Thank you for checking out the exclusive online PERCEPTIONS Japan segment, the segment is now offline. If you missed it you can download the Full Movie PERCEPTIONS at iTunes HERE. Stay tuned for the next segment coming online this weekend right here on TWSNOW.com
About the Japan segment.
PERCEPTIONS : Japan segment with Gigi Ruf and Elias Elhardt
We kick off the online releases from the new Pirate movie PERCEPTIONS with the Japan segment. The opening segment from the movie featuring Gigi Ruf and Elias Elhardt exploring and scoring deep powder.
With a poor start of the season in the Alps and never ending news from Japan about endless snowfalls, the decision to start the filming season on the northern island of Japan was a no-brainer for Gigi and Elias. Japan and especially Hokkaido are a frequent visited location for the Pirates as well as Gigi, both on a Pirate ship and on different occasions, but for Elias it was the first time to go north. he has been on a previous trip on the main island but never had the chance to explore the magical forests of the north. “Search and find” was the motto and like kids in a candy store they made sure they got the best out of it. Far away from any skiresort, with a pair of “jesus sandals” each, they followed their nose and rode everything they came across. Could there be a better start for a season?
We caught up with Gigi and Elias about the trip and their season:
What was you favorite part about riding in Japan?
Gigi: Opening up the season with the fine Hokkaido "Champagne” powder. The Season has just started and we found ourselves traveling the world for snowboarding. It was fresh snow, fresh minds and different culture.
Elias: I loved the silence out there, wondering through the magic forest with snowshoes. The all times crew of Gigi, Cyril (Photographer) and Flo (Filmer)! The great respect of the people, which was ever present with every one we met. And never the less, the amazing quality and consistency of this champagne powder!
What was the coolest feature you guys found in Japan?
Gigi: Right off the bat we hit up that pyramid feature we discovered while driving inland from the airport on our arrival day. Also on our day off we went to nearest city and luckily we brought our boards – spontaneously Elias and me climbed a big rainbow bridge together. It was passion outlived at it's finest.
Elias: The coolest feature was definitely the pillow pyramid. Right after we landed in Japan, we passed this perfectly looking pyramid on the way to the hotel. Of corse couldn’t resist to session it straight away!! That was the best start into a trip we could wish for..
What was the hardest trick to land in this segment?
Gigi: Shit, I tried to bs three out of my tree 50/50 but at last was happy to manage it straight out after full day of hiking and visualizing.
Elias: The handplantflip at the end of the segment. It was doing the hand plant a view times a bit lower down and it took me quiet a while till I could do it on top of the lip..
Where did you go in your favorite trip this year?
Gigi: Afterwards it should be always easier to come up with an answer for this question but it would be weak to only pick out the raisins. Every journey adds to my DNA and makes me a survivor.
Elias: Japan and Alaska where definitely my two favorite trips this season. Alaska was the best though. Riding this terrain over there with Gigi and Manuel Diaz was a dream come true from me!!
When did you feel on top of the world this year?
Gigi: Really? I can't get enough of that! It's a narrow path and you need to want it.
Elias: This year in Kashmir, India, I was definitely the highest I’ve ever been! We’ve been riding on up to 15 000 feed, right on the boarder between Pakistan and India. That was a really exiting and intense experience I’ll always remember.
When did you feel like you wanted to give up?
Gigi: When needed to leap forward over a tree branch to save my leg from getting wrapped around it and then next I ended up taking a tree trunk to my chest sideways. I was alone and couldn't breath for a moment. This happened after ten days into this Japan trip and I continued riding but couldn't get up without having to roll over and use my arms to do so. I fought with the demons that brought me into this situation. I am glad that Elias is such a understandable person. The pain lasted three weeks.
Elias: Just a day after we’ve been riding those great high mountains in India, I’ve gotten pretty sick with food poisoning. I was laying in bed for a view days and also on my birthday I felt quiet bad. So this was a moment, where I was definitely looking forward to get back home!
How many flights did you miss?
Elias: I always forget stuff and come to late way to often, but I think I never missed a flight! Maybe once a view years ago..
Why do you love snowboarding?
Gigi: It's adventure, passion and my daily bread.
Elias: In those moments on my board I totally let go within the movement. It makes me feel home like hardly anything else in this world. It just feels right!!
What’s next for you?
Gigi: Next Winter and whatever it brings.
Elias: Right now in the pre season, I’m riding on the glaciers in Europe. In December I hope I can get a lot of powder shredding with my friends at home. And then in January the filming season starts again. Really looking forward to that!
Gigi: Dragon Opticals, Union Bindings, Slash Snowboards, Nike SB, Slytech Protection
Elias: Dakine, Nitro, Deeluxe, Smith, Moreboards