Looking back at "TENJIN BANKED SLALOM 2024" which was miraculously held even in the mild winter.


This year as well, "TENJIN BANKED SLALOM 2024" was held at Tanigawadake Tenjindaira Ski Resort in Gunma from March 3nd to 2rd. The event was held under difficult conditions due to the warm winter, but what kind of story was born this year? Looking back with the tournament producer.


The course preparation for this year's tournament was a tough one, and our thoughts on the event.


In February, which is supposed to be the height of the peak season, many parts of Japan experienced unusual weather conditions in which they were enveloped in warm weather for an unexpectedly long period of time, causing the snow to melt rapidly. Of course, Tanigawadake Tenjindaira Ski Resort in Gunma, where the ``TENJIN BANKED SLALOM'' is held every year, was also plagued by unexpected residual snow, but thanks to the snow that fell just before and the hard work of the diggers, we managed to hold the event for the 2th time. I was able to Tournament producer Daizo Fukushima looks back on the course development for this year's tournament.
``Almost no snow falls in February, and the snowfall in Tenjin is quite low at just 2 meter, but the snow has melted even further.On Tuesday, the first day of course construction, the weather started out so bad that we couldn't do anything, and on Wednesday we went up the mountain. When I looked at it, I noticed that there was a lot of blue ice (hard ice) on the steep slopes at the top of the usual course.In some places, 1 to 20 cm of fresh snow had accumulated due to the snowfall caused by the previous cold wave, and in some places there was ice. The conditions were completely different from previous years.That's why we were really worried about what to do with the course this time.All the diggers skied various lines and thought, ``Which one would be good?'' After making a majority decision and thinking about it till the end, I decided to move the starting position a little lower and choose the course I chose this time.I think the biggest deciding factor was that the steep slopes at the top were too steep with blue ice, making the risk of slippers too high... To be honest, the course this time was a relatively easy course for Tenjin, with a gentler slope and shorter distance than usual, but on the other hand, it was more important for Nori (Naonori Katsuyama) to decide on the line. He drew a nice line for me.”

Tournament Producer: Mr. Daizo Fukushima
The course for this year's tournament started one step lower than in previous years.
Middle to lower part of the course

 Athletes who participate every year also asked, ``Will it be held this year? 'There were many anxious voices. Despite the poor conditions with a lack of snow, we managed to create a course for this tournament. There was an episode like this that made me think about the event.
"When I went to check the amount of snow with a probe in February, there wasn't much snow, and even after that, I could see that the snow was steadily decreasing, so to be honest, it was scary. But I definitely wanted to hold it even under such circumstances. When we first held Tenjin Banked, Matt Cummins told us, ``There may be a season in the future where it will be difficult to build the course due to snow problems, but more than anything, it's important for the scene to continue holding the tournament.'' There is also a reason. Continuation was also a theme for me and Nishida (Yosuke), so I was determined to hold it no matter what.'

Yosuke Nishida
Takafumi Konishi
Daisuke Watanabe
mike cummins
Ryosuke Abe


A newcomer wins the tournament, leaving behind the two-time champion Terrier!


Due to bad weather on the first day of the tournament, only a course inspection was held, allowing the participating players to get a feel for the course. On previous courses, the sloping upper bank was a challenge, and many players ended up DQ (going off the course), but this year, since that section is missing, it seemed like you could flow all the banks from top to bottom relatively comfortably. . Each person played two, checking the condition of each bank and the line of their own board while thinking about tomorrow's actual performance.

prayer festival
On the first day, an inspection day and brand test drive event was held.

 The next day was blessed with clear skies. With the excitement of finally getting to play, the players naturally smile while feeling just the right amount of nervousness. Some people prepare their boards by waxing them, others discuss banking habits and course conditions with their friends, and time passes by in their own time until their race starts. Banked slalom involves measuring the time from start to finish and competing against that time. Of course, it's interesting because you're competing for position, and the opponent you're competing against is yourself. You can see just how far he slipped that season. In particular, the course for this tournament is ``slippery,'' as mentioned above, so the results are easy to understand. How far can you bank and push yourself to attack? Also, one or two small mistakes could have affected the outcome.

Athletes waxing before running
A test drive exhibition of the latest gear will be held at the venue.
Tournament MCs Naonori Katsuyama (left) and Hikaru Taira (right)
Kubota Kuya
Grand master winner: Shingo Takahashi
Hayato Maruyama
Terje Håkonsen

 At this year's competition, the award winners in each class were regulars who have ranked in the top every time. Among them, Yoko Nakamura won the open women's class. What she did this time4th timeHe achieved a great victory. And at the end of the award ceremony, who will win the men's open championship? Just when everyone was thinking, ``Will Tellier (Haakonssen) win his third consecutive championship this year?''... The MC announced that the winner was Kota Sakurai! It was an announcement of a player that no one expected, but the venue was filled with excitement over the birth of a new hero. The champion of the 3th Tenjin Banked was decided, beating out famous riders from all over the country. Mr. Daizo, who knows him well, told me the following.
"Kouta (Kota Sakurai) is a child from Gunma, and he has been staying in our Kagura school dormitory and skating since he was an elementary school student. He is 1 years old and is in his first year of university, and is a very good physical athlete. He is currently a cross-country skier. He is a member of the national team and has participated in the World Cup even after Tenjin Banked, and he is one of the top cross players.Actually, he had a pretty good score in the open class when he was in junior high school. I wasn't surprised that he won."

The moment Kota Sakurai's name was called, winning the OPEN men's race
OPEN Men's Winner: Kota Sakurai
Group shot with the winners of the OPEN men's class
Praise each other at the OPEN women's awards
Yoko Nakamura, winner of the OPEN women's class
OPEN Women's Winner: Yoko Nakamura
Yoko Nakamura and the Sato sisters are excited even after the format
Tatsuya Fueki
Hamaguchi birthday
Noguchi Umizakura
Kohei Motoki


Banked is a tournament where everyone can enjoy their joys and sorrows at once.


This tournament marks the 14th time for ``TENJIN BANKED SLALOM''. Banked slalom has become an established part of Japan's snowboarding culture, but I would like to conclude this article by asking Mr. Daizo how this banked culture is changing.
``The banked course held in Togari this year was also really good.I also went to Yone's night banked (Mountain wave), Natsyu, and SBM, and each course has its own flavor. That's true. Each region has its own style, some courses are comfortable, some courses are intense, and some have waves as well as banks.It's not just the course, but also the color of the people participating. It's really impressive that this kind of thing has become established in various places.The appeal of Bunk'd is that there are all kinds of people in it, and everyone can enjoy their joys and sorrows.It's a competition, but it's not a competition.That's why I... It's not an official event in Japan, it's just a grass tournament held all over the country.I want Banked to continue as it is in the future.I want everyone, old and young, to have fun and enjoy it.''

 The Tenjin Banked Slalom was held successfully this year as well. Even in a record-breaking warm winter, we will do what we can without giving up on building the course. Their attitude must have sent a message to them to continue enjoying their favorite sport of snowboarding, even in a season with little snow due to the warm winter.

Ayumi Kitahara
Keita Yamazaki
Natsuo Sato
Aya Sato
The Sato sisters, Japan's fastest girls, made it to the podium this year as well.
Emi Sudo
The tournament ended with a run by the diggers who were involved in creating the course.

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