Tadashi Fuse is a backcountry badass straight up. He charges the hills with violent ferocity masked in big, silent, and silky style. And aside from locking down an impressive part in It's Always Snowing Somewhere, Tadashi's striving to revitalize and bring new light to the snowboard scene in Japan. His vehicle for spreading this—Heart Films. He started this film company a few years back and has since built a mass of webisodes and three films, Heart Films Volume One, Volume Two and this year's Volume Three to document it all. He's been busy splitting up time between B.C., Japan, movie tours, and becoming a father while still taking a minute to speak his mind.
Interview by Ben Gavelda, translated by Yuho Sekihara
You were tearing up the backcountry sans goggles in your part in It's Always Snowing Somewhere. Do you like boardin’ renegade style without goggles?
No…I think it was kinda dark so I just didn't have my goggles on…I usually ride with my goggles though.
That opening tumble in your video part looked pretty nasty, how did you end up after that? Did you get banged up?
No, I didn't get hurt…I almost hit a tree but I was okay.
What's the sketchiest backcountry situation you've gotten yourself into?
There seems to be something crazy everyday. You can fall off a cliff or be in an avalanche, so there's not one day that really sticks out—but that sketchiness is what makes it fun.
You destroyed the backcountry this year, where did you ride and film this past winter?
Whistler, Stewart, Pemberton and Revelstoke, B.C., Canada; Hokkaido, Yamagataken, and Fukushimaken, Japan; and Alaska.
How does it feel to be creating your own movies with the Heart Films project?
I'm able to do so many things that I want, but it comes with a lot of responsibilities.
Heart Films Teaser for Volume Three
I know rejuvenating the Japanese snowboard scene was one goal of starting Heart Films, do you feel you have made progress in this?
I made Heart Films so I could express my interest for the backcountry and the joy I get from snowboarding in general, so I think it has accomplished this, but I think there is always more that I can do. I think there are people who have picked up the movies [Heart Films Vol. 1, 2, and 3] and grown an interest in the riders and the backcountry. Some have watched them because they wanted to see a certain rider and then saw that the films weren't the usual park video, so this may have created more of an interest in backcountry for them.
Japan needs more push to think outside the box and see that there is more to snowboarding than sliding boxes or jumping park jumps. I think that Heart Films has been able to show many Japanese riders snowboarding in a different light. Bottom line, it doesn't matter what kind of snowboarding you do just as long as you like what you are doing. And my hope with Heart Films is to be able to inspire the viewer to go out and snowboard and have fun with their friends in the mountains.
Who do you think are some of the next Japanese shred stars?
I don't know…there are so many kids that are so sick, but they are still just kids so you haven't seen them yet. Japan has a lot of talent brewing up in their sleeves…I think there will be lots of sick riders coming out of Japan soon.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you're not out snowboarding?
Skateboarding and surfing.
Did you do any riding this summer?
No. I skateboarded a lot and my wife had twins so I tried to stay in Japan. Fraternal twin girls—Hana and Sara! I also got to surf and I was crazy busy doing the Heart Films promo tour. It has been a very busy "off season," but I feel it's important to push snowboarding off the snow to people who may not get to ride at that time of year. Its important to get them stoked through showing snowboard movies and skateboarding and surfing with them and just truly enjoying the fun of boardsports with them one on one.
When are we going boardin' together in Japan?
Let's figure out a good time and I'll show you how it's done in Japan!
How would a perfect day for Tadashi go?
Wake up early and ride a good line first thing in the morning—and of course the weather would be bluebird. Hang out in the backcountry where there's nobody except a bunch of my friends. We'd eat lunch and shoot the shit and then ride an afternoon session. After that we'd go home and have a nice dinner and drinks and recap the day's events. Then sleep and repeat.
What advice can you offer those who want to go ride backcountry?
Respect Mother Nature and take one step at a time. Don't rush the learning curve and don't put yourself in dangerous situations. Take gradual steps and take the time to learn the backcountry.
Where does your deep affinity for the mountains come from?
I think it comes from growing up surrounded by mountains in my hometown in Japan. I fell in love with the mountains…hiking and picking mushrooms in the fall and snowboarding in the winter. I just love nature. I feel as one when I am in the mountains. The clean air and quiet atmosphere—the mountains make me feel like I am truly relaxed.
All Photos Dice-K
Check out Tadashi's videos, blog and other rad stuff at Heart Films