Ask anyone who knows him their impression of Tadashi Fuse and the term “style” will undoubtedly be a key point in their argument about how much Fuse rips. Tadashi has spent the last several winters slaying the Whistler backcountry with a solid, skatey finesse reminiscent of greats like Devun Walsh. But when you consider that it was only a handful of years ago that Fuse moved from Japan to Whistler and showed himself the big-mountain ropes, you realize that he must be some sort of old soul when it comes to this snowboarding thing. As it happens, Tadashi is now endeavoring to pass along this backcountry wisdom to his Japanese brethren back home by producing his very own snowboard film made for Japan, using Japanese riders, but filmed on the steeps and deeps of the Canadian outback.
Welcome to three days in the life of Tadashi Fuse.
What was making you happy last season?
There was a cliff-nothing super huge or anything-but I landed a frontside three one-footer off it, and I was stoked.
What was stressing you out or bothering you?
My lack of being able to speak English stresses me out. My super stress comes from having to go through immigration and get the third degree all the time. I have a hard enough time speaking English without having to explain exactly why I am in a certain country doing what I do, or answer every little question they ask me, which I usually don’t understand anyway, so it’s a frustrating situation
Did you have any goals for the year?
I wanted to shoot a solid part for White Out Films and produce my own video in Japan that captures the fun of snowboarding. I was able to do both, so I was very happy. My Japanese video is called Heart Films, Vol. 1-it did exceptionally well in Japan for a first-season release, so I’m excited to evolve the film and help the people behind the scenes make a living from it, so we can all keep producing inspirational movies that make people stoked to go snowboarding.
I also wanted to get the cover of an international snowboard magazine, and I was able to get four covers so I was beyond stoked.
Has the crew you ride with changed much since you started riding for Burton last year?
I never really had a crew, so in that aspect, not much has changed. I guess before, I’d ride with other team riders-like when I was on Rossignol, I’d ride with J-F Pelchat, et cetera-but Burton has so many people on the team that now I have the opportunity to go out with a ton of different types of riders. It’s awesome. Everybody influences me and gives me a lot of ideas, which makes snowboarding fun.
Name your top five all-time favorite snowboarders based on style.
Devun Walsh, Scotty Wittlake, Travis Parker, Nicolas Mà...ller, Trevor Andrew, and so on.
What was the last trick you did in the halfpipe?
What’s so great about Whistler?
The backcountry is awesome here. Whistler also has a great resort, good Japanese restaurants, and many fun friends.
When was the last time you thought you were going to break under the pressure?
Last winter I was under a lot of pressure to live up to my word. I started a new video production company called Heart Films with the goal of introducing big backcountry riding to Japanese snowboarders in order to push them and expand their possibilities for stepping it up to the next level. It was so hard coordinating everything. Nothing went as planned and nothing came easy. None of these guys knew how to ride a snowmobile, and it was like starting from zero again for me. I’d spent half my career learning how to ride the backcountry, and I didn’t realize that it would require so much patience for them to get up there every day, too.
After the winter, each rider definitely understood how hard it is not only to get the shot, but to actually get into the backcountry and safely get home. My patience was tested and my stress levels were super high, but I came out of this season learrning so much about myself and my ability to handle stressful situations that all in all it was a good experience-no matter how kinked my neck muscles got!
What are some of your other recent obsessions besides snowboarding?
I’m kind of obsessed with finding old skateboard decks online right now. Every day I spend hours searching for old decks so I can add them to my collection. I love skateboarding!
What are the top five things you spend your money on?
Skateboard paraphernalia. Eating sushi and drinking good wine. Gas for my big truck when commuting to Squamish to skate. And, of course, coffee.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in life so far?
Don’t half-ass anything. If you’re going to work, you work hard. If you’re going to play, play hard. You know?