After a setback and a comeback. What kind of world does an unconventional middle-aged snowboarder want to create?



Lehmans' oldest snowboarder, who turns 41 this year, is affectionately known as "Ontuan" by his peers. Ontsuan is a Tohoku dialect that means "uncle."

When he was young, an injury forced him to quit snowboarding. After battling setbacks, it was his undeniable love for snowboarding that brought him back to the world of snowboarding.

A 20-something who suffered setbacks and kept turning his attention away from snowboarding

Ontsuan grew up in a family where everyone was talkative, and he loves talking to people. Needless to say, when he was a child, he liked to show off, and he used to make fun of others by making fun of them in conversations with his friends.

“I started snowboarding in the same way because I wanted to stand out, and I think that was a big part of it.”

When I was 16 years old, a high school classmate at the time suggested I try snowboarding, and I thought it looked cool. There is a ski resort called Shiroyama Kogen that is accessible by train from his hometown of Sendai, and he has been going there often since he started snowboarding.

After graduating from high school, she moved to Tokyo with the aim of pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. He entered a training school and received drama instruction every day. During this time, he made ends meet by working as a dispatch worker at a factory.

“Even while I was at the training school, I was allowed to go back to my hometown to snowboard in the winter.”

A 23-year-old boy who loves snowboarding faces hardships. It's a recurring injury.

“Until then, I kept dislocating my shoulder every time I went snowboarding.It would have dislocated just by lifting my shoulder, so I wish I could have put it in myself, but I had to go to the hospital every time I went down the mountain. I can no longer go snowboarding. I decided to quit snowboarding because it would be a nuisance to my friends."

After that, he continued to work at a factory to earn a living. A co-worker he met at the factory who loved music led him to clubs in Shibuya and Daikanyama every night. I bought a lot of records and became immersed in the world of music. At the same time, he met a woman at work and they started dating.


``At that time, I had music around me and was enjoying the days I spent with my girlfriend.It wasn't that I forgot about snowboarding, but I refrained from returning to it for a while because it would cause trouble. I spent all of my 20s trying to distract myself."

When he turned 30, he started talking about marriage with the woman he was dating. In order to support the family finances after getting married, I quit my temporary job at the factory where I was working at the time and started a new full-time job in sales at a telecommunications company.

"But the company I joined was a very black company. It didn't suit me at all, so I quit right away (lol)."

After that, they lived off their savings from their time working at a factory, but their plans to get married went smoothly, and they moved in to start living together. Just when he felt his savings were running out, a turning point in his life came when he happened to go to Bayside Marina in Yokohama with his girlfriend.

Challenges from the 30s, active snowboarders in their 40s

Now the oldest snowboarder at Lehmans, Ontsuan returned to snowboarding at the age of 33 after meeting Taiga.

As I was wandering around Bayside Marina, I came across information about the upcoming opening of an outlet store for the snowboard brand "Burton."

"Burton was a brand that I used to use. At that time, I felt that I had to start a job, even if it was just a part-time job, in order to make ends meet. Also, I thought, 'If it's a job that allows me to be involved in snowboarding, someday I'll be able to do it. I was hopeful that I might be able to come back, so I applied for an interview right away."

I was successfully hired as a part-time worker and started working. Shortly after the store opened, Taiga was a customer who came to the store.

``My first impression of Taiga was that he was a very energetic boy.'' Taiga's senior from elementary school worked part-time at Burton, and we became friends through that clerk.When the season started, everyone... So we talked about going skating together."

After accepting Taiga's invitation, he decided to return to snowboarding, which he had avoided until now. When I got on a snowboard for the first time in 10 years, I was surprised to find that my body was able to move so freely that I didn't feel like I had been on a snowboard for many years.

One day, after returning to the ski slopes for the first time, Ontsuan thought to himself.

"I want to fly again like I did 10 years ago," he said. And on this day, he decided to fly.

I turned the FS360 with Takeru Farm's biggest kicker and grabbed an indie grab. The moment he stretched out his left arm to maintain his balance, he once again dislocated his left shoulder cleanly in the air.

“The moment I felt that it had come off, I was so focused on my shoulders that I went straight to the rescue without even realizing that I had achieved the best fit of my life. Among the Lehmans, this “ The legend of Takeru Farm is still being passed down to this day (lol).

After that, the gears of life with Ontsuan's girlfriend, who was worried about his shoulder injury and desperately tried to get him to stop snowboarding, started to get out of sync. At the same time, Ontsuan's passion for snowboarding was reignited and he geared up. After all, he was convinced that snowboarding was what drove him forward.

“After all, I thought that snowboarding is linked to life.To other people, it may seem like a rather frivolous sport.

