27. March 2020      

The new movie by Taylormade Film "One Drop East" is about the Japanese culture, the beauty of the landscape and the special feeling beeing in the maritime region of Hakuba. Take your time and enjoy!!

For many years, my age old snowboarding mentor persistently teased I should visit Japan and shred the infamous japow with him. Just by chance, this summer I found myself working on a newly launched luxurious yacht that had been built in Italy and needed to be delivered to Hong Kong by December. Perhaps this was finally my opportunity to travel to the far east for free. My voyage could be off-set by using someone else’s carbon footprint and it was this idea that inspired me to take these 33 long sunny days at sea and motor through one of the worlds busiest shipping routes. Before hand I quickly boosted up to the Swiss alps to collect my snowboard bag from Tuscany in record time only two days before the ship was departing. The journey would begin in Tuscany Italy, passing through the suez canal, red sea and Somalian waters (thankfully no pirates were encountered) followed by a few quick pit stops in the Maldives (conveniently on my birthday), Thailand, Singapore and finally Hong Kong. It was an enjoyable journey with only a few days of rough seas caused by a typhoon but I was definitely happy to disembark and begin my snowboarding adventure in the land of the rising sun. The following day I made my way to Tokyo to meet my older brother and my wise old snowboarding sensi Clint. From there we continued on to Hakuba valley where we would spend the next six weeks shredding neck deep hero powder. Or so we thought. After a chaotic commute west, we eventually arrived to Hamon-Yado, the all new ski in- ski out Good Guides lodge based in Tsugaike Kogen, only to be dumb founded that there wasn’t a single drop of snow to be found. What was going on? The pistes were still green! It was going to take serious amounts of snow to flatten all the bamboo scrub if we’re to ride those magical Japanese trees. Thankfully it started to snow that night, so everyone was feeling hyped.


Its safe to say the guides at the lodge were a right bunch of misfits, so we fitted in just fine. The cultural delights of Japan were incredible. The castles, the cuisine, the happiness of the locals and for a couple o’ Scotsmen, we were very much impressed with their whisky brewing skills. This was all fine and well but we came here for epic pow shredding and it just wasn’t turning on. The locals were broadcasting it was their worst winter in over 30 years.


Snowing in Japan

Finally the snow begun to fall and some good days were had, but it was a fight. Getting slapped in the face from bamboo and ending up in heavy concrete like snow. As soon as the sun hits that maritime snowpack, it cooks it. Its tough work skinning up a steep slope when the snow is that heavy, It became super frustrating at times but we soldiered on and try to salvage what we could and when the weather broke and the snow settled we gapped it straight to the high alpine on our split boards to enjoy those beautiful maritime mountain views. My film ‘One drop East’ is a cultural snowboarding film that tries to showcase how incredible Japan as a country is and how impressive the Maritime alps are. There’s a lifetime of lines to ride there, its just a matter of figuring out how to stand on the tops. It’s serious terrain back there.

Hochalpines Gelände in Japan

Upon reflection it’s been a strange winter in the northern hemisphere. One image that lasts in my mind was when we flew back over the arctic circle on our way home late January only to see from the plane that the sea ice hadn’t even completely froze over. I’d like to give a special shout out to the Good Guides. These guys really are the Hakuba valleys premier ski and splitboard guiding company with an abundance of local knowledge and expertise, they will always find the best snow around. Thank you to Hakuba Matata for sponsoring my film and also thanks to Mendiboard for providing me with a great looking splitboard. Finally thank you splitboarding.eu for always showing your support towards my split board adventures. Heres to next winter (hopefully Corona free).

Cheers from Taylormade film. 

We also say thank yo for your awesome work - keep it up bro.