Kaishu Hirano, rookie of the year, record holder of the highest air, brother of Ayumu and the future of Japan’s next wave of big, punk and stylish riders.
The first time I had the pleasure to see Kaishu with my own eyes was at the Monster Energy Hell Week, when he took a side hit with twice the air, a punk as mask/glasses and flough out of my 8mm fisheye frame. 

We start with what everybody wants to know: How do you fly so high?
Rain, heavy snow, thunder, wind, cloudy weather – I think it’s ‘cause I practice no matter how gnarly the conditions get. Even on days when I ain’t catching’that speeding, I was always practicing while thinking about how I could fly. The rest is just spirit and guts.

“If everyone wants it, I want to be the best in the world.”
Whose air is higher, Valentino’s or yours? Will we see a round two in 
Laax 2024?

I don’t know whose air was higher! Height is important but I fly with style.
The thought of doing that again scares me. The speed is ridiculously fast, and the board is out of control. But if everyone’s up for it, I’m all in to be the best in the world.
Did you enjoy the afterparty during the Laax Open after such a crazy jam?
It was a blast. For the old me, having a party with riders from all over the globe would’ve been like a dream come true! Even though I was tired after the tournament, I still had  good memories of walking back to the hotel with everyone even more tired from the party.

“I can express myself through it the most!”

Who is your inspiration for the backside air? Please share some of your thoughts about that trick and what you love about it!
It’s Shaun White. I admired Shaun’s Vancouver drop in momentum and air height. My favorite thing about the Method is the historical background of the trick and the way I can express myself through it the most! A good feeling during the trick becomes such an important thing and is necessary to do it with style. Speaking of snowboarding Methods, I think each person is different and has their own unique Method style!

For us Europeans, the Japanese way of training and behaviour seems pretty reserved. What do you think about that cultural gap and the training methods from Europe/America?
Japanese, European, and American all ride very well! Of course, Japanese people are amazing, but when I went abroad for the first time, I was surprised by the freedom of foreigners. Great idea! Freedom is also seen in the style. I’m doing my best to snowboard with riders around the world and pursue that freedom more stoically
​​​​​​​There are a few young guns in snowboarding from japan, which stand out of the crowd with a more punk style. From where do you take 
your inspiration?

I changed my snowboarding after seeing a video of a crew called Dustbox in Salt Lake City. The boarding, the visuals, the clothes, the music—everything was to my liking. I love watching their snowboard videos! They’re so wild, I love them.

“The skating, the clothes, the music, everything was to my liking”

How do you feel about your Rookie of the year title in Slush Magazine?
I was very happy. On top of that, I was handed the award while I was having a bonfire with the members of Dustbox... it was like a dream. I’ll give it my all again next year!

With your Rookie of the Year and Peace Park presence have you gained a lot of attention around your personality.  Do you plan to continue and expand your presence in the American snowboarding scene?
I think as a snowboarder you’re real if you can do it in America, the home of snowboarding. To be honest, Japan doesn’t pay enough attention to our sport.
I’m still not good at English, so from now on, I want to make more friends, become able to speak English, snowboard with various riders, become even better at snowboarding, and spread the name Kaishu Hirano into the world. This is the American dream!

What are your goals for the future? Will we see a more competitive Kaishu or will you go out and try your own thing in the backcountry as we see it from halfpipe riders like Kazu and Arthur?
For now, I’d like to become the best snowboarder in the world, not only in halfpipe contests, but also in the backcountry! I think that if you become a person who can be invited to any event, you will inevitably get closer to the American dream.

“I think you’re real if you can do it in America, the home of snowboarding”

Kaishu Hirano- 12.08.2023

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