Gentemstick is a Japanese snowboard brand which is founded in 1998. It’s based in Niseko, Japan. The land of the rising sun yet also the land with tons of perfect fresh powder snow every year. The founder is Taro Tamai, one of Japans’ snowboarding pioneers. He starts snowboarding at a time when it was still called snow-surfing and he has kept that essence throughout the years. The snowboard culture in Japan, and specifically in Niseko, is really refined and less commercial than many other places.
Functional beauty, attention to details and precision, limited production. Taro Tamai has a clear vision for Gentemstick. In the 1990’s snowboarding became an industrialized sport and for a big part it lost its sense for a unique approach. The media, globalization and the mass production of boards made it quite uniform. Taro designs snowboards in the way how it all started: to be able to surf the mountain. The boards are surf-inspired. But just because a snowboard has a swallowtail it doesn’t work in the same way as it does on a snowboard.
The shaping is the most essential factor in board design. The beauty of snowboard design is to create an ideal three-dimensional curve resulting from a harmonizing outline, bottom-line and the actual warping of the board when riding it.
“You need to make it work on the snow; it isn’t just about applying the same shape. Surfboards have specific shapes for different types of waves, and snowboards are the same. There are different shapes for different kinds of terrain. ”
Here’s a nice short video edit of Taro, produced by Hanah. More about the brand and their philosophy on the Gentemstick website.