However, for me, snowboarding is a sport that combines important elements in life. It's a fun sport, a conversation tool, and something that can make your life more exciting. When you get down to it, it's surprisingly deep. ”

All members of Lehmans unanimously praise Ontsuan's gliding.

``I don't think my skill level is that different from everyone else, but maybe I have a certain taste because I've been skating for so many years.It's like the added sauce at a long-established beef bowl restaurant (lol) ”

A mission at Lehmans that only the eldest can accomplish

``Honestly, I'm happy to be included at my age.I think my mission is to disseminate information to people my age (40's). This is a generation that has been around for a long time, so I would like to incorporate more and more older generations in the way that only I can do it."

Family life, declining physical strength, fewer snowboarding friends of the same generation... ``There are many middle-aged snowboarders who used to be active snowboarders, but for some reason they have stopped snowboarding,'' Ontsuan believes.

“Lehmans boards are affordable, so I think they are perfect snowboards for people who want to make a comeback.I want to spread the word to those people more and more.I was retired for a while, but when I came back, If you look at it, you'll be able to slide at all."

Ontsuan describes the appeal of Lehmans as follows.

``Major manufacturers have strong brands and have famous snowboarders among their riders, but Lehmans is run by office workers, and the skiing is not at the professional level.

However, the fact that these guys are showing off how they are seriously enjoying snowboarding is a concept that has never been seen before, and I think that such a ``life-sized'' brand is definitely appropriate for today's times. .

We would like to provide services based on a thorough consideration of ways to reduce the cost of snowboarding as much as possible and increase opportunities for everyone to enjoy it. ”

“Of course, I would also recommend it to students who want to start snowboarding seriously. I would be happy if they come to the slopes many times and realize how much fun snowboarding can be.”

Changes in the work outlook of office workers

The factory job he worked at until his 20s consisted of the same simple tasks performed by the same team members. However, since Ontsuan himself likes to interact with people, he felt that the customer service job at Burton was suitable for him.

Additionally, Burton trained junior store staff who lacked sufficient knowledge of snowboarding, contributing to overall store sales. I discovered the joy of supporting my colleagues and achieving results as a team.

``Most of the people I worked with were young people in their early twenties, but to be honest, they didn't know much about snowboarding.They often came to me to ask about the products. I was happy to see that the customers were able to purchase my clothes and clothes safely."

This experience gave me the opportunity to reconsider, ``Perhaps the job I had working in a factory where I worked with a team to achieve production targets was actually suitable for me,'' and decided to change jobs to manufacturing. did. Currently, he is responsible for on-site management of the entire factory of a major chemical manufacturer.

"I ended up going back to work in a factory, but I still use my experience at Burton to this day. There are a lot of people on the factory floor who are a bit dull-witted, but my seniors told me, ``You're a little different.'' You may."

With his communication skills further honed during his time at Burton, he plays the role of a ``lubricant'' that bridges the gap between communication between young people in their 20s and managers in their 50s and above.

For middle-aged snowboarders who are worried

Ontsuan usually goes to the gym and works hard to maintain his physical strength. As he continued to go to the gym, he noticed changes in his body and began to enjoy it more and more.

"The other Lehmans members are in their late 20s, and I'm in my 40s. In the past, I was by far the best at skating, but now everyone has grown up and is at a slightly higher level than me.

However, I still want to skate with everyone for a few more years, so I want to do my best to build up my body so that I don't get injured. ”

Ontsuan has a message he would like to convey to middle-aged snowboarders like him.

``I think the generation that once retired from snowboarding has a lot of things to do, such as family and work.However, I want them to make time for themselves and take a step forward.

When I go to the slopes, I often see middle-aged snowboarders like myself, which gives me even more motivation. I've also experienced a break in my career, so I'd like to support people who want to make a comeback. ”

Ontsuan further adds:

``Also, I would like to encourage more and more children to come snowboarding.

My high school classmates who inspired me to start snowboarding have children, and I sometimes skate with them, and I think it's been a really good snowboarding experience. I think it would be great if people of all generations could enjoy snowboarding. ”

Ontsuan will continue his activities at Lehmans in order to create a world where a wide range of generations can enjoy snowboarding.


Question and answer profile

Main instance: +18°/-9° (0° to +6° for powder)

Stance width: about 53cm

Binding used: Burton Genesis

Boots used: Burton Ion

Home slope: Shiroyama Kogen

Favorite location: Sunny powder

Happy moment: long turns in powder

Special move: Nothing in particular, but maybe Tripod?

Snowboarder I respect: Tadashi Fuse


[Interview/Written by: Kazuki Yasui]