Why the AK457, an authentic backcountry gear, keeps changing

While the heat was still lingering in early September, I received an email from Masanori Takeuchi.

The AK457 will be field tested in New Zealand a little later this year.

The AK457 is an authentic backcountry gear released by fusing BURTON's technology and JAPAN ideas so that it can be maximized in the harsh conditions of backcountry around the world. Despite being released, it is a gear brand that constantly seeks change and evolution.

This time, I asked Masanori Takeuchi, the technical director of AK457, who returned home after the field test in New Zealand, about AK457 this season.


457) First of all, could you tell us more about the coloring of this year's AKXNUMX?

Assuming that the AK457 is "used as a guide", we are always thinking about what is beneficial to the guide.

There are small details that you can't understand at all just by picking it up at the store, and like this question, we are particular about the color.Of this year's color variations, one is to choose a color that is clearly visible in the mountains, so I decided on this color, NEON YELLOW, from among various colors.



Rider: Masa Takeuchi @ Hikarigahara


Different colors may stand out in other genres of snowboarding.However, from the standpoint of a guide who must consider all weather, I came to the decision that this coloring is good.Of course, there are also TRUE BLACK and STEEL GRAY, which are heavy-duty guides and have less noticeable stains.



Heading to the mountains every day as a guide and as an AK457 technical director


457) AKXNUMX comes first with the image of a snowboarder.

The AK457 has been changing since it started.Nowadays, many people ski and split board, and it is necessary to meet various needs, and I think the strength of AK457 is that it can continue to meet them.For example, HI-TOP PANTS uses urethane rubber reinforcement material at the hem, and it is also a part that has continued R & D so that it is strong against the edge and durable even when using skis or split boards.




3) You mentioned the details earlier, but what kind of evolution is there this year?

There are many things that aren't in the catalog, but the ones that stand out are the hand warmer pockets and the Cohaesive ™ system at GUIDE JACKET.

The Cohaesive ™ system allows you to quickly adjust the hood and hem fit even in harsh weather conditions.This is a simpler part that can be adjusted very smoothly and quickly because the fabric and draw cord are connected with special parts.

In addition, the shape of the cuff closure has evolved slightly, and the outer (front) material of that part is made of easy-to-grip material so that the radio inside can be used so that it does not shift even from the top of the pocket. I am.I think that such small parts are the parts that you can understand for the first time when you actually wear them and head to the mountain.


ak457Guide JKT pocket

Fine details that are closely related to actual riding are included everywhere


Of course, the "fitting", which is an important core part of the AK457, is constantly changing.Considering the ever-changing field, other products used, and riding, the AK457 fitting provides you with comfort, functionality, and style not found in other brands, and we can confidently recommend it.





4) What is the reason why AK457 keeps changing even though it is very complete every year?


This may be a personal part, but I can proudly say that it is a "finished product" in a short span.However, from the standpoint of a guide, the snowboards, bindings, boots, beacons, radios and other gear used will always be renewed to be easier to use and move.

As a result, the riding itself will change, and the method of communication between guides will also change.When that happens, it's time to move on to the next step for the completed wear.That's why the AK457 is constantly evolving and constantly changing to push the finished gear to the next step.



Masa Takeuchi that expresses smooth riding and one line artistically


XNUMX) It seems that you did a field test in New Zealand this year as well.

Yes.This season, we mainly conducted field tests on jackets, pants and inner layers for 2015-2016 models.The total product production time for clothing etc. will be very long until it reaches you.We will test the finished product in a realistic field in the summer.From here, make further corrections and changes.If you can't release it with confidence by the next year, you can't call it an AK457 product.



Field testing in harsh conditions in New Zealand to take the AK457 product to the next step


457) I heard that the AKXNUMX is very popular not only for clothing but also for backpacks.

I agree.In fact, the AK457 BACK PACK has a design not found in BURTON.It's not just the same pattern with different colors and materials.And we are particular about the fine details and usability.





For example, regarding the side pocket, one side can access the main, and the other side can hold a water bottle, and when sliding or using it as a guide, the position and direction of the fastener assuming that day. And so on.The harness is also made of a material that fits more flexibly.And the straps that secure the snowboard can be neatly stored when not in use and won't get in the way of riding.In fact, most guides and riders carry this AK457 BACK PACK on their backs.


AK457 BACK PACK for maximum comfort and functionality in any field or situation


XNUMX) The HIKARI GAHARA CAT TOUR produced by Mr. Takeuchi is also becoming more and more popular among skiers year by year, regardless of the category of snowboarders.

I agree.This is especially true in the last few years.The knowledge, experience, and skills as a guide are evolving year by year, and the service itself is constantly incorporating new things to satisfy everyone who participates.


HIKARIGAHARA CAT TOUR offers the best day with a great guide team


Also, this field is important as a product test for the AK457, and if you are a fan of the AK457, you may be looking forward to encountering a guide wearing the next product.



Behind the ever-changing AK457 is a huge amount of daily field tests and the JAPAN spirit.

The reason why the AK457, which is released with a high level of perfection every year, continues to change and evolve, is not only the perfection of gears, but also the needs of various fields such as snowboarders, skiers, and guides. , Because it is evolving more comfortably.There are many authentic backcountry gear brands, but I think it is only AK457, which has permeated JAPAN spirits, that can respond to the needs and changes of the slippery side.

The renewed AK457 official website has details and riding shots of the AK457 gear.Check out the official website for a number of evolved AK457 gears.And I would like to recommend you to experience the "completed product" at the store.


Click here for the AK457 official website
Click here for the SBN x BURTON special site

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