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Snowboarding prodigy Chloe Kim, 14, youngest to win gold at Winter X Games

photo by Brett Wilhelm:ESPN

Grind TV:

Kelly Clark, referred to as the queen of women’s snowboarding, was seeking her sixth straight worldwide Winter X Games gold medal in superpipe but was denied by a 14-year-old prodigy who made history in Aspen on Saturday night.

The future of women’s snowboarding has arrived and her name is Chloe Kim, who became the youngest competitor to ever win a gold medal at a Winter X Games, doing so by beating her idol, Clark.

The gold comes a year after Kim made her Winter X debut by winning a silver medal and becoming the youngest to win a medal at a Winter X Games, at age 13. You might recall she was too young to compete in the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The winning run included a switch method cab 900, switchback 720, McTwist and a front 900, and it came on her third and final run, giving her a score of 92 points and catapulting her past Clark, who had a top run of 90.

My face kinda hurts right now, and I’m so amazed I was able to land all that, and it was so fun,” Chloe said. “It feels great. I just tried to grab all of my tricks and I feel so happy to win the gold medal at X Games.”

Chloe Kim, 14, became the youngest to win a gold medal at Winter X Games. Photo is a screen grab from the video

Chloe Kim, 14, became the youngest to win a gold medal at Winter X Games.

Kim’s bloodied upper lip and bandage on her cheek was the result of hitting the deck on the final hit of her final practice run.

The result probably didn’t surprise Clark, who took her fifth superpipe silver medal at a Winter X Games. She has been quite impressed with Chloe.“I think I was more scared after all that happened,” Chloe said, according to the Denver Post.

It was my last practice run. The contest starting in five minutes and I just fell on my face really hard. It wasn’t really an injury. It was more about coming back and trying to do this all over again and kind of forget that that happened. Going into my first run my legs were shaking.”

She’s one of the most talented athletes I’ve seen in a long time,” Clark told the Washington Times before the event. “She’s amazing now and she has tons of potential.”

She proved that Saturday night. No doubt you’ll be hearing the name Chloe Kim many more times in the future.

14-Year-Old snowboarding prodigy Chloe Kim, the next Shaun White

Chloe Kim was too young to compete in Sochi, but at 14 she’s now old enough to compete in the X Games.

Outside Magazine:

Last February, as the sports world converged on ­Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics, one of the best halfpipe snowboard­ers in the world made the trip to Pyeong­chang, South Korea, instead. Chloe Kim had just earned a silver medal at X Games Aspen—defeating eventual Olympic champion Kaitlyn Farrington—but at 13, she was too young to compete in Sochi. So she and her parents, who emigrated from South Korea before Kim was born, boarded a 13-hour flight so she could start prepping for the 2018 Games; Kim, now 14, is expected to be a heavy favorite.

FAST START: Kim threw her first backflip off a natural feature at age six and landed a rare switch McTwist (one and a half spins upside down, launched while riding backward) in the pipe five years later, leading Burton to sponsor her. Last winter she became the youngest World Snowboard Tour overall champion ever, ­evoking comparisons to another all-around super­-star: Shaun White.

Her potential is pretty much infinite,” says Elijah Teter, who coached Farrington to her gold medal last winter. “At the next Olympics, she could podium in both slopestyle and halfpipe.”

STRONG FINISH: Kim has already built a reputation as a clutch performer. (She credits her good-luck charm: fancy fingernail paint.) “Don’t be fooled by her laughing and smiling all the time,” says her coach, Ben Wisner. “When she drops in, she does it to stomp and win.”

UP NEXT: Kim will look to improve on her silver at this month’s X Games Aspen. (Last year she finished 0.67 of a point shy of four-time defending champion Kelly Clark.) She’ll likely medal again, but Kim keeps her ambitions in check. “I try not to expect too much,” she says. “I just want to land a run and not embarrass myself out there. The results will come later.”


Watch the Japan chapter of the snowboard film ‘A Way We Go’

ISENSEVEN has released the Japan chapter of their 2013 full-length snowboard film, A Way We Go. The film documents the season of Alex Tank, DBK, Stephan Maurer, Wojtek Pawlusiak and Ludde Lejkner, on their journey through the world and their home countries in search of the best snow.

This particular portion offers insight on what goes on during snowboard trips to faraway places and gives you more snowboard action than you could have hoped for.


Teen snowboarders make history in Sochi winning first medals for Japan, dethroning U.S. champ White

Japan Times:

Boys to men: 15-year-old Ayumu Hirano, Japan's youngest Olympian, shows what he's made of in the men's snowboard halfpipe final of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
15-year-old Ayumu Hirano, Japan’s youngest Olympian, shows what he’s made of in the men’s snowboard halfpipe final of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. 

