Interview and translation by Dice-K Maru
Introduction by Dionne Delesalle
The snowboarders I’ve looked up to most over the years have all had amazing style--the way riders make a trick look in the air is much more important than how many spins they can huck. Mike Ranquet was one of the first people with crazy-good style. Then came my all-time favorites, Kevin Young and Marc Morisett, who still influence riding techniques today--especially here in Canada.
Lately, though, there’s a rider I’m super hyped on--Tadashi Fuse. Basically, he rides and stomps tricks exactly like Devun Walsh. Out of nowhere, Tadashi moved to Whistler from Japan and has killed it in the backcountry with the smoothest, cleanest riding around. He has earned a place as one of my favorite shredders ever over the past year--making snowboarding seem ridiculously easy with a dope, skate-influenced style. Getting to know him has also been a pleasure, because as it turns out, he’s one of the most genuine, motivated riders I’ve ever met. To see what I mean, check him out in The Wildcat’s Nine Lives and Mack Dawg’s Pulsewitness just how sick and smooth this kid is.
How old are you and where are you from?
I’m 24 years old, from the Yamagata prefecture in Japan.
When and why did you move to Canada?
I came over three seasons ago. I’d been super stoked on Devun Walsh’s sequences around that time and always recognized the location names in the Whistler area.
Name a favorite snowboarder.
I like everyone--especially J-F Pelchat, Devun, Gaetan Chanut, and Dionne Delesalle.
Is being called a “Japanese Devun” an insult or an honor?
I’m so proud that people have labeled me like this--his riding style is definitely super cool.
Could you be riding at your present level if you hadn’t left Japan?
I would say that the scale here (in Canada) is totally different. My mentality, motivation, and other things have been affected by being in Whistler. As far as terrain, it’s the best location for me. There’s every possibility of discovering new things.
What’s the magic equation for landing in powder?
I just imagine stomping before taking off.
Do you have a favorite trick?
What’s the story with contests?
I always find something interesting and exciting in them. If I win, I make money, too.
Does renting a studio apartment from Walsh mean you ride with him often? Who’s in your crew?
We go freeriding sometimes, but not filming too much yet. I wish I could go up with him more often. My crew is usually J-F and Gaetan.
How does it feel to get all this recognition in Canada and the U.S.?
It’s everything I wished for--I have to learn more English, though.
Japan has more and more of its own board and clothing manufacturers these days. How important is coverage in U.S. magazines for Japanese pros?
It’s hard to say. (It seems like) companies in Japan need improvements to their structure--most Japanese corporations are distributors, right? Even if they run their own brand, their market is much smaller than foreign brands and can’t take care of riders as much.
What was your biggest moment in snowboarding?
When Devun stomped a 65-foot cliff called Quebec right in front of me.
What injuries have you pulled through?
My language skills.
How did you become a pro?
There was only one way to become a pro in Japan--by winning halfpipe contests. So I did. Now I only ride pipe for fun.
What snowboard videos have spent the most time in your VCR over the years?
I think it was Road Kill and RPM--I don’t remember the exact titles. My hero was Jamie Lynn.
What are words to live by?
“Never forget.” I always forget appreciation and failure--I want a tattoo of the words on my body.
Special thanks to Iris Snow.