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Natural Integration


With his signature style and flow, snowboard legend Masanori “Masa” Takeuchi has carved the way for backcountry riding in the pristine mountains of Japan.

“It feels so natural, that’s what makes it so special and beneficial for my riding style. The BOA Fit System can effortlessly give me the perfect fit.”   – Masa

Masa Portrait
  • snowboard

Masanori Takeuchi has been leading the scene as a snowboard legend since the late eighties. Known as “Masa” to most, he was a fixture on the Burton Snowboards team back in the day and is a pioneer and director of the first CAT snowboard/ski tour in Japan, Hikarigahara CAT Tours. He’s also a Technical Director of the AK457 line, a Japan-specific offering from Burton. Needless to say, the guy’s been busy.

In the early 90s, Masa was one of the best snowboarders on the competition circuit. He traveled all over the world from comp to comp, with the 1994 US Open marking his last stop as a competitor. From there, he shifted gears as he became laser-focused on exploring the world to experience the simple pleasure of snowboarding in its purest form. Snowboarders all over the world took notice and have been fascinated with his backcountry riding ever since. 

At the time, there were no opportunities in Japan for people to experience a full CAT Tour with backcountry service, but Masa was on a mission to change that. In 2003, Hikarigahara Highland, the main field for Hikarigahara CAT Tour, began operation. It was a vast and isolated area, completely untouched before Masa started exploring it for CAT Touring. Here he could offer a one-of-a-kind experience while sharing his love and knowledge of the backcountry – the ultimate snowboarder’s dream. The exclusive experience is capped at 12 people a day, with snowboarders coming from all over the world to enjoy it – even world-class riders like Terje Haakonsen and Anti Autti can be seen riding with Masa at Hikarigahara. 

AK457 Cat Tour
Masa Snowboard Slash

Masa’s riding is all about style and flow, but it’s also clean and sharp. Watching him ride is like watching an artist create a masterpiece – he draws flawless, beautiful lines on untracked fresh faces, kicking up artistic spray along the way.

“Freedom of movement is the key. I don't like to cinch up my boots super tight, I’d rather have a more natural feel on my feet and the BOA Fit System gives me the flexibility to do that.”

Masa found a perfect fit for his riding style with Burton’s StepOn® System featuring the BOA Fit System. The system’s convenience is an obvious benefit, but StepOn® is most widely known for the direct feeling it gives between the snowboard and the rider. The boot's fit is in the driver’s seat of delivering maximum performance, explains Masa, “I like how I can adjust the fit with one turn of the dial. I’m able to have the perfect fit that I like – not too tight, not too loose – and ride more effortlessly than ever before.”

Masa Dialing In



Burton Swath SO

Swath Step-on®

The lightweight, mid-flexing feel of the Burton Swath SO is performance-powered by the BOA Fit System for a natural “just right” fit, designed to meet the demands of Masa’s signature style and flow. 






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