SOCHI, RUSSIA – A pair of teenage Japanese rivals produced results worth seeing Tuesday in the halfpipe event and carved their names in history at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The duo repeatedly executed soaring three-revolution spins and came away with Japan’s first medals in Sochi.

Ayumu Hirano, 15, led after the first round with a score of 90.75 and surpassed that with a second-round jump of 93.50 that pushed 18-year-old Taku Hiraoka into third place. Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov, or “I-Pod” as he’s commonly known, took the gold with a tremendous second-run worth 94.75 points.

Hirano and Hiraoka became the first Asians to win medals in an Olympic snowboarding event.

I was able to put the work I’ve done into my performance,” said Hirano, who was second and became the youngest Olympic ski or snowboard medalist.

Hiraoka, who had a mediocre first run in the final, was followed by Hirano, who went to the top of the first-round standings. With one last chance and needing a big score to challenge for a medal, Hiraoka got the job done with his second run.

I put together a good ride,” said Hiraoka, who admitted thinking he could do better and proved it with one soaring aerial after another.

Hirano then showed that two could play that game, and produced a silver-medal winning run. “I had to regain my spot from Taku,” he said of his thoughts as he got ready to go.

But when all was said and done, the two rivals were at the bottom of the half pipe exchanging high fives.

I wasn’t nervous,” Hiraoka said. “It was awesome.”

Hirano said: “I thought that if I could do well, it would go down in history. I had a good ride and it worked out well.”

American Shaun White, the best snowboarder of his era, didn’t even earn a medal. He scored 90.25 and finished fourth.

White, who opted out of the Olympic slopestyle debut and put all his chips in the halfpipe, where he hoped to win a third straight gold medal, got knocked off the throne by Podladtchikov.

I’m disappointed,” White said. “I hate the fact I nailed it in practice, but it happens. It’s hard to be consistent.”

Check out this link:

Halfpipe pair make history in Sochi, win first medals for Japan

Taku Hiraoka sails through the air on his way to a bronze medal in the men's snowboard halfpipe at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

Taku Hiraoka sails through the air on his way to a bronze medal in the men’s snowboard halfpipe at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.


Five of Japan’s best locations to ski and snowboard

RocketNews 24:

japan snow

For those of us up in the northern hemisphere, winter is already in full swing. And for skiers and snowboarders, that can mean only one thing: the snow-covered mountains are calling and it’s a race against the clock to get the most out of them.

Treated to generous snow dumps each winter and coupled with the fact that so much of the country is mountainous, Japan is one of the best locations in the world for ski and snowboarding fun, not to mention some of the best powder snow in the world. But which resorts should you be sure to visit before the powder turns to slush? Check out this list of five of Japan’s greatest, and our favourite, places to ski and snowboard!

It’s still January, so the snow’s not going anywhere quite yet, but when the weather starts to warm up and the green begins to peek through the white we may wish we’d spent more time on the piste and less time thinking about it, so let’s get right to it!

5. Monstrous conditions: Zao, Yamagata Prefecture


Kicking us off is a resort not especially well-known outside of Japan. Zao has been described by foreign visitors as everything from “simply beautiful” to “snowboarding heaven,” and it’s not hard to see why. This place has some of the widest runs you’re likely to come across in Japan, making it perfect for those wanting learn to ski or snowboard or those who want to try out a few new tricks without having to constantly look over their shoulder, but perhaps the coolest thing about snowboarding on Mount Zao are the “snow monsters” that line the runs. As the winter wind blows and droplets of water from the nearby lake come into contact with the snow-covered trees in the area, bizarre shapes are formed and freeze solid, making the mountain look like it is covered with the frozen remains of mythical beasts. Along with the high quality snow that Yamagata Prefecture is treated to each winter, Zao pretty much guarantees good times on the piste. More info

4. Monkey business: Shiga Kougen, Nagano Prefecture


It’s probably no surprise to find a ski resort on our list situated in Nagano, the home of the 1998 Winter Olympics, but Shiga Kougen (or Shiga Highlands) is a must for those who can’t get enough of the white stuff. Spanning a whopping 21 resorts – all of which are accessible with just one ticket – Shiga Kougen occupies a massive 4.3 square kilometres (1.6 square miles) of mountain, making it one of the world’s largest resorts and packed full of variety. The snow quality is of course superb, there’s snowmobiling to enjoy when your legs eventually get tired, oh, and there are wild monkeys that enjoy taking dips in the natural hot springs dotted around the area. Monkeys! What else could you possibly want for? More info

