It was a day where both participants and spectators felt a sense of unity. “VANS HI-STANDARD SNOWBOARD SERIES” report reaffirms the appeal of park events

January 2024, 1 @ Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort

The "VANS HI-STANDARD SNOWBOARD SERIES" has been held around the world as a park event that focuses on "style" rather than gliding technique.
It first landed in Japan last year, and this season the event has been moved to Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort.
Many freestylers gathered in the intermittent snowfall to enjoy this event in a special park filled with "VANS colors."
Report on the day's situation!!

Enjoy the special VANS color park

Show off your style and get special money!!

Riders whose skates impress the judges will be given tickets in exchange for cash, which can be exchanged for 1 yen each after the competition ends. Participating riders flocked to the venue from the morning, motivated by the live feeling of having their skiing evaluated on the spot and the opportunity to receive money.

On Saturday, January 1th, many participants were lining up at the reception tent at Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort on the day of the event.
Passing through the reception line, we first checked out the special park where the event will be held. This time, the special park whose layout was designed by Masato Toda and Aya Sato is a little more compact than last year, but it is positioned so that it is easy to see the whole area and can be seen from the lift that passes right by.
You can clearly show off your style even to people riding the lift, and you can also add excitement to your performance.

There was less snow than usual, and the special park was managed to be completed thanks to the snow that fell during the week the event was held. The upper part has sections such as hips and walls, and the lower part, which corresponds to the back of the photo, is a jib section with items of different difficulty levels.

The event has two stages: one is a jam session where judges can also enjoy the event, and the other is a best trick contest where you can get tickets. It was held once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

I guess the jam session is a prelude to the best trick contest. Due to the intermittent snowfall, I couldn't seem to get as fast as I wanted in the beginning, so at first I was skating while checking the size and the speed at which I could get into the items, but after repeating it a few times, I started to get faster. I feel like I'm losing my strength, and my style is gradually coming in. Everyone was enjoying their own skating, doing slashes on the banks and doing trains with friends.

The judges also participated in the jam session. A photo of Aya Sato, who is very familiar with Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort. I have a strong image of her freeriding skills, but her jib skills were also outstanding!
In the second half, Ryo Aizawa was attacking the double down rail. Even though he looked like he was wearing make-up, he probably wasn't satisfied with it, and I was impressed by how he tried again and again with a frustrated look on his face.

Many children and girls participated, enjoying skating in their own style at the special park.
This person also stood out! An unexpected style of sea bread that defies the cold.
The special item "Photo Panel Jump" that appeared this time. A small kicker is made in front of the photo panel, allowing you to take unique photos that look like they are popping out of the panel. A photo session was also held using this item/Photo: Yamato @yamato__1000

Attack mainly on the wall!!
An exciting morning
best trick contest

When the best trick contest begins, the atmosphere changes completely.
Unlike the jam session, which had a mellow atmosphere, everyone changed into a completely aggressive skating style from the beginning!!
In the morning, the upper area of ​​the park becomes the judging point, and participants slide in one after another around the wall. Some people got so excited that they jumped over the wall and over the VANS banner. The judges were impressed with the speed of the participants and were handing out tickets.

Four VANS riders served as judges. From left are Kubota Kubota, Souhi Nagasawa, Aya Sato, and Ryo Aizawa, who recently joined the VANS team. Fuyuo Suzuki, a VANS rider like Masato Toda, who worked on the park design with Aya Sato, was unfortunately unable to attend due to poor health.


In the afternoon, we mainly focused on double down rails.
Heat up!!

The best trick contest in the afternoon was in the lower jib area. The double down rail that many participants were aiming for will be on the main stage.
Since it is located at the bottom of the park, more and more people are switching from lift-up to hike-up, and the speed of the hike is gradually increasing. The rotation of participants became faster, and there were sometimes scenes where there were collisions.
Even so, everyone's skating continued to heat up, and the contest came to a close amidst the climax of excitement.

Hioki Takamori shows off his board handling skills honed on the street.

In the Best Trick Contest, in addition to distributing tickets, we also selected and awarded two people each: ``The person who made the most impression = MVP'' and ``The person who worked the hardest = BEST EFFORT''.

Ryuto-kun was chosen as one of the best efforts. At just 1 years old, he continued to attack the rails without rest.
Gin was selected as one of the MVPs. His tough riding raised the voltage of the venue to its peak.

What was really impressive this time was the sense of unity in the venue. The distance between the venue and the audience is close, and you can watch from the lift. The excitement of the participants and judges spread to those around them, and the venue became one with the excitement. It was an on-snow event that gave a sense of unity similar to that felt at a skating ramp.

An event filled with a sense of unity where everyone at the venue is equally excited.
Waffles, clam chowder, and drinks were served at the VANS tent next to the park. It's so generous that you can participate for free and even get snacks! By the way, the waffle is said to have been made using the "waffle sole" used in Hi-Standard OG etc.
A giant balloon shaped like VANS snowboard boots. It has been two years since we were able to install it last year due to strong winds.
These two were chosen as the BEST EFFORT. On the left is a girl rider who is said to be holed up. She exuded joy and surprise, saying, ``I never thought I would win an award.'' On the right is a kid snowboarder who turned 5 years old this year. In the afternoon, he was just trying to ride double down rails with his small body.When I asked him about his snowboarding experience, he said it's been 4 years.
Kaito Jinguji and Gin, who were selected as MVP, are actually part of the same snowboarding crew called "lowedservice." I also want to check out lowedservice, which grabbed the two MVP seats from so many people.
It was a day when so many people felt a sense of unity. The faces of all the participants were filled with smiles as they made it through the day without worrying about the unstable weather, which included poor visibility and intermittent snowfall.

A recap movie of the day has been uploaded to Vans Japan's official Instagram!
You can see that all the participants are enjoying themselves and showing off their style.


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There is also a skating session at the after party.
A day filled with excitement

The event isn't over yet. An afterparty with free entrance was also held from 19pm. There was a skating session, a giveaway of VANS exclusive items, and a screening of Masato Toda's latest film. Masato's latest video, which excited the audience at the premiere at VANS STORE HARAJUKU in December, was shown this time as the Niigata premiere. Although Masato was not present, his cool style The seven-and-a-half-minute video, filled with a lot of information, further amplified the excitement from the afternoon session and became a great success.

This latest video of Masato Toda was released on VANS' home YouTube channel this week! Don't miss the parts of Masato, who is praised as a style master in Japan, as well as Sohi Nagasawa and Fuyuo Suzuki! Whether you went to the premiere or haven't seen it yet, please check it out.

Vans YouTube Channel
"Vans Japan Presents: CHOICE by Masato Toda | Snow | VANS"

The VANS HI-STANDARD SNOWBOARD SERIES came to a close after a full three hours of film screening and other fun.

Photo: Yamato @yamato__1000
Photo: Yamato @yamato__1000
Photo: Yamato @yamato__1000