Image by 胖胖 Image Studio on Flickr

Best Japanese Snowboard Brands

Japan is home to some of the snowiest regions in the world. Some places in Japan even get up to 30 feet of snow a year. Japan also boasts of almost 500 ski and snowboard resorts. As a result, it’s no wonder that skiing and snowboarding are extremely popular activities here. Skiing and snowboarding season usually starts in Japan by December and lasts up till April. Japan also has some world-renown snowboard makers given below.

  • Gentemstick
  • Moss Snowstick
  • Ogasaka
  • Yonex
  • Rice28
  • Asian Can Controllerz

The main areas for snowboarding are on the main island of Honshu, the northern island of Hokkaido, and Niigata on the coast. Snowboard enthusiasts from all over the world flock to Japan for shredding slopes in style. Thus, many Japanese snowboarding brands are popping up over the years to capture the market. These brands not only employ superior technology but also a unique Japanese design aesthetic.

Image by Florian Forster on Flickr
Image by Florian Forster on Flickr


Gentemstick was founded in 1998 by Taro Tamai, and it started with just the TT-model as their flagship. Today, Gentemstick is synonymous with Japanese snowboarding. Above all, Gentemstick incorporates founder Taro Tamai’s philosophy into the design of every board. Gentemstick aims to bring snowboarding back to the experience of freedom associated with it. This is also the same design philosophy they apply to every board.

For instance, every Gentemstick board lays down great turns in any condition without having to change stances. Gentemstick boards are also characterized by classic shapes, wood construction, short rails, and massive noses. Their design is a unique blend of classic styles like swallowtail, in addition to modern designs driven by their own experiences. Gentemstick boards offer streamlined form and effortless gliding, whether you’re on powder or packed snow.

According to the founder, Taro Tamai, Gentemstick boards don’t just offer the exhilaration of a jump or a spin, but also the peace and tranquility of a simple glide.

Moss Snowstick

Moss Snowstick is the oldest Japanese snowboard maker, and also the most popular. It was founded in 1971 by Shinzo Tanuma, an avid surfer. His dream was to be able to surf on snow one day. Thus, he passionately pursued this idea, using it as the driving force behind his research and development.

The first Moss Snowstick branded snowboard was released in 1979, featuring fixed hard bindings designed for use with ski boots. This innovative design ushered snow surfing to the next level to achieve more precise carvings. Today, they are one of the biggest snowboarding brands, not just in Japan, but all over the world. Moss Snowstick continues to further refine the turning sensations that make their boards unique.

Whether it’s their alpine boards or freestyle range, Moss Snowstick boards are guaranteed to give you an extra boost. Their beautiful designs and colorful skins are sure to turn heads wherever you carve cuts or catch airtime.


Ogasaka Snowboards was founded in 1987 in Nagano City, Japan. In that particular period of time, snowboards were just a fun tool for off-piste gliding. Because of this, snowboards came with fins on the base instead of steel edges. Thus, Ogasaka took advantage of the ski factory’s know-how to mount steel edges on the flattened base of the board. It was a brand new innovation that led to carving sharp turns and alpine racing becoming popular with the public.

Ogasaka uses a great variety of wood types used in wood cores to make the body of the board. These woods can be strong, stiff, or flexible depending on the environment they grew up in. After that, these different types of woods are combined skillfully for desired performance.

  1. Firstly, alpine-style boards are usually long and slim, made to glide at high speeds and make long turns. Thus, the core is made with stiffer wood, which gives them more stability at high speeds.
  2. Secondly, freestyle boards are usually shorter, with a broad nose and tapering body. They are mostly used for simple slopes and tricks such as spins and rolls.
  3. Thirdly, powder boards usually come in traditional swallowtail designs, sporting a sleek core and sharp edges. They’re mostly used to high-speed open terrain snowboarding with sharp turns and snow surfing.


Yonex Co., Ltd. is a Japanese sports equipment manufacturing company based in Tokyo, Japan. They also entered the snowboarding market in 1995 with the world’s first full-carbon body snowboard. Since then, they have made enormous strides in technology and innovation in the snowboarding market.

Yonex Snowboards make use of cutting-edge technology in addition to innovative designs, thus standing leagues apart from their competition. As a result, Yonex snowboards are popular among snowboarding competitions. Here are some unique features of Yonex Snowboards that set them apart from the rest :

  • Firstly, their full-carbon body snowboard makes it extremely lightweight. Later models use carbon shelled microcore construction to provide a lightweight core with excellent shock absorption.
  • Secondly, their Stomp-Tech 3.0 technology gives their boards the lightest swing weight. As a result, this gives Yonex snowboards high-speed spin, letting you pull off flashy moves.
  • Thirdly, their CENTROid structure uses honeycomb designs in the nose and the tail to reduce weight while maintaining sufficient strength. This weight balance is then centered between stances, letting you ride comfortably.
  • Fourthly, their Absorb Deck technology gives you maximum control at high speeds by damping vibrations by up to 30% more than other boards.


Rice28 was started in 1995 during a time when there were no freestyle snowboards being made in Japan. As a result, Rice28 was formed as an avenue for providing Japanese-made snowboards for Japanese people. And so, today Rice28 holds a niche market spot, specializing in freestyle snowboards with snazzy skins and modern aesthetics.

However, the brand isn’t known simply for its colorful boards and unique designs. Rice28 snowboards also use advanced technology to bring you boards suitable for any slope, any cut, and any jump. Above all, every part of the board, from the ribbon to the core, to the shape and design has careful thought put into it.

For instance, the ribbons they use can be double carbon ribbons, single-center ribbons, and so on depending on the requirement. These ribbons help to provide center-stability during sharp turns and ollies. Then, they have different plates such as HVII and HM plates which are attached to the board and the shoes. These plates help the rider make precise turns with the smallest of movements even at high speeds.

They have also come with stainless steel edges for curving sharp cuts. In addition, 25-degree angle slants on the sidewalls ensure comfortable turns. Finally, rounded edges of all unnecessary parts of the nose and tail ensure minimal drag and catch.

Asian Can Controllerz

Asian Can Controllerz or ACC is a relatively new snowboard brand in Japan. They also make other skiing and snow sports accessories. However, what sets them apart from the rest of the brands in this list is their influence from hip hop, punk-rock, graffiti art, and bold designs. ACC already has a small cult following in the snowboarding community, mostly among youngsters.

The people behind ACC strongly believe in displaying the creativity of Japan, while still showing their hip-hop influence. As a result, ACC snowboards are best known for their eye-catching graffiti art style and bold, shocking designs. Thus, these boards are popular with extreme daredevils who aren’t satisfied with more traditional designs. In conclusion, no matter where you go, these boards are sure to turn heads in wonder and amazement.

Japan is home to over 500 skiing and snowboarding resorts all over. Thus, no matter where you find yourself, you can always find a piste within reach. This is why snowboarding has become so popular in Japan, where sports are an integral part of the culture. You can also check out the Top 10 Sports in Japan.

Eli Civil

A software engineer, entrepreneur, and Japanese culture enthusiast. I travel the world while working from my laptop and try to visit Japan as often as I can. About Eli Civil

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