3. Chillin’ up north: Furano, Hokkaido


Located not far from Asahikawa City (which is home to a great Fuyu Matsuri, or winter festival, each year), the Furano Ski Resort is spread over two main areas, both operated by the Prince Hotels Group. There is plenty for advanced snowboarders and skiers to enjoy at Furano, but for intermediates and those still learning the ropes especially this location is ideal, with tons of runs and some amazing powder snow. A word of warning, though: off-piste boarders will be spotted and stopped by the resort’s many hawk-eyed staff, so if you live to dodge trees while carving you’re likely going to have a hard time. More info

2. From downtown: Hakuba Happo One, Nagano Prefecture 

hakuba 47

Located in the Hakuba ski resort of Nagano Prefecture, Happo One takes our second spot thanks to its wonderful snow and usually great conditions. Just as importantly, though, it is within relatively easy reach of Tokyo, with direct links from the city and Narita Airport (through which overseas travelers usually enter the country), so if you’re visiting Japan and don’t wish to spend your entire time on a mountain, you can blend city adventures with powder fun relatively easily. Happo One boasts 13 pistes that (although lower-level snow lovers will still find suitable runs) are steeper and a little wilder than the average Japanese resort, so you won’t be disappointed, especially if you’re looking for somewhere to level up. More info

1. Powder heaven: Niseko United, Hokkaido


Our top spot, however, has to go to Niseko United. This is, in fact, four different resorts situated on the same mountain, the 1,308.5m (4,293ft) high Niseko Annupuri. Sure, this is in Hokkaido so it will require a little extra effort to get there, but the runs are as vast as they are various, and the powder you’ll find up here is considered some of, if not the best in all of Japan. The area is also incredibly accommodating to foreigners, and, along with dozens of restaurants and bars, there are hundreds of lodges, hotels and guest houses ready to take you in after a long day of snowboarding and skiing. If you only have time to hit one snow-covered mountain in Japan, make it this one.  More info

Well that wraps things up for our top five! There are of course plenty more resorts to try, and we’re sure you’ll all have your own favourites, so be sure to let us know your thoughts and share your knowledge with other readers in the comments section below. Have fun in the snow, everyone!

Check out this link:

Five of Japan’s best locations to ski and snowboard


Sporty nerds gather in Nagano to show off their anime and manga-inspired snowboards


RocketNews 24:

Nerdy Snowboards1

Snowboarding is fairly popular in Japan and there’s no doubt that anime and manga are deeply ingrained in the psyche of many people across the nation. So we suppose this ita-board, or “painfully nerdy snowboard” event isn’t too much of a surprise considering the constant appearance of ita-sha (painful cars), ita-suit (painful suit), and even ita-heli (painful helicopters). What did surprise us is the national association dedicated to nerdy snowboards and the annual event that hosts them.

The Ita-ita Gerende Jyaku, or “Painful Board Ski Slope Jack,” is now in its fourth season. The event is organized by the JIBA (Japanese Ita Board Association) and sees nearly 100 participants every year. The Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park in Nagano Prefecture hosts the event and welcomes these nerdtastic boards along with their owners, who travel from all across Japan. Have a look at the poster advertising this year’s event, held on January 11 to 13:

Nerdy Snowboards5

With an advertisement like that, complete with a snowboarder moe girl with knee-high cat tights, it’s sure to be a painfully nerdy day. Scheduled activities over the three day period included a cosplay event, photo session, and a night party. Participants were eager to post photos of the gathering on Twitter, proving that the event most definitely lived up to everyone’s expectations:

Nerdy Snowboards4

Nerdy Snowboards3

Nerdy Snowboards2

Nerdy Snowboards8

▼ A close-up of the Kantai Collection board above. Nerdy Snowboards7

▼ We’re hoping the ship doubles as a stomp pad…Nerdy Snowboards6

It’s unclear if all of the participants ride the snowboards on display, but some of them definitely do…and they’re actually quite good.

nerdy snowboarding

Check out this link:

Sporty nerds gather in Nagano to show off their anime and manga-inspired snowboards





A Bathing Ape has reworked its hooded shark print onto a classic snowboard jacket for the chilly winter months ahead. Featuring a camouflage print design over a nylon shell, the Japanese lifestyle and streetwear imprint has elected to go with an aesthetic that sees text branding along the front closure, logo branding on the right sleeve and a unique tiger stripe motif on the left-side of the hood. Made with a warm 100% polyester lining, this outerwear is both trendy and practical, with several large exterior pockets and thick velcro wrist fasteners to keep out the winter breeze.

The 1ST CAMO SHARK SNOW BOARD JACKET is available now for ¥49,140 JPY (approximately $470 USD) over at A Bathing Ape’s Official webstore.

Check out this link: