By Ben “I’m Hiroshi’s Salomon Team Manager” Pruess
Home: Yokohama, Japan
Sponsors: Salomon, Bonfire, Dice eyewear, Homeless streetwear
Favorite music: Hip-hop
Worst music: New wave
Favorite food: Anything except sea urchin
Hates: Japanese politics
Last time I laughed: “When I saw myself drunk, trying to make it home.”
Thanks: Koji, Tadashi Fuse, Katsunori Honma, family and friends
It seems that the Japanese attitude of hard work, high tech, and style is being unleashed on the world of snowboarding. Leading the charge is a group of Japanese riders who are smaller, lighter, and more precise through paying attention to all the details of current snowboard science.
One such rider is Hiroshi Sakuma; at five foot four, this 27-year-old resident of the north island has quietly been at work in his lab (a mountain called Hachimandai) searching for the exact mathematical equations to stomp some of the world’s most technical snowboarding tricks. In typical Japanese fashion, he unleashed his skills in a way that proved he can contend in the pro ranks.
Hiroshi has been turning heads in Japan for the last four years and has now started to export his talents overseas. On a recent trip to Chile he showed the rest of the Salomon team something about conversion of energy. Hiroshi sat at a jump as others made valiant efforts, calculating and fully understanding his goals-he would then rise and stomp his trick of choice. This happened time and again as he proved he can pull some of the sickest tricks in snowboarding and still have energy to power the nightlife.
So, if you’re looking for new, maybe better riders for the future, perhaps you should turn your attention to Japan; Hiroshi is a prime example.-Ben Pruess