November 19 2020 Thursday at 03:27 PM

A Conversation With The Shaper of Deus Powder Tools

TAKUYA 'TAPPY' YOSHIKAWA

In my youth I frequented many board factories from the age of 15 and by 16, I shaped my first surfboard behind the back of the adults. I have been shaping for about 20 years in my 30-year surfing career. I’ve probably shaped over 5,000 boards in total.
How long have you been shaping Snowboards?
The official debut of my snowboard outline design was for the Deus fish board in 2014. Personally I have been snowboarding for 20 years and have done my initial outline shaping on an uncut blank that my good friend produced himself 2 years ago. Graphically I worked for Burton headquarters in April 2014 to design 9 board graphics for their Family Tree collection for W16.
What is the point of difference with the Deus boards?
First of all, these are all original outlines and rocker shapes. As a surfboard shaper I got the inspiration from the rockers of fish surfboards making the Deus boards unique and impressive. Recently notable surfboard shapers like Chris Christenson and Mayhem have also designed a number of snowboards.
What are the offered shapes and difference between each?
We are offering 3 shapes in the 1st collection. You can select one based on your style or snow conditions.
THE PIKE: inspired by Gentemstick boards, but focused more on freestyle than the Gentem fish. It is not only for powder snow as you can also enjoy Surf-like riding like switch stance or spins on banks.
THE MULE: New design focused on high-speed tricks on powder or groomed snow. It has an original outline and an original powder camber, which gives you an amazing flow-ride on powder.
DRIFTER: This is a collaboration with Japan’s Death Label boards. This is one of their best selling shapes, which I fell in love with and used myself for 2 seasons. The 3D nose and kicktail allows for easy maneuvering in deep powder and allows for some big sprays!
There seems to be an increase in retro styled boards. Where do you think the scene is headed? Do you think there will be a movement of homemade hand shaped boards and experimenting like surfing?
Yes, you see a lot of companies now putting out powder boards with different graphics and shapes (especially focusing more on shapes) since last year. Hand shaped snowboards have been a part of Japan’s snowboard style for a while now. Foreign companies have started taking interest in this trend lately and recently I see it incorporated into their own product line. It’s now a global movement!
However hand shaped boards have no steel edges and are typically limited to only powder or the soft snow in early spring. As a maker I think many use these boards to test shapes and rides before launching a new design or collection commercially. I like creating and producing a one of a kind in the world shape.
What are the future plans for the snowboards, will we see more designs and shapes?
I want to keep pursuing my original design to catch up with Gentem as much as possible but in a different way of course.
What is the cultural significance of snowboarding to Deus?
Japan is paradise for powder snow and often referred to as the Mentawais for snowboarding. There is no way we would miss that opportunity, right?
Do you see a similarity between surfing and snowboarding? (Culturally, Physically/Riding)
Snowboarding takes an approach very similar to surfing especially with snow-surf style boards. The only difference is the motion on the surface. A good surfer for sure can also be a good snowboarder.
What have been the biggest challenges with this project?
I had to use CAD for the factory to make my boards rather than drawing freehand as I usually do for hand shaping surfboards. That’s it.
Where are you drawing your inspiration from and who are your influences?
Mr. Taro Tamai from Gentemstick. If it weren’t for him the movement would probably never have happened. He will keep leading the scene and I want to follow him but with my own approach.
How is the scene different in Japan to the rest of the world?
Twin tip boards are still the mainstream in western countries but we don’t see as many twin tips in Japan especially in Hokkaido these days. But I believe Gentemstick is playing a role in spreading snow surf culture to the world.
Which is your favorite resort and why?
Hokkaido is the best by far. Why? Powder powder powder! Powder paradise! And hot springs!!
Any tips for riding backcountry in Japan?
There have been increasing mountaineering accidents among newcomers shifted from surfing in recent years. Don’t ever underestimate the mountain. The best way is to hire a guide who 
is well aware of the terrain.
What items can you not go up the mountain without?
Several types of boards and an avalanche gear set. Like minded friends.
What music do you listen to when snowboarding?
My recent favorite is Royal Blood.
Stylish method grab or hucked 1080?
Method Grab of course. Old school! Yeah!
Deus Japan introducing: Deus Powder Tools from Deus Customs on Vimeo. DEUS EX MACHINA SNOWBOARDS POP-UP AT NISEKO 1/13 FRI- 2/5 SUN 住所 北海道 虻田郡 倶知安町 字山田188-9 ヒラフ188 5F Address: 188-9, Aza Yamada, Kutchan-chou Abutagun, Hokkaido, 5F 営業時間12:00-20:00 #DeusSnow DEUS POWDER TOOLS 2017-2018 デウスパウダーツールズ 2013年よりサーフボードビルダーのTAKUYA TAPPY YOSHIKAWA と共同開発を経て 2015年にデウスジャパンより3タイプのスノーボードがリリースされる事になった。 サーフボードビルダーが作り上げたオリジナルなロッカーやキャンバー,サーフィンからのインスピレーションをデザインに落とし込んだのがデウスパウダーツールズである。 そしてデウスが遊びのステージとして選んだのが 《北海道 ニセコ》 世界に類をみないドライな雪質は海外からのリピーターも多く、今世界で最も注目されているスキーリゾートだ。 ポップアップでは、パウダーツールズの試乗、写真家ウディグーチのアートフォトを始め、デウスムービーの上映会等々、盛りだくさんなイベント内容です。 2018NEW MODELもご覧頂けます。みなさんニセコで会いましょう! Image by @woodygphoto