Name: Takaharu Nakai

Age: 22

Hometown: Hokkaido, Japan

Local Mountain: Makomanai

Height: 5’3″

Weight: 117 pounds

Stance: Regular. Fifteen degrees front, negative-fifteen rear and 22.75 inches wide.

Hook-ups: Burton, Revolt, Nixon, Briko, NPA, Seven Samurai

Results: First place, ’06 Burton Abominable Snow Jam halfpipe; first place, ’03 FIS World Cup halfpipe, Whistler, B.C.; fifth place, ’02 Salt Lake City Olympics halfpipe

Film: Represent/Seven Samurai Entertainment, Obsession/Red Eyes’ Film

Influences:

1. JP Solberg

2. Tadashi Fuse

3. Kazuhiro Kokubo

How did it feel to smoke all those big-name riders like Danny Kass and Chad Otterstrom at the Burton ASJ?

I didn’t think about that too much because I’ve been competing against them in other contests like the Olympics. I was focusing on having fun.

Speaking of smoke, everybody smokes cigs in Japan. But you’re an athlete-do you?

I do … there is no affect on my riding so far. It’s tough when you’re hiking up the pipe-but it’s tough for everyone.

It was cool you and Kazuhiro took first and second.

I was stoked to get first and second with Kazu-but I thought he earned first.

You just got the cover of TWS Japan, too! Are you “big” in Japan?

I may be big in Japan, but I’m still unknown outside of my country.

Do you have a Nissan Skyline racecar or a crazy motorcycle to tell us about?

I don’t have a Skyline or a motorcycle-I have a Nissan Safari SUV. What I really want is a Toyota Soarer twin turbo (luxury sports car).

What’s up with the Seven Samurai crew?

They’re all doing good. It’s our off-season so everyone is chilling and getting ready for next year. As for Kazu and me, we’ve been practicing in New Zealand.

What do you do when you’re not shredding?

Skate, chill, and barbecue.

Do you have any children?

Not yet! I’m a child myself.