lap (below left) and Takayama-based K2 rider, Ryuji Takai spotted with next year’s K2 Special Effects (below right)…
The women ripped too, with a competitive open class and a welcoming “enjoy” class to encourage participation without race-face vibes.
Special thanks to Daisuke Mizuma, and the Gokuraku Banked Slalom event sponsors who help keep events like this on the map: Mountain Hardware, Moss Snowboards, Secca Snowboards, along with Union, Deeluxe, Spy Optics, Tadpole Craft, Toko Wax, Hertel Wax and everyone who helped dig and run the event.