With the proliferation of social media, clips of Japan and its seemingly endless amounts of perfect, blower powder have spread to every corner of the internet, prompting many an intrepid powder hound to book winter trips there.
And the appeal of Japan’s mountains apparently isn’t just confined to the winter sports world.
On Monday, Red Bull released a three-minute edit of pro windsurfer Levi Siver becoming the first person to ever windsurf a board with a fin down a powdery peak in the snowy prefecture of Hokkaido.
While the three-minute edit makes it seem like the 36-year-old Siver’s quest to become the first person to windsurf down a mountain went swimmingly, as Red Bull reports, it was anything but a walk in the park.
The idea for the edit was dreamed up five years ago by Siver, according to Red Bull. After extensive planning, Siver set his sights on Rishiri Island off the northern tip of Japan and spent 20 days filming in the mountains.
The days were long, with Siver enduring single-digit temperatures while spending hours snowshoeing up each peak, only to find himself waiting for hours on end for the winds to pick up and allow him to ride.
“The idea for this project stemmed from the vision that we could transfer the elements of windsurfing onto a mountain and create the same exhilarating experience the surfer gets on the water,” Siver told Red Bull. “I’m always trying to find ways to challenge myself, but this project really sparked my curiosity. What would happen if I were to combine snowboarding and windsurfing?”
In addition to waiting for optimal conditions, Siver had to build a board specifically for his Japanese adventure.
“I wanted to be the first person to try alpine windsurfing on a finned board,” Siver said. “Using a snowboard would actually be optimum for performance, but I really wanted to recreate that unique sensation of windsurfing and to do that I needed to make a board somewhere in between a snowboard and windsurfing board.”
You can check out all of the work that went into creating the edit in the behind-the-scenes video above.
Read more about riding in Japan on GrindTV