Real Snow Backcountry 2015: Kazu Kokubo
If we weren't absolutely certain that Kazu Kokubo was from Japan, we might question his origins. He seems to have been bred on a different planet. Kokubo's riding choices are so aggressive, one might also question if he is somehow angry with the snow. Beyond this ruthlessness, he also appears to have a diminished fear of heights, speed and general hazards that one might encounter when flying down the mountain like he does. Any way you slice it, Kokubo arguably has the most explosive riding going on right now. Just like this interview, he gets right to the point.
X Games: Where did you have the best luck snowboarding last year?
Kazu Kokubo: We filmed in Japan, Canada, Italy and Alaska. Last season was so hard, you had to film wherever you could find snow.
What did you set out to show?
We wanted to combine some park elements with really big features.
What was the story of your winter?
Just a lot of chasing snow and sitting around waiting for good conditions.
Tell us how you got into the backcountry for the filming of this part.
In Japan we hike. Sometimes we hike and camp for several days. When we got to Alaska it was all helicopter accessed.
How much snowboarding do you do in the backcountry?
Last season was 100 percent backcountry, except for hip shoot in B.C. This season I will ride a little resort early season to warm up before going back up into the big stuff.
Where can we see more of your footage from last year?
Other than Real Snow I had two other film projects last season. Transworld's "Origins" and the Stonp movie, "Stonp or Die."
What is an entertaining snowboarding video part to you?
A part that shows all types of different abilities on snow: tricks, big lines, deep powder ... everything.
What goals would you like to accomplish in the future as far as backcountry riding goes?
Just keep pushing myself to go bigger and be original.
What are some things that you always take into the backcountry and why?
Safety equipment. Because I don't want to die.
What backcountry snowboarders do you take inspiration from?
John Jackson and Blair Habenicht, for sure. They make me look at things different.