JAPAN’S hottest snowboarders converged on Niseko earlier this month for two world-class competitions at Hanazono.
The Kissmark Cup (Feb 7) and Hokkaido Half-Pipe Championships (Feb 8) – both Federation of International Snowboarding events – took over the Stomping Ground for a weekend of eye-popping trickery.
“There were Olympic competitors and Japanese national teams of a very high standard,” said Nigel Abbott, Hanazono’s marketing director.
“There was also a junior division from ages seven and up, and the talent of those kids was amazing. We were seeing what is at the foray of technique and tricks in the world at the moment.”
The Kissmark Cup, a national event, went off without a hitch.
However, the weather did play a bit of havoc with the Hokkaido Half-Pipe Championships – a qualifier for the Nissan X-Trail Asian Open – where a result was reached from the qualifying rounds.
Abbott said officials were impressed with the high standard of Hanazono’s half-pipe and terrain park.
He added that Hanazono looked forward to running the competitions next year.
Meanwhile, Hanazono will again run the Hano Four Slopestyle on March 14, where ¥200,000 is up for grabs in the skiing and boarding event.