Image: Levi Siver rides his windsurfing board down Rishiri Mountain during the Stream Mountain project on Rishiri Island, Hokkaido, Japan on March 8th, 2017 // Jason Halayko/Red Bull Content Pool // For more content, pictures and videos like this please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com
Levi Siver has built up an impressive reputation as a freestyle windsurfer around the world including film projects such as The Windsurfing Movie II.
Now the 36-year-old from Idaho has pulled off a world first, after he took his finned board to the snowy mountains of Rishiri Island in Japan for alpine windsurfing.
Siver has ridden huge waves all over the globe, bending the wind to his will, however he had never experienced anything quite like what he faced in Hokkaido.
Five years after his initial idea, he undertook 20 days of filming at the picturesque Rishiri Island off the shore of the northern tip of Japan.
The distinctive terrain, where you can look down on the ocean while riding down the mountain, was perfect for this project.
He explained, “What mountains and the ocean have in common is their unpredictability. The scenery is truly beautiful, but also extremely dangerous and the conditions change everyday.
“Everyday is a brand new adventure. But on the other hand, since each ride is a new challenge, there is this added challenge of conquering your own fear, which really helps you grow as a person.
“The idea for this project stemmed from the vision that we could transfer the elements of windsurfing onto a mountain and create the same exhilarating experience the surfer gets on the water.
“I’m always trying to find ways to challenge myself, but this project really sparked my curiosity. What would happen if I were to combine snowboarding and windsurfing? After all, I have enjoyed both of these sports for a really long time.
“I wanted to be the first person to try alpine windsurfing on a finned board. Using a snowboard would actually be optimum for performance, but I really wanted to recreate that unique sensation of windsurfing and to do that I need to make a board somewhere in between a snowboard and windsurfing board.
“The board has the rail and fin you need for surfing and there are no bindings. It has straps and its ridden with surf boots so on the drop in you get the same feeling as when you’re windsurfing. But you’re looking down on a mountain, not the ocean.”
Average shooting days of seven hours started with a two-hour hike up a mountain at -13 degrees, then waits of up to three hours for the perfect winds.
He added, “I got this exhilarating feeling that I can’t even really describe. The strongest wind I caught was about 15km per hour (9.3m).”
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