Mikkel Bang
Reo Takahashi

Photo: Mike Yoshida

Reo Takahashi

Photo: Mike Yoshida

Reo Takahashi

Photo: Huggy

Reo Takahashi

Photo: Mike Yoshida

Most times when foreign pro snowboarders travel to Japan they are at the mercy of their sponsor’s distributor, whose ultimate goal is usually to get those riders in front of as many Japanese business men/buyers as possible. These trips are always a gamble because often times they are pointing you to the most popular resorts or most well known spots. Very little time is figured in for actual filming and unfortunately, when you do get time to film, you often feel like you are holding your hosts up or bumming them out.

Reo Takahashi has been one of Japan’s top street snowboarders for quite some time. From riding with JP Walker and Simon Chamberlin to filming with the Technine crew, Reo was exposed to many western snowboard pros filming at some of Japan’s most famous spots. With the introduction of the winch a few years back, Reo’s approach began to switch from going to established spots to searching out new terrain. He has quickly become the go-to guy for top riders on Japan filming missions, like the Déjà Vu crew, Chris Grenier, and this past winter, The SNOWBOARDER crew.

Reo is one of the most prepared people in snowboarding. His van is equipped with everything you might need for an urban mission. He has spots mapped, photographed and detailed, and pretty much knows exactly what’s been done where. Last season, he easily balanced the awkward situation of guiding two major crews by really not taking us to any of the same zones, and he’s pretty much a boss when it comes to helping foreigners negotiate the difficulties of traveling in Japan, as well as choosing the best places to take us to eat.

All of these stories about how great Reo is as a filming guide would be awesome if that was his end goal, but Reo is also a pro snowboarder and one of the best in the world. He is super calculated, but super casual. He’ll wait until everyone is done riding and then quietly ask if we mind filming him for a couple tries on the feature and bust out the craziest trick of the session. He’s very aware of style and making sure something looks proper as opposed to just surviving the rail--something that in the past was rare for Japanese snowboarders. With so many sessions under his belt with so many good riders, he only seems to be getting better with age.

Reo has quickly become a great friend to many of the world’s best snowboarders. He’s become a great friend to SNOWBOARDER Magazine and we are very happy to present his newest full part.

Bode Merrill

Photo: Huggy

“Reo is the most spot-savvy person I've ever met in my life. He knows an insane number of them and has all the info you need to know about them, too. Is there speed? Is it a bust? What kind of metal is it? He knows it all or knows someone who knows the answer.” – Louif Paradis

Bode Merrill

Photo: Huggy

“Reo Takahashi was a perfect candidate for the job of guiding last year when filming for The SNOWBOARDER Movie: SFD ‘cause he has a fully operational SFD stocked van prepared to the T with a street shredder's film arsenal.” - Lucas Magoon

Bode Merrill

Photo: Mike Yoshida

“Reo is the most respectful, hard working, positive, and skillful boarders that I've met. He took care of our crew in Japan in every aspect, from perfect spots to the best food, to emergency room translation, and bagged hammer shots first or second try all along the way. He was very selfless and we owe him many thanks. Some memorable quotes from the trip: REO Speedwagon, train stopping, oh cherry, shhhhhibaeenuuuuu, don't snowboard at the temple” - Pat Fenelon, Chris Grenier’s Real Street director

“Reo is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Although the language barrier served as a hurdle here and there, he was always trying to accommodate us by finding the best spots, booking us the nicest hotels, and pointing us in the right direction to find the ginger flavored soy milk. Reo is so humble, respectable, and always on it--classic Japanese style. Not only is Reo an amazing guide and friend, but after the sessions were done, he would go up and get a trick within a couple tries.” – SNOWBOARDER Mag Associate Photo Editor Mike Yoshida

Bode Merrill

Photo: Huggy

Bode Merrill

Photo: Huggy

“It was an honor to spend so much time this winter with Reo! A true G and a great inspiration! I hope to watch his snowboarding for years to come!“ - Jake Olson-Elm

“Reo is the ultimate boss of Japan. He rolls his orange van everywhere and puts up with dipshit ignorant Americans that come to snowboard in Japan, yet he never complains and always has a smile on his face.” – Chris Grenier

“Reo has the best perm in Japan. Hahaha! He loves Yakiniku, he’s great help explaining spots, menus, and rules in Japan. He also has a German Shepard named Cherry.” – Frank April

“Reo is the spot master. He knows a ton of spots and good locations to go to, plus, he's got all the stuff you need: genny, lights, shovels. He's down to help and super welcoming; couldn't ask for a better person to guide in the streets over there. Reo doesn’t need long to get the trick he wants to get. He will try a feature only a few times and most of the time he gets the shots. About five tries and he'll get what he wants. The switch frontboard he does in the intro of Encore was first try. It was pretty sick to watch.” – Will Lavigne

“There are so many things I love about Reo. One thing people may not know is that he will patiently wait until the other dudes have finished sessioning a feature, and then hop on it and get a shot in one or two tries. That’s his style. One and done or two and through.” - SNOWBOARDER Mag Photo Editor Ryan Hughes

Bode Merrill

Photo: Mike Yoshida

“Reo is the go-to Japanese street rail connect. He always comes through with a book full of spots, a van full of gear, and a heart full of gold. Glad to have had the opportunity to shred the streets with him. Looking forward to doing it again.” - JP Walker