“Photos/Words: Andrew Miller
This feature originally ran in the November 2015 issue of TransWorld SNOWboarding. This is an updated version with a full gallery and captions by Andrew Miller.
As predawn casts a faint pink glow across the small town of Niesko, nestled on the north Island of Japan, Taro Tamai intently tuned his 167 swallow tail in the Gentem stick show room that doubles as his house. A fresh meter of classic Japan powder dumped overnight and the day has a heavily stacked snow surf crew lined up to hike in a favorite local zone.
Pro snowboarder Forrest Shearer and legend surfboard shaper Chris Christenson jumped the pond for a three week mission to soak up as much surf snow culture and Japanese inspiration as they could. In the day an age of triple corks, 1620s, snowboarding training camps and Olympics, hanging with the Japanese Gentem crew is like going back in time to another dimension and a much needed breath of fresh air. It seems that this snowsurf revolution has just gained popularity but Taro and his crew have been doing this for the past 20 years and the snowboard industry is just catching up. These guys are all about style, grace, movement and streamline focus on the shape of the spray instead of the size.” from TransWorld Snowboarding.