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Everything posted by iambenw

  1. My experience of Burton gloves isn't that good but their customer service was. Had a pair of toasters I think they were called, with weird leathery finger tips. The tips wore off within maybe 10 days so I took them back. The same thing happened with the replacements so I got my money back and bought some 3000yen no brand gloves from a resort that have now clocked up 30-40 days and still work great. I know Burton-bashing is quite a popular activity, but in this case I really couldn't recommend the gloves.
  2. Kuma, I wish £500 was 100,000yen! The exchange rate I'll be getting when I come over this Winter means that £500 will be worth 65,000 ish... Unless you'd like to offer me that rate? :-)
  3. Snow, onsen, ramen. Preferably in the same day and in that order.
  4. It was all used - but the company that I shipped it with had a really strict form to fill in. In the customs declaration box the only options were things like "gift, sale, repair, return" No option for used personal goods. I put gift down, but I'm thinking now repair or return might have been better options. I itemized the entire box and the total I estimated at about £500 (which is what, 500yen at current interest rates!?) Not sure whether it included all the paperwork and processing in that tax bill, and it was shipped by interparcel, who then passed it on to DHL.
  5. When I was a JET in Sendai we used to run yearly habitat for humanity groups and built houses in locations like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Fiji. Im not too sure whether the group is still going, whether it is non-mainstream enough and whether it would be useful at all as it was predominately westerners participating in the trips...?
  6. The thunder dolphin rollercoaster by Tokyo dome - fun.
  7. Has anyone ever managed to get import tax back from the Japanese tax people after it has been incorrectly charged? My buddy in Niseko had to pay 1man for collection of a package that I sent out containing my battered snowboard kit - they claimed it was new stuff and slapped an import tax on it. The kit was all bought in Japan 4 years ago, for which I have the receipts... Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!
  8. I think I may have caught the terrain park at a bad time, as when I went this Spring it was barely a park! Not one rail in site, and a collection of kicker-less humps to coast over did not impress on my visit. There was some good stuff to be found off the beaten track though, especially around the womens downhill gondola. Hope you catch it on a good day!
  9. Maybe there's more stories of burtons breaking because there's more burton boards out there and proportionally they don't break more than any other maker? Or maybe they do just suck? I try to buy boards from smaller manufacturers now because I don't really believe that the process of manufacturing a board has advanced much for quite a while. They're still pretty much just wood cores with fibreglass bits right? Also, how much of the extra you pay for a big-name brand board actually goes into making the board better and how much into keeping the brand big? Im guessing that a lot w
  10. I finally bought some decent (or so I thought) gloves for this season, splashing out almost a man on burton toasters. - 10 days later, all the fake leather stuff had peeled off the ends of the fingers, and my hands were getting soaking wet. Fair play to burton, they did replace the gloves with no fuss, but I then took them back to the sports shop with the original receipt and bought some 4000 yen no-brand gloves. -20 days later, the no-brands are still going strong without a scratch. Bottom line - don't be fooled by big names.
  11. Hey Mudguts, I did almost exactly the same to my custom on a tree at Happo-one, except my snap was just behind the front binding. I could get to the bottom of the hill on it OK because the base wasnt't snapped through, and was quite a lot of fun for that run. It basically just hinged between my two feet allowing me to pick the front or back up really easily, and coast along in weird super-long nose or tail manuals, steering with just one foot! I did get some strange looks though.
  12. This is more common in BMX crashes, but when someone starts to swing their arms around in mid air anticipating a crash, I like to use the term "air swimming" some people can really look like their doing the front crawl.
  13. Ive been running my flows for the past 2 seasons, and have found that the best way to prevent the lever on the highback from catching and them undoing was to put my trousers outside the bindings. It means that the catch cant physically come undone as your trouser is in the way, and takes no time whatsoever to do. I had one of my bindings come undone once last season in Niseko before I started doing this, but this season with the trousers outside its been all smiles with the flows.
  14. Ive ridden duck (+15/-15) since day one, with a totally centered stance on a twin-tip board. I didn't want to learn to board with any preference in terms of direction, so whenever I managed to do something regular, I'd turn around and try it switch (although I didn't really have a regular and a switch, if you see what I mean...) Ive pretty much persevered with the same idea in mind for 2 seasons, and have been happy with the results. The only downside of this technique that I (in my unpreofessional opinion) can see is that it sucks a bit in powder as your legs ache from leaning so far bac
  15. I went unreserved from Tokyo to Nagano on the 29th of December (I think) and there were barely any people on the train. Had a triple seat to myself, with my board bag taking the seat next to me. I guess that there will be a load more people going by shink on weekends, but it's not always neccessary to reserve for this journey.
  16. Granted, there are certainly more important things for Blair to concentrate on, but I do think that this is a good(ish) idea. The streets of certain towns in England have long stopped being a safe place to be, especially at night, and I hope that his plans have some effect. I'm not particularly looking forward to leaving Japan, and returning to England partly as I'll lose the freedom to do and go exactly where and when I want without the nagging feeling that danger could be around the corner. (I'm not saying I live in the Bronx, but there is a load more danger involved in a night out
  17. In Sendai we too have Fanny beauty salons, but we also have: a bar called Vajiina a clothes shop called Sperm and barber shops called Hair by Monkeys (I think) and (my personal favourite) Hair by Pantera. Ive always wanted my hair styled by metal has-beens.
  18. I know that this isn't the case for some fat people who have genetic problems or people that are blissfully happy with their fat selves, but I don't understand how people get really fat. Surely, if you notice yourself gaining a few lbs or kgs, you then have thoughts like "i really should change my diet" or "i really should go to the gym" etc. yet some people pay no attention. Over the course of a journey to full fatness, there must be countless times that you notice your weight increasing, and countless opportunities to rectify what is happening. You don't just wake up one day and be
  19. fair point O11, Ive certainly learned my lesson from it.
  20. I had only seen my girlfriend once in over a year, during last summer, so I decided that I wanted to buy her a plane ticket to Japan as a christmas present. she was only temping at the time so it shouldn't have been a problem... However, once I told her this she replied with the news that she was about to move in with a new fella in London. Thats my worst experience, not sure what I did to deserve it.
  21. Nightas can be pretty magical, and well worth taking it easy during the day for... But they are more likely to be a bit icy and crap. I still enjoy them though if Im staying at a resort, and can just nip out for a few hours boarding after dinner.
  22. With regards to crossing over between the different Hirafus, it really won't be a problem for you, being a skier and able to pole along. I found it mildly annoying last Winter as a boarder, but once you know where the flat spots are you can maintain your speed into them and get a lot further across than you think. One thing to worry about is not being caught down in the wrong area at the end of the day. Once night skiing starts be sure to check the bus schedule back to your home area the lifts up to the connecting runs will be shut.
  23. Ive had a 20gb 3rd generation ipod for about a year and a half now, and I love it. I think I prefer the buttons not on the central wheel too, it somehow makes it feel more sturdy to me. No problems whatsoever with mine though, have taken it boarding on a gentle nighter session, but probably wouldn't take it out for anything more adventurous. Listening to air, sigur ros, manual etc. (anything floaty and light sounding) while gliding down through the night at Niseko last season was one of my best nights so far. Those are my thoughts...
  24. Thanks for the heads up obm, I think I know where you are talking about for the gondola run... With hindsight I also think my subject title could have been a bit melodramatic too. Apologies.
  25. Ive promised myself no snow until the JLPT test is over and done with, and amazingly, my will power has held firm. Starting next weekend then I think.
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