Jamie O’Brien snowboards “day of the year” in Hokkaido, surfs secret spot hours later
We’re used to seeing Jamie O’Brien scoring epic conditions at pipe on Hawaii’s North Shore, but it seems as though the snow gods are equally kind to him. O’Brien is on his annual snow pilgrimage to Hokkaido, where he has once again hooked up with Par Dahlin, a backcountry guide who has been based in the Niseko area since 1985.
In the video, Par immediately claims that it’s the “best day of the year”, and Jamie is frothing like a small child on Christmas morning.
“We came all the way to Japan and said it was going to snow 8 cm, and we woke up and there was a foot of snow on the car. It’s like waking up and they tell you pipe’s going to be like 3–4 feet and it’s actually 8 foot and straight offshore.”
“We at least got a foot of fresh. First thing in the morning that’s what we wake up to. There’s not a better feeling than this when you know you’re going to go on a snowboard mission.”
“It’s a little secret place where we go snowboarding every year and we have such an amazing time.”
“We’re looking like we’re in store for the best day ever in Japan.”
*Cut to scenes of JOB and his mates slashing and carving through fields of untouched powder*
Not content with a morning fresh pow that many riders around the globe will only dream of, O’Brien and crew then hit the road to see if they can also get some surfing in. As luck would have it, they stumble onto a right hander (admittedly after a few hours of searching) that runs along a break wall and looks uncannily like a man-made wave pool .
O’Brien is “psyched”.
“We just found a sick wave. It just runs along this fishing wall and created this little wedge, and then it sets you up for a nice turn – possibly even some little air sections.
“We had an amazing day snowboarding today, and then we drove down and got some great waves. We got really lucky – I didn’t expect to get waves like this. We just kind of winged it.”