Last week saw the first-ever Asian Freeride World Qualifier event, the Hakuba Valley 2 and 4-stars. There was a lot of excitement around the competition, especially Travis Rice’s attendance and winning run, which included a massive backside 7 and set a high benchmark for natural freestyle. We wanted to get a local’s perspective on the contest, an insider’s take, so we hit up Shin Biyajima for his thoughts. Shin’s riding is calm, calculated, and ready to open up when the time is right– he’s an excellent example of a rounded freerider. This edit from Flow shows the mindful snowboarding that earned him second place in last week’s 4-star event– notice how he minds his sluff, waiting exactly until his exits are safe before kicking in the performance gears. His interview, below, paints the picture of a soul shredder with a holistic take on boarding, someone who sees competition as part of a bigger picture and who appreciated FWQ Hakuba for what it meant to his people.
I’m stoked that I got 2nd following T-Rice. I’m one of the rider from the local area, a Japanese rider–
How important are contests to your riding?
Did many of your friends compete in FWQ Hakuba Valley?
Will you compete in other FWQ events this season? Is competing in FWT an important goal for you?
Will you compete in any non-FWQ/FWT contests this season?
Your footage in The Fourth Phase and Floating Pyramids was really fun to watch– are you filming again this season?
Yes, no. Travis Rice is here with his filmer and We’ve filming for 2 weeks now. I’m friends with Jordan Ingmire from a long time ago– that’s why I helped/guided where to ride, film for Floating Pyramids crew. I will help any crew visiting Nagano, because I’ve been helped by people where I visited, so it’ s my turn when people visit my area. It’s all a circle.
Would you let competing in FWT interrupt your filming schedule?
What would make FWQ and FWT events better?