Since he exploded into the limelight with his 2nd place run at this year’s X-Games Superpipe, 14 year old Ayumu Hirano has impressed everyone with his insane pipe skills.
However, even more impressive than his big tricks is his style. He’s 14 and his style is already among the best in the game, even when he’s doing crazy double corks.
His riding just oozes the kind of style that other snowboarders wish they had, so let’s break it down and maybe we can learn a thing or two from his riding.
Breaking down Ayumu Hirano’s style:
First, we need an example of his riding, so here’s Ayumu’s Hirano 2nd Place US Open Superpipe Run:
Okay, so what makes his riding so stylish?
1) Quiet hands and body
Notice how his hands are insanely still and relaxed at his side even when he’s not grabbing? I always look at this as one of the signs of someone who’s REALLY in control of what they’re doing.
Many snowboarders throw in a grab to keep their hands and body from waving around, but keeping everything still outside of the grab is a lot harder and it’s often when we see little movements and arm flailing.
Watch Ayumu’s first few hits when he does his 1080s. Even as he completes big rotations it’s like he has glue keeping his hands steady and above his nose/tail.
The only time you see Ayumu’s body moving is right at the start of each trick and again towards the end of each trick. He has almost no unnecessary movements when he rides, which makes everything he does look effortless.
His body is so calm while spinning that you could almost confuse him as someone riding a simple green run… except he’s throwing a huge 1080 out of the pipe.
2) Timing & precision
Ayumu Hirano has some of the best timing I’ve ever seen in a pipe rider (or any rider for that matter). To be able to move so little and so effortlessly means his timing has to be almost flawless.
Each movement is calculated and flows from one to another. It’s that flow and precise timing that gives his riding that silky stylish look.
Notice as soon as he completes one action, his body is already flowing onto the next action? There’s no disconnect or stop between movements. There’s no lag or wasted time.
When he releases his grabs, his body is already continuing moving on to finish the rotation and as he lands the rotation his hands have already continued to move to where they need to be for executing his next trick.
Every movement leads into the next movement without gaps in between and that’s what really stands out with me when I watch his riding. It’s the smooth flow of his riding.
If nothing else, I appreciate his riding because he puts effort into locking down his timing and style and it clearly shows. In a world where everyone is hucking double corks, it’s nice to see a rider that prioritises style just as much as big tricks.