Japan is firmly planted on the international ski and snowboard map, an exotic dream destination for many. Powderhounds the world over start drooling with the mere mention of ski resorts in the Northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido such as Niseko, Tazawako, and Minow, all of which are known for their insane (see below) amounts of high quality, dry powder.
With these resorts being world class destinations, resorts in Fukushima’s lesser known Aizu and Minami Aizu mountain regions are attempting to put their name on the map by offering free lift tickets to anyone with a foreign passport between the ages of 19-24. Simply present your passport at the ticket window and away you go. Now, before you quip about the misleading title of this article, if you hold a foreign passport and you’re over (or under, not sure there 19) 24 you can get lift tickets for roughly USD $17. Not a bad deal any way you look at it. The offer is available through March 31st, 2017, at 22 ski resorts in the Aizu and Minami Aizu mountain region.
The promotion, as reported by local news agency Rocket News 24, is being held by Visit Fukushima, the prefectures’ tourism board. Some of the best looking resorts participating in the promotion are:
SnowSports Industries America’s Snow Show wrapped up for another year this past week and the overwhelming buzzword of the show was sustainability. This isn’t surprising, consumers are becoming more and more conscious of how their purchasing decisions affect the world around them. It’s just bad business for companies not to at the very least have a cute little section of their website dedicated to that particular shade of green that lets the world know they recycle. But how many companies truly embrace those twisty bendy green arrows?
The traditional manufacturing of snowboards, skis, surfboards, anything that brings the stoke, is pretty gnarly for the environment. This is ironic as stoke as an industry relies so much on pristine nature to bring in the bucks. Enter Niche Snowboards.
Niche has partnered with The Mothership; one of the world’s most environmentally friendly and sustainable factories and the world’s most environmentally friendly snowboard factory. The facility is 100% river powered by hyrdo-electricity and emits zero CO2 emissions thanks to electric cooling and NH3 natural gas heating. In addition, the factory uses 98% locally sourced materials, reducing transportation emissions and energy used.
For the 2017/18 winter season Niche is releasing 100% waste-free snowboards, reducing their already impressively low manufacturing eco-footprint. A new system developed at The Mothership creates resin from any waste plastic material, allowing 100% recycled hard plastic to be used in their board construction. In addition to being waste-free and featuring a number of other eco-friendly construction techniques, the 17/18 boards incorporate a flax based fiber stringer, allowing for more pop while dampening the vibration and reducing board chatter.
We’re really impressed with Niche Snowboards for putting their money where their mouth is and committing to being eco-friendly and sustainable. We know where our next snowboards are going to be coming from.
Boundaries help define a sport, those who break them define boundaries. We’re not sure if that’s really smart, or really dumb, time will tell. Anyway, Max Parrot absolutely crushed a double backside rodeo 1440 in Saas Fee. BEHOLD!
Our hats are off to Max, and we can’t wait to see what he pulls off next.